The Ultimate Guide to Homemade All-Natural Cleaning Recipes by keeper of the home

Cleaning products are one of the first places that Keepers of the Home look to eliminate toxins and chemicals from our households.

For me, making homemade all-natural cleaning projects was a logical first step, because I love to follow recipes, which is all that is really involved in making your own cleansers! 

I spent hours scouring the internet back in the day for ideas, suggestions, recipes, and useful hints on the topic of homemade cleaners. After lots of trial and error, I have found a few that are my go-to faves, and I’m sharing them today so that you don’t have to do all of the leg work!

Before I get into the specific recipes, though, let me just say this: white vinegar and baking soda clean Just. About. Everything. You’ll see it’s the main combination in a bunch of the recipes below, but there are oodles of other things it can clean, too! (You’ll get a chuckle out of all the ways my daughters have learned to use it, too!)

So, with that said, let’s start in the kitchen. 

Making homemade all-natural cleaning projects was a logical first step to eliminate toxins and chemicals from my home. Plus I love to follow recipes, which is all that is really involved in making your own cleansers!

Maybe you’ve seen my post with Must-Have Homemade Kitchen Cleaners. Out of those, my most-used cleaner is an all-purpose cleaner, great for all kinds of hard surfaces:

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

Mix the vinegar, essential oils and a little water before adding baking soda in a clean spray bottle (glass is best). Then fill to top with water. I use about a 12 oz bottle. Gently shake to mix ingredients, and then spray, wipe with a cloth, and allow it to dry.

Here are some other cleaners to use in the kitchen:

Homemade “Soft-Scrub” Cleaner

  • 1 ½ cups baking soda
  • ½ cup environmentally safe liquid laundry soap (ECOS, for example)
  • 10 drops tea tree, lavender, or lemon essential oil

Mix baking soda and laundry soap in a mixing bowl, stirring vigorously to combine into a paste. Add essential oil and mix well. Store in an airtight food container.

If the mixture begins to dry out, add a small amount of water and mix well.

Homemade Disinfectant Wipes

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup with vinegar

READ MORE HERE: https://keeperofthehome.org/homemade-all-natural-cleaning-recipes/

Lab-grown Diamonds: What They Are and What You Need To Know By David Weliver

A lab-grown diamond is a real diamond. It doesn’t differ in any way from an earth-created diamond except how it came into being. Buying a lab-grown diamond eliminates any environmental or political concerns and may save you money. Here’s everything you need to know about laboratory-created diamonds.

What is a lab-grown diamond?

As the name suggests, a laboratory-grown diamond is a diamond that is grown in a lab using the same extreme forces — temperature and pressure — that form earth-created diamonds. 

There are exactly zero chemical, optical, or physical differences in a lab-grown diamond, compared to an earth-created diamond

Lab-grown diamonds even have inclusions, the tiny flaws that are in virtually every earth-created diamond. 

That’s not surprising, since, as we’ll see, the ingenious methods of creating diamonds mimic the earth’s natural processes. 

But before we answer questions such as how on earth humans are able to create diamonds, let’s debunk a common myth.

Are cubic zirconia and moissanite lab-grown diamonds?

No! Cubic zirconia and moissanite are two inexpensive types of imitation diamonds. They are not lab-grown diamonds.

Cubic zirconia (CZ) are cubic zirconia. They are almost always sold as a diamond substitute, or a diamond simulant, but they’re not diamonds. 

Moissanite gemstones are moissanite. They also might be marketed as a diamond substitute, or a diamond simulant. But they’re not diamonds. 

Diamonds are diamonds. These include earth-created diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds. There are zero differences between lab-grown and earth-made except for where they are made. 

How are lab-grown diamonds different than cubic zirconia and moissanite?

Cubic zirconia and moissanite are not as hard as diamonds. They also differ from diamonds chemically. Furthermore, they have different optics — light behaves differently in them than in diamonds. 

So why do I mention CZ and moissanite at all, in this article on laboratory grown diamonds? 

The reason is that quite a number of uninformed bloggers (and even on some sites you’d expect to be better informed) refer to cubic zirconia and moissanite as “synthetic diamonds.” 

They’re simply not. They are different materials, end of story.

Are lab-grown diamonds synthetic diamonds? 

Sort of. Lab-grown diamonds are sometimes called synthetic diamonds because they are synthesized in a lab. But a lab-grown diamond is indistinguishable from an earth-created diamond.

In this case, “synthetic” is a somewhat misleading term. 

The word can give the impression that lab-grown diamonds are somehow different from earth-created ones.

But they’re not different at all, except in how they came into being. 

Is there a difference between “lab-grown” and “lab-made”?

No difference at all. Both terms refer to diamonds which are made in a lab. These are merely different wordings.

Who invented lab-created diamonds?

Howard Tracy Hall was a chemist at General Electric considered to be the first person to successfully grow a diamond in a lab.

Though his work would be worth billions of dollars to the diamond industry, he received only $10 for the discovery.

There were claims of success in creating diamonds in labs in the late 19th Century and first half of the 20th century. But none were confirmed or reproducible. So, as far as science and history are concerned, lab-grown diamonds did not exist until Hall’s discovery.

The first documented, reproducible lab-grown diamond was devised by Hall in 1954.

He was an unrecognized chemistry genius at General Electric. Four years of experiments and failed attempts, and a lack of respect from his colleagues and managers, finally ended in his triumph. 

Making the success even sweeter for Hall, no doubt, was that competing members of the General Electric lab working on the problem had access to a 1,000-ton press, but Hall was restricted to using only the 400-ton press. 

He was everyman, in that sense. The underdog, overlooked, discriminated against, in office politics. 

To attempt these experiments, the competitors explored many variables. One of these variables was the container in which carbon was compressed.  Hall was at a disadvantage here, too. He had to make do only with hardened steel, rather than even harder specialized materials available to other members of the team. (It’s called Carbaloy …  don’t ask! It’s tungsten carbide mixed into cobalt.) 

So with only hardened steel to work with, and the measly 400-ton press, Hall had to get creative. So he did. He designed a radically new donut-shaped container outfitted with curved and tapered pistons. 

If you have a look at the contraption, I think you’ll agree: Hall and the container offer a look that does not disappoint. The monkey wrench in his hand is also impressive.  I’d say Howard Tracy Hall is the Mick Jagger of chemists. 

With substandard materials, and a substandard press, it was the the design he worked out, and the physics of it, that put Hall over the goal line. 

In went the ingredients (iron sulfide and powdered carbon). Then the pressure was brought to 100,000 atmospheres. And it was heated to 2,900 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Thirty-eight minutes later, the diamonds were cooked. 

Out came the diamonds. (Industrial grade, but still — a giant leap for mankind. Hall was the winner of this historic contest. He had just mimicked processes that take centuries deep inside planet Earth, to create diamonds.)

It spawned an entire industry manufacturing industrial grade diamonds. GE was poised to make a fortune. 

It’s safe to say, he got Employee of the Month. That’s actually a joke. What’s no joke is this: GE gave him a $10 savings bond. Not $10 million. Ten. Dollars.  

GE was able to grow diamonds in the lab, but they weren’t exactly gemstones. They were low-grade — ugly, small, and suitable only for industrial applications. They still were worth fortunes, because mining and heavy industry has no end of need for industrial-grade diamonds, the hardest substance on earth.

The story has a happy ending, though. 

Hall left GE and created an even better, more radical design of his press. One that didn’t rely on any GE patents. With this technology, he started his own diamond-making enterprise. He awesomely name it … MegaDiamond. 

It was acquired by various companies through the years and has been absorbed into Schlumberger, an international oil and gas drilling company. 

How are lab-grown diamonds made?

Two different processes are used to make lab-grown diamonds. Both use a tiny “seed” diamond. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) puts tiny layers of vaporized carbon over the seed. The other method replicates nature’s process by subjecting carbon and the seed to intense pressure and heat.

Chemical vapor deposition (CVD)

To make lab-grown diamonds using the CVD method, vaporized carbon is laid down in layers over a “seed” of a tiny diamond. 

This process gets complicated. But it’s fascinating. The short version is: 

1. Put a tiny diamond “seed” inside a chamber that can be compressed and heated to ungodly heat and pressure. 

2. Pump into the chamber gases that are full of carbon. Microwave it to the aforementioned ungodly temperatures. (Say, 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit.) Things get so hot, the molecular bonds of the gases are severed. That means carbon is floating around freely. It latches directly onto the “seed” diamond. And as it “fits in” to the chemical surface of the seed diamond, these new layers of carbon form layers of diamond.  

It can result in beautiful gemstones. 

High pressure, high temperature (HPHT)

This method relies solely on subjecting carbon to intense heat and pressure.

This method has come a long way since Howard Tracy Hall first created it in 1954. It results not only in diamonds for industrial use, but can be fine-tuned to create diamonds for gemstones. 

1. First, a tiny diamond is placed into a bit of carbon. 

2. This ball of carbon is then compressed with 1.5 million pounds per square inch. (Yeah, that’s a lot.)  Then, the heat is turned up to 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. 

3. At this point, the carbon becomes molten. As the molten carbon forms up against the diamond crystal, it crystalizes into diamond form, just like the vaporized carbon atoms do in the CVD method. 

Who makes lab-grown diamonds? 

There are a handful of companies that manufacture laboratory-grown diamonds, including the most famous diamond company of all, De Beers.

For years, De Beers tried to hold out against the lab-grown diamond onslaught. They preferred to sell only what they’d always sold: earth-mined diamonds. 

But in 2018, De Beers got into the diamond gemstone manufacturing business as well. 

Other makers of lab-grown diamonds include: 

READ MORE HERE: https://www.diamondbuyingschool.com/diamond-buying-guide/lab-grown-diamonds#:~:text=A%20lab-grown%20diamond%20is%20a%20real%20diamond.%20It,or%20political%20concerns%20and%20may%20save%20you%20money.

Delicious

An excellent way to start the day is with healthy, whole wheat toast, smoked salmon, and a soft-cooked egg! This is truly delicious and really good if you’re trying to reduce calories and increase protein.

Be sure to make the time to treat yourself right, dear ones. You only get one ‘you’ and perhaps it’s best to take care of yourself (ourselves), properly.

Well-Stocked and Ready At a Moments Notice By Victoria Baltimore

Hello, Lovely Ones!

Parties, visiting family and friends, shopping, going out for drinks – the holiday season is in full swing now so I thought it might be helpful to list a few items for your beauty table…it is Black Friday after all!

Now is definitely the time to start stocking up on such things, if you haven’t already.

Before I present my small list, I’d like to give a word of caution (from experience). For most, myself included, it is quite important that our beauty area and the items we choose to have on display are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But do beware lovely ones, all that glitters is not always gold.

Be sure to ascertain the ratings of the products you plan on purchasing and also, whenever possible, ferret out an overly generous amount of information about them as well, because whilst this is not a 100% fool-proof way to obtain the very best for yourself, it can most definitely be a way to help you to sort through all of the supposed miracle products that are being touted to be remove wrinkles and make a 60-year-old look like a 25-year-old! In addition, I don’t know about you, but I, myself am not desirous of feeding my fireplace with my hard-earned money as I sit there forlornly, watching on as the embers turn into worthless ash.

So, my loves, without further adieu, here is my shortlist for a well-stocked beauty table this holiday season:

  1. Makeup remover
  2. Makeup remover pads (reusable, if possible)
  3. Facial Moisturizer
  4. Vitamin C Serum
  5. Hyaluronic Serum
  6. Lip care
  7. Oil-free under-eye cream
  8. An excellent set of Makeup brushes
  9. Concealer
  10. 2 – 3 different shades of foundation
  11. 2 – 3 different shades of pressed powder
  12. 2 shades of mascara (can be used as an eyebrow filler as well)
  13. 1 really versatile eyeshadow pallet
  14. Makeup setting spray
  15. Hand and body moisturizer
  16. 3 colors of fingernail polish
  17. Cuticle oil
  18. Fingernail polish remover
  19. Your signature perfume

This is what I consider to be my shortlist which I try to keep available at all times. One never knows when these toiletry items might be needed at a moment’s notice!

Do you have a ‘shortlist?’ If so, let me know how many of our items match. ♥

Let’s get it started, for it’s time to shine, dear ones!