Monday, July 12, 2010

Homemade Cleaners--An Update

As I posted awhile back in some blog posts (click here and here for the posts)I decided to start making homemade laundry detergent and other homemade cleaners. I have been using them for some time now so I thought I'd give you an update.
First of all, I must say the laundry soap has been SUPER easy to make and is working no differnet than expensive store bought brands. I kinda played around with different recipes and came up with one of my own. I've read lots of information about making laundry detergent and many say that you just have to "play" around with it. That it's not an exact science. The first few batches of mine were made according to a recipe I had. It did come out rather watery. (the liquid homemade detergent should thicken up and be kind goopy--that is what I've read online). I used Irish Spring bar soap and I think they may have been the problem. Then I started using Yardley all natural soap. And I added more borax and washing soda to my recipe. That 3rd batch I made seemed to turn out better. (at least it was thicker and had the consistancy of store boughten laundry soap). I don't know if it was my imagination but my clothes seemed "cleaner". Maybe just "fresher"??? Not sure but I liked the result so I'm sticking to the recipe I came up with.

Here is MY recipe:
1 bar of Yardley soap (you can find this at Dollar tree for $1 but if you watch the Walgreens ad they have it occassionally for 69cents). You can also buy this in a variety of scents. I've used the Oatmeal & Almond (this was my fav) & lavender. I don't use the whole bar of soap. I grate 2/3 of the bar. Once grated mix it with 4 cups of water and put it on the stove until the soap is all disolved.

In my 5 gallon bucket I put 3 gallons of water and mix in my soap mixture (from above).

Next stir in 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda.

I keep stiring until it thickens up a bit. Then put the lid on and let it sit over night. The next day it will seem real thick. I just stir it and there you have it. Laundry detergent.

Here's a few things worth mentioning about the detergent:
--the soap will need to be stirred before each use. I have been actually pouring some from the 5 gallon bucket into an old laundry detergent bottle. I just shake before I pour.
--I use one cup of detergent for a large load of laundry. If they are more soiled clothes I add a little more.
--the soap will NOT suds up when added to the water in the wash machine. THAT IS OKAY! it's not suppose to have lots of suds. It's still working, it's just low sudsing soap.
--I've made 5 batches of laundry soap already (each batch fills my old laundry soap bottle about 3 times). I haven't kept track of how many loads i've done. but I have went thru roughly 15 judges of laundry soap for a total cost of about $10!!!! even buying the cheapest brands out there would have cost more than that!

I've also started making homemade detergent for my dish washer. WOW, I'm shocked at how wonderful it works. You do need a rinse agent or else your dishes are kinda dull looking BUT the dishes are at least clean. Seriously, when I use the powdered detergent (I use the store brand) my dishes never seemed to get completely clean and my dishwasher itself seemed dirty. WELL, after using this recipe even my dishwasher looks clean! Here is what I used:

1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda (use BAKING SODA not washing soda)
2 cups Casacade (this is optional but it helps give the dishes a shine)

For a rinse agent you can buy it or use vinegar. I used vinegar and that seems to work well. So for a fraction of the cost I can make it homemade with better results!

I used a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice. So far so good. Works great!

I used vinegar and water. Decided to not use this. The smell was just not that pleasent. I missed the "clean" smell. Especially when cleaning the bathroom. Yes, this worked but decided to buy my own bathroom cleaner.

I use this recipe:
1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water
2 tblspoons vinegar

This works great! I even use my old newspapers when cleaning the windows! No streaks and the windows are clean!

So there you have it. A "homemade cleaner" update! Let me know if you have any questions! :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Seven Years Ago....

Seven years ago yesterday (july 1, 2003) my life changed forever. It was a defining moment. It was a moment that changed who I was. I was no longer Shawna. It was at that moment that I became a Mother for the first time. When I look back now it seems SO long ago. Happy Birthday (yesterday)to my preciou baby boy, Jordan Lee. You have grown up into such a special young man. You are so sweet, smart and adventureous. Even though you are growing up you will always be my baby boy. The one that made me who I am today. A mother. I love you Jordan Lee!

From this:

To this in 7 years: