DIY: How To Get Rid of Ants Naturally

What do you get when you have small kids and a small amount of time to clean? Well, I’ll tell you what I get. I get ANTS! Luckily, I found a cheap, natural, effective way to get rid of ants!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Borax
  • Cotton balls
  • Plastic bag

Please note that Borax is a natural powder. However, it is toxic if it is ingested by kids. Therefore, keep these “ant traps” away from small children and pets.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cut the plastic bag into approximately seven small squares. The plastic acts as a disposable, waterproof plate for the cotton. In the past, I used a plastic container; later, I switched to a plastic bag so that the ants could get to the mixture faster. If you don’t want to use a plastic bag, you can use any small, shallow container or plate.
  2. Mix the water, sugar and Borax in a small bowl.
  3. Submerge a cotton ball in the mixture and place the cotton onto the plastic. Repeat until you have enough ant traps or until the mixture is gone.
  4. Place the plastic in the path of the ants. Keep the ant traps away from children and pets as the Borax is toxic if it is ingested.
  5. Throw the cotton and plastic away in approximately 48 hours.

These ant traps worked for odorous house ants (ants that like sugar). The ants will carry the mixture back to their home and the whole colony will die from the exposure to the Borax. Vinegar and essential oils are also great for repelling insects, but the ant traps and Borax were more effective because they wiped out the entire ant colony. This recipe came from DIY Natural. Mommypotamus also has some great ideas.

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DIY: A Natural Way To Unclog Your Drain

I usually put off the unpleasant task of unclogging the bathroom sink until it is so clogged that the water sits inside the sink because it can no longer squeeze through the foul collection of dirt and hair (I don’t recommend that you wait this long). When this happens, I am tempted to run to the nearest store to buy some chemicals that will quickly flush all of the slime away. However, I always end up staying home because I do not want to buy any products that can be harmful for my family’s health (see Toxic House: Remove Endocrine Disruptors From Your Home).

Today, I went on EWG.org to do some research on a conventional drain cleaner that we previously used. According to the website, the product has high concerns for skin allergies and irritation. It has moderate concerns for the respiratory system and the environment. It also has some concerns for developmental/reproductive toxicity and cancer. The product received a grade of F, the lowest possible grade. Thanks to the good ol’ internet, I found a non-toxic, quick, easy, cheap and effective way to unclog my bathroom sink drain. All you need is a wire hanger, water and salt!

Step 1: Take off the drain cover.

Step 2: Untwist a wire hanger until you have a straight piece of long wire that will fit down the drain.

Step 3: Use the hanger as a hook to pull up hair and grime (warning: the gunk will be rather smelly and disgusting). Repeat as needed.

Step 4: Pour 1/2 cup of table salt (any kind) down the drain.

Step 5: Heat 8 cups of water until it is almost boiling.

Step 6: Pour the water down the drain.

This worked so well for me! If it does not work for you, click here to get more tips from brendid.com. If you like the Inspiration For Wellness blog, consider liking the blog’s Facebook site as well!

DIY: Foaming Hand Soap

In a previous article entitled “Toxic House,” (click here to see the article) I wrote about the harmful chemicals that are lurking in our homes. My family has been using safer, eco-friendlier products since 2012. To save money this past year, I started to make some of my own products. Here is a very easy recipe for foaming hand soap!

Here’s what you need:

  • Soap Dispenser with Foaming Pump 250 mL/8.5 oz
  • Castile soap: 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable glycerin or olive oil: 3 generous splashes (optional)
  • Essential oils: 5 drops (optional)
  • Water

Here’s where you get:

  • Soap Dispenser with Foaming Pump 250 mL/8.5 oz: Amazon
  • Castile soap: Thrive Market (click here to see my article that includes Thrive Market)
  • Vegetable glycerin or olive oil: Thrive Market
  • Essential oils: Contact me for the highest quality oils.
  • Water: Use filtered water if desired (click here to see my article that includes the Berkey filter)

I used to buy body care and supplements on Amazon, but I don’t do that anymore because I can’t be sure that I am getting what I am paying for. I ended up in the hospital with a bad allergic reaction and I think it was due to tainted products that I bought on Amazon.

Here’s what you do: 

Pour the castile soap, vegetable glycerin and essential oils into your dispenser. Fill the rest of the bottle with water, but do not fill it to the top because you need room for the pump. Shake the ingredients. You’re done!

The vegetable glycerin is optional, but I have found that the soap dries out my skin without it. You can use olive oil, but if you do, be aware that the soap dispenser will have a very noticeable yellow substance floating around inside of it. Also, if you use a plastic soap dispenser with essential oils, please note that the essential oils might degrade the plastic over time. If you are using essential oils for your soap, I recommend ylang ylang or geranium. Ylang ylang contains beta-caryophyllene which is soothing for the skin and geranium contains citronellol which is also good for the skin. Many people also love lavender which contains linalyl acetate and linalool. These chemical compounds provide a calming aroma.

Do you make your own hand soap? What ingredients do you use?