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Excerpt from You Can Stay Home With Your Kids by Erin Odom

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Excerpt from You Can Stay Home With Your Kids by Erin Odom

09 May Posted by in Sneak Peeks | Comments Off on Excerpt from You Can Stay Home With Your Kids by Erin Odom
Excerpt from You Can Stay Home With Your Kids by Erin Odom

DIY Household Products

When we were living on a low income and I was trying to do something, anything, to make staying at home with my kids possible, I turned toward DIYing as many home products as I could muster. The humorous thing is that I am not naturally crafty or good at DIY projects! I learned to do this as much as I could during a short period because I wanted to stay at home with my kids, and this was an easy way to save money. 

What is even more advantageous about DIYing things is that you can later make and sell those same products and turn a profit in the process!

Foaming Hand Soap

If you’re new to the natural-living scene, one of the ingredients in this recipe, Castile soap, might be new to you. This nontoxic, highly concentrated soap might seem expensive at first glance, but it will last you a very long time and will serve as an ingredient in many a DIY cleaning recipe. I’ve ordered Castile soap online at and, but most health stores and even Target carry it. This foaming hand soap recipe is so easy-peasy that you’ll never buy foaming hand soap again!


1/4 parts Castile soap

3/4 parts distilled water

2–3 drops essential oil of choice (optional—for scent only)

a foaming soap dispenser


To Make:

Mix soap and water. Drop in oils, and mix. Pour into a foaming soap dispenser.


ACTION STEP: Purchase the ingredients for this soap, and try it for yourself!


Air Freshener

I use this homemade air freshener to spray down the insides of my trash cans every time I change out the bags. I also use it to spray the bathroom or kitchen when I need a quick way to eliminate stinky smells. It’s so easy to make that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.



essential oils of choice

a glass spray bottle


To Make:

Simply fill a glass spray bottle with water, and add several drops of your favorite essential oils or essential-oil blends. Shake slightly before using.



ACTION STEP: Gather the ingredients and make this homemade air freshener. Then cross store-bought air freshener off your shopping list forever!

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

This homemade toilet bowl cleaner uses two simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand.



baking soda

white vinegar


To Make:

Sprinkle baking soda in the toilet bowl. Pour white vinegar into the toilet; swish and scrub with the toilet brush until the toilet is sparkling clean. 


ACTION STEP: Don’t wait until you run out of toilet bowl cleaner to try this. If you already have baking soda and white vinegar on hand, try this today.


Soft Scrub

Use this easy homemade soft scrub to clean your counters, sinks, the outside of your toilet, and the bathtub.


3/4 cup baking soda

3 tablespoons Castile soap


essential oils of choice (optional)



To Make:

Combine the baking soda and Castile soap. Slowly add water until the consistency is a smooth paste. Add several drops of your favorite antibacterial essential oil, such as tea tree, lavender, orange, peppermint, or lemon. Scoop some soft scrub onto a clean sponge, and start cleaning!

Tip: If you have stains on your bathtub, you can apply the soft scrub and let it soak for several hours before scrubbing and rinsing.

ACTION STEP: The next time your tub needs scrubbing, whip up a container of this homemade soft scrub and give it a try. You won’t be sorry!


Tile or Linoleum Floor Cleaner

We have three bathrooms in our home, and two have tile flooring while the third has linoleum. Thankfully, this easy homemade floor cleaner will take care of both—with two ingredients, no less!


white vinegar


baking soda (optional)


To Make:

Combine equal parts vinegar and water, and get to mopping! For tough stains, try sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda onto the stain or using the homemade soft scrub recipe to loosen set-in grime.



ACTION STEP: This week, clean your floors with this homemade tile and linoleum floor cleaner instead of what you normally use.


All-Purpose Cleaner

Several years ago my friend Lexie McNeill, creator of the natural skin-care company Lexie Naturals (, introduced me to this easy-peasy homemade all-purpose cleaner. It calls for leftover citrus peels, so I feel resourceful using it. Citrus fruits are at their lowest price in the winter, and I always have an abundance of peels then. Since I don’t buy citrus fruits as frequently during the warmer weather months, I freeze the peels so I can make this recipe any time of the year. Lexie gave me permission to share this recipe with you. I hope you’ll enjoy using it as much as I have!


citrus fruit peels (I typically use orange, but any citrus peels can work!)

salt (amount varies, depending on the amount of peels)

vinegar (enough to cover the peels in the jar)

distilled water

5–10 drops citrus essential oil (optional)



To Make:

Fill a glass container with the citrus peels. Add salt to the peels. Let them sit for 20 to 30 minutes (or longer). This will pull the oils from the peels and ultimately make your cleaning solution stronger. You only need enough salt to lightly cover the peels.

Fill the container with one-half water and one-half vinegar. Put a tight-fitting lid on the jar, and let the solution sit for two to three weeks. The longer it sits, the stronger the cleaner will become. 

Strain the solution and fill a glass spray bottle with your homemade all-purpose cleaner. If you are using essential oils, add them at this time.


ACTION STEP: The next time your family is enjoying citrus fruit, don’t throw out the peels. Instead, begin freezing the peels so you can make this homemade all-purpose cleaner. No need to thaw the peels before making it.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Erin Odom is the author of More Than Just Making It and You Can Stay Home With Your Kids. In 2011, she created The Humbled Homemaker, a blog dedicated to grace-filled living and designed to equip and encourage mothers in the trenches. The blog has reached more than 32 million readers. Erin is passionate about Jesus, motherhood, and seeing women use their God-given gifts and passions to overcome life’s challenges. Erin and her husband, Will, live in North Carolina, where they raise their three spirited redheaded girls and sweet and spoiled redheaded boy. Follow Erin at


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