Thursday, October 25, 2012

Garbage Disposal Cubes: Naturally Deodorizes and Cleans

This week's tutorial is for an all-natural and easy solution to smelly garbage disposals. These cubes use citrus peel, baking soda, borax, salt and water to not only deodorize but clean your garbage disposal. The citrus works in two ways: The oil from the peel leaves a wonderful, fresh fragrance, and the acid helps eliminate odor-causing bacteria. The baking soda deodorizes the disposal and also works as an abrasive cleaner along with the borax and salt to get rid of grime and build up. They're not only easy to make but easy to use: Just toss one in with some running water, turn on the disposal and voila- A clean and deodorized garbage disposal!

I always feel so wasteful when I throw away the citrus skins after juicing them. It takes a lot of lemons or oranges to get just a little juice! I knew there had to be a use for the unused portions, and this is a great way to put the leftovers to use! Each time you juice a lemon, lime or orange, put the peels in a zip-top bag and store them in the freezer. When you've saved up enough, just thaw them out and they're ready to be made into Garbage Disposal Cubes.

Note: I used limes because they were on super sale when I bought them, but you can use limes, oranges or lemons, or a combination of the three. It's totally up to you. However, since the fruits vary in size, you'll need to adjust the amount of peels needed depending on what fruit you use. Before measuring, cut the peels into about 3 inch pieces.

Makes about 18 cubes

  • 2 cups juiced citrus skins and peels ( about 6 limes OR 3 lemons OR 2-3 oranges) -do not use the juice
  • about 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Borax
  • 1/4 cup any type coarse salt (I used epsom)

Use a food processor to combine citrus peels with enough water to make a wet paste, about 1/2 a cup.

The moisture should be wet but not runny

Stir in the baking soda, Borax and salt.

As soon as I added the baking soda, Borax and salt, the mixture turned neon yellow!
Spoon the mixture into ice cube trays and press down lightly to pack each cube. Transfer trays to freezer.  Once the cubes are totally frozen (several hours), pop them out of the ice cube trays and store in the freezer in a zip-top bag.

Please forgive the poor photos, my condo has terrible lighting!
To deodorize and maintain daily or after each use, turn on cleared garbage disposal and add one or two cubes with running hot water.

To deep clean or for very heavy odors, add three or four cubes to garbage disposal with 1/2 cup water. Turn disposal on and off very briefly. Let sit for 1/2 hour, then turn on disposal with running hot water to clear.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

How To: Make a Lotion Candle

I love this project! I first saw a lotion candle at a cute little boutique in northern Wisconsin, and fell in love with the idea. When I was a kid, I used to dip my fingers in the warm wax of my mom's expensive candles, leaving little wax dribbles on her table and fingerprints in her candles. When I saw the lotion candle for the first time, I immediately felt like a little kid again, excited to dip my fingers in the wax! But this candle is meant for putting fingers in!

This lotion candle is made with Cocoa and Shea butter, moisturizers which have low melting points and are easily absorbed into the skin. Beeswax is also added for a more solid consistency. The candle has a wick like a typical candle, but once melted and allowed to briefly cool, the wax can be massaged into skin to moisturize just like lotion. Not only do the essential oils nourish the skin, but they create a wonderful fragrance that will brighten any room!

What Are the Benefits?
I like to make each and every beauty product with incredibly nourishing ingredients, and this lotion candle is no exception! In addition to the deeply moisturizing Beeswax and Cocoa and Shea Butters, this invigorating lotion candle also contains Rosemary, Lemon, and Orange Essentials Oils, as well as Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E Oil. Here's a brief summary of the health benefits of these oils:

Rosemary, Lemon and Orange Essential Oils are all found to be stimulating, improve circulation, and contain astringent, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.

Jojoba Oil is a very effective moisturizer, often used to treat acne and other irritating skin conditions due to it's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Jojoba oil also contains Vitamin E, Complex B Vitamins and several minerals.
Vitamin E Oil is an indispensible ingredient in skin care products. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting skin from damagin free radicals, and helping heal already damaged skin cells. It promotes the production of collagen and elastin and helps the skin retain it's natural moisture.

Feel free to experiment with various essential oils to create different scents that you love, and try out different oils, like almond or olive oil, in place of the Vitamin E and Jojoba oil to create a customized moisturizer! Just make sure you keep the proportions of oil to Beeswax, Cocoa and Shea butter the same, otherwise the consistency of your candle will be off.

Let's do it!

What You Need
  • Wick from a tealight candle
  • Small heat-safe ramekin or candle mold (I like to melt the ingredients in the same dish that will hold the candle, it's one less dish to clean!)
  • Wax warming stand OR microwave
  • 1/2 tablespoon (4g) Cocoa Butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon (8g) Shea Butter
  • 2 g Beeswax (if you don't have a scale, cut a square of beeswax that's 1/2 inch wide, 1/2 inch long and 1/8 inch thick)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Jojoba Oil
  • 5 drops Vitamin E Oil
  • 5 drops Orange Essential Oil
  • 3 drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • 2 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
Beeswax, Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter
Vitamin E, Lemon, Rosemary, Orange and Jojoba Oils

 Combine the Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Beeswax in a small heat-safe ramekin or mold. Use a wax warming stand or microwave to melt the ingredients. (If using a microwave, heat in 10 second intervals) Add all the oils and stir to combine. 

Once melted, very carefully position the candle wick at the bottom of the dish

 Allow to cool and harden completely.

There you have it, a lotion candle! When it's time to burn the candle, blow out the flame and allow to cool for just 2 or 3 minutes before massaging the warm 'wax' into your skin. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

How to: Make All-Natural Dish Soap

Did you know that with just a few simple ingredients, you can make your own All-Natural Dish Soap?

What are the benefits of making my own dish soap?

1. There are no harmful chemicals or additives
    Although store-bought dish soaps are considered 'safe,' they include chemicals and other additives. My theory? If I can't pronounce the ingredients, I don't use it! I like to know exactly what goes into every product I use, and the best way to do that is to make everything from scratch.

2. Homemade dish soap is less expensive than store-bought dish soap.

3. You can easily customize your dish soap recipe to your liking!
     See notes below

So what's in it and how does it work?

This dish soap recipe contains Tea Tree Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract and vinegar, all of which are considered antimicrobial. The vinegar helps prevent water spots, and the Orange Oil and Extract create a fresh smelling product. The finished product is a fairly thin consistency and because it doesn't contain lathering agents, it won't bubble as much as a store bought soap. But don't worry! It cleans just as well as the thick, bubbly stuff!

Let's get started!


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 oz and 10 grams pure glycerin soap, finely grated         
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon vinegar          
  • 1/8 teaspoon Tea Tree Oil                                            
  • 12 drops Orange Essential Oil
  • 25 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Orange Extract

In a medium mixing bowl, slowly stir together the glycerin soap and water until the soap has dissolved completely. Add the vinegar, Tea Tree Oil, Orange Essential Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract and Orange Extract and slowly combine. (You don't want to mix the soap quickly, as it will create foam.)

Set aside for about 1 hour. As the water cools, the dish soap will thicken just a little bit. If you would like to adjust the thickness, this is the time (See notes below)

Using a funnel, pour the dish soap into a container of your choice. I like to use a clean olive oil bottle with a pour spout.

There you have it! Your very own all-natural dish soap!

A few notes

*For a thicker dish soap, add more glycerin soap, for a thinner dish soap, add more water.
Since this soap doesn't create much lather, it can be used in your dishwasher. Add a tablespoon to the detergent dispenser. If you add more glycerin soap to the recipe for a thicker consistency, it may alter the amount of bubbles the soap creates- so be careful not to add too much to your dishwasher if you made a thicker soap!

*You can find glycerin soap at health food and craft stores (like Hobby Lobby or Michael's). Tea Tree Oil, Orange Essential Oil and Grapefruit Seed Extract can be found at health food stores, and Orange Extract is found in the baking section of your grocery store, near the vanilla extract.

*You can easily customize this recipe by using other essential oils and extracts instead of orange. Lavender and peppermint also make wonderful smelling dish soap!

Let me know how your dish soap turns out!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to: Preserve Basil for quick and easy use

I love Basil. It's my favorite herb and I try to add it to as many dishes as possible. The problem? It spoils so quickly, and I don't always have the time to chop it up every time I want to use it. So, I came up with an easy way to keep it on hand without having to worry about it spoiling or needing to chop it.  This technique provides perfect portions to add to any soup, sauce or other recipes. You can use this technique for other herbs or even grated garlic or ginger. Get creative!

I went to the produce section of my grocery store and picked up a tube of pureed Basil. I was hesitant the first time I tried it, but it tastes the same as the fresh stuff. Plus, for the amount you get, it's a lot cheaper than those individual packs. Of course, if you want to use fresh Basil, you can. Just use a food precessor or blender and puree the leaves with just enough water or olive oil to form a paste.

Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap. Squeeze the Basil paste into a line about an inch wide, leaving about 2 inches on either end of the line. If you pureed your own Basil, you can use a piping bag or a plastic zip-top bag with the corner snipped off to pipe the paste.

Fold the plastic wrap in half and roll the Basil into a log. (Sort of like a jelly roll) Make sure it's tight- this is crucial for even portioning, and so it doesn't squeeze out all over the place!

Twist the ends of the plastic wrap, and tie each into a knot. Now, take the entire log, and roll it in another sheet of plastic wrap, and twist and tie the ends again.

Place the roll in the freezer until completely frozen.

Unwrap the roll and slice into several equal size portions. The Basil thaws pretty quickly, so you might want to pop the slices back into the freezer on a cutting board or cookie sheet for just a few minutes to prevent freezing together during storage.

 Place the slices into a zip top bag and store in the freezer. Now, next time you're making pizza sauce or soup, you can grab one or two slices of the Basil and pop them straight into the pan- no chopping required!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Welcome to my new and improved blog, Keaton's Kind Creations

I've decided to totally re-create my blog! I've been terrible about updating Keaton's Kitchen. In fact, I've totally abandoned it. It's been over a year and a half since my last post, and SO much has changed in that time. My interests, passions and life as a whole. I've decided to strengthen my relationship with God, make my dreams a reality and experience this wonderful life to the fullest. So with a changed life, comes a changed blog.

The biggest change in my life is that I'm pregnant! Van, my fiance (another big change!) and I are expecting a son, Gavin, on January 8th. I'm ecstatic, but also a bit of a nervous wreck, like any first time mom! Also, I just moved into my very own condo, and I am loving being Miss Susie Homemaker!

I decided culinary school just wasn't my thing. I still love to cook, and always will, but I realized that it isn't something I want to do for the rest of my life. My interest has shifted from cooking to creating all-natural beauty and cleaning products as well as making jewelry. I love what I do!

I recently started selling body scrubs and polymer clay necklaces at a store in Hayward, Wisconsin, called Glassy Lady. I also have another boutique lined up that will be carrying my creations very soon! So yes, big, BIG changes!

This blog will be a place to share my love for DIY projects, specifically beauty and cleaning products, home decor, and also my experiences as a 20 year old mom-to-be and brand new homemaker. I hope you enjoy what you read here, and hope you can find something to take away from it. I invite you to follow my journey on this new life of mine!

Best Wishes,