Tuesday, 18 February 2014

When Life Give You Lemons - Make Household Cleaner?

I’ve been asked often about what cleaners we use at home seeing as all of our personal care products are chemical free. We clean with natural products that many of us have on hand every day. The smell left behind is wonderful fresh and clean – and dare I say it natural – NOT flowery or chemical based.  Natural! We use these cleaners everywhere in our house – EVERYWHERE! 

It’s an adjustment and a matter of switching our brains over from what we have been conditioned by the big companies with what works for cleaning when in fact many commercial cleaning products leave nasties behind. There are no warning labels that need to be heeded saying do not use in an enclosed space – ummm most of us don’t have palatial bathrooms – it’s going to be small, enclosed and not easy to ventilate especially in the winter months.

The reality is that we simply do not need to use the chemicals or expensive products to clean our homes. We make these great natural alternatives ourselves and we are happy to share how.

Vinegar and Orange Peel

I take a large glass mason jar, fill with the peel from oranges (grapefruit, lemon and limes are a great addition too!) then fill the jar with vinegar.  I let it sit and “brew” for 2 weeks shaking once or twice a day. Strain any bits and transfer the liquid to two spray bottles. I do one bottle full strength for tough cleaning and the 2nd bottle I do half solution and half water for normal cleaning needs. 

The peel emits beautiful smells and citrus fruits are again antibacterial and antiseptic.  Oranges are a natural degreaser – (it’s also why Orange Essential Oil is in our Mechanic’s Soap!)

I tend to have a few jars “brewing”at once all in various stages. Because we have a large family and we are fortunate that our crew inhales oranges – we are not usually lacking in orange peels. Although we use this everywhere in our house, my favourite place for this cleaner to work its magic is in the kitchen.

Vinegar – it’s a brilliant creation. Check out this website to learn more about vinegar and its 1001 Uses for White Distilled Vinegar - I love this site! Truly!

Another alternative is Lemons!

The acid in lemons is capable of killing bacteria with its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. 

Take some lemons – 6 -7 provides a good amount of juice – and juice them.  Strain the juice and pour into a spray bottle. Like the Orange & Vinegar Cleaner this does wonders around the whole house however for cleaning the bathroom – the lemon juice is my favourite. I really love the lemon juice straight up in the bathroom – the citric acid works wonders breaking down the soap scum and water deposits on tiles, showers, tubs, sinks and everything else. 

If you want to dilute the lemon juice (4 tablespoons) into 1 L of water – it is a wonderful window cleaner

For cleaning tougher items like grout: mix the lemon juice with some baking soda to make a paste, use a scrub brush and voila the dirt and grime will scrub off.

Please note – While the vinegar mixes well with lemon juice – it does NOT react well with vinegar. Do not add the baking soda to the vinegar solution – remember grade school and the volcano experiments? Enough said.

You house will never smell fresher or be as clean! Added bonus – these are both recipes that are pennies to make and saves the environment from the chemicals and packaging!

We'll talk about some natural cleaners for the floor next time - even hardwood floors!


Quick Update on the Palm Oil Free testing: The samples are currently making their way to the testers – some have received some already, some today and some tomorrow and through the week. The ones being mailed go today as well as some more local deliveries. The testers will be reporting on each bar over the next little while. Can’t wait for the results to start coming in.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Saying Goodbye to Palm Oil


I am breaking up with Palm Oil. It’s kind of a really big deal. I have used palm oil in my soaps for more than 16 years now - to change my recipes is a big deal. It’s been a decision that has been in the works for a couple of years now and I am happy to go Palm Oil free. It’s the ethical thing to do for our planet, various indigenous peoples, and countless plant and animal species. 
Thumbs Up on Palm Oil Free!
I want my customers to know that I have not taken the matter of changing my recipe lightly at all. As I have said it’s been a year in the making with careful and thought out replacement recipes created and tested. I mention more testers being needed at the bottom of this post.

I have strict demands of my soap and if it doesn’t tick all the boxes it is simply not a Wylde Rose product. I believe while my old recipe produced a wonderfully supreme bar of soap – new recipes have proven to create bars that are equal and/or possibly better. 


Palm oil is used in so many items from industrial lubricants, to food and of course to the soap and cosmetics industry. Global production and demand is at an all time high. Soapmakers have been said to be about 5% of the market. It’s 5% too much for Wylde Rose. It’s always been a hot topic on the soapmaking groups and boards with many soapmakers having strong opinions on both sides of the issue. While some care and are reformulating their own recipes, some simply do not care. I care, so deeply I have been very much affected by this and welcome the change with very much open arms.

I have been told repeatedly that my palm oil is sourced from a sustainable plantation. However, the more I read, the more I question that as there doesn’t seem to be any real proof that any of the palm oil that supposedly is sustainably sourced actually is. Don’t even get me started on the ethical side of production and the ethics of some plantations. The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) doesn’t seem to have monitoring available for individual plantations – just the some of the corporations buying from the plantations… doesn’t make much sense to me as those many corporations do not have procedures in place to check the individual plantations either. Promises of policies, procedures and laws to be in place by 2020 is just way too late in my opinion. Too much damage has been done already and too much will continue to be devastated.
very important thing to remember is that the oil palm plantation will only last for approximately 20 to 50 years before then the soil is completely drained of its vital nutrients and the palm trees too matured to produce palm fruit, which is why palm oil is very much a short-term commodity, and not a long-term sustainable solution.(http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/)


 Scary Stats

  • Less than 400 Sumatran Tigers are left with their only habitat being destroyed rapidly for logging and palm oil plantations. (WWF)
  • The Guinness Book of World Records lists Indonesia as the country with the fastest rate of deforestation in the world. Because of this, Indonesia is the worlds third largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter after the US and China. Palm oil forest conversion could wipe out all of Indonesia's forests by 2015. (Guinness Book)
  •  Due to the large international demand for palm oil, palm oil plantations are rapidly replacing the rainforest habitat of the critically endangered orangutan; with over 90% of their habitat already destroyed in the last 20 years. (http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/)

I could sit here and type in statistic after statistic but I want you to google it for yourself instead of just taking my word for it. Palm oil plantations are destroying the rainforests (our planets lungs) and also displacing indigenous peoples. Palm Oil is threatening many species, many of whom are now on the brink of extinction. I know a lot of my friends on social media have seen the links to the horrors the orangutans are suffering. Please google the words Palm oil & Orangutans or Sumatran Tiger. Here are a few links to get you started…Some may very well make you weep...

Greenpeace on Dove

Ian Somerhalder Foundation


Palm oil, Elasesis Guineesis (palm) Oil, Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate

No matter how its worded, it’s still Palm Oil. Almost every soap you can buy at the grocery store or drug store contains palm oil in it as do a lot of the other bigger companies. It’s an inexpensive and cost effective oil for them to use… but I have to ask at what cost to our planet?
Palm Oil is also a huge ingredient used in many prepared food over the last 15 years in particular as it is a cheap oil to use. We watch our labels here very carefully and will always continue to do so.


My recipes were created 16 years ago. Simply put we didn’t know what we know now and it’s really scary to change something that is a great product.  Currently in each of my soaps I have been using the following core oils & butters: Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Olive Oil, Vegetable Oil, Sweet Almond Oil & Castor Oil.
Each of the ingredients I use are NOT selected on a whim. They are carefully researched and each recipe is tweaked to find the perfect balance to meet my standards. Palm Oil makes a harder bar and is a great vegan alternative to tallow and or lard (neither of which I use). There is no denying it- Palm oil is a fabulous ingredient in soaps – however there are so many other wonderful alternatives to palm oil that there is no reason to continue using it.


Wylde Rose’s contribution to the NO palm oil movement may not be a large dent but I believe that every bit counts and its approximately 200 kg a year we won’t be using in any of our products.

I am staying true to my completely vegan philosophy and have been experimenting for about a year now with different ingredients to find the right replacement recipe. Yes… a year… I demand perfection in my products and that tends to take some time. There are alternatives to palm and there are lots of them! I have made 25 recipes over this last year and have it narrowed down to a top 6 that we like and are pleased with.

Requirements for Wylde Rose products:

  • Handmade via cold process methods (NOT melt & pour) (This is a topic for a whole new post!)
  • Lathers well
  •  Long lasting
  •  Cleans well
  • Moisturizing
  •  No chemicals added
  • Cruelty free (no animal testing)
  • All ingredients must be vegan
  • No parabens
  • No phthalates
  • No propylene glycol
  • No formaldehyde
  • NO SLS or SLES (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfates)
  • Affordable
  • Ecologically safe
  • Made with sustainable & ethical and non GMO ingredients
I am all about having a high standard of eco-practices – using palm oil is completely against what I believe. It’s time for change.

I want my friends, family and fans to be my testers. Be the voice for the new main recipe. I am inviting you to be a part of this wonderful and positive change for Wylde Rose. I am looking for 100 testers who are willing to test each of the samples I am going to send. I need honest answers rating the soaps. I will be asking for testing volunteers in a separate post.


As with any project like the transition we are undertaking, we will be phasing in the Palm Oil Free products by mid February. I will be making all new batches 100% PALM FREE as of February 20th when I should have the results in from the testers.

I love a great bargain too but alas my bargain hunting fans, I will NOT be having a massive clearance sale of old recipe products – they will be replaced as they are sold out. The website as always will have all ingredients listed and you will clearly see which stock is Palm Oil Free and which is not. It is also why my soap inventory is at an all-time low currently.

As I have stated this has not been a spontaneous decision – it has taken a great deal of time a preparation. We are so excited to be able to offer our customers products that are not only healthy for your skin, but are made with ethical ingredients making them healthy for your soul too.