Showing posts with label Cleaning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cleaning. Show all posts

Monday, February 17, 2014

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Do you have a laundry detergent you love?  I sure don't (or didn't!).  I admit, I was buying one of the cheapest kinds of laundry detergent there was and never really felt like it did a good job.  I have a one-year old and a two-year old, and a husband that works manual labor most days so our clothes get super dirty!  I found a bottle of Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soap in my cabinet I had forgotten about and decided to make my own laundry detergent!  I am very pleased with the quality of how clean the clothes are!  You should give this a try.  It only took a few minutes to mix up! 

Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 cup Dr. Bronner's pure castile liquid soap (found on amazon) 
1 cup baking soda
2 cups water
1/3 cup salt


Warm the water and mix with salt and baking soda until dissolved.  Pour into a one-gallon container.  Add the Dr. Bronner's soap and fill the remainder of the gallon jar with water.  Use 1/2 cup per load! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy Microwave Cleaning Solution

 Hi everyone!  I am getting VERY honest on the blog today, showing you the nastiness that was my microwave.  Embarrassing isn't it? I'd read on pinterest that you could heat a bowl of water with vinegar in the microwave for 5 minutes, and then wipe the microwave down for an easy cleaning solution. 
I admit-I seriously doubted this would work.  But it did!  I simply pulled a normal cereal bowl out of my cabinet and filled it 3/4 full with regular tap water.  I then poured some white vinegar into the bowl as well (probably around 1/4 cup).  I then placed the bowl in the microwave and heated the water for 5 minutes.  Next I took the bowl out and wiped the inside of the microwave clean.  It took very little scrubbing.  Wonderful!
Now I'm curious-what easy cleaning solution do YOU have to share?  Please comment below! I'm excited to hear what tips I've been missing out on so I can put them to good use!
Happy Kitchen Cleaning,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How To: Easily Clean Stovetop Burner Pans

Jana here with a kitchen cleaning tip that you are going to love!  When I first saw this idea on Pinterest, I was pretty skeptical about it.  It seemed too easy to be true.  But, I decided to give it a try, and I'm so glad I did!  If you're like me, and you use your stovetop for cooking very often, the burner pans start to get really gross, really fast!  I admit that I hadn't cleaned mine in awhile (that will be obvious when you see the "Before" picture!), but that just makes the "After" picture even more amazing!  All you need is some ammonia, and some gallon ziploc bags!  Keep reading to find out more!

Ok, so I am putting these up even though it's kind of embarassing how dirty they are! 

Look how clean these are now!  All you have to do is place each burner pan in a gallon size ziploc bag.  Then, pour a small amount (I used 1/4 cup) in each burner pan.  Tightly seal the bag, and allow it to sit overnight.  The fumes from ammonia are pretty strong, so you might want to place them outside (if it's not too cold), or in a garage or laundry room.  Don't worry that the amount of ammonia doesn't seem like enough to cover the pan.  The fumes are what will be cleaning it!  Allow it to sit overnight, or for at least 8 hours.  Once the time has passed, open the bags, and remove the pans.  Using a cloth cleaning rag or even paper towels, rub the burner pan, and all of the gunk will come right off!  It really is amazing how well this works! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Natural Solution for Cleaning Drains

There are two problems that we have dealt with when thinking about our kitchen or bathroom drains: a clogged drain, or a smelly kitchen garbage disposal.  This solution will work for both issues!  I was very excited to try this, and saw great results!  I saw an article online by Reader's Digest that gave this information. 

All you need are two basic things: Vinegar and Baking Soda!  For our kitchen sink, first I ran hot water into the disposal, and turned the disposal on to clear out anything that could be remaining.  Then, I poured approximately 1/2 cup baking soda into the disposal.  After that, I poured about 1/2 cup vinegar down the drain.  This immediately caused a foaming reaction to happen, which was good!  I let the drain sit, untouched, for 10-15 minutes. I then ran very hot water through the drain again, and turned on the garbage disposal.  Immediately, I could tell that the horrible smell was gone!  Hooray!  This should also work wonders for a clogged drain!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Homemade Baby Wipes

Becca here with a 'recipe' that I've been making for over 6 and a half years now!  My oldest has trouble with fragrances & dry skin, so I first started making these homemade baby wipes out of desperation when she kept getting really bad rashes.  I honestly don't even remember where I first got the idea or saw the recipe, I've lived a lot of life since then, ha!  They're super quick, and definitely less expensive than buying even the generic wipes or using a coupon on the name-brand wipes.  I do still use those for traveling, but actually greatly prefer the way the homemade wipes work; I think they're both softer, and have better wiping power both!  I recently switched to cloth diapers, so I've been using the same 'recipe' on cloth wipes part of the time also.

You will need an airtight container for the wipes.  For the first child and half of the second one's diaper years, I used a canister from a very inexpensive set from Walmart.  It finally wore out after heavy daily use, and I switched to the Lock & Lock container pictured here and used it for the second half of the second child and am currently using it now.  It is the 2.7 quart container from this set.  I believe you can purchase it separately at Walmart for about $6.  But, any airtight container will work, be creative.

Homemade Baby Wipes (Disposable)

Paper Towels (they don't have to be the most expensive brand, but you don't want the cheapest, scratchiest kind either.  Remember, you'll be wiping your baby's bottom with default is regular Bounty)

Gentle Soap (I always use and greatly prefer Dr. Bronner's Almond Organic Liquid Castile Soup but any really mild baby soap would be okay, and less 'chemically' than premade wipes)


Using an electric knife, bread knife, hacksaw, or whatever you prefer (I've used all of the aforementioned :), cut paper towels into half lengthwise, so you end up with 2 shorter rolls.  I do this outside usually, as some brands produce some 'fuzz'.  I usually do a bunch of rolls at once too, just so I have them ready to go.

Add about 2 cups of water to your container, as well as a good squirt of soap.  This is not an exact science, obviously :)  Place the paper towels, cut side down, into the solution.  It will fairly quickly absorb the liquid; then flip it over, replace the lid, and let sit. 

When you're ready to use the wipes, the core cardboard of the paper towels should be soaked through.  If it isn't, add some more water, as the amount varies by brand and roll size of paper towels.  When it is soaked, pulling on the cardboard core will easily remove it, as well as start the first paper towel wipe pulling out of the center.

Keep pulling paper towels out of the center to use as wipes.  For 'wet only' diapers, you can even tear them into half so they last twice as long.

Homemade Baby Wipes (Cloth)

For cloth wipes, I have a combination of fleece & t-shirt knit fabric I cut into 'wipe size' that I use.  And I personally only use them for wet diapers, and still use the disposable wipes mentioned above for dirty diapers.

In a spray bottle, fill it nearly to the fill line with water.  Add a good squirt of gentle soap.  I always use and greatly prefer Dr. Bronner's Almond Organic Liquid Castile Soup but any really mild baby soap would be okay, and less 'chemically' than premade wipes. 

To use, just squirt the wipe (not the baby, just to clarify in case you thought I was crazy, ha!!) with the solution, and wipe.  Put the cloth wipe in with your regular diaper wash.

Enjoy!  Becca

Monday, February 13, 2012

Quick & Practical Valentine's Day (or Anyday!) Gift

Becca here with another crafty idea I'm super excited about.  I love things like this that are quick and easy, and you have a super cute personalized gift when you're done!  I saw this idea online around Christmas to make photographs waterproof to use them in snowglobes, and while refilling my soap dispenser I got the bright idea to make these cute ones for Valentine's Day.  Wouldn't this be a perfect teacher gift?  You could use clip art & words to do a phrase or scripture, there's so much cute stuff available for free online now.  Or you could add photos like I did, fur a cute & practical gift for grandparents, or anyone.  I know my kids would think it was awesome to have their photo in their own soap dispensers, who wouldn't!  The creative possibilities are endless.  Plus, you can save a ton of money (and be "green") refilling your own soap dispenser, and with one this cute they'll be sure to want to!  I'll include the instructions for refilling also below. 

DIY Personalized Foaming Soap Bottle

Soap Dispenser - I would recommend using a foaming soap dispenser, since the opening at the top is significantly wider, so you'll have an easier time adding your photo.  I used Method brand (bought locally at Target for around $3) because their label isn't attached by sticky adhesive you have to scrub off, but just shrink wrapped on, so it's super easy to just cut off; I used magic eraser to wipe off the one small slightly adhesive spot, it took less than 1 minute total to have a 'blank slate' soap bottle :)

Photo, Clipart, or Phrase to put inside of your dispenser - Mine were a 4x6 I cut into half (making them 2x3 each :) and put back to back so that you got a cute photo to view from both sides. 

Laminator - I use this Scotch Thermal Laminator I bought several years ago on sale for under $20; the laminating pouches are readily available, even at my super-small-town tiny Walmart, and I love it; I use it constantly for various homeschooling projects, often to make dry erase pages, and it worked great here too.  You could take the photos to your local educational or office supply shop, where they charge per the foot usually, and it's quite inexpensive.

Cut your soap bottle insert to size.  Note that I used Method brand foaming soap, and my photos cut to 2 inches wide by 3 inches tall fit perfectly. 

Place your photos back to back and laminate.  I did two sets of photos in a 5x7 pouch.  Check to make sure that you have a good seal all around.  I run mine through the laminator twice just to be double sure.

Trim around the photos; again, be sure that you have a little rim around the photos so that you keep them tightly sealed inside.  Unscrew the lid from the foaming soap bottle, gently arc the laminated photo and slide it inside.  Reattach the lid, and admire your handiwork!

*To refill any foaming soap dispenser, simply fill it about 1/3 of the way with your favorite soap (Method, who isn't paying me to say any of this but whose products I do genuinely use & love, sells the soap in a plastic pouch type thing just for refilling :).  Fill the rest of the way with water, up to about 90% full, replace the lid, shake a bit to combine, and you're good to go!  Super easy, and a huge money saver!  I even do this with baby soap for bathing the little ones :)

I hope you enjoy, I'd love to see YOUR creations; leave a comment with a link or email me photos!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DIY Powder Laundry Detergent, and Fabric Softener

I've had a couple of different people lately ask me (Becca) how I make our own laundry detergent, so I thought that would be a good thing to share here today.  I've been making this off and on for about 3 years now.  I first tried the Duggar's Liquid Laundry Soap, and liked the end result fine, although it is fairly labor intensive initially, and a bit cumbersome to store in 5 gallon containers.  I tried this powder version next, and have been making it ever since.  I used it in my top-loading washing machine, and now use it in my HE front-loading machine as well.  I do still buy 'free & clear' detergent when it is under 0.10 a load on sale & with coupons, but always have the ingredients for homemade ready for back-up for when it isn't on a great sale.  I can find all of these ingredients locally on the laundry aisle.  For those of you that live in this area, the Harps store on Gutensohn in Springdale, and Walmart in Kelly Highway in Fort Smith are the two places I have found to carry the necessary items.  The bar of soap is about $1, and the other items are just a few dollars each, making it a very economical choice, especially since you just use a tablespoon or two per load!

Powder Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 bar Zote laundry soap (others use fels naptha, another brand of laundry soap)
2 cups Super Washing Soda (not, NOT baking soda)
2 cups Borax

Finely grate soap on the smallest setting on your cheese grater.  This should yield about 4 cups.
Mix with other ingredients (super washing soda and borax) and stir to combine.  Store in an airtight container.

Although the amount you need will depend upon your water type, washing machine type, and how soiled your clothes are, I used 2 Tablespoons per load (added before the clothes, as the water was running) on my top loading washing machine, and use 1 Tablespoon per load in my HE front loading machine, added with the clothes in the machine.

For fabric softener, I often use none.  For towels and cloth diapers, I add white vinegar into the softener bin of my washing machine.  You can google it and read the science behind how it works, but it basically strips any remaining soap and oil out of these things, making them more absorbant, less smelly, etc.  And no, your items will NOT come out smelling like vinegar :)

On items that are really prone to static, basically synthetics like my husband's work clothes, dress shirts & pants, I use fabric softener diluted about 1 part of softener to 4 parts of water.  This both saves money, and cuts way down on the fragrance that is touching your body, for those that are sensitive to those, while still being really effective.

I hope I've answered all of your questions, but please let me know in the comments below if you have any other questions or remarks; we do monitor and reply to all comments, and I'll do my best to answer your questions.  Enjoy!  Becca