I have to admit, I’ve never been one to be big on making my own dish detergent, laundry soap, toothpaste, etc. Even though we usually buy natural cleaning supplies (like Method and Seventh Generation), I’m one of those people who thinks it’s easier to just go to the store and buy it. I know, total slacker. However, little by little I’m exploring and experimenting with homemade alternatives like using a Dawn and vinegar mixture as a shower glass cleaner, dry mustard as a deodorizer or the thousand and one uses for vinegar. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me about a homemade, non-toxic alternative to Goo Gone (that orange-y smelling stuff that gets the gunk from price tags and labels off of things). Little did I realize that products such as Goo Gone or Goof Off have a long list of warnings, including eye/skin irritation, unconsciousness if ingested (wow!) and high flammability. So, in an effort to attempting to try more homemade alternatives, I decided to give a natural, homemade solution a try. And… I loved it. I might even go as far as to call it brilliant. I was so excited about this stuff that I had to share it with you here on the blog…
To make this concoction, all you need are equal parts baking soda and coconut oil. I don’t know if it matters or not, but I used organic unrefined virgin coconut oil (Update: it does matter, as it makes the mixture combine better and not separate). Right out of the jar, it’s pretty hard (kind of like the consistency of creamy wax). Update: You guys have found that if you heat up mixture in the microwave for a few seconds (just enough to slightly heat it up) then mix, the concoction won’t separate on you later on.
Because of the hard(ish) consistency, after I measured the coconut oil, I popped it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds then added the baking soda. To fill a 4oz canning jar, you’ll need 1/3 cup of each ingredient.While the mixture was still warm, I poured it right into the canning jar.
I let it sit out on the kitchen counter overnight (with the lid off) to solidify. Since I’m pretty much head over heals for this stuff, I decided to make a few more jars of the concoction to give to a couple friends and my Aunt Dee Dee – who is totally crazy about things like this. She makes her own…everything, haha.
Obviously, I immediately had to take this stuff out for a test run. I’ve been collecting glass jars for a while (for what, I have no idea yet), and some of them still have some of the sticky residue from the label on them. I took a bit of the mixture, rubbed it on the sticky areas, and let it sit. About five minutes later, I used a paper towel to rub off the “goo remover” and the label remnants started coming right off. I rinsed the jar using warm water and a bit of dish detergent, and it came out clean as a whistle. I have to admit, I was pretty surprised at how well it worked. It smells so good – much better than the weird orange smell of the other stuff. Greg even mentioned that he thinks it works better than Goo Gone. Go figure! Plus, my hands were super soft after I used it, haha.
Needless to say, being the label-lover that I am, I had to design a label for the jars. I also included the ingredients just in case my friends/family fall in love with this stuff as much as I did and want to make more. You can download the labels in four colors by clicking the button at the bottom of the post.
Overall, this is definitely a “baby step” I’m glad I took, and a jar of this stuff has found a permanent home under the sink.