Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

This week is devoted to how we save money on laundry. Today I'm going to show you how to make your own laundry detergent. It's easy and best of all it saves money :) So here is what you will need.


1c. Borax
1c. Washing Soda
2c. Finely Grated Fels-Naptha Soap
Cheese Grater
Large Bowl to combine ingredients
Container to store soap

**I use Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soap. The Borax is just regular 20 Mule Team Borax, and if you can't find the Fels-Naptha, you can use some other form of bar laundry soap. I find all of the ingredients in the same aisle as the laundry detergent.


Step 1: Grate the soap and put in large bowl. **I find that one bar of Fels-Naptha is about 2 cups.

Step 2: Measure out 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of soda into large bowl.

Step 3: Mix ingredients together and put into storage containers!

I use 2 Tablespoons for a large load and I have a top loading washer. And here is the cost breakdown for you analytical people like me :)

Cost Breakdown:
1 box of Baking Soda (6 cups) = $3.99
1 box of Borax (9 cups) = $4.99
1 bar of soap = $1.50

1 Batch = 1 cup Borax + 1 cup Soda + 1 bar of soap
1 Batch = $0.55 + $0.67 + $1.50 = $2.72
You can get about 30 loads per batch which brings the grand total per load to $0.08!

I've been using this for over a year now and have not noticed any difference in the cleanness of my clothes. Also, it only takes a few minutes to make. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Compost Bin aka Poo Maker

I now have a pile of poo. Just kidding. I now have a pile of sticks with some orange peels and avocado rinds on them. But someday, it will hopefully resemble a pile of poo. Because we all know a pile of poo makes for some great fertilizer, and if you didn't, well now you do. So in order to get me some poo, I went ahead and made a compost bin. Previously, we had just dumped everything in a pile in the woods, but I would like to corral and harness my poo, so I made a compost bin.

For starters, you'll need some pallets. I got mine from where I work, but if you don't have any lying around, I'd ask the men in your life if they know where you can get some, and if that doesn't work you can ask stores in town. You'd be surprised how many pallets are just laying around. Anyways, this is not a post on how to obtain pallets, so let's get back to the point. Step one: Find three Pallets.
 Once you've obtained your pallets, you will need to secure them together. I simply leaned them against each other and tied the corners together. If you're more ambitious you can use nails, glue, screws or whatever else suits your fancy, but because I like immediate gratification (not to mention it was freezing outside) I tied them together :)
Now I'm going to tell you a little bit about how to make poo. I'm not going into the whole shabang, just a tidbit of information. You'll want to put a 6" layer of brown material down. Brown material is something that is brown and dead. I used dead brush and small sticks. This is an important step because the 6" of brown material allows for air to get under the compost and this speeds along the poo making process.
Once everything is secure and you have 6" of brown material, you can add the good stuff, which is the green material. Green material is the fresh stuff. Orange peels, grass clippings, egg shells. I like to keep a bowl under the sink and I fill it with all of our green material. We eat tons of fresh food so we have to empty it quite regularly, which means more compost.
 Now this is no poo yet, but someday we will be there. We need more green material and for the temperature to not be so freezing! I will give an update once the temps get above freezing and we have the beginning of some poo. I look forward to updating you on our poo endeavors.

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