Homemade Mosquito and Tick Repellant

I love the wilderness dearly, but like most I get tired of getting eaten alive. I get bit even when no one else is being bitten! I’m always looking for natural bug repellants because I don’t like spraying pesticides on my body or clothing and especially not on my kids. My wife and I have tried many natural remedies and well some sort of work, none have worked for me. I’m special that way. The other week I came across a recipe for a natural tick and mosquito repellant that seems to work very well. I can’t remember where I got the recipe from or I would give the site credit. Good thing I wrote the recipe down! So I thought that I would share my findings.


2 Cups of Distilled Vinegar
1 Cup of Water
20 Drops of Essential Oil

*Spray on skin, clothing and hair every 4 hours or as needed.

By adding essential oils you won’t smell like vinegar all day. We used peppermint essential oil because it is a natural repellant for ticks and mosquitoes. You can choose whatever essential oil that you would like but any type of mint or citrus essential oils would work great since they are natural repellants for ticks and mosquitoes. Mix everything together and place in a spray bottle or multiple pump spray bottles. So far this mixture works well for me and does better than any store bought spray. It is much more comforting to know that what I am spraying on my children and on me is not going to harm them or me. Try this recipe out and let me know how it works for you. What natural bug repellants do you use? How well do they work for you? Thanks for reading and please let me know if this helps you fend off the bugs this year.

Natural Soap and Lotion Bars

These days a lot of people are trying to go back to making a lot of their own household products instead of relying on companies that fill their products with all kinds of extra things they don’t need and that might be harmful to our health. My family and I are no different. We try to make as much as we can on our own. Most of our food is made from scratch and if I might add, tastes so much better and is not filled with preservatives and dyes. Yes we do eat things once in awhile that we know are not the best but we try to keep that in moderation.

With all that said here are a couple recipes, one for soap and one for a lotion bar that we like and use. They are simple but they work great and we know they are safe to even use on our 1 ½ year old son. We did buy ph test strips so that we could test the soap to make sure it had sat long enough and was now safe to use.

Here is where we found our soap recipe;  http://frugallysustainable.com/2013/05/how-to-make-old-fashioned-lye-soap-for-use-in-homemade-laundry-detergent-general-household-cleaning-recipes-and-as-a-poison-ivy-treatment/ . This is a great site that my wife uses often. I highly recommend that you check this site out. We do not add any essential oils to our soap for a few reasons. First, we wanted to keep it simple and fairly inexpensive.  Second, we have small children and didn’t want to worry about skin reactions to essential oils. Third, by not adding any scent, I can now use this soap during hunting season and have no need to buy special, expensive soaps geared toward hunters. What a savings! We also noticed that our skin does not dry out like it did using store bought soaps. There is a drastic difference that I can’t state enough. We use coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter for the fat content instead of the other recommended fats. It works for us but you’ll have to find what works for you.

Here is the lotion bar recipe we use:

1 part coconut oil
1 part Shea, cocoa, or mango butter
1 part beeswax

vitamin E oil (1 tsp/ 1 part other ingredients)
50 drops essential oils

Melt oil, butter (pick 1 or use a combination), and beeswax together over low heat. When completely melted remove from heat and add vitamin E oil and essential oils if using. Pour into molds and let cool.

* if 1 part = 1 cup, recipe makes ~12 bars
* silicone baking molds work well

This lotion bar works great. Our kids love it and it’s safe for them to handle. We use it on our 1 ½ year olds face when it gets chapped and dried out. He likes holding onto the bar and rubbing it on his cheeks by himself. By morning his cheeks look great. It’s so nice to know what is in the products that we are using and putting on our kids’ bodies as well as our own.

These are just two simple recipes that we use in our home that work great for us. I hope that maybe they will help you too or get you inspired to make some of your very own soaps and lotions as well as many other products. As always, do everything at your own risk, follow directions, take precautions and be safe when dealing with any chemicals (the lye in the soap recipe). What products do you make in your home that you absolutely love? Thanks for reading and enjoy making your very own soap and lotion bars.