Archive for Organic Cleaning

SoulShine Soap Company

SoulShine Soap Delivery
Over the past few years we have worked towards removing chemicals from our daily lives, specifically when it comes to what we put on our bodies through soaps, laundry detergents, and the like. We stopped using dryer sheets close to a decade ago, which was easy as they don’t really do anything at all aside from coat you clothes in petroleum based chemicals. The next step was to swap to a fragrance and color free detergent. Check. Then we moved to a natural based detergent. What could be even better than fragrance, color, and chemical free detergent?

How about if is was local?
As in, the same state you live in local?

I came across the perfect detergent: SoulShine Soap Company. Started as a side business on a small farm in Maine, SoulShine Soap has a wonderful selection of products. One of the newest items that they have is their powdered laundry detergent. For $18.00 you receive a bag of delicious smelling dry laundry soap in your pick of lavender, lemongrass, or orange scent. (I went with lemongrass – it smells like lemon candy. I’m in love with it!) This bag will fill up quart canning jar, plus some. As for the claim that the bag holds over 70 loads, I can attest to that! It’s been over a month since we bought our batch of detergent, we’ve run close to forty loads, and we’re only a fourth of the way through the bag! Regular laundry, dog-smell embedded sheets, cloth diapers…you name it, this stuff works on it! I have been truly amazed by how mild, yet powerful, this laundry soap is.

I’m glad to say that isn’t the only thing that we bought in our order from SoulShine. I picked up a stain stick (which even works on toddler induced blueberry stains), two different soaps, and some of their lip balm. Aside from the great quality of the products, I was also excited to find a handwritten thank you note from ordering from them, and the entire package was cushioned with cloth scraps, a fantastic idea that I might have stolen for packing some holiday gifts.

I can’t say enough about this company! They have made a customer for life here in Norridgewock.

Natural Beauty…Products, That Is.

Since I was about ten years old, I’ve been dealing with psoriasis. (I won’t get into the details of what it is here, but later on I might post more on this. If you need a good definition, click the link and you’ll have a really nice, simplistic one that just about sums it up.) I’ve noticed that one of my biggest issues tends to be sodium lauryl sulphate, a very common chemical in shampoos, soaps, and even toothpaste. (Which according to some information explains my constant battle with canker soars.) That being said, with sodium lauryl sulphate in almost everything, it’s almost impossible to eradicate out of your household.  But, we did it with corn syrup, so why not with this!

First off, the daily shower soap we swapped to goat’s milk soap a long time ago. I  really love the Canus brad, especially since they disclose all information and are from Canada, which is essentially right next door.

border: 0pt none;For my shampooing, my first try on changing things was to switch to Dr. Bronner’s. We use the peppermint soap as an ant deterrent around the house. While it works wonders at that job, it’s a wonderful all purpose cleaner. I’ve been using the almond scented version specifically, but I’ve noticed that the oils weigh my hair down a bit. For some, they might not mind it, but I’ve been feeling a like claustrophobic in my own hair. I kept using the product, however, since it was lacking sodium lauryl sulphate and didn’t seem to bug my psoriasis at all.

However, I constantly keep my eyes out.

Yesterday, I happened to go to Reny’s in Farmington to check out their clearance sale. I wandered into the health and beauty area to thumb through the shampoos and conditioners as I do every trip. Needless to say, this is what I found:

These products not only smell delicious, but:

  • contain over 95% natural products
  • contain certified organic ingredients
  • contain natural plant extracts
  • sulfate and paraben free
  • phthalate free
  • contain NO propylene glycol
  • contain NO artificial colors

According to the website for the products, they retail for $6.99. I found these are Reny’s for $1.99.  I tried the product this morning, and I have to say that I love the way it left my hair feeling. We’ll see in a couple of days if it really fits the bill.

Here’s to natural, organic products!

Cleaning Organically: Bathroom Mold/Mildew

About a month or so ago I noticed some rather odd clusters of spots on my bathroom ceiling. After staring at said cluster for roughly thirty seconds, I screamed in annoyance. I knew what it was: bathroom mold/mildew. Given one of my more severe allergies is mold, I tend to declare war on the beast any chance I get. The battle lines were drawn.

The wonderful thing about owning your own home is that you can take care of such a menace on your own. When we lived in our apartment during college, our landlords refused to take care of the mold problem and allowed it to plague me with a series of severe sinus infections that have continued to leave my glands inflamed even a year after the fact. I was kind of excited that we could take matter into our own hands, but didn’t know where to start.

A month went by before I realized that I had the answer lurking in my cook book cubby. Shortly after we bought the house, I picked up a book through One Spirit that dealt with the organic side of home cleaning.


Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck is wonderful! I went to the index, wrote down my pages, and dug up the information regarding the mold in the bathroom. If found the following to be very helpful hints and tips from page 152 of her book. (Summarized)

* Surface mildew can be taken care of with full strength white vinegar. Spray the vinegar and let set for a few minutes before wiping dry.

* If mildew has left a stain, try spraying hydrogen peroxide on he spot and rubbing the area clean with a rag. Be forewarned, this may have a bleaching effect on your paint.

* For persistent patches of mildew, put white vinegar in a glass jar and add an inch-long piece of copper wire. Let this sit for a few days. Pour the vinegar in your spray bottle and use this to clean. Be careful how long you let the copper set in the vinegar, too long and you will dye your walls blue-green.

* For tough mildew, use a borax/water paste and a scrub brush.

I decided to go with the vinegar method to see how it works. I’m going to keep a keen eye on the previous areas and will keep you all updated! As a household that can’t use harsh chemicals due to a variety of allergies, this is a great tip to try.