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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homemade Household products

Over the last few months I've started making my own household cleaning products. I've done it for two main reason: #1 To save money, and #2 To use products with the fewest ingredients and ingredients I know are more natural and safe for my family. The other benefit is that it cost less to make, makes more and lasts longer, freeing up some $$ to buy more organic items. Yippee.


Over the last few years we've continued to transition from processed foods to more whole, natural, and when possible organic foods. I've tried to find recipes that are better for us and we've simplified the things we eat, of course there are those "splurges" thrown in there (Like last night I made clam chowder with clams my youngest got after a trip with some friends). I also want to have products in our home that are more natural to use, but sometimes those can get expensive. We're not quite where we want to be yet, but we're getting there.


The two products I've made are Powdered Laundry Soap and just the other day a Natural All Purpose Cleaner. I haven't gotten to use the latter yet because it needs to sit for two weeks, but I'm excited to try it. I am VERY happy with the laundry soap. 


The recipe for my laundry soap was found here at the blog Being Creative. The author has a great blog filled with fun things. Go check her out. The All Purpose Cleaner was found here at The Blog Jam Hands, which I discovered is another super cute blog, with yummy recipes. Go show her some love too.


These were both very easy recipes to make. I have decided that I need to buy stock in Baking Soda and Vinegar! We've also started using baking soda as deodorant and guess what? IT WORKS! Go figure. My hubby had actually bought some of the Toms from Maine deodorant and it DID NOT work for him. Tried the baking soda the next day when he was working outside and yep, it worked. Talk about cheap!


So on to the Laundry Soap and Household Cleaner.
Here is what you need for the laundry soap: 


1 4lb.12oz. box of Borax
1 4lb. box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
1 3lb. 7oz. box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
3 bars Fels-Naptha soap or 2 bars Zote
2 small containers oxy-clean (optional)


All of these ingredients can be found at Walmart and I found them all in the laundry aisle. You could probably add some essential oils to it for fragrance but I didn't.


This will totally smell up your kitchen or wherever you make it so you may want to open a window.


Here is what I did:


Line a garbage can, bucket or in my case a crate with a garbage sack. Pour all the dry ingredients into it. 

Grate the soap by hand, or I used my salad shooter and it worked fine. I was a bit worried about the soap not dissolving because it wasn't very small...***FUNNY STORY*** The Fels-Naptha Soap is orange in color and my oldest daughter walks into the kitchen as I'm grating it and says "wow, that's a lot of cheese". I started laughing! How funny it would have been had she grabbed some and taken a bite. ***Back to Recipe*** I did a bit of research and found that some people used their Vitamix blenders or food processors to make the soap smaller. I found that just placing the soap by itself didn't really work, so I added a bit of the dry mix to the blender with the soap and it worked great. You have to go slow and be patient otherwise it gets warm and will start to clump together. 



Once it is to the consistency you want, add it to the rest of the dry ingredients and mix together. Place in an airtight container. I use a coffee scoop and use about 2-2 1/2 scoops per load. Right now my soap is in a plastic paint container from the hardware store but I hope to put it in a pretty glass jar soon. I found two at Walmart but they were cracked. 


The All-Purpose Cleaner was super simple. 
What you need:


White Vinegar
4-8 Oranges (you can add a few lemons too if you'd like)


Juice oranges and lemons (I used about 4 large oranges and 1 lemon). Using a spoon, scoop out the fleshy part so all that is left is the pith and skin...Ummm...I kinda forgot this part, so hopefully it doesn't really matter..haha!


add to quart size or larger jar until full. Pour vinegar over the peels until the jar is full. Cap the jar and set aside for 2 weeks.


When the two weeks is up, strain out the peels, add the vinegar liquid to a clean jar. This is your concentrated solution.


This recipe said fill a spray bottle 3/4 full with water and then add vinegar solution the rest of the way. It also said to store in the refrigerator.


I have a few other things on my list to find recipes and for and make. I'll keep you posted. 



With Joy UNquenchable,

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