DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent

Over the past several years, I’ve made a number of my own household products. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making my own laundry detergent, but other things kept pushing it to the back burner.

3 Ingredient Homemade Laundry Detergent 005

I already had all of the ingredients that I needed so I set about mixing it up this past weekend. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how quickly it came together.

For some reason, I had invisioned it being overwhelminly daunting and time-consuming.

It was not.

I thought that it may be comparable to the boiling and making of lye soap, a hot and tedious task over an open prarie fire, the fringe of my shawl blowing in the breeze.

It was totally not.

I was indeed making soap, a detergent for our clothes, but there was no heat involved and no hours of wearisome stirring.

It was incredibly easy.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Whole Foods Market had Dr. Bronner’s soap bars on sale over the holidays and I chose several of my favorite scents from their selections in prepartion for this diy. The fact that Christmas was over a month ago shows you that I was not in a huge hurry to complete this job. You gotta give me credit for buying things on sale though, right? And working things into our budget?

I loved this recipe and the fact that it used baking soda. Why not try it since I had the baking soda on hand instead of the typical washing soda? The Borax and the Dr. Bronner’s soap already have sufficient washing powers, so I also opted to use regular baking soda to help deodorize our laundry even more.  However, if you’d prefer you can certainly use the washing soda instead. Tweak the recipes to meet your needs and those of your family.

Dr Bronners Homemade Laundry Detergent

Speaking of tweaking, I used Dr. Bronner’s soaps (obviously) instead of the plain castile bars of soaps and drops of essential oils like the original recipe stated. Dr. Bronner’s soaps are pure castile soap bars made with organic oils and scents. It just made sense to use them this time around. If I find that I can purchase regular castile soap bars for a better price in bulk and then just use my Young Living essential oils to scent the detergent, I will. Safe and frugal is my mission.

Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

Switching the soap bars made this recipe even easier—only three ingredients! Simple.

All Natural Homemade Laundry Detergent

As you can see in the picture, I only made a small batch (one fourth of the original recipe) to test it out this weekend. After doing a number of loads, I have no complaints. I will update you again later with any pros or cons that may find with this particular recipe.

I’m enjoying the lavendar scent right now, but this rose scented bar smells good too.

DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent

Here’s my “tweaked” recipe for a small batch.

DIY 3 Ingredient Homemade Laundry Detergent
Author: 
Recipe type: laundry detergent
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Want to create a simple, safe and inexpensive laundry detergent for your home? Here is an easy 3 ingredient recipe that you can't go wrong with trying. Simple ingredients for washing power, old-fashioned baking soda for deodorizing and organic oils for lovely scents. You will love it.
Ingredients
  • ¼ of the Borax box ( I just eye-balled it)
  • 2 boxes of baking soda
  • 1 bar of Dr. Bronner's soap (whatever scent that you'd prefer)
Instructions
  1. Grate your bar of soap into a bowl.
  2. Add the Borax and baking soda.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Use 2 Tbsp. per load.

 

Depending on whether you have to adjust the amount of detergent  based on your machine or load size, this recipe should yield you roughly 72 loads.

For those that may be interested in the cost breakdown here it is:

  • Borax- ($3.99) only using 1/4 of the box and 5% off with my Red card—-$0.94
  • Baking soda- ($1.24 -2 lb box is cheaper) and 5% off with my Red card—-$1.18
  • Dr. Bronner’s soaps (on sale at Whole Foods)—-$3.50

Total: $5.62 which comes out to only SEVEN cents per load (for 72 loads)! Wow.

I actually only paid $4.62 because I used the $1.00/1 Borax coupon that was on coupons.com last month. (Those that follow me on facebook may remember when I shared it.)

That coupon made this trial batch only SIX cents per load! Saving money makes me happy.

Simple Homemade Laundry Detergent

I picked up a large glass jar to keep my detergent in. The glass allows me to see when I need to whip up another batch and as a bonus, it’s attractive storage on my laundry room shelf. I need to find a cute measuring spoon at a thrift store and I’ll be all set.

I am thrilled to finally mark homemade laundry detergent off of my to-do list. It was so easy. You should try it.

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Do you DIY any of your household cleaners? Have a favorite that you have just loved and has saved you a ton of money? Share. I’d love to hear. I’m always looking for new inspiration.

Thanks for reading.

 

How to Clean Blinds (the easy way)

How to Clean Blinds

Have you ever stood at your windows attempting to clean the dust and grime off each blind slat?

Allow me to enlighten you with some information that you may find interesting.

It has been confirmed that the window companies have made an egregious mistake while printing their boxes. To the human eye, one may agree with the label on the box, that the most common size window blind does indeed only hold 34 two-inch slats. However, once you begin the painstaking process of dusting or scrubbing the entire surface of each and every strip of wood or plastic, you will come to the same startling conclusion that I have, the label and the human eye are both deceiving.

Window blinds hold 867 slats. No more, no less. I am sure of it.

Gah! The longer I stand there scrubbing, the more they seemingly multiply. I always vow to myself that I will never allow them to get this filthy again. They will be scrubbed on a regular basis.

Like that’s going to happen.

I will invest in one of those swiffer duster thingys and therefore, dust will never accumulate.

Again—utter fail. Do they not live up to their claim? Perhaps. Or is it me? Probably.

A weekly swipe with a wet rag?

Sure, this may hold the dirt back to a degree, but eventually it still builds up. Also I fall off that weekly bandwagon commitment after…<ahem> a week. Who am I kidding?!

And so I find myself grumbling in front of the window blinds again.

Then a number of years ago, I thought of a remarkable technique for solving this dilemma.

Bathe your blinds, woman.

So I did.

washing your blinds

To be honest, I actually let them just soak and the sudsy water does most of my scrubbing for me.

Clean those blinds in 6 (or maybe 5) easy steps.

1. Simply grab them from the window and drop in the tub.

2. Fill with just enough water to cover the blinds and add a bit of mild soap (I just used my Seventh Generation dish soap.). Swish gently with your hand and if you are like me (small kids underfoot), lock the door behind you as you leave the bathroom. Safety first.

3. If your blinds are made of wood or some sort of material that extensive soaking may cause damage, then remove after a couple minutes. (And sadly skip step #4 and move directly to step #5.)

an easy way to clean blinds

4. Bathe your children, do laundry, wash dishes, eat lunch or take a nap. Let the bath water do its thing. (This technique sounding pretty good right about now, huh?)

5. Wipe them down with a rag (for good measure), rinse and let drip dry over the shower rod or even your porch banister. Perhaps if the day is sunny (and you don’t have dogs or kiddos running around) you could lay them out to dry quckly in the warm rays.

6. Hang and enjoy their clean state as you peer through at your neighbors or simply open them to enjoy the daylight without the usual dust bunnies.

the quick and easy way to clean blinds

If you already use this process to clean your blinds, then rejoice with me that housework can be simplified and if not, then give it a try. You will become a bathing blinds convert.

And when you have a great tip like this one, by all means don’t keep it to yourself. Tell another weary homemaker how to to stop muttering by the the window…

“Bathe your blinds.”

How to Clean Blinds

How do you clean your blinds? Scrub them one by one? Bathe them? Gave up and switched to sheers? Share your window tips…and any other homemaking tips that save time. Let’s help each other.

XO,

10 Easy Meals Your Daughter Can Cook

My kids are growing up. It’s such a bittersweet realization. Bunny and Fuzz have really shot up and changed their looks in recent years.

I sometimes struggle with an awkward mix of pride and tears when I look at them, a feeling of maternal pride and thankfulness for the sweet young ladies that I see developing and at the same time, a welling up of a mother’s tears that her babies—her first ones—are no more.

I’m definitely getting the hang of smiling and crying simultaneously. It can be done.

Hubs and I are wanting to do our utmost to raise mature and responsible young people. Young adults who are hard workers, honest, intelligent, prepared, and above all else, love God with all of their heart.

All of these are vital, but did you happen to see that one little word up there? The “p” word? Yes, prepared.

We are working on preparing them with not only the skills that are necessary to succeed in life, but also with the tasks that are fundamental to life itself. The bare bones of living.

In the instance of today’s post, it’s called eating.

Both of our older girls are now getting quite the list of things that they can make on their own. They love cooking and baking in the kitchen, and I have enjoyed working with them as they mastered each culinary skill (cracking eggs isn’t as easy as it may look). Many, sweet memories have been made at our kitchen counter and it certainly makes this mama heart smile as they dish up their “own” creations at dinner time. And to be bluntly honest, I’m also enjoying the occasional evening off.

10 Easy Meals Your Daughter Can Cook

Here’s a list of meals that your daughters (and sons!) should be able to cook. This list is made up of meals that are free of knives and boiling water. Sure, my girls are learning these skills and are certainly capable of making some of them, such as spaghetti. However, the following meals are ones that I don’t need to worry about being on hand constantly and am free to come and go from the kitchen during the process. The girls can make these meals completely on their own from start to finish.

Note: These are simply an assortment of simple meal ideas that would be great for little beginners in your kitchen. I have included the basic steps for each meal to demonstrate the simplicity of the meals, please keep in mind that this is not a list of recipes. I may eventually do a post on each of these meals some day. For now, this is a post to help inspire you as a parent to begin preparing your older children for the road ahead. I hope that it will inspire you to either create your own list of simple favorite meals to pass to the next generation or even to build off  of my own. Enjoy.

 

1. Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

Cracking eggs. From the time that they were just little tots standing on a kitchen chair by my side, my kids have always been fascinated by the cracking of eggs. Well, they have since found out that it is not as easy as it looks. Once this skill is mastered, scrambled eggs is a breeze. Fuzz, my eight year old, can make them just as good as I can. We bake our bacon on parchment paper in the oven. (and it typically doesn’t require flipping over.) If you wish, you could have them call for you to remove the bacon from the oven for them. (if you are worried about grease) The bacon takes longer than the eggs, so this is a perfect dinner to begin teaching them about timing your dishes so that the entire meal is hot and finished at the same time.

2. Pancakes

Pancakes require very few ingredients and are easy to make in a pinch. All of my kids love them, so we have them for dinner occasionally (we try to make enough for leftovers for breakfast the next morning too). Flipping the pancakes can be challenging at first, but they will get the hang of it quickly.

3. Baked Potatoes

These are so easy and filling. Simply scrub, pierce with a fork, rub with some sea salt, wrap in foil and bake. Even though I may sometimes remove the potatoes with a potholder, an oven mitt is easier—especially for them. This is great meal to have them prepare with any leftover bacon from breakfast or or to even top with crockpot chili. Or if you’d prefer, steamed broccoli is delicious as a side to complete this as a meatless meal.

 

4. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

A little butter and organic cheese taste wonderful on toasted whole wheat bread. The hardest part, like the pancakes, will be the flipping of the sandwich for them, but as my girls have learned, practice does help. As far as the tomato soup goes, simply dump in pot and heat only until warm. (No danger with handling boiling liquids here.)

5. Crockpot Chili

Chili in the crockpot is a no brainer and such an easy meal for beginners. We use ground venison in the place of ground beef for our recipes. These are frozen into one pound packs which makes it easy for my girls to know how much meat they need. They simply drop the meat into the crockpot to brown for an hour or two and then mash the cooked ground meat to break and crumble it up. Then it’s just a matter of adding the remaining chili ingredients, stirring and letting the crockpot do it’s magic.

teaching young girls to cook

6. Meatloaf

Have them set out the meat to fully thaw (or if you are in a pinch, the microwave does work…we refrain from using it if we can). Combine all ingredients for your favorite meatloaf recipe and have them mix well. If you don’t mind, have them wash and rinse their hands thoroughly and mix the meatloaf mixture with their hands before shaping into a loaf or miniloaves. (Obviously teach them to wash their hands thoroughly AFTER this technique as well BEFORE touching anything). Bake as instructed.

7. Tacos

Simply brown ground beef in pan (venison doesn’t need draining as it is very lean…so no grease worries) and 1/8 cup of our homemade taco seasoning with some water. Turn heat to low while they bake the shells for a few minutes in the oven and set out desired toppings. Tomatoes can be avoided if you have a “no knife” rule for right now and lettuce can be washed and torn or both veggies can be left off of the menu. Simple, easy and safe is the motto for new cooks.

8. Pepperoni Rolls

This is not the healthiest meal on the planet, but it does taste great. Set out a one pound loaf of frozen bread dough. As your dough is thawing, the butter and seasoning mixture can be prepared. Roll out the dough and brush with butter. Spread with pepperoni slices and sprinkle with cheese. Roll as a jelly roll. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Brush top with a bit more butter and bake. This is so quick and easy (and it freezes beautifully).

9. Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Chicken

Wow. This is certainly a family favorite. Wrap chicken with bacon and bake. When both the bacon and chicken are nearly done (show them how to check to see if meat is done), top with BBQ sauce and even a bit of shredded cheese if you’d like. Bake just a few minutes more.

This is my all time favorite BBQ recipe.

10. Beans and Cornbread

Does this ever bring back memories of my childhood! We would occasionally feast on beans and cornbread doused with a generous squirt of ketchup. Believe it or not, I actually looked forward to my slice of sweet cornbread with a heaping spoon of pinto beans poured over it. While my mom typically prepped from dried beans, warming up canned lentils of your choice may be easier or perhaps grabbing a bag of precooked beans from the freezer would be a can free (and boil free) option for your young cooks. Quickly mix up a ban of cornbread and bake at the same time that the beans are heating and you are all set. This is another meatless, yet nutritious option to incorporate into your menu rotation.

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There you have it. A simple list of 10 easy meals your daughter can cook.

And if all else fails and Mom needs a helping hand or is sick, PB & J sandwiches or cold cereal works well in a pinch. Both of these quick meals tend to be HUGE hits around our house, at least where the kids are concerned.

10 Easy Meals Your Daughter Can Cook

Raising older children? Are you doing anything to help prepare them for the future? It’s not always something that we like to think about. Young adulthood comes before we know it.

 

Blessings,

My Word for 2015

I don’t know if choosing a word for the new year is still something that people do or not, but I enjoy having one word to be my heart’s focus or goal. Perhaps that trend is past. I don’t know….I’m still doing it though.

But then again, I don’t always go with the flow.

Over the past few days, I’ve had one word that I’ve been mulling over in my mind. I really like it.

You want to know what it is?

One Word 2015Sometimes I catch myself merely attempting to get through difficult or busy seasons of my life and I hate feeling that way. I want to enjoy each and every day, not just endure them.

The older I get, the more I am aware of how rapidly the years slip away. I will be 34 years old in a few months and that realization alone completely blows my mind. Aging hasn’t bothered me, not really. However, if the days are passing by in such a blur that I am unable to delight in or enjoy something in each and every one, well, then that would be a true loss.

For this new year, I want to sit back and purposefully savor the moments of my days. Baking with my girls, bathing my sweet little ones, receiving slobbery little boy smooches, continuing to honeymoon with my sweetheart, hearing Bible memory verses recited, seeing school programs and yes, even wading through hours of homework around our little kitchen table each week.

For 2015, I hope to…

  • take more photos
  • set aside my household duties more often (they’ll keep) and have fun with my family
  • “unplug”  more and participate in the memories that are happening around me
  • try to enjoy the days in such a way that gets me moving more (read: more active…as in exercise)

As we are still beginning this new year, I am determined to enjoy every precious moment. I want to live life to its fullest. I want to face every day- no matter what it may hold -with great relish.

In other words, I want to delight in 2015.

And I can’t wait. Seriously.

How about you? Any thoughts, personal attitudes or goals for the new year? Set any resolutions? Share. I’d love to hear.