Category Archives: Products

Homemade Laundry Detergent and Softener

Just what does this girl do with all her new-found time?

She cleans up good, that’s what. And, in the process, participates in a Pinterest Challenge thrown out by Sherry at Young House Love and her cohorts.

Like a kid at Christmas who just got a new chemistry set (okay, okay, so I’m a geek at heart, what can I say?) I have been giddy for the past 48 hours over the prospect of making my own home cleaning supplies out of natural and/or inexpensive ingredients. For the past few months, I’ve been thinking about making this lovely little recipe I found at the Yellow Brick Home blog (I’m an avid reader, so I read it first, pinned it second–that still counts for the challenge, right?):

Looks so pretty and cheerful, doesn’t it? Well, it was calling my name. Kim found it via That’s Church, who in turn found it on Tall Tales. But believe it or not, the ingredient list is no longer than the attribution list.

(For even gentler laundry, use 1 bar of solid castile oil soap, such as Dr. Brommer’s … I’m trying that version next, but I bought the Fels-Naptha first.)

Here’s the step-by-step:

1) Grate the bar soap as finely as possible into a container. Despite the fact that the majority of Fels-Naptha ingredients are plant-derived, it is still an irritant in large quantities, so I wore a rubber kitchen glove for a little extra protection during the process. There was a small stub left at the end which I threw out rather than grating my fingertips down to a pulp.

2) Measure the Borax and Washing Soda into the container. If you like, you may add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to add fragrance.

3) Mix it all up. I used a plastic spoon to break up the large Borax pieces and then put the lid on the Tupperware container and shook it to combine the mixture.

Then I stuck a mini (roughly 1 Tbsp) aluminum scoop in it and tried it out.

The recipe says to use 1 tablespoon for small loads of laundry, 2 for large, and 3 for extra-large. I opted for 1 tablespoon, but I added a couple of extra steps at the end. First, I added 1/2 cup of vinegar into the fabric softener compartment of the washer. I stole this from another pin:

Then, I added a squished and rolled-up ball of cheap aluminum foil into the dryer with my guinea pig towel load, to reduce static cling. Yet another pin!

The result? Oh. My. Goodness. Where has this wonderful detergent and its cheap assistants been all my adult life? Daniel had done a load of towels our old way earlier in the day, so I had the ability to compare the two loads.

I’m sensitive to many fragrances and cleaning agents, so we don’t use fabric softeners or dryer sheets. The first load with our normal detergent had the typical clean, but rough towels. However, the homemade method produced soft, unwrinkled, nearly static-free towels that didn’t bowl me over with a heavy-handed perfume. If my sensitive skin doesn’t react to this soap over the next few weeks, I think I may have found “The One.” Of the soap, variety, of course.

Fingers crossed!

 

Linked up at:

Young House Love

Bower Power

House of Earnest

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Filed under Cleaning, DIY, Home Improvement, Laundry, Products

Let’s Go Shopping: Drawer Organizers

One by one, the drawers in our house are getting cleaned, organized, and used on a regular basis with much more ease than before their transformations. I already have some organizers for our bathroom drawers and our kitchen “junk” drawer, but there are still more drawers to go. In particular, I’d like to organize my sock drawer. Silly, maybe. But true.

So I went shopping to see what was out there. Here’s what I found:

1) Modular Drawer Organizers, $29.95 – $36.95; 2) Linus Shallow Drawer Organizers, $2.99 – $6.99; 3) Madesmart Junk Drawer Organizer, $11.99; 4) Slotted Interlocking Drawer Organizers, $4.99

Ooooh .. #4 would be PERFECT for that sock drawer! Too bad there isn’t The Container Store here in Nashville. Sadness. I’d be in organizational heaven if there were and I could go and visit!

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Filed under Drawers, Products, Shopping

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

So, I organized my under-the-sink area and promised myself I’d not go out and buy any more cleaners after finding all those duplicate kinds of cleaners. What would be the most obvious choice for a follow-up story the next day?

Why, new kitchen cleaners to buy, of course! (I know, right?!)

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Filed under Kitchen, Products, Shopping