When we moved to Manila in 2016, I wanted to have hardworking products on my sink that are effective but also SAFE for the entire family, including DiploBaby who was only a few months old then. (He just turned 4 last week and you can see here the video of his LEGO party!)
As a professional declutterer, I wanted products that decluttered not just our bathroom surfaces, but also our lives. I’m really happy with how everything we need is within easy reach and super easy to clean and maintain!
These are my sink essentials, from Left to Right:
1. Esscentials Manila Green Tea Castile Soap. It’s watered-down approximately half soap and half water in a foaming Muji pump bottle that comes out with a luxurious foam that doesn’t dry out the skin, and it also saves on water. Pump it directly onto dry hands, rub vigorously and then turn on the faucet to rinse. It’s very economical and so easy that my toddler has been able to wash his hands on his own! We use these faucet extenders so he can be more independent, yet it’s not in loud kiddy colors so our sink is still minimaluxe! I think we need to free ourselves from thinking that just because it’s for kids, it has to be in loud and obnoxious colors because these days the worry is overstimulating our kids.
I love that castile soap has so many other uses. Read about it in the link below:
- Moisturizing. After I shower, before wiping with a towel, I apply this to my body and let it air dry for a bit before gently patting down. I also use this on my face.
- Scalp/Hair Leave-on. It’s also great for massaging on my scalp psoriasis, or for leaving on my hair.
- Rash cream. For DiploBaby, if after washing his bottom we notice it’s a little red, we apply a little. Coconut oil is antibacterial, so it’s convenient to have for minor knicks and redness. But for a major diaper rash, nothing works better than this IMO. (It’s even better than Papaw in my experience!)
3. Natural Baby Safe Dishwashing Liquid from Nature to Nurture. It is a super concentrated dishwashing liquid, so it’s also watered down approximately half and half in a regular Muji pump bottle. I feel confident washing not just baby bottles, but also use it for
- washing our silicone soap holders and all our bathroom accessories like the plugs, drains, and squeegees
- Safe and effective for washing my menstrual cups, because it’s doesn’t leave nasty residue like normal dishwashing liquids
- I place 2-3pumps into the container of my invisalign-style retainers
It comes out cheaper because it’s highly concentrated – must always be mixed with water – and we can buy refills. This means we don’t throw away bottles after use. I also love that they don’t use those hideous artificial colorings like most commercial dishwashing soaps.
4. Laundry Pre-treatment Spray using Tiny Buds Newborn Laundry Soap. Everyone deserves to wear clothes don’t cause allergies and asthma. It’s super concentrated too so we use 1/3 Tiny Buds laundry soap to 2/3 water in an amber spray bottle – which I get from here!
We lightly spray the stained or stinky parts of our clothing, before throwing them into the laundry basket – so there is no need to add laundry soap to the washing machine load. For our washing machine, Tiny Buds Soap is so concentrated that we use only 1 TBSP for one 7.5kg washing machine load – so economical, right?
5. All-Natural Homemade Salt Water Spray for styling my hair. I’m allergic to many hair products so I make this at home. I use a super simple recipe. Will be posting it here soon!
6. Himalayan Salt. I use this with warm water for gargling, especially when I feel a sore throat coming on, or experiencing post-nasal drip. It’s super effective in preventing a full-blown cough or sore throat! It’s also great for disinfecting when I have a wound in my mouth. And it’s one of the ingredients of my hair texturizing himalayan salt spray.
Why I chose these containers
I love my square Muji pump bottles because they fit perfectly in their stainless steel rack – also from Muji. I’ve always found that the bottoms of bottles left on a sink get super gross and slimy after a while because they stay in moisture. Having this rack prevents that, and make it super easy to clean the surface of our sick to keep it dry.
For sprays I use Amber Spray Bottles from Esscentials Manila because they are the most affordable I’ve found here in Manila. You can also get this great value for money set on Amazon, which though I haven’t personally used, seem to be well-rated. When using products that use essential oils or EOs, it’s important to use amber-colored bottles to avoid deterioration and to protect the aromatic and therapeutic properties of the EOs.
UP NEXT: DIY ALL-NATURAL SALTWATER TEXTURIZING HAIR SPRAY