workshopDuring our annual camp, where we band together and share workshops,  I provided a workshop on creating our own home made cleaning products and skin products that we would be using during our camp. Instead of giving out notes I promised to put them up on our blog with links for everyone. A little later than promised but just in time for spring cleaning here they are:


Washing Powder

1 cup of Baking Soda
1 cup of Washing Soda Ash
1/2 cup of Borax (Optional)
Essential Oil – Lemon or Lavender would be nice.

Add Baking Soda to a bowl. Add a 1-2 drops of the Essential oil of your choice and mix in. Once mixed, add the Washing Soda and Borax if you are choosing to use. Mix up, or shake up once put into a container of choice. Use a full scoop for a full load.

Borax acts as colour brightener. All 3 ingredients can be found for cheap at Binn Inn. I have also used Trade Me and Moore Wilson’s to find them. If you wanted to you could also make your own soda ash from baking soda. I have not tried this so I can’t say how useful it is.

Washing Soda Ash is used to help removed stains, without leaving stains. It also works as a natural fabric softener. When doing this recipe make sure you use Soda Ash not Washing Soda Crystals. They are a similar thing but I found that when using the crystals, it hardened with the baking soda over time making it unusable.


Orange Vinegar Cleaner

Orange Peels (or lemon or grapefruit)
White Vinegar
A jar
A spray bottle

Save your peels and put into a jar. Fill with the vinegar. Put into a cupboard and leave for a couple of months. When you feel it looks ready drain the vinegar into a spray bottle. You can then use as a spray and whip. You can also use it mixed with a little bit of baking soda to create a cleaning scrub.


Dish Washing Tablets

1 1/2 cups of Washing Soda Ash
1/2 cup of Borax
1/4 cup of Citric Acid
Orange Vinegar Cleaner
Silicon moulds

Mix the powders into a bowl and spray with the Orange Vinegar spray until it is like damp sand and it starts to hold shape. The Citric Acid and Vinegar create a chemical reaction so the mixture will fizzle a little and become a little warm. Once the mixture is holding its shape, press into the moulds and put into a dry warm place to dry for about a week. Use as you would a normal Dish Washing Tablet. If mould is bigger than a normal washing tablet you may want to half them.


Hand Sanitizer 

2 teaspoons of Xanthan Gum
250 mls Distilled Water
1/2-3/4 cup of Vodka (40%)
15 drops of Citricidal C
150 drops of Essential Oil

This recipe makes 750 mls of Hand Sanitizer.

  1. Add Xanthan Gum and Distilled Water to a bowl and whisk until it looks like snot. We used an electric whisk to make this easier and faster.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients. The Essential Oil’s we used were Lemongrass, Star Anise and Thyme. All of these oils have anti-bacterial properties. You may need to add a little bit more water to make it a thinner texture.
  3. Put into a squirt bottle. I get my bottles from Arthur Holmes. I know that other members of our Grove also use this site so maybe give a shout out on our Facebook page when placing a order as others might want to order with you, sharing the shipping cost.



Shaving Foam

We didn’t make this. But you can add Castle Soap to the Hand Sanitizer above then you can create a shaving foam.


All of the above recipes I learnt to make when I did a course with Donna from Cottage Hill Herbs. She is a wonderful lady and her website has lots of awesome recipes and she sells a lot of ingredients used in them. Donna also needs help as the local council is wanting to put large sewage drains through her farm which would ruin her business. You can find the petition here. She does amazing work and it would be a huge loss to the community if she was to close down.

– Mary


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