Laundry Detergent

While I was working on making my chemical free dryer sheets, I was also working on making chemical free laundry detergent. After six (6) months of trial and error I am happy to report that I have come up with a laundry detergent that I am happy with!

Why do you make your own laundry detergent you ask??? I’ve tried all types of detergent with no success of reducing the eczema that detergent was causing.  In addition, the though of my family breathing in, through their skin and nose, all of the chemicals that were in the store bought detergent made me focus to come up with a solution.

What you have to remember is that the skin is a living organ and it breathes in everything that it comes into contact with.  The chemicals that are present in all chemically produced detergent all get “inhaled”, per se, into the body through the skin. So keeping the chemicals away from your body as much as possible helps you function the best that your body can. My son has eczema, ADHD and Tics. Since I have changed to chemical free laundry detergent and dryer sheets/wool dryer balls he has been medicine free!! We use oils to control his ADHD and tics. His eczema has been greatly reduced, almost non-existent, since we made the change as well.

Enough about why, here’s how. It’s super easy to make, only four (4) ingredients. Grated soap base, borax, washing soda and essential oils (I use Young Living Essential Oils). That’s it!

Recipe:

1 cup shredded soap base. I currently use goat Milk for my soap base.  I shred it with a grater – make sure it’s shredded with the smallest grater you have.  You may find it cheaper here Wholesale Supplies Plus.  You can get 10 lbs of milk for under $30.00.
1 cup Borax – you can leave this out, it does help get the whites white.  You may be able to find it cheaper at Walmart.com.

1 cup Washing Soda  You may be able to find it cheaper at Walmart.com.
Essential oils – I currently use Purification, Lemon, and Peppermint in my soap. I use Young Living Essential Oils – Membership Number is 3542169).

Mix the goats milk soap, Borax and Washing Soda together to get everything mixed evenly, then add your essential oils. I do not put in a ton of essential oils, usually around 5 – 10 drops, total, for four (4) loads of laundry detergent.

The laundry detergent works wonderfully with regular and HE washers. The clothes come out clean, softer and do not look worn over time.

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Chemically Free and Fun Way to Clean Your Bathroom Sink Drain

Have you ever looked at the drain trap in your bathroom? Ever wondered how much mold is growing in your drains? Ever had to unclog your bathroom sink drain from hair and who know what else has fallen down your drain? Do you hate the chemicals that you and your family are inhaling when you have to use the store bought drain cleaner?   Well here’s a simple, safe, chemical free and fun way to clean your drains!

All you need are two simple ingredients – Baking Soda  (you maybe able to find this product cheaper at Sam’s Club) and White Vinegar ( You maybe able to find this cheaper at Sam’s Club). That’s it! It’s simple and takes about a minute to do. Pour baking soda around the drain of your bathroom sink. It’s fine if some of it goes down the drain, it will provide a deeper clean. Slowly pour some white vinegar on the baking soda and watch the magic happen. My kids love to help with making the “volcano”! The faster your pour the vinegar the faster the reaction happens.

I usually do this twice a year, unless I notice a smell, mold or my girls drain start to slow down. I use 1/8 of a cup of baking soda each time I clean the drain. You will be able to tell if you need more or not. Play around with how much you use. You will be able to tell if it’s all-clean and disinfected if the chemical reaction is less.

After you’ve cleaned your bathroom sink with baking soda and vinegar, your sink will be clear of clogs, mold and any other bacteria that grows in your drain.

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Fast and Healthy Home Fragrance

Now that “winter” has hit, some worse than others depending on where you live, your house is most likely closed up all day or the majority of the time. If you are like me and hate having your house closed up because you like the fresh air, there’s a quick and healthy fix to the problem…

If your furnace is on, like mine, all you have to do is add a little essential oil to your furnace filter and let the furnace do the work for you. Here’s the fast, simple and healthy way to add healthy fragrance to your house.

Take a small glass spray bottle and add 5 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil or mix to the bottle. Add mineral water to the bottle until diluted. I tend to dilute more for this since the smell will go through the entire house. Then gently shake the bottle and you are ready to spray. I spray the furnace filter at the beginning of the month, when I change it, and again in the middle of the month. You can spray it as many times as you want. Just remember that even though you can’t smell the essential oil anymore doesn’t mean the smell isn’t still in the air, so don’t spray the filter daily – it will be too much!

For those families that are fighting colds I would suggest adding peppermint to your furnace filter mix. Peppermint is an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and helps with clearing your sinuses.

*** This trick also works in the summer when the air conditioning is on

 

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DIY – Dryer Sheets ** New and Improved

img_0909So I LOVE my dryer sheets and they work really well, at least in my opinion. However they are a pain to use!! So I have spent the last 6 months modifying the way I make them and am happy to say that I have found a way to have very effective dryer sheets, without the need for a glove and a large jar! (I have used about 15 sheets out of this jar).

So here’s what I do now….

First, sheet size. The sheet size only needs to be 2 by 2.  I took my previous “sheets” and cut them in half.

Second, I went back to a glass container. Glass is ideal for essential oils.  The plastic absorbs the essential oils and vinegar.  I was going through a ton more liquid when I was using plastic, than when I was using glass.  I am using a 32 oz. jar and can fit 50 dryer sheets in the jar.  Wide mouth mason jars work really well since they are glass and airtight.

Third, take the essential oils that you want to use for your dryer sheets and mix them together, if possible, before placing it in the vinegar. Here are the recipes that I now use (I have added some different essential oils to the mix):

For each cup of vinegar

CLOTHES

“Purification” – 2

Lemon – 1

Tangerine – 1

Frankincense – 1

TOWELS

“Purification” – 3

Lime – 2

Peppermint – 2

Sheets

“Purification” – 2

Lavender – 5

Tangerine – 3

Finally, put 1 cup of vinegar in your jar, add your mixed essential oils and mix the two together. Add in 25 of the smaller size sheets. Shake them around. Repeat the process until your jar is packed full. I put 50 of the small sheets in my jar. It’s packed full and is hard to close.

** Even though the sheets have gotten smaller, they can dry 2 large loads before replacing it. If you prepare 50 small sheets you should be able to get 100 loads out before you need to replace your sheets.

Hope you love them as much as I do.

 

 

 

 

 

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Water… End Your Love Hate Relationship With It

School is underway and, in my house, that means packing snacks and water bottles every day…  Three weeks into school and I am hearing, and I am guessing you are as well, “can I have Gatorade or something besides water today?”  Of course the answer is no, school requires water only.  But there is a way around it–it’s good for them and they will enjoy it.  Add fruit, herbs and veggies to their water!

If you are like me you do this to your water, so why not to your kids?  I have added cucumbers, lemons, limes, strawberries and oranges.  The issue that we have run into at our house is that we end up throwing away the fruit, herbs, and veggies because they go bad before they make it into the water.  If they hadn’t gone bad, at times my water started to taste like the rind of the fruit, the taste was over-powering or the fruit started to get water logged and tasted gross.

So I ended up giving up my love-hate relationship with my water.  I tried cutting up the fruit, cucumbers and herbs into the sizes that I wanted for my water and put them in the freezer.  I cut the herbs or folded them (depending on what it is) and placed it in an ice cube tray and froze that as well.  Depending on what I had in the freezer, I would take a slice, cube or both and place it in my water.  It is amazing!  The fruit, herbs and or veggies thaw throughout the day and flavor the water.  It’s not over-powering and the water does not taste like rind by the end of the day.  

I no longer have a love-hate relationship with water.  I love my “flavored” water and have noticed the amount of water I have been drinking increased due to the flavor.  My kiddos love it as well.  They get to pick their “flavor” each day and they have told me that they are now drinking three or four water bottles of water during their school day.

 

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DIY – Dryer Sheet Solution Using Essential Oils

The solution is super easy to make.  The two ingredients you need are:  Vinegar (white distilled) and essential oils you want to use.

I started out slow and have grown my solution base over the past several months.  I now have three different solutions – one for clothes, towels and sheets.

I used to keep my solution in a glass jar.  The issue I found with this is that you need a very large jar (I used to use a pickle jar from Sam’s club) so that you can fit your hand into the jar and you risk it falling and breaking.  I have recently changed to plastic (bpv free) storage containers that are smaller, leak proof and can be stacked.

Here are the recipes that I currently use…

Clothes

4 cups of vingear

12 drops of “Purification” essential oil

10 drops of Lemon essential oil

This recipe will usually last for approximately 30 dry cycles

Towels

2 cups of vinegar

12 drops of “Purification” essential oil

6 drops of Lime essential oil

Sheets

2 cups of vinegar

6 drops of “Purification” essential oil

20 drops of Lavender essential oil

Once everything is put into the container, I put the cover on the container and shake the liquid around, before I place the sheets in the solution.  Once that is done you are ready to place the sheets in the solution.  I place 4 sheets in the solution at a time.  Why four?  I take the four sheets out of the solution, wring them out the best that I can (to get them as dry as possible) and place them in the dryer.  I have found that four tends to be the right number for a large load.  Any more is too much and they tend not to dry all of the way.

Once you take the four out of the solution put four more in the solution for the next load.  I have eight sheets for each type of dryer sheet solution.  I keep and reuse all of my clothes sheets and do not mix solutions with the sheets.  Why you ask??

The essential oil is absorbed into the sheet and is released when the clothes are drying.  Not all of the essential oil is released and reusing the same sheets will release some of the additional oils and will intensify the smell that is transferred to the clothes.

Ingredients – why do I use vinegar and essential oils?

Vinegar is a natural static cling preventer, cleaner and disinfectant.  You can use vinegar in a lot of places to clean around your house (DO NOT use it on granite – post coming soon…).

Lemon and Lime essential oils – citrus is also a natural cleaner.  The smell of lemon is invigerating, energizing and has properties that help promote good health.

Purification essential oil – this is a mixture of essential oils that helps, naturally, to remove smells from areas as well as clothes.

Lavendar essential oil – Inhaling lavendar is a natural way to relax the body.

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DIY – Dryer Sheets

How to make the sheets….

I took an old hand towel that we weren’t using anymore.  Mine happens to be white (for all loads).  To be honest, the base color WAS white before my kiddos decided to clean chalk (red and blue chalk) off the basement floor with the white towel–the reason that towel is now the dryer sheets towel. I’m not entirely sure it matters what color your towel is.  I have never noticed any of the white transferring onto anything else – color or fabric.

I took the towel and cut it in half, and keep cutting until you have “sheets” that are around 2 inches by 5 inches or so (see picture below).  I usually get around 20 sheets from each towel.  The sheets do not need to be even; I have found that the 2 by 5 inch (roughly) size tends to work the best.  It easily fits into your hand, you don’t loose them and they dry with the laundry.  And your sheets are prepared and ready to go into the solution.

IMG_0381

Once they are cut you can use them right away or you can run them through a quick rinse and spin cycle.  I would NOT recommend running them through a quick rinse and spin cycle to get off any of the extra fabric from the cut sides – they become a ball of and tie all together.  If you don’t mind cutting the string apart it works fine.  If you choose to use them right away I would use them with a load of towels first – to make sure the amount of strings and little extra fabric from the sheets doesn’t transfer onto your clothes.  I have never had this issue but better to be safe than sorry.  Once they get out of the first load, clip off any extra strings.  Your “sheets” are ready to go!

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Why use DIY Dryer Sheets – Chemicals vs. Natural (with essential oils)

I’ve been making my own dryer sheets for about four (4) months now and love it.  Why you ask?  Isn’t it a lot of work?

Why? – Like I posted previously, my kiddos have sensitive skin and regular dryer sheets and fabric softener dries them out = eczema.  YUK!!  So I had to find an alternative.  Plus – have you ever actually thought of the chemicals that are in the dryer sheets???  Think about this – dryer sheets are full of chemicals.  Look at the ingredients on the box.  The dryer sheet, that is full of chemicals, goes into the dryer with the clothes you wear.  The dryer heats both the dryer sheet and your clothes.  The chemicals leave the dryer sheet and get into your clothes, which is why your clothes smell so good when they come out.  You then wear the “fresh” clothes and as your skin breathes through out the day, you body inhales the chemicals (AKA toxins) from the dryer sheet.

The toxins from the dryer sheets also break down your clothes, towels and sheets = lint.  Have you ever noticed the amount of lint that comes from each load?  If your dryer is anything like mine it’s a LOT of lint.  When I was using commercial dryer sheets my lint trap would be full with each load; over flowing with towels.  Clothes didn’t last as long and started to fade, ball up and towels weren’t as plush.  Once I switched to the DIY dryer sheets I do not have to clean the lint trap with each load (I still do but it’s not necessary) and the amount of lint I get from drying a load of towels is similar to what I used to get with each load of clothes.  Our clothes look newer longer, towels are plush, are chemical free and smell awesome.  I wont even mention the air that you breathe in when you are are in the laundry room….

Okay – so here’s the break down of time commitment.  Once you have the actual “sheets” prepped (which will take all of 10 minutes – depending on how sharp your scissors are…  I just cut some sheets for my parents and it took 10 minutes to cut them, type the next blog as I went, took photos, cleaned up and put the sheets in the laundry – super quick), making the dryer sheet solution takes about 15 seconds.  That’s it!!!  Amazing right!?  Every time you change loads it will take you approximately 15 seconds longer then reaching into a box and pulling out a commercial dryer sheet.  So the time commitment is nothing, especially based on the benefits you and your family will receive.  Totally worth the time and effort!!

The next post will answer the HOW question….

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