Homemade Non-Toxic Bug Spray

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Summer is in full swing, and that means that bugs are biting!!!  There’s only so much we can do to prevent bug bites – wear long sleeves and pants, bug spray, etc.  However, one problem with many bug sprays out there is the ingredients!  The worst of the offenders is DEET.  This ingredients is known as a skin, lung, and eye irritant, and on top of that, when used often, it can cause neurological damage, and in very rare cases, even death!  Yikes!  So, personally, I want to stay away from that ingredient.

A couple of other ingredients that the CDC say are the most effective in repelling bugs are Picaridin and IR3535.  The IR3535 can be irritating to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system, but other than that, it is reported as safe.  Well, I think I would prefer an alternative, because I like to enjoy my time outside, not to spend it dealing with irritations!  Isn’t that what the bugs are?

I couldn’t find much information on Picaridin.  For the most part, it sounds like this ingredient is your best bet if you are looking for a store bought bug spray that “seems” to be the safest regarding toxicity.  However, from what I’ve read, there haven’t been many studies to determine it’s safety or side effects as it’s a fairly new ingredient, and I’m always leery of new ingredients.

So, with these three ingredients reported to be the best, where does that leave us? As I said, I really am not fond of any of them.  Well, I’ve got good news – ESSENTIAL OILS!!!  There are tons of essential oils that are great for repelling bugs.

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This pin just names a few!  I looked into each of the oils to figure out which is the best of the best.  I landed on rose geranium, lavender, citronella, and white thyme.  The rose geranium is supposed to be the best repellent for ticks.  Lavender is supposed to be excellent for repelling mosquitos.  White thyme is great for repelling chiggers.  Lastly, citronella is great for repelling mosquitos, flies, chiggers, ticks, and other bugs!

I’ve also read that lemongrass is supposed to be excellent at repelling all types of insects, however, I also read that beekeepers use lemongrass oil to attract swarms of bees.  Though I’m sure that it’s used in a specific manner to do this, different than it would be used in this repellent, the thought of a big swarm of bees chasing me was enough for me to leave it out.  The nice thing is that you can always add it if you wanted to.  This recipe works great from my experience, but if you want to use different essential oils – feel free!

Another quick note – I used witch hazel and distilled water as a base.  The witch hazel allows the water and essential oils to mix together – without it, they won’t mix!  However, if you don’t have witch hazel, you could also use vodka.  In my opinion, the advantage to using witch hazel is that it’s great for the skin – a lot of people use it as a toner.  Vodka, on the other hand, isn’t exactly known for being beneficial to the skin.  However, if you don’t have witch hazel on hand and you do have vodka, it will work just as well!

Okay, now that we’ve gotten all of the notes out of the way, let’s get to the recipe!

HOMEMADE NON-TOXIC BUG SPRAY

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 10 drops each of your chosen essential oils.  I used 10 drops of lavender, 10 drops of citronella, 15 drops of rose geranium, and 10 drops of white thyme

Directions

Place all of the ingredients into a spray bottle, and shake well to combine.  Label the bottle if desired.  Note: a dark bottle is best – I had this clear bottle on hand, so made it in this, but dark is better when dealing with essential oils.

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Now you can enjoy the outdoors, bug free, without having to worry about those iffy ingredients in store bought bug spray! Spray all over, avoiding the eye/face area.  Reapply as necessary (every hour or two) Enjoy! 🙂

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DIY Dermaplaning for Super Smooth Skin

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So, today, I’m going to tell all you ladies how to shave your face…What?!?  Yeah, you heard me right!  I’ve been shaving my face for 10+ years, and I absolutely love it!

Recently, I’ve had a lot of different friends ask me about natural ways to exfoliate their face, diminish fine lines and wrinkles, improve their complexion, get rid of dead dry skin, and get rid of peach fuzz.  Guess what?  There is an any easy process that can help with all of these skin dilemmas, and it’s SHAVING YOUR FACE!

Technically, this is called derma planing, but when it comes down to it, you’re shaving your face.  In doing this, you remove dead/dry skin, pull out impurities and remove peach fuzz revealing a glowing, super smooth complexion.  The best part?  It’s so natural!  There’s nothing being injected, being applied, or being removed (other than dead skin), so it’s completely safe, non-toxic, and it WORKS!

To do derma planing, you want to have a dry face and use short downward strokes over your whole face.  I do it once a week right before I apply a facial mask, but once every other week would suffice.  It’s really easy to do, and only takes about 5 minutes once you get used to it.  Who wouldn’t be willing to spend 5 minutes every other week for a smoother and brighter complexion?

I’ve created a video of me derma planing my face for all of you to watch so you know how it’s done.  Oh, and one more thing before we get to the video.  Some of you may be wondering if doing this will cause hair to grow back thicker or darker, and the answer is definitely no!  That is a myth, and I have no idea where it originated from, but I’ve been shaving my face for 10+ years, and my bit of peach fuzz is still my bit of peach fuzz.  It hasn’t turned into a manly beard or anything! 🙂

Alright, to the video we go!

I’m telling you, give this a try!  You will thank me, and you have nothing to lose (other than dead skin)!!!  Enjoy! 🙂

Homemade Non-Toxic Antiseptic Ointment – Works as Well as Neosporin!

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I am so excited to share this with you!  This is my own personal recipe that I use for an Antiseptic Ointment.  We have two fluff babies with their claws intact, and that results in some accidental scratches here and there.

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This ointment is perfect for little scratches like that!  It’s also good  for minor cuts, burns, and blisters.  It could also be used for warts and fungal skin conditions.

I love this stuff, because it works just as well, if not better, than Neosporin, and it doesn’t have any of the iffy ingredients that Neosporin does.  The EWG website rates Neosporin First Aid Antibiotic Cream with a 5.  That’s too high in my book.  Some of the health concerns listed from the ingredients in the cream are organ system toxicity, endocrine disruption, biochemical or cellular level changes, skin irritation, and reproductive toxicity.  All of that was reason enough for me to come up with my own recipe for an antiseptic ointment.

Not only is this ointment non-toxic and effective in treating minor cuts and scrapes by preventing infection, but it is also really good for your skin, so it protects the skin as it heals and aids in the body’s process of restoring the skin as it heals.  Every single one of the ingredients in this ointment has antibacterial, anti fungal, and antiviral properties.  The coconut oil, aloe vera oil, and grapeseed oil all have moisturizing and repairing properties that benefit the skin.  Even more, the coconut oil and aloe vera oil are soothing and can help to take the sting out of those little scratches.

I am going to get straight to the recipe for all of you that are anxious to hear it, but after the recipe I am going to display some pins that show the benefits of the ingredients in this ointment.  If you’re interested, read on after the recipe!

HOMEMADE NON-TOXIC ANTISEPTIC OINTMENT

Ingredients (Makes about 2 oz.)

  • 2 Tbsp. Organic Unrefined Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp. beeswax pellets (you can get these on Amazon here)
  • 1 Tbsp. Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Aloe Vera Oil
  • 15 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • 10-15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 10-15 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 10-15 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 2 oz. glass jar or container (I got mine on Amazon here)

Directions

1.) In a small sauce pan, melt your coconut oil and beeswax pellets over medium heat, stirring constantly, until completely melted.

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2.) Remove from heat and add your grapeseed oil, aloe vera oil, essential oils, and grapefruit seed extract.  Stir to combine.  Poor into your glass container.

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3.) Allow the ointment to thicken by placing it in the refridgerator for an hour or so.  Once thickened, place the lid on the jar.

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You’re good to go!  You will find that this does take on an ointment consistency and not a lotion consistency.  I scooped some on my finger so you can see.  It really has the same consistency as Neosporin.

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So that’s the recipe!  Anytime you have a minor cut or scrape, wash it thoroughly and then slather some of this ointment on it and you will be healed up in no time!

Now, as promised, if you’re interested, the following pins show some benefits of the ingredients in this ointment.

COCONUT OIL (There’s SO many with this one, but you can easily see the infection fighting properties as well as the skin benefits in the long list shown)

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GRAPESEED OIL

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ALOE VERA OIL

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LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL

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TEA TREE ESSENTIAL OIL

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EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL

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GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT

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As you can see, all of the ingredients are excellent for preventing infection and for taking care of your skin as your boo boo heals!  Enjoy! 🙂

DIY Homemade Lip Balm

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I have a confession to make, I am slightly addicted to lip balm!  Seriously, I can’t go to bed at night without applying my lip balm.  At least it makes for some soft lips.  Anyway, I wanted to share my lip balm recipe with all of you!  This is a really easy recipe, and it only has 3 ingredients!

The base of this is coconut oil, so that makes it a very versatile lip balm!  What?!  How can a lip balm be versatile?  Well, as it turns out, this also doubles very nicely as an excellent cuticle balm.  Massaging this into your cuticles and nails make for some really healthy, long, and strong nails.  I use this stuff for both my lips and my nails.

Another reason why this lip balm is so fantastic is because coconut oil can be used to treat and prevent cold sores.  It is a great natural alternative to some of the harsh medications out there.  Since this lip balm uses coconut oil as it’s base, it serves as a great way to reduce incidence of cold sores and to treat one when you have one.

Side note:  If you do get a cold sore, I recommend coconut oil and lysine as an effective treatment method.  I don’t get them very often, but if I get a cold or the flu or my ragweed allergies are exceptionally severe, one sometimes rears it’s ugly head (maybe once every year or so).  This lip balm along with lysine usually gets rid of it lickity split (Normally, it goes within a week, whereas if I don’t use this treatment method it sticks around for 2-3 weeks…not cool).

While on the subject of cold sores, here is a pin that links to a site that gives some excellent natural remedies for those stinkers.

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Okay, so back to this lip balm.  This stuff is really smooth and goes on nicely.  The peppermint oil in it is very soothing on dry lips, so you can get relief from the symptoms of dry lips while the coconut oil goes to work to moisturize and repair.  This stuff is great, and it is easy to make, all natural, and non-toxic.  A winner by all means in my book!

DIY HOMEMADE LIP BALM

Ingredients/Materials:

  • Lip balm tins – you can just wash out an old empty tin, or you can buy empty ones on amazon here.
  • 3 Tbsp. Organic Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil
  • 1 3/4 Tbsp. organic beeswax pellets (you can get these on amazon here)
  • 10-12 drops of peppermint essential oil

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Directions

1.) In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and beeswax pellets over medium heat, stirring constantly until completely melted.

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2.) Once completely melted, add the peppermint essential oil, stir to combine, then fill the tins with the mixture.  Allow to cool and harden.

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3.) Put covers on tins.  Your lip balm (or nail/cuticle balm) is now ready to use.

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Awesome!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Immune Boosting Shower Bomb

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So, I just got over a cold/flu bug that was a beast.  While I was sick lying in bed, I had plenty of time to peruse Pinterest in between blowing my nose, feeling sorry for myself, and telling everyone that would listen that this is not what I had planned for my life…yeah, I’m a bit of a drama queen when I get sick.  But seriously, who likes being sick?!?  At any rate, I’m all better now – I survived, but I thought up this great idea to help fight off cold and flu viruses and help with symptoms when you are sick after seeing the following pin.

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The pin links to a site that has a recipe for shower bombs for when you are sick.  Now, the bombs on that site are made with Vicks vapor rub, and as anyone that knows me can contest, I am more of an all natural kind of gal when it comes to remedies, so I made my own version of these using just three ingredients – essential oils, baking soda, and water.

You may be thinking all this is great, but what the heck are shower bombs???  Shower bombs are little blocks that you put in the corner of your shower (not directly in the spray of water) when you take a shower.  They slowly disintegrate from the steam and moisture of the shower and release amazing smells in your shower making for a great aromatherapy session!

The shower bombs I made are specifically for boosting immunity against colds and the flu, but you can also make these using different essential oils.  For instance, you could make these using lavender and vanilla essential oils to make a relaxing spa like experience out of your shower time, or you could use grapefruit, orange, and lemon essential oils for a refreshing shower experience that will help you wake up and get going in the morning!  I think you get the idea…there are endless possibilities, so these are a ton of fun!

IMMUNE BOOSTING SHOWER BOMBS

Ingredients/Materials

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup water
  • essential oils
    • Eucalyptus
    • Rosemary
    • Peppermint
  • Silicone flexible mini mold (I got mine on amazon here)
  • Air tight container to store the shower bombs in (I used a glass jar)

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Directions:

1.) Add the baking soda to a large bowl.  Slowly stir in the water to make a mixture that is similar to really dense snow.  If you grab some of the mixture, it should clump together nicely and hold it’s form.  It also shouldn’t be too wet.  If you accidentally add too much water, just add a bit more baking soda.

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2.) Add 3-4 drops each of the essential oils…more or less depending on how strong you would like your shower bombs to smell.

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3.) Place the mixture into your mold and pack down tightly.

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4.) If your mold is oven safe, then place it in the oven and bake at 200 degrees for 45 minutes, then let cool completely.  If your mold is not oven safe, then let the the mold sit for 2-3 days until the shower bombs are completely dry.

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5.) Once the shower bombs are completely dry, push on the bottom of the mold to remove the shower bombs one by one.

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6.) Place in a glass jar or air tight container.

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You’re good to go!  Get ready for a great immune boosting experience in your next shower!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Homemade Non-Toxic Jewelry Cleaner

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So, today, I was admiring my wedding ring, and I notice it was looking pretty grimy.  I thought about going and getting some jewelry cleaner, but when I looked at the ingredients in most jewelry cleaners, they were NOT good!  For instance, a very common ingredient in jewelry cleaners is ammonium hydroxide.  This ingredient alone can cause some pretty terrible consequences to your health when you’re exposed to it.  Some of these include the following.

  • The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) classifies ammonium hydroxide as extremely hazardous when it comes in contact with the skin.  Considering that jewelry comes in direct contact with skin, I don’t think it’s a great idea to use something classified as extremely hazardous to the skin on it.
  • Ammonium hydroxide can produce tissue damage on mucous membranes.  When exposed to this chemical, our bodies can store it, and it can build up in our organs wreaking havoc on our health.
  • Chronic high levels of exposure can damage blood vessels and cause harm at the cellular level.
  • Inhaling ammonium hydroxide vapors can cause respiratory irritation.

Yuck!  No thanks!  And that’s just one ingredient.  A couple other common ingredients in jewelry cleaners that can be harmful are sodium metasilicate and butoxyethanol.  Both of these have many dangerous qualities that can damage your health.

Well, the good news is that you don’t need to use these jewelry cleaners, because I have a fabulous recipe that works wonders for jewelry.  I made it tonight and my ring is sparkly, shiny, and beautiful!!!

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Okay, for real, here is a pic after I cleaned the ring, you can see how great it looks!

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So, back to my story.  After noticing that my ring was looking grimy and looking up ingredients in normal jewelry cleaners, I decided it would be a better idea to make my own – enter Pinterest!!!  There were a lot of recipes for homemade jewelry cleaner.  Most of which had the ingredients baking soda, dishsoap, and salt, like the following pin.

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I decided to use the baking soda, but came up with a recipe of my own that actually doesn’t use the salt or the dish soap.  I got the idea for the other ingredients from my Non-Toxic glass cleaner recipe.  I remembered that when trying to find the perfect recipe for glass cleaner, cornstarch really gave my mirrors an amazing shine and clarity.  I settled on the following ingredients: baking soda, cornstarch, water, and vinegar.  I was really pleased with the result!

HOMEMADE NON-TOXIC JEWELRY CLEANER

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp. Corn Starch
  • 1-2 Tbsp. White Vinegar

Directions:

1.) Place your water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

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2.) Remove from heat and add the baking soda, cornstarch, and vinegar.  It will get all fizzy and stuff – super fun, I felt like a kid in chemistry class!  Stir until the cornstarch and baking soda are dissolved.

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3.) Place your jewelry in the pan and let it soak for 10 minutes.

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4.) Remove your jewelry from the pan, and use a soft bristle toothbrush to scrub the jewelry.

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5.) Rinse the jewelry in water and place on a dishtowel to dry.

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That’s it!  You’re all done, your jewelry is shining like new, and you don’t have to worry about any nasty chemicals in order to have sparkly jewelry!  Enjoy! 🙂

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Homemade Non-Toxic Sunscreen Lotion

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Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner which hopefully means TONS of time outside enjoying the beautiful weather!  I figured this would be the perfect time to share my recipe for homemade sunscreen with you all!

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 First, let me answer the question of why even bother making your own sunscreen when you can easily go to the store and buy some.  Seems easy enough, right?  Well, for starters, this recipe is incredibly easy to put together, so that’s no excuse!  Secondly, and most importantly, as with many other store bought beauty products, sunscreen can contain chemicals that are REALLY toxic and incredibly hard on our hormonal system!!!  Some of the chemicals found in many store bought sunscreens are listed below along with some of the effects they have on our health.

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  • OXYBENZONE – This is a hormone-disrupting chemical that is absorbed through the skin.  It acts like estrogen in the body, alters sperm production in animals, is associated with endometriosis in women, and has relatively high rates of skin allergy.
  • OCTINOXATE – This is another hormone disrupting chemical.  It mimics hormone-like activity, and has caused reproductive system, thyroid and behavioral alterations in animal studies.
  • HOMOSALATE – This is a common sunscreen ingredient, which is ironic because research suggests that sunlight breaks down the chemical into harmful byproducts.  Like many other common sunscreen ingredients, it is a hormone disruptor and disrupts estrogen, androgen and progesterone.
  • FRAGRANCE – Many fragrances in sunscreens contain phthalates which have shown to be carcinogenic.  They are known endocrine disruptors which is why they are linked to breast cancer.
  • PARABENS – Parabens are a chemical compound of para-hydroxybenzoic acid and they are used as preservatives.  Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers.

There are more, but let’s move on to something more positive!  Notice on the above pin that the safest sunscreen ingredient that provides SPF is Zinc Oxide.  Well, I’ve got good news, because that is what I use in this homemade sunscreen!  Zinc Oxide does not penetrate the skin which makes it much safer than the ingredients listed above.

In this recipe, you can adjust it to get the SPF that you would like.  By adjusting the amount of Zinc Oxide you use, you can create a sunscreen with  your desired SPF.  I made mine to be SPF 20.  If you add more Zinc Oxide, you will have a higher SPF, and if you use less you will have a lower SPF.  Also coconut oil has a natural SPF of 4, so that contributes a little bit too!

Okay, so let’s get to this recipe!

HOMEMADE NON-TOXIC SUNSCREEN

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic unrefined virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup beeswax pellets (you can get these here)
  • 1/4 cup organic shea butter (you can get this here)
  • 2 Tbsp. Zinc Oxide Powder (non-nano) (you can get this here)
  • Essential Oils of your choice (optional) (If you use carrot seed oil and raspberry seed oil, this will add to the protection factor – both of these oils have strong SPF properties)

***NOTE: This ends up being a pretty thick lotion (which is nice because it doesn’t just sweat off easily).  If you want a thinner lotion, replace the 1/4 cup shea butter with part shea butter and part almond oil (1 Tbsp. almond oil and 3Tbsp. shea butter or 2 Tbsp. of each, or 3 Tbsp. almond oil and 1 Tbsp. shea butter)  The less shea butter you use, the thinner the lotion will be.

Directions

1.) In a small sauce pan, combine the coconut oil, beeswax pellets, and shea butter.

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2.) Heat over low heat till completely melted.

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3.) Remove from heat and add the zinc oxide taking care not to inhale the zinc oxide.

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4.) Stir till smooth and mixed together completely.  Add your essential oils if you are using them.

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5.) Now you want to transfer it into an empty bottle, container, or a glass jar.  While it is still somewhat warm, it will be like a liquid and you can just spoon it into your container.  As it cools, it will thicken making it harder to spoon into a container with a small opening.  If this happens, transfer the mixture to a plastic bag and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag.  Then squeeze the mixture out of the bag into the container.  This step is a bit messy no matter how you do it if you have a container with a small opening.

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6.) Once your container is full, wipe off any mess you may have on the sides.  Label your bottle if desired.

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Enjoy! 🙂

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