Category Archives: Natural Living

Homemade Clay Toothpaste

homemade clay toothpasteHomemade clay toothpaste is something I started attempting after I became a fan of Earthpaste, an all-natural toothpaste without chemicals and additives. I hate that conventional toothpaste contain hormone disruptors like triclosan and fluoride, unnecessary artificial sweeteners, and foaming agents like DEA which is linked with various cancers. No thank you. While Earthpaste worked for me for a while, I didn’t like that it had a sweet flavor and I thought it would be fun to make my own.

As a side note, my dental health has improved dramatically through the past several years as I changed my diet and started using natural toothpastes. Remember: your dental health reflects your overall health in general, so if you find that you are prone to cavities and inflammation in your gums, it’s worth looking into your diet and finding out what imbalances are happening in your body.

homemade clay toothpaste

homemade clay toothpaste

homemade clay toothpaste

Why Use Clay?

Clay, specifically bentonite clay, is known to contain an abundance of beneficial trace minerals and vitamins and has traditionally been used to boost immunity and to treat mineral deficiencies. It also has an amazing quality of binding to heavy metals, toxins, bacteria, and harmful substances so they can be removed from body. When used in toothpaste, it helps remineralize our teeth with calcium and magnesium, and its binding component also cleans out the mouth of any bacteria that may be forming.

Coupled with stain-reducing baking soda, the antibacterial component of coconut oil, and essentials oils that optimize their effectiveness, this recipe makes an awesome toothpaste that leaves your mouth feeling clean and refreshed.

Remember, When Using Bentonite Clay…

Bentonite clay should NOT come in contact with any metals. When this happens, it loses its effectiveness because it absorbs the metals that it comes in contact with. When using bentonite clay, use glass, ceramic, or plastic with your utensils and containers.

Also, I recommend you purchase bamboo toothbrushes to reduce your exposure to plastic (something like this). Making small changes to our daily routine can ensure that we reduce the amount of toxins that enter our body and the environment, while saving money at the same time if you go the DIY route!

homemade clay toothpaste

homemade clay toothpaste

homemade clay toothpaste
Homemade Clay Toothpaste
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp bentonite clay
  • ¼ cup filtered water + more, if needed
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 15-20 drops of essential oils (I like the combo of peppermint and thieves)
Instructions
  1. In a glass, plastic, ceramic container (do NOT use metal), mix together bentonite clay, melted coconut oil, and water with a non-metal spoon until well mixed.
  2. Add baking soda and essential oils and mix again.
  3. If the toothpaste is too thick, add a little bit of water at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
  4. Put in a glass or plastic container, where you can dip your toothbrush to use the toothpaste. Alternatively, if you have other people using the toothpaste as well, you can store in a bpa-free plastic squeeze tube.

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
 
Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

DIY Homemade Clay Toothpaste

Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

homemade liquid dish soapIn an effort to reduce toxins, chemical fragrances, and hormone-distruptors in my life as much as possible, I’ve been making many of my household cleaning products (It’s amazing what baking soda and vinegar can do). One product I’ve been experimenting with for over a year has been homemade liquid dish soap. Whatever recipe I found, I was never 100% happy with. They left a film on our dishware, the consistency was too thin, and/or they didn’t effectively cut through grease. After many trials and errors, I’m quite happy with my current formula and I’m excited to share it with you!

homemade liquid dish soap

homemade liquid dish soap

homemade liquid dish soapI want to mention that this recipe contains xanthan gum. While I don’t encourage ingesting it and I personally try to avoid it when I see it on the ingredients list, it’s considered relatively safe for anyone without digestive issues. It’s also the one ingredient that has been able to thicken castile soap beautifully from my personal experience (and I’ve tried many things), so I do use it to get that thick consistency of store-bought dish soap. If you want to avoid xanthan gum completely and don’t mind your soap being thin, you can leave it out.

In our household, C is the one that’s usually doing the dishes, and he really likes this soap. He’s actually quite picky when it comes to fragrances and rolls his eyes at my “hippie” homemaking, but he’s totally on board with some of my homemade products, including this one. It’s simple to make with relatively short ingredients list, cuts through grease fabulously, and I highly encourage you to try it out!

homemade liquid dish soap

homemade liquid dish soap

homemade liquid dish soap
Homemade Liquid Dish Soap
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the water to boil and then turn it down to simmer.
  2. Add washing soda and whisk until it dissolves.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine xanthan gum and vegetable glycerine, and whisk until xanthan gum is dissolved.
  4. Add liquid castile soap to the vegetable glycerine mixture and whisk again.
  5. Pour this into the washing soda water, and whisk until they are thoroughly combined.
  6. Remove from heat and let cool.
  7. Add essential oil drops, pour into a pump bottle, preferably made with glass.
  8. Use to wash dishes as your normally would.
Notes
The soap may separate or clump up in the bottle. If this happens, you can run hot water over the bottle and shake it to make sure that the liquid is evenly distributed before using.

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
 
Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

DIY Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

Safe and Toxin-Free Cookware Guide

Safe and Toxin-Free Cookware Guide
Once you start eating better, moving more, and making a conscious effort to live a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to think of all aspects of our lives that we need to clean out toxins and harmful chemicals from. One example of this is in our kitchen. And no, I don’t mean the food that we put into our body, although that is extremely important. I’m talking about the things we cook our food in. No matter how clean we are eating, we may ingesting toxins that disrupt our hormones and health if we use cookware and bakeware that are made or coated with harmful substances.

There are so many products out there when it comes to cookware, and it can be confusing to figure out what the safest and most toxin-free options are. Here’s a helpful guide to figure out which pans and pots you can keep, and which ones you can toss.

SAFE COOKWARE

STAINLESS STEEL. Stainless steel cookware is one of the most cost-effective solutions if you want to replace some of your cookware right way. They are also quite durable and last a long time (I’ve had one of my pots for over 5 years now). The only negative about stainless steel is that they are not non-stick, so they are not ideal if you want to fry up some over easy eggs.

CERAMIC. Another thing our ancestors got right. Ceramic cookware (and I’m talking about 100% ceramic, not ceramic coated – which I will talk about later) is not only safe but enhances the flavor of the food by cooking it slowly and gently. Because of this, it’s not ideal for flash cooking or stir-fry. However, ceramic cookware is an excellent addition to the kitchen and they are nonreactive, without containing any metals that can leech into our food.

CAST IRON. This is one of my favorites and another old-fashioned cookware that’s probably the safest option. Many people are intimidated by cast iron because it needs to be seasoned routinely, but it’s really not difficult to do at all. Once you learn how to clean and season it properly, it’s awesome for non-stick cooking, both on the stove top and in the oven. Plus, if you take care of it properly, cast iron cookware can last a lifetime!

ENAMELED CAST IRON. I think I would own way more enameled cast iron cookware if they weren’t so ridiculously expensive. LeCreuset ones are also so pretty to look at. I have one which is a hand-me-down from my mom and I absolutely love it. Unlike a standard cast iron, it’s easy to clean and doesn’t need to be seasoned. It also cooks food evenly and is safe for both the stove top and the oven.

GLASS. Excellent for all your baking needs, oven safe glassware like Pyrex comes in various sizes. They also don’t break easily which is great for someone clumsy like me. I use it not only for baking, but also as food storage ever since I got rid of all plastic anything from our kitchen. Just remember that it IS glass, so you should avoid sudden extreme temperature changes and never put it in the broiler.

ANODIZED ALUMINUM (MAYBE). The process of anodization seals the aluminum so it doesn’t leech into the food. Anodized aluminum cookware is nonstick, scratch-resistant, and easy to clean. However, they do not last a long time. After about a year of use, the surface may wear down and the aluminum may start entering into the food that you cook in it. Just to be safe, I don’t use anodized aluminum cookware. However, it may be an okay option to use once in a while if you need an easy, non-stick surface to cook on.

TOXIC COOKWARE

TEFLON or NON-STICK. As convenient as Teflon cookware are, the part that makes them non-stick is what makes them leech synthetic chemicals that are harmful to our health. The coating on the pan breaks down especially at high temperature, and creates toxic and carcinogenic fumes that are released into the air and in our food. These fumes are even known to kill birds. To make matters worse, these pans scratch easily and the particles that are scratched off can enter into our food as well.

ALUMINUM. Another huge no-no when it comes to cookware is aluminum. There’s a connection between aluminum ingestion and Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s also known to cause bone and and kidney issues by depleting necessary minerals in our body. Aluminum leeches extremely easily, especially at high temperature or in contact with acidic foods like lemon and tomatoes. I advise you stop using aluminum foil in cooking as well. You may find some stainless cookware with an aluminum base. This is an acceptable choice as long the food doesn’t touch is the aluminum, and the surface isn’t damaged.

CERAMIC COATED PANS (MAYBE). Ceramic coatings have been pretty popular in the recent years and there are even knives that come with the trendy ceramic coating. Despite the name, the surfaces of these cookware are actually not ceramic in the traditional sense of the word. They are dipped or sprayed with synthetic polymer solution that dries into these non-stick plastic coatings. Ceramic coated pans, usually aluminum inside, do not last a long time. With heat and use, the coating wears down and you start ingesting the coating AND the reactive metals underneath. My recommendation is to not use it, but they may be okay once in a while if you take great care not to scratch the surface. Overall, it’s really not worth it to me.

Don’t be overwhelmed if you own Teflon or aluminum cookware at home. It’s never too late to make these changes. You can gradually start switching out pans and pots one by one, and within a few months, your kitchen will be toxin free and you won’t have to worry about the metals you may be ingesting in your food. If you have a tight budget, I suggest going with stainless steel cookware because they are safe and relatively cheap. Either way, aluminum and heavy metal toxicity is so common and serious in today’s world, and I think reducing these exposures in your kitchen is a great starting point and investment you can make toward your health.

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
 
Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Safe and Toxin-Free Cookware Guide