I love to save money, and with 4 kids to feed, it's more appropriate to say that I need to save money. I am always looking for ways to save a buck--or many--on the everyday essentials. A few years ago I started making my own laundry detergent , which works great, is much more earth friendly than many store brands, and certainly less expensive than the all natural brands (I love 'em, but I can't afford 'em!) Finding ways to both help the environment and save cash is extra special. For some reason though, I never thought to look into do-it-yourself dish soap. That's probably because I go through it so slowly. Our family makes so many dirty dishes in a day that it is actually more cost effective and a better use of water & energy resources to run a load in the dishwasher than to wash by hand, so a bottle of dish soap can last a long time. What finally got me looking for a dish soap recipe? Triclosan.
Triclosan is a pesticide which I first heard about in association with hand sanitizer gels. I was very disturbed to realize that I had been applying a pesticide directly onto the skin of each of my children in order to help them avoid contracting the common cold. Hmmm...common cold or the possibility of disrupting endocrine function, interfering with thyroid hormone metabolism, causing allergic reactions, asthma, or eczema (just a few lovely effects of triclosan) hmmmm...let me think? Needless to say, I immediately switched to an all-natural, non-triclosan containing hand sanitizer, which we only use for those on-the-go moments when washing our hands "the old fashioned way" isn't an option. Speaking of which, public health officials still say that the BEST defense against the spread of germs is regular old hand washing with soap and water, scrubbing enthusiastically for 20 seconds. You've got 20 seconds to spare right? And by now most of us have heard that the bounty of anti-bacterial soaps and detergents out there these days are major contributors to the creation of "super bugs."
Next I found out that triclosan wasn't just in hand sanitizers, but in many other products that I used which were labeled "anti-bacterial," this included dish soap. Never mind the damage it does to our environment to have this pesticide running down the drain, but coating the dishes my family eats off of with an ingredient that is linked to highly carcinogenic dioxin? No thank you. That's when I knew I had to switch to a natural brand, but it was hard on the wallet. We're talking $4.99 for a bottle ("Mmm, but it smells like lavender and vanilla," she whines, "Me wants it!!") I admit, I even thought about just switching to a dish soap that at least wasn't an "anti-bacterial" if I couldn't afford one that also happened to be eco-friendly. You know what I found out? It is near impossible these days to find a dish soap (or hand soap for that matter) by any non-natural brand that isn't anit-bacterial! That's when my little itty bitty DIY brain woke from it's coma and asked Google for some answers. And boy did my pal Goo' (that's what his closest friends get to call him) come through for me I give you, Homemade Dish Soap (free of icky bad things) via DIY Natural
It was SOOOOOO easy! Why haven't I been doing this for years?? I gotta tell ya, each time I find a cheaper, easier, healthier, more eco-friendly (yeah, all of those things in one!!!!) way to do something, it is a total thrill. I get giddy. Like, srsly, it's embarrassing. No matter, I am so happy to have found a way to keep my family safe by avoiding the harmful pesticide triclosan AND keep the creepy crawlies off my dishes. I hope this information has been helpful to you, if you dig it, please pass it on via Twitter or the social media of your choice. If you'd like to learn more about triclosan and it's effects, as well as how you can be triclosan-free, please visit BeyondPesticides.org
One more reminder: Wash your hands often with warm water and mild soap (don't forget, 20 seconds of enthusiastic scrubbing!) as the best defense against the creepy crawlies. Stay healthy,Tamar