Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent Works! And was very easy to make

I was a bit more productive this weekend.   I got my house relatively clean, which, for me, is impressive since i'm not even expecting company anytime soon.   I actually made my homemade laundry detergent and then had some laundry to do yesterday and it seemed to get the clothes good and clean, which is exciting.  And I spent a total of $7 on the stuff to make it with....and I will have to buy more of the bar soap that cost almost a dollar, but there was enough of the other stuff to make MANY more batches of detergent.  Interested in saving money yourself....here's the recipe.

2 cups hot tap water
1/2 bar Fels Naptha soap bar
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup borax

Grate your soap into a saucepan with 2 cups of hot tap water.  I used my mandolin to grate, but any grater or food processor would work.  Put this pan over medium heat and stir until the soap is melted and dissolved.  Fill a 11 qt bucket half full of hot tap water.  Add melted soap, washing soda, and borax.  Stir until it is completely dissolved then fill to the top with hot tap water.  Stir, cover and let sit overnight.  It will form a nice gel.  The next day stir it up, I found using a whisk broke it up into a pourable consistency pretty well, just be careful not to overflow your bucket.  If you have a five gallon bucket, you could do this only filling it a total of half full then you could stir as wildly as your heart desires:)  Then fill a container, I used an old laundry detergent bottle, half full of water and half full of your newly made laundry detergent.  Shake well before each use and use 1/4 cup per load for front loading machines, 5/8 cup per load for top loading.  I made the mix from start to finish in about 10 minutes, then the next morning spent about 10 more minutes filling containers (my bucket actually has other uses so I couldnt just leave my soap in it indefinitely).  The recipe also said you could use ivory soap, which would have saved even more money and was going to be what I would use except that I forgot when I was over in the body soap part of the store on a Saturday morning, with a two year old and then whenever I was getting the borax and washing soda...there was the fels naptha bar sitting right there so I snatched it up.  I've given you the measurements I used and I have 5 gallons of detergent, approximately 320 loads.  I cut the recipe in half...I got it from the Duggars and I have 18 fewer children then they do so I didnt need quite as much detergent, and I didnt have 2 five gallon buckets or that many containers handy.  But so far, quite impressed.  I had also read somewhere that you could use vinegar as a fabric softener, so I thought, why not, I'll give it a try.  I hadnt made my new detergent yet so it was with the same old stuff I have been using.  I filled the softener thing up with vinegar.  I was a bit concerned that my clothes (or in this case towels) would smell like vinegar, but they came out smelling like clean towels.  However, I cant say they were a bit softer than the load I washed without any sort of fabric softener, so while vinegar is cheap, didn't really see that it did a thing to my laundry.  Oh and I made another cheap cleaning discovery.  Yes, I'm that person you see at walmart with 4 big boxes of arm and hammer baking soda in their cart and you wonder what on earth they use it for.  Well...you see it has many uses.  I started buying lots of it back in the days of a diaper pail.  And diaper pails stink.  Whenever I purchased the pail they had the odor absorbing cakes you put in them to help, but after a while they've absorbed all the stinky diaper smell they can and they need replaced.  They were expensive and from what I could tell were nothing more than baking soda, so I made some cakes and put in there.  Cheap and effective.  Then I got lazy...why bother making cakes.  So every time I dumped my diaper pail I would start with a layer of baking soda.  Whenever I put a poopy diaper in, sprinkle in more baking soda.  So I used a lot of baking soda (also helped get them extra clean whenever I washed!)  Then I started cleaning lots of other things with baking soda.  The other thing I've been using is vinegar in my dishwasher.  Put it in your jet dry dispenser and it eliminates that yucky white film that we've been getting since they epa told the detergent companies they had to be more eco friendly.  And you are still being nice to the environment, an added plus.   So vinegar....baking soda....great for cleaning your garbage disposal, too.  So I was talking to my mom the other night about how I just hadn't found that great cleaner for my ceramic stovetop and stuff gets burnt on it ALL the time!  She said, do you have baking soda?  Vinegar?  (She doesnt have a ceramic stovetop she was just offering suggestions).  So I sprinkled baking soda over the top.  Put some vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz it on top (didn't want too much, remember the volcano trick from elementary science?)  But that same chemical reaction that made the volcano seemed like it might clean my stovetop.  It worked as well as, if not better than, anything else I'd tried and the best part....totally cheap!  I did combine and use my ceramic stovetop scrubby, but now my stovetop is clean.  It also set there a while because no sooner had I put it on then everyone decided they were hungry so I went to Pizza hut and got dinner....which may have helped clean but regardless I got all the burnt stuff off and didnt spend half a day doing it!

So are you inspired to go clean now? I was, however a clean house doesnt stay that way long and it is already looking like it needs cleaned again:( But since I'm posting, I told you I still take pictures of the little monster princess so I thought I'd give you all a few to look at this morning.

 We made binoculars the other day...you know to remind you that God is always watching over us, just like Miriam watched Baby Moses go down the Nile.  They loved playing with them!
 Ok, so this isnt the best picture, but the other day while we were out playing they heard "bad boys"  aka sirens and so they all ran to the fence to see if they could see them.  However they weren't actually in our subdivision so they never saw them.
 And here's a girl and her bird. 
She likes to pet baby max.  Daddy usually has to hold the bird.  I held it the other day.  Then I had to catch it on the mantle....hmmm...mommy not so good at holding bird, maybe we should just let Daddy hold him for now!
She wanted to pet but she wanted to know why I kept taking her picture too. 
And since I don't think I've posted a picture where you can really see him, this is Baby Max.  A very talkative bird. 

And in case you are wondering, yes, Emily dresses herself.  Swimsuits, clothes that don't fit, as long as she's dressed I usually just go with it.  Although I took out a huge laundry basket heaped with clothes that are too small from her room the other day.  And she still has way more clothes than one little girl needs!

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