I don't know about you, but I find myself saying "Let me see whats happening on Pinterest today" and it turns into time finding all those things you wish you had time to do, wish you had the talent to do or things that you'd love to try.
Always looking to cut costs in my household while lessening our carbon footprint, Pinterest has been such a great way to not only find great creative ways to save money and upcycle items, but of course you can always go back to one place to find all of those great DIY projects.
One thing I've wanted to do was to make my own laundry detergent. I came across a pin from the Being Creative blog that was VERY popular so of course...PIN IT!
So for $14.04 I purchased 1 box each of baking soda, washing soda and borax as well as 3 bars of Fels Naptha at my local grocery store and headed home. What is Fels Naptha you ask? It is a heavy duty laundry bar soap that is used as a stain remover and pre-treater. It works wonders on oil based stains and tough every day stains. If you don't need a heavy duty soap like Fels Naptha, you can use your preferred bar soap instead.
My son loved how great the combination of items made our car smell on the way home. Being 7, he is always one to look on and ask questions so I was also able to make this a teaching moment while he asked his questions and made a lot of great 7 year old comments.
The first step in the process is to grate the Fels Naptha with a grater. "That looks like you're making macaroni and cheese, mama," my son exclaimed. I looked down and indeed, it does resemble shredded cheese!
Have no fear, it does dissolve well in the wash cycle but if you don't like the look of the curls mixed in with the other ingredients, you can use a processor or even a blender to grind the curls into a finer powder.
Your next step is to find a large enough container to mix all of your ingredients. I happened to have a 10 gallon bucket on hand, and to make it easier to mix and transfer I lined the bucket with a plastic trash bag that could be reused. My son loved emptying all the powder boxes into the bucket and helped to scrape the curls of Fels Naptha into the bucket and couldn't wait to dive in and help mix it all together. We used our hands to make sure everything was blended well.
Once done, the powder was transferred into a smaller and easier to handle container and I found a spare tablespoon to keep along with the container in our laundry room and used a clear sticker and Sharpie marker to label our container on one side, and to put the "recipe" on the other side.
What is great about this laundry detergent is that you need only 1-2 tablespoons per wash load! It works for top loads, front loads and HE washers. Now I have a laundry detergent for $14.04 (more or less, depending on the cost in your area/store) and in my 1.5 gallon container I can get about 384 loads of laundry done, bringing my total cost per load 4 cents for 1 Tbsp loads and 8 cents for 2 Tablespoon loads!
My husband works in the restaurant industry, so he comes home covered in all kinds of stuff and oh...the smells. The white laundry comes out amazingly white, colors come out bright and there is no chemically over scented smell-your laundry just smells crisp, clean and fresh. If you like a little scent to your detergent, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a little bit of the baking soda, make sure that once dried into the baking soda you break it up so that it can be incorporated into the detergent during the mixing process. The blogger also added 2 containers of an OxyClean powder to her detergent, but if using Fels Naptha you will not need to add the additional product.
What are the benefits of making your own as opposed to buying them in a store?
The benefit of making your own cleaners is more than just financial. For many, it's taking steps away from commercially made, highly toxic products to those that are made with ingredients easily recognized by name. Ingredients we can trust that won't cause any possible side effects and can be easier for those with chemical sensitivities, sensitive skin or allergies.
While many of us will recycle as much of the excess packaging as we can, when making your own cleaning products you will drastically reduce the amount of packaging to be recycled. You can reuse packaging already available in your home.
There's also a great feeling you get when you know that in just a few minutes you are doing something great for your family and for your environment. When you make your first batch of home made cleaner, you will more than likely be hooked as I was.
I'm looking forward to sharing some of my Pinterest "Test Home" homemade items with you and would love to know if there is anything you'd like for me to try and report back my findings! I am already testing out 'The World's Best Soap Scum Remover' and home-made OxyClean and will be sharing those with you in the coming weeks.
For more great Pinterest items, check out our Garden of Life Pinterest site http://pinterest.com/gardenofliferaw/