You know me, all-about-the-homemade.
This one is kind-of fun, especially around the holidays, and so easy!
-Cut the top of the milk carton off, wash it thoroughly, and coat the inside of the carton with petroleum jelly. Be sure to coat the corners.
-To melt glycerin, cut them into smaller cubes to fit in a microwave safe bowl. Heat glycerin on high in the microwave, stirring at intervals every 15 seconds until it is completely melted.
-Start with one or two drops of food coloring, and stir thoroughly. Use something like a coffee stirrer. Gradually add the drops until you get the desired color.
-Pour the melted glycerin into the milk carton. Tap gently to make sure there are no bubbles trapped in the carton. Let it cool completely for about 2 hours. Tear the cardboard away when soap is set and using a bench scrapper, slice the block into individual bars.
If you want layers like the bars above; cut the carton long ways. Make your 2 types of soaps and let them set in stages in the carton so they stay separated when the soap solidifies. For example, the soap above probably took a total of 6 hours to solidify, 2 hours for each layer.
-After you add the food coloring, you could then add, ¼ tsp at a time scented oils. Stir thoroughly. You could also use lemon or orange zest to add a scent. Or small amounts of heavy cream.
-If you add a heavy substance like oatmeal or sand, let the soap set a bit, so the added ingredients do not sink to the bottom of the mold. And gently stir the ingredients through the soap.
There are soo many ideas you can do, just search the web. And yes, that is a bag of soap with toy fish in the middle. Cute, right?
If you are out of an item, like furniture polish, you can skip the trip to the store. It is possible to clean your home using what’s already in it. Plus these item are all natural so there aren’t any hazardous (cancerous) chemicals being introduced to your home. Not that I need to mention, it’s also cheaper...
¼ cup vinegar
1 gallon hot water
Mix these to create an effective all-purpose cleaner. Put it in a spray bottle to make it easier to use.
½ cup Borax
1 gallon hot water
Few sprigs of thyme (optional) –add the sprigs for 10 min. then strain and let the water cool.
Borax is a natural mineral that kill bacteria, mildew, and mold. Again add it to a spray bottle for use.
1 tblsp. Baking soda
½ tsp hot water
Make a paste. Sponge onto stains and wipe clean.
Toilet bowl cleaner
sprinkle baking soda into the toilet bowl
add less than a ¼ cup of vinegar
Brush and scour the toilet bowel. It will clean and deodorize it.
Tub, sink, and tile cleaner
½ a lemon
Dip the cut end of the lemon into the borax. Rub the area with the lemon then rinse and dry with a soft cloth.
Option 1: With a soft cloth wipe with a bit of mayonnaise.
Option 2: Rub the furniture with a cloth that has been dipped in cool tea.
Option 3: Mix 2 parts olive oil with one part lemon juice. Apply to furniture with soft cloth and wipe dry.
I have been fiddling around with making my own laundry detergent for the past couple months and I think I got it.
I’ve been skeptical that it wouldn’t compare to my current detergent and that the savings would be too negligible to be worth it. Does it really get the job done, save me money, and make my home more natural? Plus, unlike Purex, many detergent companies do their testing on animals. I look at my cat, and that is just not acceptable.
Chemicals in store bought detergents:
A lot of information has come out in the last ten years regarding the toxicity of household cleaning and cosmetic products. Many of the products, which are FDA approved, contain disease inducing chemicals. Did you know that deodorant has enough traces of aluminum to lead to Alzheimer’s? Or that dryer sheets are covered in fragrant chemicals which have been proven to cause liver cancer? Or that Tide has been required to lessen the amount of the cancer causing agent 1,4-dioxane?
I’ve known for some time about the political side of FDA approved products and how bad many household staples really are for our bodies. I know that the majority of the negative chemicals in laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheet are fragrant chemicals. There’s a constant push to have a long last scent for days after washing your clothes, so manufacturers keep adding more and more chemicals to meet the demand.
You’ll see in the recipe that I included Purex Crystals which is a fabric softener. Granted, I’m using a significantly smaller ratio of this softener to what I was typically using, but I’m considering eliminating it completely and using these Homemade dryer balls to soften up the clothes.
Laundry Costs Breakdown:
My laundry costs are already low. I experimented with the less expensive name brand detergents and found a combo that costs $13.00/2 months for detergent and dryer sheets. That’s $78/year for everything! Many family’s using more expensive brands spend $100+/year.
So let’s say, for the ease of calculating, you do 2 loads of laundry a week, a dark and light. There are 52 weeks in a year.
2x52=104 That would be 104 loads a year.
If you do even more laundry than 2 loads a week, it is even more of a savings. Especially if you have a family. This could be a savings of $100+ a year.
What you need for the recipe,
The Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 (4lb 12oz) box of Borax $3.38
1 (3lb 7oz) box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda $3.24
1 (3lb) container of OxyClean $7.52
2 (14.1) Bars of Zote Soap or 3 Fels Naptha $.97 each
1 (4lb) box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda $2.00
1 Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener or Downy Unstoppables $4.00
The first step and the hardest, is to grate the soap. But once that is done it is now time for mixing.
I layer each of the ingredients into a clean, large bucket. Be sure to mix it outside because it will be dusty.
Then I stored it in a large seal-able container in the closet. I reused the 'Purex Crystal Softener' container as my laundry detergent dispenser, it comes with a handy measuring cup on top.
But wait! Here’s the real zinger; when combined, the detergent is the equivalent of a “bucket full” of detergent in which each load of laundry only needs 1 to 2 tbsp of the soap. THAT’S right, ONE TABLESPOON! Basically, you just made a years’ worth of laundry soap for 23 bucks.
It was easy to make and probably took me a total of 15 minutes. I enjoyed making the detergent, especially because I knew I wouldn’t need to do it again for another year!
For me, this small change in my laundry routine is well worth the $50 savings. For some families, I know the savings will be even greater.
For all my flu-y friends, here is a recipe for homemade cough syrup. I have some in my fridge right now. It works and its real simple to make.
The good thing about this stuff is you can't overdose, and you can take it with your other medications because the ingredients are all natural.
If you want it to have the funky effect of NyQuil, I'm sure you could add a splash of whiskey :) But only if it doesn't mess with your other medications.
*A little thing extra I do is take a Ricola (Org.) lozenge and put it in the batch I'm heating up. So the menthol in the lozenge melts a little into the mixture. You don't have to melt the entire cough drop, think of it as a treat at the bottom of your cup when your finished.
Happy New Year!
It's hard to believe 2012 has come and gone so quickly. Good riddance!
Might as well start 2013 off with something that is nummy-nummy!
One of my favorite treats to make around this time of year is Cinnamon Glazed Almonds. This recipe is very close to the delicious cinnamon glazed almonds that you buy in the mall. You can make them much, much cheaper.
I betcha can't eat just one!
Cinnamon Glazed Almonds
*Don't panic if the glaze mixture hasn't stayed in stiff peaks. It will work just fine!
Also, the crunchies left over from the almonds, you can use as an ice cream topper. Mmmm, nummy-nummy!
May you and yours have a wonderful new year!
Pumpkin Seed Recipe
1 can of 15oz tomato sauce
(some times I add a small can of diced stewed tomatoes to make it chunky)
2 large minced garlic cloves
dash of onion flakes
dash of Oregano
dash of crushed Rosemary
pinch of Basil
a little salt and pepper
Mix all this together and let it simmer.
either buy real pizza dough from your grocer
Buy Fleischmann's Pizza Crust Yeast
(check yeast packet for ingredients needed to make dough)
Put oven at 425 degrees
Follow instructions on Yeast packet
After dough is prepared and spread out on either pizza stone or cookie sheet, let it bake in the oven before you put any toppings on, just until the dough starts to bubble, then pull it out.
Add sauce and toppings
cover in 2 cups mozzarella
Place on center rack in oven, watch for the cheese to brown a little and bubble. (Approx. 15 min)
Mint Chip Ice cream, Krispy Kreme donuts, homemade pizza, pralines, Chinese chicken salad...mmmmm!