Wholly Canadian is a social enterprise promoting whole-life local living
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Wholly Canadian Blog

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Household Disinfectant Spray--Wholly Canadian

DIY: Wholly Canadian Household Disinfectant Spray

This homemade disinfectant spray has a story.  When my husband and I were preparing to join our earthly belongings into one household a few weeks prior to marriage, I came across his cleaning products. The contents of his conventional cleaning products were laden with chemicals. In my mind, they had to go. And I proceeded to toss them. “But the smell of pine makes me think it’s clean,” he said.  “Well,” said I, “clean doesn’t have a smell.”  Needless to say the conventional products disappeared somehow. . .



I later came to appreciate that clean is often associated with smell.  So for us, it’s just switching up the source of smell. Instead of it being chemical derived, we use the real-deal. God’s gift to us is bottled as essential oils.  Why not enjoy a smell with cleaning?  Why not enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy? 

My homemade spray has three wholly Canadian essential oils (spruce, fir, and pine), and a lavender tea. Not only are they all naturally antiseptic and anti-fungal, but they also support the respiratory system, i.e. you receive a natural tonic from cleaning, simply from it being sprayed in the air.  Not to mention, lavender is also a relaxant. Yup, that’s a great deal. Your house, health, and pschye are boosted in one simple spray. Did I already say simple? Yes, it’s extremely simple to make.

Here are some benefits (by no means exhaustive) in terms of cleaning:

  • Spruce: anti-infectious, anti-parasitic, stimulates thymus (boosting immune system), and supports the nervous and respiratory system
  • Pine: anti-infectious, anti-fungal, and and antiseptic. Hippocrates (father of western medicine), used it for its benefits to the respiratory system.
  • Fir: antiseptic, and has respiratory benefits
  • Lavender: antiseptic, relaxant


Made in Canada Essential Oils?

Finding made-in-Canada essential oils is another story.  Many essential oils are labelled as “made in Canada,” but if one does further research, one discovers they are simply bottled in Canada. I kept searching for essential oil companies in Canada. When I inquired if they had essential oils made in Canada, they would reply, "yes, all of ours." “No,” I said, “I mean actually distilled in Canada.”  “Oh,” they would say, “yes, we have a few.” I then would ask if they distilled them, they would tell me they got them from another company. If I asked which company, they wouldn’t tell me. It makes sense, because they didn’t want to lose my business.

But I wanted to get to the “root” {pun intended} of it, so I could give credit where credit is due. So after tons of research I finally found an essential oil distillery in Canada . .and what a great find: Alixsir. Located in Quebec, they are both a producer and importer of essential oils. The key, for me, was that they were a producer.

Finally I could make a wholly Canadian, 100% Canadian, disinfectant spray.

Recipe:

  • 1 Part Water or Lavender tea (see instruction below on lavender tea)
  • 1 Part Vinegar (vinegar is another natural antiseptic ingredient whose smell dissipates when it dries)
  • 10 drops of essential oil per cup of solution (approx divide the 10-15 drops between the essential oils you use)
  • Mix well in a bowl
  • Pour solution in a spray bottle (preferably glass).
  • Shake before each use.
  • Store extra solution in a glass jar in a dark closet.    

 




Why Lavender Tea?

I like using the lavender tea instead of water because lavender is my favourite smell! And I love its healing and antiseptic properties.

Why not just use essential oil of lavender? Good question. Well, you could. But in my case, I wanted to use only wholly Canadian ingredients.  To my knowledge, there is no lavender essential oil that is distilled in Canada.  The reason for that I’m told is that different geographical areas have optimal growing conditions for distilling plants, i.e. you can’t beat the lavender in France, and the roses in the Middle East, etc. So using grown-in Canada lavender buds is my way of living locally and still enjoying the smell & benefits of lavender. I use Bleu Lavande tea, grown in Quebec.

Making Lavender Tea: 

  • For the purpose of this disinfectant, the stronger tea, the better. Adding increased lavender buds per cup will enhance the benefits and aromatheraphy. {smile} 
  • Use a very fine mesh strainer to contain the buds. You do not want particles floating in your solution.
  • Pour boiling water on the buds
  • Steep for desired strength

Uses for the Disinfectant Spray:

  • Bathrooms: sinks, toilet, etc
  • Countertops (test a patch on granite or marble first)
  • Windows--the vinegar ingredient ensures a good clean
  • Room Freshener--spray around the house to neutralize nasty smells
  • Baby puddles on the floor {yup!}
  • Spray around garbage can

A 100% truly Wholly Canadian disinfectant spray. {Clapping}  Yes folks, you can celebrate. Local life is possible!

Regressing back to clean having a smell. . yes, clean, can have a smell. And clean can have so many more benefits, too. Now my husband has his pine smell, and I have lavender. {Joy} 


What are some of your own cleaning tips?



Posted by Wholly Canadian at 7:06 AM 4 Comments

Thursday, July 16, 2015

DIY: Diaper Spray made with Canadian Love

So we're in baby mode at our house (read about our baby-love here), and of course with all that baby-love comes that dirty business of diapers.  




My baby is currently three weeks old, and we're back to using cloth diapers. (See why we cloth diaper here).  And if you already cloth diaper and are laundering diapers anyway, you may as well use cloth wipes which work best with a diaper spray solution.  So this morning I concocted a diaper spray that I am so excited to share.

This diaper spray is easy to make!

By the way, even if you don't cloth diaper, you can still use this spray with cloth wipes. Start with what is manageable for you. Not to mention, that using cloth wipes is so much more effective in clean-up than using disposable wipes which often just don't have the pick-me up of cloth fibre. . .and simply wipe the "mess" around.



Ingredients:

  • 2 cups tea--chamomile or lavender and/or both:
    • 1 cup chamomile tea--I used Manitoba-grown Blue Lagoon organic chamomile tea
    • 1 cup lavender tea--I used Quebec-grown Bleu Lavande tea
      • read about why I use lavender tea instead of lavender essential oil here
  • 1 Tb. raw honey--I used Manitoba-made John Russell honey
  • 2 Tb. Canadian-grown oil--I used Manitoba Harvest hemp oil
  • 2 Tb. castile soap--I used Canadian-made Green Beaver castile soap that is made with locally harvest organic sunflower oil instead of imported olive oil
  • 4-8 drops of naturally antiseptic essential oil--I used Quebec-grown & distilled Aliksir Poplar Balsam essential oil.
    • read about my journey with discovering true Canadian-made essential oils here

 


Directions:

1. Make the two cups of tea. Steep for desired strength. I used one TB of loose tea, or 1 tea bag per cup.

2. Allow the tea to cool slightly. While still warm (but not hot) add the honey.  You don't want heat to destroy the raw enzymes of the honey & the beneficial components of the essential oil.

3. Once the honey is dissolved you can add the remainder of the ingredients. Stir. Pour in a spray bottle (preferably glass).

4. Use this spray with resuable cloth wipes.  Shake well before each use.


Makes 2 cups. Store in dark glass bottle away from the sun.

 


What makes this Diaper Spray so Canadian-esque & Special:

  • Healthy bums make happy babies!
    • This diaper spray is free of  harmful ingredients & preservatives found in diaper wipes. Have you ever read the ingredients used in disposable wipes? Crazy!  Note: if you can't pronounce the words you probably shouldn't be putting on your baby.
    • Beneficial ingredients to promote healing--ingredients that are read-able & familiar! Feel good everytime you spray your baby's bottom. Not only does this diaper spray clean that bottom, but it also encourages healing:
      • Hemp oil--contains fatty acids that nourish & moisterize the skin
      • Lavender--naturally antiseptic with antifungal properties; speeds up healing
      • Chamomile--effective in soothing skin and is an anti-oxidant. Both lavender & chamomile are used to treat eczema
      • Honey--naturally antiseptic and loaded with enzymes and nutrients
  • It's a sustainable approach for living.  Instead of buying box after box of diaper wipes which end up in the landfill, simply use this spray with cloth wipes.
  • Saves $$$. Yup, that's important when living with a tight budget.
  • It boasts only local/Canadian ingredients--one component of our proposal for Wholly Canadian living.  Supporting Canadian farmers & Canadian business is possible even in the nursery {grin}.

 

 

 

For an all-purpose Canadian household disinfectant spray check out this recipe. Very handy for cleaning those nursery "spills" & "sprays."


If you missed our previous posts about what we packed in our baby bag to get ready for the baby, and how we prepared our nursery--make sure to check it out!



And our course if you know of a baby on the way or have a baby in your life, make sure to check out "Canada's BEST Baby Registry"--for gifts filled with true love that are either made locally or fair-trade.

 


Posted by Wholly Canadian at 5:57 AM 1 Comments