On Gettin’ Clean

Yesterday I tried a new recipe for laundry detergent.
I usually make a liquid detergent because I just think it dissolves better
when it’s colder weather (especially if you use mainly cold water to wash.)
I love my recipe and it’s so inexpensive to make.   The liquid recipe makes
equivalent to about 9 bottles of the HE detergent (medium bottles) or probably
one of the giant ones from Sam’s Club. 
Since it’s getting warmer I wanted to try a powdered detergent recipe and 
see how it compares. 
Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 bar of soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s Citrus) 
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda
*if desired a few drops of essential oils- I use tea tree oil for antibacterial properties and a drop of bergamot because it smells nice 

What you need

Put borax, washing soda, and essential oils (if using) in bowl and stir. 
Grate bar of soap into bowl.

I used my blender to mix it all into a fine powder
Finished Product
So far it’s working great.  
I like that it takes up less space in my cabinet.
I’ll let you know if it lasts as long as the other recipe. 
(Especially since it costs a little more to make.)
the never-ending battle.
Are you here? 
Guess I have to get cleaning then…

With Ten Minutes and $1

What can you do with a ten minutes and about $1 (or so?) 
Make 12 quarts of laundry detergent
1 quart of *tub scrub
*Today I deviated from my “Rub a Dub 3 Men in the Tub Scrub” recipe and added Citric Acid instead of True Lemon (because that’s what I had) and added Bergamot essential oil drops (about 4) to make a nice citrusy smell.  Smells lovely! 
So easy I didn’t even have to get out of my PJ’s!

Naturally Clean

I like to post on this, but usually do it from my cooking blog so I thought you could indulge me…

Great Recipes for Keeping it Clean and Green:

Rub-a-Dub Tub Scrub 
(or “Because I have 3 men in my tub scrub”?)

  1. In a mixing bowl pour about equal amounts of baking soda and Borax.  (What I do is take 2 jars, fill one almost full of Borax and the other almost full of baking soda.  Then I pour them both into a bowl.)
  2. Pour in some True Lemon powder (you can use True Orange or Lime also, or citric acid if you can get it) just enough to scent the mix, about 2-4 Tablespoons more or less.
  3. Mix and put back in your jars!

To use:  Wet bathtub or sink.  Sprinkle tub scrub in tub.  Watch the fun!  It bubbles when it gets wet!
Scrub and watch the sparkles!  This smells yummy too.

Laundry Detergent

1 cup Washing Soda (you can get this at most grocery stores now)
1/2 cup Borax
7-10 drops of tea tree oil (disinfectant and antibacterial)
*You can add other essential oil drops if you want a scent but I don’t
1/4 cup or so of Dr. Bronner’s Baby Castile liquid soap
4 quarts hot water (first) then added about 8 more quarts

Mix it in a bowl with a whisk because the washing soda (soda ash) gets hot when it gets wet. (Luckily I knew this from my pool or I’d have probably burned my hands trying to get the clumps out.) Let sit for about 20 minutes to cool off, then put in containers.  I use old detergent bottles and glass bottles.
Very inexpensive and effective!
Natural Deodorant
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup baking soda
*If you have sensitive skin (like me) use more cornstarch and less soda to still equal 1/2 c total.
10 drops essential oil (I like tea tree or bergamot)
Mix it all together(takes about 2 seconds)
You can use it just like that- dust it on as a powder
OR if you want to put it in a stick form you add
2-3 tbs coconut oil (I use more and a little water because it’s been dry here and seems to crumble if I don’t.) you find it in the baking aisle by the shortening (also good as a skin cream and lip balm)
Once you have it all mixed up you pack it into an old, empty stick deoderant container.  You will have to add and pack and keep this up until you get to the top.  I like to use a small baby spoon to help pack it down tightly.
Let “cure” about 24 hours for it to hold together properly when you apply it.
This really works well, especially with the tea tree oil/bergamot mixture.  Haven’t tried the powder form. Makes about 2 sticks in a normal ladies’ sized container.

Green Homemaking Ideas

Not much exciting happened this weekend to write about, so I decided to give you some of my green house-keeping hints and participate in 11th Heaven’s Homemaker Monday.   (I love her blog! She always has the best recipes!)

Some things I do:

  • Make my own cleaning products!  Cheaper, easier, greener, (and did I mention cheaper?)  So far I make my own laundry detergent, glass/general purpose cleaner, tub scrub.   I haven’t perfected an automatic dishwashing soap yet.  I use either Seventh Generation or try and find the lowest phosphorus content brand at the grocery store.   Does anyone have a good recipe?  Also, I can’t figure out what to use on the hardwoods that is all-natural and not store-bought.  Now I use Method’s Good for Wood, supposed to be natural but the smell bothers my hubby to no end.  (It is pretty strong smelling.)   I am saving SO much money on laundry detergent alone.  One bottle of my old standby, All Free, costs the same as the ten or so I get from this recipe!  I use hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach in the whites.  (Safer and cheaper!) The other recipes are cheap too, just buy big bags and bottles of rubbing alcohol, borax, baking soda at discount stores and you’ll be set!   Pure rubbing alcohol works wonders on stainless steel!
  • Compost!  (I’ve composted for a long time, but starting to get more serious.  My honey bought a cool rotating composter last summer and we’ve been composting more- all table scraps, leftovers (with no meat,) bread that is moldy, egg shells, peelings, leaf cuttings, yard waste…  I am hoping I get something good out of the composter this spring! (It’s getting very full!)
  •  Recycle!  We are lucky.  Our town has curbside recycling for almost everything.  (paper, plastics up to #7, aluminum, tin, cardboard, even yard waste!)  Makes life easier.   Also recycle all those things you don’t use anymore or the kids have grown out of by donating them to your favorite local charity!  
  •  Eliminate the unnecessaries!  We don’t buy paper towels (although before I party I have been known to get a roll or two, and just found a new brand that is 100% recycled.)  We use rags instead.  Don’t buy paper napkins either (cloth are prettier anyway!)  Do you really need all those new dust gadgets they keep coming out with?  A good microfiber cloth is nice though, I must admit. 

If you have any good tips, please comment and leave them for us! 

Updates and such

Here is the update on the soapfront…

I ended up using:

Liquid Laundry Detergent
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
a bit of tea tree oil (to cut the mildew smell front loaders can have!)
1/4 cup or so of Dr. Bronner’s Baby Castile liquid soap
4 cups hot water (first) then added about 8 more cups

I mixed it in a bowl with a whisk because the washing soda (soda ash) gets hot when it gets wet. (Luckily I knew this from my pool or I’d have probably burned my hands trying to get the clumps out.) I did put the end of it in the blender and mixed it there to try and get all the clumps out. It will be pretty runny, not gooey like usual laundry soap. Here are more recipes.

Like I said before the Fels-Naptha soap really smelled perfumy to me so I didn’t attempt to use it. I found out it is made by the Dial corp. (and I’m SOOO allergic to Dial soap.) I might use the Castile bar soap next time if it’s a lot cheaper than the liquid (which I think it is.)

It filled up 3 of the 32 load HE washer bottles, and another small container I had. The cost to make it was a little more since I used the liquid, probably $3.50 total. That’s about what I pay for one 32 load bottle (with coupons/sales etc.) Not bad at all!

I’m doing a test load now! Me, excited about laundry? Wow! Now if I can just rig up a clothesline I’ll be set!

Some of the goodies I got at market today!
(I’m getting hungry- can you tell?)

peppers, heirloom tomatoes, fairy eggplant, honey, cantaloupe, okra, purple hull peas, corn, Danish cucumber, zucchini (all go good with cornbread, don’t they?)