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DIY Hand Sanitizer For Children

Picturing Fall I think of soup, cozy sweaters, and pumpkins but in reality it is a really busy time of year. With back-to-school routines, sports and activities starting, many kids are getting run-down and sick with not having the opportunity or time to wash hands properly. In no way is a hand sanitizer (DIY recipe or store bought) a replacement for washing your hands. We all know washing hands with soap and warm water is the most effective way to kill germs that cause cold and flu. But when kids are on the run from school to sports, having a back-up solution to hand washing is a great aid in your family wellness kit.

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Why make my own hand sanitizer? Yes, there are brands on store shelves that contain less of the nasty ingredients, but to be store shelf stable, they need preservatives which I like to avoid.  I also learned from making my own sunscreen, understanding every ingredient gives you better insight into personal care products. I have found making my own personal care products to be a great source of empowerment trying to understand how each ingredient aids in sun protection, hand sanitizing, or skin care, etc. I modified Nourishing Treasures recipe, adding more antibac and anti-virus essential oils with tea tree and lavender. All the ingredients to make this DIY hand sanitizer could easily make multiple batches and last all fall and winter seasons. For leftover oils you can easy find uses so invest in the ingredients and enjoy experimenting with very safe essential oils.  Everything used in this recipe was provided by Voyageur Soap & Candle Company Ltd. and if you want to learn more about essential oils or any ingredients for making your own products, this is the store. And they  are currently having a sale so stock up!

DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe:

1 cup of distilled water
1/2 cup aloe vera extract liquid (not the gel)
1/4 avocado oil
20 drops tea tree oil
20 drops lavender oil

Purchase aluminum spray bottles and kids can decorate the bottles. These bottles make DIY hand sanitizer look store bought so if you’ve got school aged kids that don’t appreciate your DIY efforts, just tell them you bought it.

I’ve been playing with different hand sanitizer recipes and unlike the witch hazel, this hand sanitizer left my hands feeling nourished and soft. Not often you can say that about hand sanitizer – the hospital grade sanitizers leave my skin raw.  I also like the choice of essential oils in this recipe so that parents can use this recipe on young children that might want to avoid mint oils. Thyme is also a popular oil used in natural store bought hand sanitizers, you could add 10 drops if you have it on hand to this recipe if you like the scent.

What ingredients do you want to avoid in hand sanitizers for kids?

1. If your hand sanitizer is marketed as ‘antibacterial’ it might contain triclosan. The concern is it may contribute to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

2. Remember when I said I like to avoid preservatives? We know that parabens are now linked to cancer and cause endocrine disruption and should be avoided. Any ingredient in your personal care that ends in ‘paraben’ for example butylparaben, should be avoided in children.

3. For years my kids have complained about the scent that is unleashed from traditional hand sanitizer in a class room when kids bring in highly fragrant sanitizers. If your sanitizer has a strong scent, unless it’s an essential oil blend created by YOU, it’s probably loaded with toxic chemicals.

Strong microban sanitizers belong in hospitals not homes or schools. Make up a batch of this no-germ hand spray and you’ll love having it in-stock to ride out flu season. With media already issuing reports of Enterovirus D68, let’s stay calm and empowered with finding arsenals for family wellness kits. I’m going to stick with tea tree oil’s ability to fight all three types of infectious organisms (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) and encourage more regular hand washing with my family.

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Related Articles:

DIY Sunscreen Without Chemicals or Zinc

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Contest and Review: Blendtec

Sponsored by: Blendtec

Hosted by: Mommy Footprint

 

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When you enter the world of green-living or making small steps to increase your food awareness and health, the blendtec brand is always making an appearance. Whether you are checking out smoothie recipes, making condiments, sauces, soups, etc., you will see a blendtec machine helping make this happen. Why? The power of the blendtec is amazing. You can have that quick convenience of food that doesn’t take long to prepare, but not sacrificing the quality of the food because blendtec will shorten prep time. From the features tab on the machine I own, I read it’s power is measured with 1625 watt, 3.0 peak horsepower motor. As a mom, all I know is whatever I throw at this machine in a frozen or solid form, the machine is tough and it makes you want to use it. Our recent favourite recipes include watermelon slushies and hummus. The items that you make like smoothies are obvious, but with Fall coming I can’t wait to try more soups and get back to making my own mayonnaise. There are very few gadgets I’ve relied on in my journey to being healthier in the kitchen, and I thank blendtec for their quality and dedication to health!

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Here are five reasons more reasons to love a blendtec:

1) The blendtec machines are smart. My son is convinced it can think for itself with the encouraging phrases you’ll see while it’s in use. This makes the fun factor high with these machines!

2) The timing metrics are great. When you select from a set menu of food you are blending, the machine stops at the end of the time allowance so it’s not over processed. Pre-programmed cycles: Smoothie, Ice Cream, Whole Juice, Hot Soup.

3) The parts are a snap to clean and fit perfectly. I appreciate the snug fit for all the parts and unlike my old blender, there is no waste. If you make a smoothie, you are getting all of the contents as nothing gets stuck in the blades.

4) There are only two pieces with both the twister jar and WildSide+ jar that sit on the big, powerful base of the blendtec. Easy to wash, again, the base is a snap to store, making you want to use this machine often. Nothing is worse than taking apart a machine in 5 or more little pieces to clean after.

5) Power. Its worth mentioning again. You save time and enthusiasm remains high with the powerful motor in this machine. If you need more power, simply slide your finger along the base for customized blending.

About blendtec

Blendtec products are made with high quality and power you can count on. People all around the world use Blendtec blenders in their homes, restaurants, smoothie shops, coffee shops and more. The company started with one man and his curiosity. He has shared that vision with others, and with his team, the dream continues to unfold.

We are excited to bring you this amazing Blendtec Designer Model 625 This machine will inspire you to try recipes with the sleek and functional blender design. The contest winner will receive the blendtec designer 625 base in either black or red colour (based on availability), 3 qt. wildside+ jar & gripper lid container, and guide to recipes and tips.

Would you love to have this beautiful blendtec machine for your own kitchen? Our VERY generous sponsor, Blendtec, wants one of our lucky readers to have that chance!  So, let’s get on to the giveaway!

One lucky winner will win this

Blendtec blender 625!

Giveaway ends 9/19/14 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to US andCanadian residents 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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DIY Sunscreen Without Chemicals or Zinc Oxide

It’s taken since the beginning of the summer to source, make, and test this DIY sunscreen recipe. I’m super proud of the fact it’s an effective recipe, made along with my friend Michelle who is a local holistic health nutritionistWe are not doctors, experts in the field of cancer or product manufacturing, but we are two moms on a journey to remove products we see as possibly harmful for our 6 children combined. What changed my thoughts over the last year from buying organic sunscreen to making my own?

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There have only been a few times in my life where I totally couldn’t wrap my mind around subjects that should have been easy. Sunscreen has always been one of them. Long time Mommy Footprint readers will know how many sunscreen articles I’ve written trying to get to the bottom of ingredients and why titanium dioxide vs zinc oxide are better choices. The topics of 1) preservatives that make products shelf-life stable and 2) nanoparticles and non-nanoparticles are confusing topics that haven’t been researched enough for my liking. And once you remove the zinc and titanium ingredients from organic sunscreen, you start actually looking at ingredients you are left with and think “Hey – I could make this!” It’s very empowering to find your own ingredients that you can pronounce and understand how each one works within a recipe like sunscreen. Most importantly with this recipe, once you learn the SPF levels of oils and products you have in the kitchen – you’ll really be surprised.

And although I still have mad respect for organic sunscreen companies that have paved the way to cleaner ingredient lists and done SO much to educate consumers (Badger and Green Beaver in particular), I know that sunscreen originated in labs and was created with chemicals that just might have spiked the skin cancer rates over the last 50 years. Cancer rates have increased every year, even with all our knowledge of how to better protect our skin. So rather than just go without sunscreen this summer, Michelle and I have done our research and are happy to follow this recipe from Health Impact News. What ingredients were important to source and use? Red Raspberry Seed Oil and Carrot Seed Oil. Check out the SPF ratings for these two products and you’ll see why. Site reference here:

Carrier Oil SPF
Red Raspberry Seed 28 – 50
Carrot Seed Oil 38 – 40
Wheatgerm 20
Soybean 10
Macadamia Nut 6
Jojoba 4
Sesame Seed Oil 2 – 4
Shea Butter 3 – 6
Coconut 2 – 8
Olive 2 – 8
Avocado (unrefined) 4 – 15
Castor Oil 6
Almond Oil 5

So the recipe we adapted and followed from Health Impact News is:

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup shea butter
1/8 cup sesame or jojoba oil (next time we’ll swap out for avocado oil)
2 TBSP beeswax granules (use more if you want it more water resistant)
1 TSP Red Raspberry Seed Oil
1 TSP Carrot Seed Oil

Click here to get full instructions on how to make your batch of DIY coconut oil sunscreen. Scroll down to Instructions.

You can use essential oils to scent the sunscreen, but the woodsy smell of the carrot seed oil was enough for our batch. My kids did complain slightly about the woodsy scent, but nothing compared to the fuss they made when we first started using organic sunscreen scented with lavender. ;0

You can use whatever essential oils you would like for scent, but make sure to stay away from phototoxic essential oils, which includes the citrus family and a few others. When these essential oils are exposed to the sun, they can cause the skin to burn faster.  **This is really important information**

Another surprise while we made the sunscreen, Michelle’s hubby was hedging bets that the exercise to make our own sunscreen was going to be much higher than just buying a bottle of organic sunscreen from the store. And we agreed. But then he started doing the math (bless him) and surprised all of us to learn that it was cheaper to make our batch of sunscreen than buying store bought organic sunscreen. And we still have lots of ingredients left over to make more! Here is the breakdown in cost:

1/4 cup (60ml) Coconut oil – ~$ 1.25
1/4 cup (60ml Shea butter – ~ $6
1/8 cup (30ml) Jojoba – ~ $3.75
1 tsp (5ml) Red Raspberry Seed oil – ~ $5
1 tsp (5ml) Carrot Seed Oil – ~$9
Bees Wax ~$.80

We took the average cost of our ingredients to figure out how our homemade sunscreen compared to the average store bought ‘clean’ one.  All of our 6 ingredients are organic and/or Fair Trade. The approximate total cost to make this sunscreen is around $26.  When we put it into the jar we ended up with around 220 ml of sunscreen.  The average price of ‘clean’ sunscreen that we purchase is around $19 and the size of container is around 100ml-125ml.  Our homemade sunscreen works out to be cheaper.

Who did this recipe get tested on?  We finished it at the beginning of August, and although the excitement has been high to share, we completed testing first. My lovely teenaged friend who has worked so much this summer and seen very little sun came with us to the pool and used this sunscreen on a very hot day. No trace of burning or pink. My children have very good base tans but we just returned from a week in the desert and they wore the sunscreen and only deepened their tans. And finally, Michelle’s daughters are very fair skinned and she is loving the results of the sunscreen too!  We are still trying to avoid mid-day super hot sun when we are spending a long time outside, and Michelle uses sun shirts, so please continue to use common sense and respect for the sun and UV. If you don’t already have a base tan, you’ll need to reapply this sunscreen recipe every few hours or more often if swimming. The good news is you’ll love how your skin feels after. If you really dislike the white zinc results from store bought organic sunscreen, you’ll love how this recipe immediately soaks into skin, has little scent, and makes your skin very soft after a day outside.

This recipe for homemade coconut oil sunscreen uses a variety of oils and is safe for the whole family, though you want to make sure children don’t eat any of it. Also, when not in use, store the mixture in the fridge to help extend the shelf-life and prevent it from going rancid.

You will know when you are ready to make and trust using your own homemade sunscreen. When the idea of it no longer sounds crazy, but a really smart, practical, idea.

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3 Ways Your Grandparents Did Christmas Right

This post was guest written by myself for the website What To Expect. To read the full post, click here.  This is an excerpt:

“I could tell you how to “green” your holidays and save yourself a lot of stress and money. But if you were to channel the voice of your grandparents, the results would likely be the same. Sixty plus years ago, people lived in a different time and it’s a lifestyle that modern day parents are yearning to get back to. The choice to be minimalist, good to the earth, and practical are a little harder — but not impossible — as the holiday season is in full swing. Harness your inner grandparent while preparing for the holidays, as their voice holds the key to having a more meaningful Christmas with your children. . .”

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Easy Eco Clothing Stain Removal

This year, back to school means really white shirts in my house. The kids wear a uniform and the common thread between my daughters and sons is they all play hard at lunch and eat drippy food at lunch. This means by Christmas, their white shirts are permanently stained and don’t look as presentable as the school would like. My goal this year is to keep the shirts clean with keeping on top of stains the day they happen.

Easiest and effective way to treat clothing stains? Keep a cup of baking soda paste (mix with water) next to a low traffic bathroom sink with an old toothbrush. Show the kids how to scoop out the paste, rub on the stain, and leave in the sink ready to wash. If you treat the stain that day, chemical detergents are not needed! And since before and after pictures are always great – here is the proof.

Dirt stains Before:

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Dirt Stains After:

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The post stain picture was taken even before the shirt was washed. It’s just a convenient way to stay on top of clothing stains. Give it a try!

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