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Being a digital nomad, for me, means that we drop anchor in a country for a few years and then we uproot and move to a new country. With our most recent move to Liberia, I’ve been on a DIY mission. I realized I was tired of exposing our growing kiddos to any host of chemicals and hormones housed within the everyday products we buy. And since we’re nomads/digital nomads/and just plain o’l move around a lot, it’s hard to find a natural brand that we can consistently buy no mater where we are in the world.
At some point, we run out and the brand we want just isn’t available or worse yet, we have to buy it from the US or Europe and wait for it to arrive. Meanwhile, we have to use whatever chemical du jour is available on the local market. See, the thing is, I like buying things on the local market, but I always want to know WHAT I’m buying, which is why DIYing is so exciting to me.
It allows me to buy half of my raw materials on the local market and use half of the things I packed with me to make inexpensive and healthy products for my family.
Now, I just told you that we literally change countries of residence every two to three years. It’s a lot. So, I do not create my own recipes for my DIY Homestead Projects but thanks to the internet, there are hundreds of websites and blogs dedicated to DIY Homestead recipes. So, today, I’ll share some of my favs.
1. DIY Laundry Detergent Pods
We have sensitive skin in this house and we live in Liberia. It’s hot and humid here so our clothes take a real beating. Sure, I can buy an imported bag of Tide for a gazillion dollars (only somewhat joking here). I could buy a local brand that’s cheaper but also harsher on the skin or I could just make my own.
After a little trial and error, I found The Krazy Coupon Lady. I LOVE her! She has a very detailed post that details exactly how to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent Pods and Save. This recipe has changed my life for a couple of reasons.
- I only buy the raw materials to make the detergent. So I know EXACTLY what’s in my detergent. I use the same soap that we use for bathing (sensitive skin castile soap bars), and instead of using the washing powder she recommends, I substitute 2/3 organic borax and 1/3 baking soda for the washing powder. And the only reason I make that substitution is because I bought bags (BAGS!) of organic borax and baking soda with me. Use what you have.
- The Krazy Coupon Lady’s diy laundry detergent pod recipe is good for one week of laundry for my family of four, which includes our two littles who love to run and play outside, tracking dirt and sand with them, and my husband and I who work out on the regular with all of the stinkies that accompany workout clothes. I use this recipe once a month and I quadruple it. Works like a charm.
- I use my own essential oil combinations to freshen the funky socks and workout clothes that often need a little extra TLC at laundry time. My go-to scent combination is wild orange, lemon, and lavender. Knocks the funk out.
Oh, an I love these large gallon mason jars. They’re perfect for holding large amounts of stuff and since I’m one of those people who worries about the long-term of effects of exposure to plastics, I appreciate keeping my DIY products in a great glass container. I’ve made water and coconut water kefir and fermented veggies in these jars. They’re great.
2. DIY Eyeglass Cleaner
Now that 3 out of 4 of us wear glasses, we needed a go-to solution for keeping our specs clean. Since we live outside of the US right now, we don’t have the luxury of heading to Wal-mart or Target or CVS to get glass wipes and heaven forbid we scratch them by cleaning them with a t-shirt or a piece of paper, and bye bye sight. Plus, the idea of ordering eye glass cleaner from the US or Europe seemed a bit extravagant. So, again, I consulted Uncle Google, and found a great solution for our family.
Hello Nest, a blog that shares creative diy green cleaning solutions to keep your home tidy, safe, and environmentally friendly. I love it, AND my favorite DIY solution at Hello Nest is the post on How To Make Your Own Eyeglass cleaner.
All the materials are easily sourced anywhere. I keep rubbing alcohol in the house for first aid, thankfully clean water is plentiful, and dish soap. OMG! I love this recipe! I don’t have to see my daughter squinting to see through her finger print ridden glasses or worse, have her take them off to see. I can see. My husband can see and our glasses are always clean. Plus, it’s so easy. I don’t know why we’re just not all taught how to make our own diy eyeglass cleaner.
As a digital nomad, these simple diy solutions make SUCH a difference. They bring a level of comfort and dependability to an often uncomfortable experience. I may not be able to meal plan because I never know what vegetables will be available at the market, but I can make my own eyeglass cleaner. It’s the little things.
3. DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap
Over at Livesimply.me, I found an easy-peasy DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap. I love it because I have little kids and they wash their hands ALOT (at least we’re trying to teach them to do this), and knowing what they’re putting on their hands (and arms, and sometimes in their hair if they make a mess) is important.
Now, I know I’m generally anti-plastic AND I found these great plastic foaming liquid hand soap dispensers on Amazon. I put one in each bathroom and I just reuse them. Granted, they’re plastic but they allow me to help my kiddos conserve soap. If you have a little kids, you know everything is sometimes treated as a toy. So, with this hand soap dispenser, the soap is (generally) not one of the toys.
I love this Live Simply DIY Homemade Liquid Hand Soap recipe because I ADORE castile soap and and I find the oils she recommends to be nourishing to my hands. Plus, the essential oils she recommends are anti-microbial. So, the level of forethought she put into producing this recipe is wonderful and I truly appreciate the way she thinks through the ingredients she uses in her product recommendations. I know our hands are clean and even though I feel as if I wash my hands constantly, I don’t suffer from dry hands anymore.
4. DIY Furniture Polish
So, I never thought to MAKE furniture polish but I went to the store and looked at what’s actually IN furniture polish and I was truly disappointed. It’s just more chemicals. So, on a whim, I tried my hand at making my own DIY Furniture Polish. Thankfully, Google has not yet disappointed me and I found a simple (but really effective) recipe at Ablossominglife.com.
Never in my life did I think I could make something as seemingly complicated as a Homemade Furniture Polish – Easy Natural Recipe. I didn’t want to have to go buy anything that I didn’t already have in my house and this recipe fit the bill. All I needed was oil, vinegar, and some good smelling essential oils.
Now, when I clean the furniture, it smells just like I remember Pledge smelling as a kid without any of the chemical residue that I now know exist in many store-bought cleaning products.
For this recipe, I made one simple modification. I used twice as much vinegar. But other than that, I LOVE this easy recipe and I’m amazed at how well it polishes the wood in my house (and there is a lot!). Kudos to Ablossominglife.com for helping me make a great green cleaning product all the way in Liberia!
Next DIY Homesteading Projects
I’m a clean freak. I always want to make sure things are clean, especially when I’m using DIY products. I briefly dabbled with a bathroom cleaner but it wasn’t the right consistency and I wasn’t entirely sure my bathroom and the pee on the floor was getting really clean. So, as much as I’ve vowed to stop using store-bought cleaning products, I’m still using them in my bathrooms and to wash dishes.
So, the next time I post about DIY Homesteading, my goal is to find a recipe that I LOVE & TRUST for cleaning bathrooms as well as one that I feel gets my dishes squeaky clean. If you’re a DIY blogger or you have any suggestions, please leave a link in the comments and I’ll definitely check it out.
And if you try any of the DIY Homesteading projects I LOVE above, please leave a comment and click over to the creator of the recipe’s page and tell them how much you love THEIR DIY recipe and let them know I sent ya!