Monday, September 1, 2008

Slowly getting back into the swing...

Sorry folks, for the extended absence. I've been busy ripping up carpet and tacks, taking down wallpaper, painting walls, and moving...all with 3 children in tow. No, I didn't do it all myself, but I did a lot of work, as the hubster had to work during the day. But kudos to him though, he'd work daytime and go right into the house-work at night.

We had to do the most important things first, of course, and had to move in lightning fast. You see, we underestimated how much work we had to do, and set up to have our utilities turned off at the old place just one (very) short week after closing. I really wanted to at least get the painting done and the carpet up before moving in. I will live with ugly floors before I'll live with pissy carpets. (Previous owners had pets) The boys' room was a labor of love for me. I practically did the room myself. I ripped down all 4 layers of wallpaper (thankfully the first 3 came off easily, the 4th with vinegar and water), had to TSP-wash down the walls to remove the glue, primed, painted (2nd coat) and removed carpet tacks and staples...I harp on the tacks because, man, those things are a pain to remove! Hubby missed out on the distinct pleasure of wallpaper removal. Thanks to my hard work, the walls look awesome! Now the floors are another story. The hardwoods will have to be refinished at a later date.

I won't bore you to much more with the gory details. We got 'er done and are now settling in. There are still soooo many projects to be done (removing awnings, anyone?), but we can take our time with the rest of the projects.

Now I'm slowly getting back into posting and creating for my etsy shop. Please stay tuned for new and exciting products coming soon!
In the meantime, I'm getting ready to start making my own laundry detergent. Here's a great recipe I found on Woman's Day's website. I'm excited and can't wait to try this and see how well it works. My detergent buying days are about to be over if it washes as clean as they say it does. Now you might wonder why I'd make detergent when I could easily buy it. Here are my reasons:
1. I want something simpler and more natural. My son suffers from seasonal allergies. I, as well as all 3 of my kids suffer with hives. I want to eliminate as much chemicals from our lives as possible.
2. Detergent is expensive! This recipe will end up costing pennies per load.
3. I love the self-sufficiency aspect of it. Plus, I can customize with essential oils/fragrances that
I love.
4. It's fun! Yet another thing I can make!
I will make it this weekend, try it out and report back on my findings.

With no further ado, here's the recipe, courtesy of Mary Hunt of and woman's day.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

3 pints water
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap, grated
1/2 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda, please!)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
2-gallon bucket to mix it in
Additional hot water

Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints hot water and heat on low until dissolved. Stir in washing soda and borax. Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. Add 1 quart hot water to a two-gallon bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Fill bucket to about 3 inches from the top with additional hot water, and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load. Note: This detergent will not make suds, which makes it perfect for front-loading HE washers.


Angelina said...

I'm interested to hear how the detergent works. I carried Mrs. Meyer's products in my retail store so when I closed the store down I had lots of stock left over. I won't need laundry detergent for at least another year or two, but I want to learn to make my own too. I don't ever want to buy commercial again. I'm curious about the toxicity of Fels Naptha though...I have a bar of it that a friend bought me because she swore it was a great stain remover. She's totally right. But then a friend said something about it being harsh.

Anyway...I have some carpet of my own to rip out but haven't gotten to it. We've had to rip out carpet from almost every house we've lived in. We hate it. Hardwood is the best flooring EVER.

JesPlayin said...

You lucky dawg! I wish I had a lifetime supply of Mrs. Meyers!
I'm not really sure of the toxicity levels of fels naptha either. THey don't list the proper names of the ingredients so it's hard to say. You use such a small amount though(1/3 of a bar for a batch), I think it'd probably be okay. I figure it can't be worse than the detergents on the market right now.
Thanks for checking in.

Lisa said...

I followed your comment here from Angelina's blog. I have made a recipe very like this one for detergent before and also one for powdered laundry detergent and after using both for several months, I became unhappy with their performance. They seem to clean fine at first, but I think that it doesn't clean as deeply as commercial detergents so what doesn't come all the way accumulates. The clothes just don't get as clean and don't smell quite as fresh.

So, back to BioKleen laundry powder for me. I buy in bulk and a 50lb box lasts me for over a year and at about $38.00 is still a great price.

Angelina said...

I know, I love Mrs. Meyers! But I still want to be able to make my own because I'm not buying any when it's all gone. It will be interesting to hear your findings compared to Lisa's. You both make soap too!

You've got to be right about the Fels Naptha not being worse than the other commercial stuff out there.

I hope you plan to post pictures of your house improvements. Was your move one you are excited about?