Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Homemade Cleaning Supplies

I realized that I don't have a succinct link page set up for homemade cleaning supplies. I started by making my own homemade laundry soap. Who doesn't cringe at the expense of purchasing cleaning supplies when you go to the market? I did. Well, you can save big time by making your own and contrary to what you might think, I really doesn't take long. Plus, if you'd like to be kind to your environment -- these are all earth friendly recipes. Recently I was out with a girlfriend of mine -- the waiter was washing down a table next to me and I nearly gagged on the fumes from the detergent spray! I have gotten used to having natural earth friendly soaps and cleaners in my home. What a difference.

Window Cleaner: Put 1/8 cup white vinegar to 1 cup water into a recycled spray bottle -- shake to mix it up and you're ready to go! Frankly, I don't measure the vinegar -- I just glug a bit into a spray bottle, fill the rest with water and call it a day -- it works very well and doesn't fume me to death. (Ok, I'm being a wee bit dramatic -- but try using the vinegar spray for a month then go back to Windex and you'll see what I mean.)

Homemade Furniture Polish: 2 t Olive oil, 1/4 C white distilled vinegar, 20 drops pure essential lemon oil, and water. Put olive oil, vinegar and essential lemon oil into a recycled spray bottle 22 ounces or so. Then, fill up to the top with water. Voila! Your done. Shake, spray and polish.
(Thanks Tanya for the above info)

Simple Powdered Laundry Soap:
As a footnote when you grate the soap, grate it small. I understand that you can use Dr. Bronner's bar soap. This soap is fine for front loading washing machines.
Link it at Raingarden
Link it at Plain Old Kristi here

Liquid Laundry Soap:
This is the soap I'm using at the moment. It's working very well with my front loading washing machine and it's very inexpensive.
Link it at Plain Old Kristi

Dishwasher Soap: I'm using this now and let me tell you it's maybe 10 minutes to make (including getting out the boxes of ingredients) it's very inexpensive (again) and works well. I can't be quite as aggressive (I don't wash my dishes before putting them into the dishwasher -- don't get me started! Just go ahead and wash them ... ) in loading my dishwasher, but for the price and the environment (most regular dishwashing detergents still have phosphates in them) it's worth it. Link it at Plain Old Kristi here

To clean my house from floors to bathrooms I use Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds. I've been using the first container of it that I purchased for six months or so and I've hardly made a dent in it. You use only 1 t per gallon of water. I also made a spray out of it for the shower and bathtubs. About two teaspoons in a spray bottle and fill the rest with water -- that's it. Very inexpensive.

Now, to more newsy things ...

My friend Michelle came over today to teach me how to make egg rolls which she'd learn how to make from her Filipino Sister-in-Law. I in-turn taught her how to make my pie crust -- which she'd been struggling with. (I think I need to make a video b/c she's not the only one. Once you get the hang of it though, it's easy, yummy and better for you than butter.) What a fun day we had -- cooking away while our children (who happen to be almost exactly matched in age and adore each other ... wonderful!) played both inside and outside on this beautiful fall Veterans Day. For dinner, to go with the egg rolls (which were made with the local Rehoboth hamburger that I purchased last month) I will be making fried rice with the broccoli and bok choy that I just picked in my little garden. Yumola!

AND ... Our new wood stove insert was installed today. Wood stoves today have to pass new emissions standards, so a wood stove is actually far more efficient and environmentally friendly than using your fireplace. I'd had it last year when our oil bill went close to $600 in one month with the thermostat set at 66 degrees! As we speak, it's 71 degrees inside the house and in the 30's outside. Yipee. I turned down my thermostat to 60 degrees!

Ok, time to get busy. Enjoy the pictures!


a. borealis said...

I've been meaning to post on Sal Suds for awhile now. I had been looking for a good natural soap for awhile (used Dr. Bronner's hand soaps) but never went all-out on the Sal Suds. I have no idea why. One of your posts tipped me over the edge, I bought some, and I L-O-V-E IT. I've been using it to clean EVERYTHING. It is fabulous! I will do an exuberant post on it sometime in the near-distant future and give you your proper props. Oh yes.

It's the best.

Kristi said...

Sandy, I want to know more about the woodstove insert!! I was wondering if it would be worth it to get one living this far south. My metal fire box is messed up and I love heating my house with wood.

Sandy said...

Amen to the Sal Suds!

Kristi - RE: the woodstove. Well, first let me tell you that it's been in the 30's all night long. Stoked the fire before bed. Downstairs this a.m. it was still hangin' in there at 70 degrees and upstairs with my door cracked 12" it was 66 degrees. Wow. My furnace never kicked on. I am excited to say the least! All said it probably costs a total of $2500 from store to chimney sweep to install. For us, the wood is free. We live in the woods and could probably live off them indefinately b/c it's so big and of course new baby trees are naturally growing all the time. Plus a woodstove uses far less wood -- way more effecient. It doesn't seem like you have a lot of woods there. It probably would be best for you to get a pellet stove insert. Hard to come by at this point, but if you don't have free wood -- it's better from what I understand. The install guy who doesn't sell stoves, but works with them told my friend Michelle yesterday that for a pellet stove get a Harman (www.harmanstoves.com)Since you may not be as up on cold weather issues down there I'll tell you that people w/ pellet stoves buy a big ole pallet of pellets before it gets cold, at a discount. We got an Archgard 1800 insert. The install guy said that he installs a lot of stoves and Archgard is a good stove. Vermont Castings is another one he was excited about. The only thing is ... a stove just might blast you out of your house it's so hot! Your heat wouldn't come on -- that's for sure! Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions. -Sandy

Kristi said...

Yes, that helps a lot. With our frequent tropical storms and hurricanes, we and others have downed trees and most are happy for us to take whatever we want. So far we haven't had to buy firewood, and I like the idea of all the downed wood being used instead of going to the land fill.

Anonymous said...

A low cost, green eco friendly, healthy natural way to clean many things is to make a homemade liquid from soapberry which grows on the Chinaberry tree and has been used for thousands of years. It works very effectively.