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Blissful and Domestic is now on Youtube!

Green Cleaning

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Most store-bought cleaners are full of toxic chemicals.  After all, why would most of them have so many warning labels about not breathing in the fumes?  That can’t be good. That being said, we have become a Green Home. From the bathroom, to the kitchen, to the laundry room, we are going homemade with our cleaners. Here you will find all the recipes my family uses to create a clean, happy home and a few tips and tricks as well.

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Before you start mixing up some Green Cleaners, you will need a few basics. All of these can be found in your local grocery store, maybe even your pantry.

Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Salt, Baking Soda, *Essential Oils,
empty spray bottles, and some *rags. These items will make up your green cleaning supply list. Keep these items in stock and you will always be able to whip up cleaners whenever you need them.

*You can buy rags, but I like to make my own. I cut up old clothes and use them as rags. You can just drop them into the washer when your cleaning is done. You can reuse them over and over again too. Say no to paper towels. You will not only save money, but save some trees as well.

*Essential Oils are optional in most recipes below, but they sure do make stuff smell good. My favorite is lemon grass. I purchased mine from Hobby Lobby for under $5 a bottle.

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All-Purpose Cleaner
1 cup white distilled vinegar
3 cups water
10 drops of essential oil
(I used lemon grass)

I make this cleaner in a 32 oz. spray bottle. Fill your bottle with 1 cup of vinegar. Next add your three cups of water and essential oil. Put the nozzle on your bottle and shake to mix contents together. Label bottle.

I use this cleaner for my kitchen counters, stove top, bathroom counters, kitchen table, and mirrors. It really is an all-purpose cleaner. It cleans everything and cost very little to make!



 Orange Citrus Cleaner
1-2 quart size mason jars
a spray bottle
white vinegar
orange, grapefruit, or lemon peels

Fill your quart jars about half full of citrus peels. Feel free to pack them in there if you need to. Fill the jars the rest of the way up with white vinegar. Cover tightly with a lid, give it a good shake, and then write the date on the top so you don’t forget!

Allow the peels and vinegar to steep for about 2 weeks. (The longer it sits, the more potent it will get!) After time has elapsed, place mixture in a blender. Blend until peels are completely combined with vinegar. Your mixture will basically look lik orange juice now. Strain your orange mixture thrugh a cheesecloth, to remove any lingering bigger bits of orange peel pulp. Throw out the pulp and place your orange mixture back into mason jars for storage. Label your jars. When using your citrus cleaner dilute 1:1 with water (one part citrus vinegar to one part water) and place in a spray bottle.Use as an all-purpose cleaner for toilets, counters, etc.

Bathtub and Sink Scrub
In a bowl, make a paste with baking soda, a squirt of dish soap, and a squeeze of lemon, to the consistency of frosting. Dip cloth or sponge into paste and scrub.For really stubborn grime, allow to sit 10-15 minutes before rinsing.

Floor Cleaner
1/4 Cup dish soap
1/2 Cup white vinegar or lemon juice
2 gallons warm water
Combine in sink or large bucket, and use with mop.
You can use this on any floor, unless the manufacturer has specified to avoid all detergents.
 
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
When cleaning the toilets I first flush the toilet. This allows the bowl to become wet. I then sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda into the bowl. I scrub and then allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes. I usually clean the rest of the bathroom while this sits. After time has lapsed, flush and enjoy your clean toilet.

Drain/Pipe Cleaner #1
 When the drains in our sinks and  bathtubs need a bit of cleaning we sprinkle about 1/4 cup of baking soda into the drain. We then follow that by pouring in 1/4 cup of white vinegar. As the baking soda and vinegar react, they will clean your drain as well!


Drain Cleaner #2
You can also get your slow-moving drain flowing again by pouring a solution of ½ cup of salt for every quart of hot water down the pipe.

Air Freshener
We put a few drops of essential oil (I love lemon grass the best) into a small pot of water. Allow it to boil on the stove and you get an air freshener. It works great!

Dishwasher Detergent
1 cup Super Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup citric acid
Mix together and store tightly in a covered mason jar. Use one tablespoon per load. Add vinegar to the rinse dispenser for the best results.

Dish Soap
1/4 cup soap shavings (we use Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap )
2 cups water
1-2 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice

Pour water and soap into a saucepan. Slowly heat it over medium heat. Stir the mixture and keep heating until all the soap has melted into the water, do not boil. Allow the soap mixture to cool a bit, then stir in the vinegar. Keep it sitting in the pot until cooled. Then pour it into an old soap bottle or a mason jar.

Laundry Detergent
4lb box of Baking Soda
4lb Box of Borax
4lb Box of Super Washing Soda

 Using a cheese grater, grate the soap. Using a 13gal trash can lined with a strong trash bag mix all the ingredients together. I mix a little bit of each ingredient one at a time and repeat. That way you have 4 layers of the  combined ingredients. The trashbag makes it easy to mix and  pour into a container if you just nip the tip of one of the sides of the bag with scissors the powder with easily pour out.

This recipe works for HE washers as well. 
I use about 1/3 cup of soap per load.

* We also save money by using a clothesline.
It has saved us tons when it comes to our electric bill.

Homemade Febreeze


181 comments:

  1. Do you know of any green cleaning ideas for dish washing?

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    Replies
    1. I just added a dishwasher detergent recipe and I added the soap that my family uses when hand washing our dishes. It works for a hand soap as well :>

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    2. I found a recipe for all purpose cleaneron line. 2 cups of water, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup of hudrogen peroxide and 10 drops of tea tree oil. tea tree oil mis a disinfectant. Works on everything

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    3. I wanted to know where do I get citric acid. Can you post a pic of that as well? I was able to find Washing Soda and Super Washing Soda both at Walmart. I think let me check what I bought lol.....

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    4. Lemi Shine is citric acid available in the cleaning isle of the grocery store. It has a green lid.

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    5. I got the citric acid through Amazon.com

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. Hi Kyra, I am just finding this blog, but I wanted to answer your question about the citric acid. You can find it at beer making stores, and soap/candle distributors online. One seller (Wholesale Supplies Plus) has a 5lb bag for 10.85$ shipping included.

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    8. Hi Kyra, You can find Citric Acid at most Soap and Candle Suppliers or a beer making facility (I think it may be cheaper there). I found 5lbs for $10.85 shipping included @ Wholesale Supplies Plus.

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    9. For citric acid, you can also used unsweetened lemonade kool-aid, but make sure it's the regular, yellow lemonade. I also add about 1/2 tsp of Dawn to my DW detergent when I put it in the washer - helps with residue.

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    10. Hi, I've made the dish soap and it turned out jelly like and does not produce bubbles...is that what everyone experiences?

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    11. Hi, I made up a batch of the dish soap and find it jelly like and it doesn't make bubbles once added. Just wondering if everyone has the same experience?

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    12. Help, I must be doing something wrong. I followed how to make Dishwashing Detergent, but it leaves a sanding film all over my dishes. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong?

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    13. Help, I must be doing something wrong with the Dishwasher Detergent, I have tried using it 3 times and each time my dishes come out with a sandy film on them. Could you tell me what I am missing?





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  2. What are Washing Soda and Super Washing Soda? Where are they typically located in a store? Thank you for the great tips!

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    1. Washing soda can be found in the laundry aisle at the super market. The difference is just the its makeup.

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    2. I also added links above so you know what it looks like and such.

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    3. A lot of areas don't carry washing soda. I found mine online 3.00 for 1 OR 3.00 if you order 2.

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    4. I was never able to find washing soda either. Then I was told that it was the same as soda ash for increasing PH in a pool. If you go to Lowes or Home Depot you can get it there. Both Washing soda and Soda Ash contain the same ingredient Sodium Carbonate. This is what I use, and it works fine.

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    5. You can make your own washing soda by baking your baking soda. Pour the required amount onto baking trays. I usually do 4 cups total, divided into two baking pans. Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour. Stir it gently once in a while. Once it's all turned to a dull white (as opposed to the shiny white that it started as), it's washing soda!

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    6. I find washing soad at walmart and safeway in the laundry section

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    7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. You can use old rags instead of buying bulk wet swifter wipes. Just put them on the same and mist the floors with your spray bottle of vinegar water. Also if you use hand soap you can save money buy mixing 1 part liqid soap with water and recycling an old foaming hand soap dispenser. You have a great site here, I can't seem to stop reading even though I should be in bed. Thanks for taking your time to post these ideas for us.

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    1. Thanks Trisha:> You are too sweet and thanks for the wonderful tips:> We do that to our soap dispensers too:>

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    2. we do that too, but we mix 2T bulk handsoap ($3.58 at Walmart for a LARGE bottle)and then fill the rest up to the line with water. :)

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    3. many thanks Trisha, I tried that and it works. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. For a good all purpose spray, I make up a batch of Miracle Spray. It's a recipe found on another website called Cheapskates, and I swear by it. You can substitute the eucalyptus for tea tree or another disinfectant essential oil.

    Ingredients:
    1.5 L water (1 C boiled)
    300ml vinegar
    60ml dishwashing liquid
    25ml eucalyptus oil
    3 dessertspoons of washing soda

    Method
    Mix washing soda with 1C boiling water to melt, add the remainder of ingredients, and pour into a 2 litre bottle (or decant into the old spray bottles).

    I've used this on collars of my shirts before popping them into the washing machine, benches, stoves, microwaves, floors etc.

    And because it has the essential oil in it, it acts as a room freshener too! Just be careful of using vinegar on things like marble or anything else where it could eat through.

    http://www.cheapskates.com.au/docs/how_to_make_miracle_spray.pdf

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  6. Hello,
    I am an American living in The Netherlands. I have no idea what Washing Soda and Super Washing Soda is. I saw your reply to another poster but it gives me no idea what it is called. I need the actual name of it so I can translate it and find it here.
    Thanks if anyone can help.

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    1. It is literally called washing soda. You can find it on amazon, since you live out of country. I added a link above in the recipes. I hope this helps.

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    2. Hello,
      Just an FYI for those who may not know, you can also make your own "Washing Soda " out of regular baking soda. I saw this awhile ago and have been making it ever since. Heat your oven to 400* and bake 3/4 cup to 1 cup for 1 hour. And you have washing soda!! Love your blog! God bless:)

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    3. Mistake made above Bake the soda for 30 minutes..SORRY for the confusion.

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    4. Technically baking soda is called Bicarbonate of Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate. Washing soda is Sodium Carbonate (yes it is different). It is made by baking Sodium BIcarbonate in an oven for an hour at 200 F.

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  7. I have yet to try homemade cleansers because I wondered if they killed the germs from raw meats, etc. I assume they do but just wanted to check.

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    Replies
    1. vinegar is perfect for killing germs:> You can absolutely use it after handling raw meats on your counter. It will clean it all right up.

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    2. Back when I was in college, we did a project experiment in Microbiology involving many different types of cleaners and vinegar was very effective at killing many microorganisms. 409 not so much-FYI.

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    3. I love the citrus cleaner. I have white countertops and it gets them sparkling clean. However, after about a week, the purchased spray bottle stops up. The last batch I even tried filtering the formula through a coffee filter and it still stopped up the spray bottle. Any suggestions?

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    4. I love the citrus cleaner. I have white counter tops and the are sparkling clean. However, after several uses the spray bottle stops up. I even filtered the formula through coffee filters the last time and the bottle still stopped up. Any suggestions?

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  8. Homemade cleansers kill bacteria just like store bought cleansers, right? For example, cleaning after I've handled raw meat?

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    Replies
    1. Humans survived until the late 1700's without all the chemicals in the home. If you are worried, put down a layer of wax paper to put meat on, or use a platter. Never understood why people would put meat directly on the counter. Just seems yucky to me.

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  9. I love all these recipes! I also use vinegar and baking soda for almost all cleaning purposes. It's so much cheaper and I don't have to have cupboards cluttered with all the toxic stuff! My favorite is just to use some vinegar and water for my floors. It makes them so clean and shiny! I don't like to add dish soap to this though, because I find that it leaves a film on my floor.

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  10. I'm used to vinegar having a strong smell, does mixing it with the other products help decrease the odor? Also does the vinegar have to organic or anything like that?

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    Replies
    1. once it dries it leaves no smell

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    2. Before using the vinegar, let it soak with lemon or orange peel.

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  11. I make up many of these "green" recipes for cleaning products too -- they are terrific! One thing I;d like to add is that hydrogen peroxide now comes in a spray bottle at Walmart, and I use this on the UNDERSIDE of faucets and shower heads to remove mineral buildup and scum. Also peroxide, or rubbing alcohol will also make chrome kitchen and bath fixtures shiny and disinfected.

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  12. Hi Danielle, great blog.
    
I want to comment on a couple of things. First, hydrogen peroxide kills salmonella, I use to use bleach until I discovered this. Also, I use a mix of about 90% vinegar and 10% alcohol to clean most things, it dries fast because of the alcohol. It's amazing how well it cleans, no rinsing required. If I need some grease cutting action then I'll add a touch of ammonia to the mix, again no rinsing required.

    

About the essential oils, it's important to know that they all are toxic to cats and I believe dogs as well. The damage is slow to show itself, but over time it causes damage to internal organs, esp. the liver. Depending on exposure, they can cause a painful death. It's the phenols in the oils that are the problem, both my veterinarian and I researched this, and there is not one essential oil that is safe for cats (I use to blend them for soap making). I know that there are websites saying the opposite (and sell the oils). The cause and effect may not be obvious in the way that being hit by a car would be, for example, but animals do die. The problem is that the scent we smell is the molecule of the essential oil, it's being inhaled, and the animal can't process it the way humans can.

    Read about you on HuffPost, you’re pretty inspiring. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the note on essential oils. I have cats and did not realize inhaling them from the air freshener could be bad!

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    2. I do know that melaluca (tea tree) oil is hazardous to animals. I would recommend Lemon instead of Lemongrass for cleaning. Lemongrass is used medicinally for detoxifying, thyroid, and kidney problems on humans so I would bet it's not good for pets. Lemon essential oil should come from the rind of the fruit not the pulp. doTerra citrus oils all come from the rind. Not sure on any other brand. Hope this helps.

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    3. We have grown to love the fresh smell of vinegar and citrus in our natural cleaners. As for tea tree oil, its leaves are used to make tea and is quite safe to humans.

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  13. Oh, I wanted to ask if you've done any crock pot bread? It's easy to do and good.

    I tried to sign my name w/my wordpress acct but the thing wouldn't recognize me. :P

    Libby

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    Replies
    1. libby.....omg. love my crock pot, and who doesn't love bread. could you email the instructions/recipe at susanclark52@cs.com

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    2. Would love to know how to make crock pot bread. Could you please share with us?

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    3. Hi, just looking at this blog and came across your crock pot bread post! Have you shared this elsewhere? If so may I please have the link? If not, would you send me the recipe to: missuslindy@gmail.com. Thanks you for sharing!

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    4. Hi, has anyone got the recipe for the break in crock pot? If so could you please share...thank you!

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  14. To clean tile floors, esp. grout, I use baking soda, a little hydrogen peroxide and a toothbrush. let sit for a few minutes and then scrub away. It made my floor look brand new and I now use it to keep them looking good. On my laminate floor I use the vinegar/ couple drops of dawn and baking soda mix in a spray bottle, mist the floor and wipe clean with an old rag towel. Even cleans up after my dogs and safe for them. I have been using baking soda and vinegar for the last year and make my own laundry detergent - similar to your's above but I add a bottle of purex crystal freshness in a favorite scent so no one knows it's homemade, smells like store brought. It has been such a hit, my daughter is now making it and we combine our mix to make it last longer. I only use about an 1/8 cup and it works really well even on my car working clothes.
    You can save tons of money by learning how to do your own oil change, brake change, fluid changes and basic car repair. All my kids could not get a car until they could - change a tire, oil, replace plugs, belts and brakes. I think this should be for all car owner's and is cost effective if done correctly. Keep up the good work!!

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    1. Just read your post. Does your floor cleaner of vinegar/dawn/baking soda leave any type of film on your laminate floors? I am having the hardest time finding ANYTHING that doesn't leave a film. Making me crazy!

      Shannon

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  15. I haven't ever commented on a blog but this blog ROCKS! So helpful!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and creating a space where others can do the same.

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  16. Quick tip for your fels naptha in laundry detergent: cut the bar into about 6 pieces then put them in the microwave for approx 1 min (can put them on a paper plate or napkin). It will bubble up. When cool, soap will crumble easily. Great site!!

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    1. this is the best tip so far!

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    2. Doing the Fels-Naptha in the microwave also makes the house smell clean(?).

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    3. Also known as soap clouds. It also makes your house smell fresh and clean.

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  17. Libby....Crockpot bread? Would you message me and share? I love love love my crockpot and bread too! Renataber71@gmail.com.

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  18. Oh how I love this sight! Thanks Danielle for sharing so much!! I am learning so much. I can't wait to get started by searching in my freezers and pantry to see what I already have on hand!

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  19. I love this! Ive been saving $ for years making my own all purpose cleaner with ammonia vinegar and H2o. It does a great job on just about everything! Obviously its not green with the ammonia however it does save a bunch. Mix a little of each in a spray bottle fill it with water, then clean everything! Hope this saves someone a few bucks!

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  20. Is there a way to add a Pinterest button so I can keep this with me at all times?

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    Replies
    1. Jenny, if a website you are on does not have a Pinterest option, go to the Pinterest website, click the + symbol at the top right of the page that is next to your photo and name, and it allows you to copy and paste the web address to create a pin. :-)

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  21. So much great information! I love the simple tips you have shared. I am always looking for ways to improve being green. Don't get me started on the frugal part just yet...I get a F on that one! I will be taking notes from your site though. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  22. Oh my, my mind is boggled, but in a good way!!! I have made it a new challenge to go green in my house, I absolutely love your blog!!!

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  23. I have been making my own laundry soap for about a year now and we love it. I have my mom, good friend and mother in law using it now. We make a 5 gallon bucket of the dry mix and it last almost all year. We have 2 dogs so we wash blankets weekly and that adds to a few extra loads. We are a retired Air Force family and my husband is a full time student too, we are living off of his disability, retirement and school stypen. We have just started making bread every Sunday, I starred canning my own veggies and fruit this past fall. Your sight is inspiring and reminds me that what I'm doing is just what I'm suppose to be doing. Thank you for the inspiration to continue. P.S. I just joined the co-op and I'm excited to be part of such a wonderful program.

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    1. Mrs. Ulmer

      Will you please share with me you Dry laundry soap? Thank you Diana

      I am just learning to do this or else i would give you something in return.

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  24. Just read about you on yahoo. Great blog, can't wait to read more! thanks for sharing all this great information.

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  25. One more thing. You may enjoy "Lush House" on Hulu.
    Thanks again for inspiring me!

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  26. very informative love reading all the comments !
    thanks so much and more power !!

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  27. One quick question- how does the homemade laundry detergent do on industrial grease/oil? My husband works in a factory and he comes home absolutely coated every morning. I have yet to find anything to take the smell/ stains out.

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    1. Have a friend whose husband is a mechanic...she swears by COKE as a degreaser because it contains phosphoric acid. Must be regular, not diet (can be store brand) 99 for a 2-liter when on sale. She uses specifically for spot cleaning,but said that a can of coke or 12oz. can be used in a whole load with detergent.

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    2. Have a friend with a mechanic for a husband...she uses COKE as a degreaser. It is cheaper than traditional cleaners. It contains phosphoric acid and therefore loosens the oil and grease. It can be used for spots or a can of coke per load with normal detergent. Must be regular coke, not the diet (can be a store brand) and if you get this on sale less than 1.00 for 2 liters.

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  28. Love this site, and I too learned about you on yahoo. I wanted to add a fews things: vinegar is a great odor eliminator. Simply pour some in a bowl when boiling cabbage, broccoli, cooking fish, to keep your house odor free. Then you can pour it after putting baking soda in drains--a double use for the vinegar. Spraying on sofas to reduce pet odors, or where cats mark their areas, is a great idea, too. To clean silver in a green way is easy. Cut a potato, dip in baking soda and lightly rub silver articles (or trays), rinse with water. Viola! Store silver in airtight container or bag when not in use to keep it from oxidizing (turning black)again will cut down on having to clean so often, as well.Keep up with all the great ideas---I love them and you! :)

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  29. Love your blog! I wanted to tell you that I use vinegar to eliminate odors when cooking pungent food. I simply put it in a bowl and let sit, then I can use your recipe combined with baking soda to clean my drains.I also use vinegar in a spray bottle to eliminate pet odors. It will not harm fabrics, so its great to use for pet beds and around sofa edges. For cleaning silver in a green way? Use a cut potato and baking soda. Dip the potato in the baking soda, gently rub the silver. Voila! Store in a plastic bag to maintain the silver appearance and cut down on future cleaning. Hope these help! Keep up the great work! love your blog and you! :)

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  30. We are trying very hard right now to find any ways to cut corners but still live healthy lives. I would love to try the laundry detergent recipe, but am hesitant because my little one and myself both have sensitive skin and react to almost everything. Do you know of anyone with sensitive skin that has tried this recipe and done well with it?

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    1. Have you tried soapnuts? I think the soapnut bits are the most economical. http://www.laundrytree.com/about-soapnuts.html

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    2. Have you tried soapnuts. I think the soapnut bits are the most economical.
      http://www.laundrytree.com/about-soapnuts.html

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    3. You can use any bar of soap you want in this recipe including one for sensitive skin

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    4. You can use whatever bar soap you want with this recipe including one for sensitive skin.

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  31. Hey Danielle! By any chance have you broken down the laundry detergent to see how much it costs per oz./or weight? I wanted to do a cost comparison to what we've been buying. Thanks! ~ Deb

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    Replies
    1. I make my own laundry detergent in liquid form and calculated that it costs around .07/load. :) Much better!!!

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    2. Do you use the same ingredients? What do you use and how much does it make?


      Tina

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  32. Recently on Pinterest I found a wonderful cleaner/polish for wooden tables. Not only does it give a great shine/ but it also REPAIRED the scratches in the table I thought I was going to either have to throw out or revarnish/paint.
    A mixture of 3/4 cup of oil and 1/4 cup vinegar in a container and dip a rag in and go to town. You can clean everything wood. I do not recommend hard wood floors as it is slippery. Maybe some of your lemongrass oil will give it a nice scent. :D
    Also, a homemade potpourri I make quite a lot at home is 3 whole allspice, 3 whole cloves and a cinnamon stick, bring to boil then lower to simmer. Add water as it dissipates and your whole home smells like baked pie!
    Great blog, will check back in often!! Keep up the great work. You are a wonderful inspiration!!

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  33. Hi, this is my first time on your blog and I luv it. It is so practical and the cheaper...affordable life seems so doable. I have a question about the green cleaners. I have a mold situation in my bathroom amd I am used to using bleach. Do you have any green cleaner ingredients for that? Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Hydrogen peroxide is great for mold and fungus. I do not know how green it is, but it works well. I have also used it for fungus on the body.

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  34. I just saw your info on Yahoo this morning. Great Blog. Love the fact that there is so much input from people like yourself that have actually used these ideas and receipes. I have been working on going green and trying to save money in the process and this blog is surely going to be a big help. Thanks for sharing Danielle

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  35. My son has eczema and allergies so we have to use the 'free' detergent on all our laundry, do you know if this homemade laundry detergent will be as gentle on his skin?

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    1. yes, I have horrible allergies and the homemade detergent hasn't bothered me at all! :)

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    2. Similarly, we have gone through multiple "free" detergents, and eventually the last one started causing my wife to break out. We haven't had any problems with the Fels Naptha, yet, and are several months in.

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    3. We similarly have had terrible problems with allergies in a our house and have gone through a variety of "free and clear" options. The last one failed us about 4 months ago, and we haven't had any problems with Fels Napta yet...

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  36. To keep my old 1950's porcelain sink white and sparkling. I make a paste of Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide. Place paste on the stain for 15 to 30 minutes. Coffee and rust stains are easily removed. Then lightly scrub and rinse well. Very little scrubbing needs to be done and it helps with odors too.

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  37. To keep my 1950's porcelain sink white and sparkling I make a paste of Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide. Coffee, Tea and Rust stains don't stand a chance of hanging around. Let the paste stand on the stain for 15 to 30 minutes. Lightly scrub and thoroughly rinse.

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  38. Where do you buy essential oils for your cleaning recipes?

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    Replies
    1. you can buy essential oils at any health food store

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  39. Found you on yahoo, I think I'm in love ^-^
    The tips and recipes are all wonderful! Thank you!

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  40. Any ideas on how to get rid of streaks on stainless appliances?

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  41. Any ideas on how to get rid of streaks on stainless appliances?

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  42. Hi, I really enjoy your site and am ecited to start using the cleaners on your page. I am confused though, the laundry soap is dry and i have a HE that uses liquid. So how do I use the powder.. just put it in with the clothes or is their a reciepe to make this a liquid?

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    1. Homemade Laundry Soap
      1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap
      ½ cup washing soda
      ½ cup borax powder
      ~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

      Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use ½ cup per load.

      **A few things to note about the soap**

      ~The finished soap will not be a solid gel. It will be more of a watery gel that has been accurately described as an "egg noodle soup" look.

      ~The soap is a low sudsing soap. So if you don’t see suds, that is ok. Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.



      Optional: If you want your soap to have some sort of scent you can scent this with ½ to 1 oz. of essential oil or fragrance oil of your choice.

      Delete
    2. Check your owner's manual. I have to remove the plastic inserts in my detergent dispenser in order to use powder in my HE. Yes, I've used homemade in mine, but find I only get good results in hot water loads. Not sure I would use it all the time b/c I stil worry about damaging my machine.

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  43. How long does the laundry soap recipe typically last for? I looked up all the ingredients on Amazon (prime eligible items only) and it came out to around $42.00. Granted I may be able to get some of the items cheaper at the store, but just curious if it is truly worth it. Pleeeease tell me it lasts like the whole year, because I am feeling very gung-ho right now. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So Miss Gun-ho here...went to Walmart today and thought to check out the ingredients for the laundry soap recipe...came out to $11.77!! I had an old popcorn seed container (from Costco) which I used to put soap in. I dated the container so I can see how long it lasts me.

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  44. Thank you so much for the information! Do you find that your homemade detergent works well on delicate items? I normally use Woolite but it is SO expensive.

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  45. Thank you for all of the great information. Do you find that your homemade detergent works well on delicates? I usually use Woolite, but it is SO expensive.

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  46. I also found that if you fill a small bowl with about a tbsp. of vanilla extract and put it in a heated oven, it makes an amazing air freshener.

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  47. I have tried a few laundry soap recipes. My skeptical husband even likes this one: equal parts washing soda, borax and cote soap flakes. Fels naptha has too many chemicals.
    You can mix as little or as much as you would like. 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp per load. I use left over mayo jars to store it (reuse) & mix in the jars. No wasted trash bag. You could also use a bucket from the large ice creams at your Cotsco or Sam's club. Walmart has the washing soda, borax and soap flakes for way less than the grocery stores in my area. You could try online for deliveery to your local store if your nearest store does not carry the items.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Borax..
    I think you are awesome. Keep going! Just a thought on Borax. I am from Germany. In Germany Borax is not available for free purchase anymore. It is considered toxic. Here is the final Report on Borates: http://ecb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/documents/Existing-Chemicals/RISK_ASSESSMENT/REPORT/boricacidreport423B.pdf

    best

    v

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  49. Really great you guys !!
    I have been all "cash" no debts off the grid for 7 years and what I find is it becomes an intellectual challenge to "make do" live within your means and flourish.
    I live well !
    I juice every day, grow a garden. I fix all my own cars and appliances and like most I do get a humble sense of satisfaction I am therefore not consuming for consumings sake.
    Please keep blogging Dannielle your spirit and ideas are VERY American and very patriotic in that "can do" way !

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  50. How much of the dish soap does the recipe make? and does it get really bubbly and "lather", so to speak?

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  51. How many loads of laundry to you get from your recipe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recently made this same batch, but I am using 1/4 cup per load instead of the 1/3 cup she uses (works great). I roughly measured it out when I scooped it from the bag I mixed it in to the bucket I store it in, and figured there was about 25-27 cups, so I should get about 100 loads of laundry out of it! Hope that helps!

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    2. Thank you!! I will also use less because I have a front loader.

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    3. Thank you!! That helps alot. I will also use lesser amount for a front loader.

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    4. With a front loader HE washer - do you just put the homemade cleaner in with the clothes? Mine is made for liquid detergent only.

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    5. I have a top-loading HE machine and all I use is a rounded tablespoon! Works great and should last me the rest of the year!!

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  52. I love your blog! I have been using the vinegar and baking soda for a few months now. Works like a charm! But I have a few questions. I want to start making my own laundry soap. Does it leave any type of residue in the washer or on the clothes?
    Also, where can you get citric acid? I finally found some on a soap making site but it seemed pretty expensive for such a small amount. Can you get it at a regular store like Wal-mart or grocery store?

    Thanks :)

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  53. I love all the alternatives. I can't wait to try these out. Thnx!!

    XOXO,
    Tina
    www.jadedkisses.com

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  54. does the all purpose cleaner and orange citric cleaner have a certain shelf life or can it last til the spray bottle is empty?

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  55. I too, LOVE this blog! My husband and I are retired living only on disability, so we have a rough time making ends meet. The biggest expense we have is that day when I need to go to the store and buy cleaning supplies. UGH.. This will surely help, I'm sure! That being said, I have 2 questions.

    1`You mention "dating" these created "products" on the outside of the container, but how can we tell when they expire? Do you have a "chart" to let us know how long each of these expire? Or do we date them, just to let us know how long they've lasted, for future budgeting needs?

    2- To Pamela Herring (or anyone else who might know) What kind of Oil do you use to add with the vinegar for using as a wood cleaner?

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  56. This is all so amazing!
    I want to try all these new things, but I have a question-How do you safely dispose the remainder of the store bought cleaners in your cupboards?
    Belinda-Eden, NY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually gave all of old cleaners to a friend who wanted them.

      Delete
  57. Hi there! Love this blog! You were my very first step in frugal living and meal planning! We're a military family and as you know having been one, the pay is just ridiculously low for what they sacrifice for their country. I love love love being able to contribute to our household by doing my part in trying to cut unnecessary costs and help my family be healthier and stronger. It's work for sure but I love it so much so thank you!

    I do have a question about the citrus cleaner. Do limes work? I just juiced some for a salsa for tonight's dinner (which is diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, garlic salt or powder to taste and lime juice over baked chicken btw if you wanna try it) and your cleaner recipe popped in my head so I got as much pulp/meat off of them as I could and threw them in a jar with the vinegar so I wouldn't waste them. How long does the mix last once diluted with water? And where is the best place to store it? Fridge, pantry?

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  58. The laundry detergent bucket costs about $12-14 in costco or BJ's or Sam' club.
    Would making that at home cost less.
    Do educate me

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  59. The laundry detergent bucket costs $12-$14 in costco or Sam's or BJ's do you think making it is cheaper .
    please advise me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found my buckets at Home Depot for under $5

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    2. I use a container that once held bird seed from Walmart!

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  60. Someone mentioned a recipe to "clean" silver a week or so back. As someone who dabbles in coin collecting and silver buying, I STRONGLY urge against "cleaning" anything that is gold, silver, copper or brass that may be considered "collectible"! "Cleaning" them with ANY kind of "cleanser" (organic or not) greatly depreciates the value of what was cleaned. Some collectors can even tell how and/or what was used in the cleaning process. If anything, use a non-abrasive cloth and water on the object. Nothing else.

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  61. My 14 year old suffers from allergies not bad but enough to have to use sensitive detergent. Do you have a recipe for sensitive laundry detergent?

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  62. My 14 year old daughter has allergic issues not bad but enough to require her clothes to be washed in a sensitive detergent (I use ALL detergent). Do you have a recipe for sensitive laundry detergent? Also, what is "Super Washing Soda"?

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  63. First I'd like to say that I absolutely love all your advice. I just mad the laundry detergent and it works great! I'm going to try the all purpose cleaner next. I do have a couple questions about other things to save money. What are some cost cutting tips on stuff we have to buy like paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags and stuff like that. Where and what is the cheapest to buy? Also, do you ever use coupons? Is it worth it to use coupons?

    ReplyDelete
  64. Just wondering if anyone has made laundry detergent or dish liquid using any soap aside from fels naptha. Can't find it at any of the local stores but I found other recipes using ivory bar soap

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My neighbor used a soap called Kirk's Castille the other day, made from coconut oil. She made a gel-ish liquid soap on the stovetop, similar to a post from March 8 by someone with the last name of Carleton on this blog.

      Delete
  65. I just made my first batch of laundry detergent and it seems to work just fine! I had to use Sunlight for the bar of soap because I couldnt find any others for laundry except for one called Linda and it looked kinda crapppy. What is everyones opinions on the actual bars used? I've never even seen Fels Naptha in stores but if it makes a huge difference I will order online!

    Also, Citric Acid is super expensive where I've seen it, anybody order theirs online?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walmart has Fels-Naptha, if there is one where you live. You can also get it on Amazon.com.

      Delete
  66. HOME MADE BABY WIPE SOLUTION

    I know your little ones are far beyond the diaper stage, but I thought I would share. Maybe stick it on the list or in a blog for those of us with little ones!

    Supplies: (makes 1 bottle that last an average of 3 months for 1 child)
    24 oz spray bottle
    1/2 cup baby wash (doesn't matter what kind. I use a generic store brand)
    1/2 cup baby oil (it helps the wipe slide over the skin)
    1 cup water

    Add your water to the 1 cup line, then the oil and baby wash. If you add the wash first you will get TONS of bubbles. Keep the spray bottle with your wipes and diapers. At each diaper change shake the bottle and spray the soiled area. Wipe clean with a reusable wipe.

    I buy cotton flannel when it goes on sale at Joann fabric (usually less than $3.00 a yard) and cut into 6 inch squares. A simple stich around the edge with the sewing machine to keep from fraying and done. I only use the reusable wipes for diaper changes that involve urine. If stool is involved I will use a disposable wipe. You CAN use the spray and cloth wipes for stool, but it is a personal preference I have of not having poopy cloth sitting until I wash our towels and such.

    ALSO, you can pour the solution over the cloth wipes, but you have to be careful as many people who have done this have complained about them getting musty. I find the spray bottle method works the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw where you save the container from wipes. Use paper towels that come pick a size. Take a knife and cut the roll of paper towels in half. Poor the solution over them and now you have baby wipes that are soft, smell good and cheap!

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    2. some people like to do it that way, however using the cloth wipes you dont have to spend money on the paper towels!

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  67. Thanks for the all-purpose cleaner recipe!I made a batch and can't stop cleaning! Everything looks and smells clean!

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  68. Love this blog and I'm truly inspired by it! I will be leaving work to be a stay-at-home in two weeks and you are helping us so much to live on a budget!I've made the laundry detergent and I'm wondering if itis gentle enough to use on my delicate stuff, that I would normally use Woolite on. I hope so, cuz I love the stuff!! Thanks!

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  69. I want to make the laundry detergent, but I am worried about if the colors start to fade or bleed?

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  70. I was wondering if you have a water softner? I live in Henderson also and haven't had any luck with the homemade dishwasher soap. My glasses came out hazy and spotted. Had to go back to the expensive dish tabs. Also I've been using the same recipe for laundry detergent for a year now and I find it leaves a white residue on clothes even though I use vinegar in the rinse. I was thinking it's our hard water. It's so nice to have someone to ask about these recipes who is on the same water supply.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not. I use the dry laundry detergent and I haven't had any problems with a film. I don't dry them though in a dryer. I put them on a line. Do you do that? Also with the dishwasher detergent, I actually don't have a dishwasher, so I don't use that recipe. I wash everything by hand and make the homemade dish soap.I wonder if anyone else has had that problem. Might be our hard water though.

      Delete
    2. Regarding your laundry detergent leaving a white residue: try adding the detergent to the water first as it is filling in the machine. And then add the clothes. This has helped me with the same problem.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  71. I'm going to be mixing up a batch of Danielle' s laundry detergent this afternoon for the first time. My washer is not HE, just a standard washing machine. My question is how much do I use per load? The recipe states 1/3 cup but it doesn't state if that is the HE measurement or standard washer measurement. Help is greatly appreciated! :)

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  72. I'm going to be mixing up a batch of Danielle' s laundry detergent this afternoon for the first time. My washer is not HE, just a standard washing machine. My question is how much do I use per load? The recipe states 1/3 cup but it doesn't state if that is the HE measurement or standard washer measurement. Help is greatly appreciated! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My washing machine is standard and I use the same measurement above:>

      Delete
  73. Hi Danielle, **Dish Soap question
    I love all of these ideas! Finally, this weekend, I made the dish soap. All went well, ...melted the soap shavings into the water, cooled, stired in the vinegar. Then I poured it into my empty plastic dish soap dispenser (no top...missing).
    This morning, when I tried to pour some out, it had hardened! Wondering what I did wrong...maybe storing it on the window sill and the cold made it harden or was it because there was no lid on it?
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had the same issue in the winter. We would just put it in the microwave to get it to remelt. We put it in for less than a minute (put in a glass jar when doing this if you can) I would keep it off the window sill.

      Delete
  74. Do you have a recipe for a natural weed killer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here are a few -

      Baking soda neutralizes the ph in the soil and nothing will grow there. use baking soda around all of the edges of flower beds to keep the grass and weeds from growing into beds. Just sprinkle it onto the soil so that it covers it lightly. Do this twice a year – spring and fall.

      Boiling Water - No recipe here. Simply pour boiling water over the offending weed and it will die. Be careful though. Boiling water can’t tell the difference between a good plant and an evil weed, so pour with discretion. This can be the cheapest weed killer by far if you use boiling water left over from cooking. (If you need to drain the food, simply catch the hot water in another pot.)

      Vinegar - Vinegar mixed with a bit of liquid soap is quite effective as a weed killer. The general ratio is one ounce of soap (a good squirt) to one gallon of vinegar. If you’re mixing up a smaller batch, just use less soap. The vinegar is made of acetic acid, which will remove the moisture from the plant. The soap just helps the vinegar stick to the plant’s leaves. Vinegar that’s 5% acidity will work OK, but 10% or 20% acidity is better. You can find the stronger vinegar at garden supply stores.

      This solution works best on a hot, sunny, dry day. You’ll kill anything you spray, so be careful around the plants you want to keep. Vinegar as weed killer will only kill the foliage of the plant – not the root. So repeat applications may be necessary for success. But hey, it’s cheap so it won’t cost much to do it a few times.

      Finally, don’t add salt to the solution. Some recipes tell you to do so, but you’ll make the ground unsuitable for just about any growing thing for quite some time. You don’t need it to successfully kill the weeds. (Although salt would be great if you never want anything to grow there again for a while. Cracks in the sidewalk or your driveway come to mind.)


      Bleach - Personally, I wouldn’t use this because it’s toxic and not best for the groundwater. (That matters to me because we get our water from a well.) But you won’t be using much, so I’m not sure it’s that big of a deal. Simply put some bleach in a spray bottle with a little soap and mist your weeds. Again, it’ll kill everything so aim carefully. (On second thought, this doesn’t qualify as natural or organic but it’s cheap and homemade.)

      Rubbing Alcohol - Rubbing alcohol will also draw out moisture from weeds. Mix about one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol for every cup of water in your spray bottle. Apply just like the vinegar or bleach solutions above.


      Corn Meal - Corn meal isn’t really a weed killer, but it can be used to keep weed seeds from sprouting. Actually, it’ll keep any seed from sprouting. Technically, you want corn gluten meal but that can be expensive if you get it from a garden supply store. Here’s a hint: go to an animal feed store. You can get corn gluten meal much cheaper there.

      You can use cornmeal that you buy at the store as well, but it won’t be quite as effective. On a different note, regular cornmeal is also useful as a fungicide. You can get regular cornmeal much cheaper (and in bulk) if you buy agricultural grade cornmeal. Just don’t eat it.


      Elbow Grease - OK, so this one doesn’t really count but it works. You don’t have to buy anything, and you don’t have to worry about harmful side effects on the environment, your kids, your pets, or yourself. Plus, it’ll help you get some exercise and relieve stress (maybe…). You’ll have to spend your time pulling the weeds, but if you get the roots you’ll be very effective.

      Delete
  75. I have an easy tub and shower cleaner. Half white vinegar and half dish washing soap. Boil the vinegar and add the dish washing soap by stirring it into the white boiled vinegar. Let it cool and put into a spray bottle. Very inexpensive and works great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip, Christa! Why does one have to boil the vinegar? Why not only mix the dish washing soap in it? I assume it would be simple since my dish soap is liquid...

      Delete
    2. I actually put my mix (mentioned in the post above by Christa) in the handheld side of a dish washing scrubber sponge and keep it in the shower. Every day before I get out, I scrub one wall or door and then rinse. My shower is ALWAYS clean. Note: Don't fill the handle the ENTIRE way or the vinegar starts to drip out of the scrubby end.

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  76. These recipes for making your own domestic cleaning products from natural ingredients are really beneficial for people who don't want any toxic products at their homes. Since the lemon juice acts as a bleach, I don't see any reasons buying this strong smelling product which is harmful for kids and animals. Also vinegar cleans hard water stains far more better than any other cleaner on the market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Adam, when you say that lemon juice acts as a bleach, do you mean that it can be used in the washing machine in place of Oxy, for instance, in order to have bright whites or colors?

      Delete
  77. We also suggest using Micro Fiber cleaning rags to minimize rubbish and color code them to prevent cross contamination. Take some advice from the Portland cleaning pro's at http://maidsbytrade.com . We have been in the house keeping service for over fifteen years, and aspire to make your home as clean as possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Jordan. Microfiber is fantastic!

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  78. I prefer green cleaning method to keep my house fresh and healthy. I regularly use vinegar for disinfection and some essential oils to refresh the air. Thank you for the excellent tips!

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  79. Baking Soda and Vinegar are the best and easy to find cleaning essentials. Great tips!

    Thanks!
    Mini Clean

    ReplyDelete
  80. Baking Soda and Vinegar are the best and easy to find cleaning essentials. Great tips!

    Thanks!
    Mini Clean

    ReplyDelete
  81. Jenny, if there is no Pinterest button on a website you want to save, go to the Pinterest website and click the + symbol on the top right of the page that is next to your photo and name.Click the Add from Website option and it will allow you to copy and paste the address of the website to create a pin. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  82. I am new to essential oils. I have read some other places that putting essential oils in plastic bottle will make them break down. Have you had that problem or heard anything like that? Thanks!

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  83. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  84. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  85. Someone commented about film on their dishes with homemade detergent ... your water is too hard to do homemade. I tried for months and months, tweaking recipes, and it just doesn't work unless you have softer water. As for laundry detergent, I'm able to make homemade work by adding extra borax and epsom salt, which both serve as water softeners. My laundry detergent recipe:

    3 bars zote
    1.5 boxes borax
    1 box washing soda
    4 cups baking soda
    4 cups epsom salt
    6 cups oxiclean

    I grate zote with food processor then I process it with the blade with some borax so that it becomes fine powder. I have an HE washer. I use 2 tbs. per load and this lasts me upwards of a year. I can make a batch for well under $20. I get the baking soda, epsom salt, and oxiclean at Costco (I always get the oxiclean when they have a coupon). Washing soda, borax, and Zote are all available at Walmart. I can also get the washing soda and borax at my local grocery. In some parts of the country, Big Lots carries Zote.

    Love your ideas, Danielle!

    ReplyDelete
  86. Do you have any laundry softner receipes?

    ReplyDelete
  87. Thanks for share.......... I hope in future it will be really helpful for us......

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hi,
    I LOVE your blog.I am also so excited about your ALL You magazine offer.I just ordered a one year subscription 12 issues for only 12.00. I am even more excited to find it will renew in a year for the SAME price.Womans world and All you are my fave woman's magazines. A couple years ago I was able to get a great offer on All you but haven't been able to find any deals similar until now so thanks.Please keep us informed if Womans World would give your subscribers a special discount and I will grab that too. : )

    ReplyDelete
  89. Hi Danielle! Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day!! I came to check yours out and love love love it! I too love green cleaning. I actually just started making our own laundry soap and it's so much better than store bought! Started following you on Pinterest and Bloglovin!

    ReplyDelete
  90. Thanks for share, your information is really helpful for us

    ReplyDelete

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