Sunday, March 25, 2012

Baking Soda Tips Continued…

In my first post to you all I talked about the wonders of baking soda. It has marvelous properties. It is wonderful used as a mild abrasive for scrubbing tubs/showers, sinks, and even counter tops, but something I never would have tried is as shampoo. Yes… you did hear me correctly…shampoo. You may be asking who in their right mind would wash their hair with baking soda.  Well it seems that more people than you would think are doing it. It’s even got a name. The “No Poo Movement” as in “no Shampoo” that is. I first heard about it on the Living On A Dime newsletter. The link to that site is listed at the end of this blog.  Jill talked about how her grandmother never used shampoo on her hair…not ever and now the process she used to wash her hair is really catching on.  I encourage you to click on the link and read her article. I read it and thought to myself that only crazy people would do something like that.
I personally have very oily hair. Once puberty hit I got my Dad’s oily hair and it has never gone away. I remember my hair being so oily that when I was 15 I tried washing it with liquid laundry soap hoping that would cut the grease. It did…but it just became oilier. Someone told me to wash my hair with egg whites…I tried that and it came out disgusting. After those and many more failed attempts at other crazy things I just digressed to the thought I would have disgusting oily hair for the rest of my life. I went from having very long hair I could sit on to my current short hair in an attempt to make it easier for me to keep clean.  And it did help a lot, but still when I see people that don’t have to wash their hair everyday and can still look decent, I get hair envy. It’s like seeing that woman that can eat everything she wants and somehow maintains a size 6 dress.
So after reading the article from Living On A Dime, I decided that with all the wonderful tips they gave me in the past…this time they were crazy and that “No Poo” thing sounded crazy and if it did work it would only work on those extremely lucky people that don’t have to wash their hair only every other day to begin with.  Then I was surfing YouTube looking for some new recipes for household products, (Yes, that is how I spend my spare time. Sad I know lol) and I came across this series of videos that this woman posted about her “no poo” experience. I think they went though day 15, but she posted that she had been “poo free” for 6 months and will never go back to shampoo again. (I have added the link to her first post about her no poo experience below) Not only where the posts funny, but they got me thinking. I had given everything else a try, so why wouldn’t I try this too? What was the worst that could happen? So I just convinced myself that I was going to give this a try, but it wasn’t going to work and I wasn’t going to be surprised about it.
I put together the water and baking soda mixture (adding one drop of lavender essential oil) and tiptoed my way upstairs to take a shower. If this experiment didn’t work I wasn’t going to tell a soul what I did. I “washed” my hair (enjoying the wonderful small of the lavender) and blew it dry. I stood there in front of the bathroom mirror in shock. My hair looked good! Not only that, it felt good too! I had never had my hair feel so soft before…so clean! Could it really be true? I must be dreaming! So I went downstairs where I forced my husband, Troy, to feel my hair. He really is a good sport when it comes to all of this “homemade” stuff I’ve been doing lately and is often the first person I show stuff too. I made a new shade of lip gloss the other day and he was the first person to walk through the door and so he got me at my “I’m so excited and have to show someone” moment. He was so sweet to humor me and let me show him all I had done. So after Troy’s stamp of approval I had to show the kids. :) The next morning I got up to get ready for work and my hair still felt clean! That is something I never had experienced before. Nope, never! I didn’t even wash it that morning. It looked awesome and smelt good (because of the lavender essential oil I added). I wasn’t going to tell anyone what I had done for fear they would all think I was crazy, but my hair looked so good and was so clean feeling I just couldn’t keep it to myself.
I have been “poo free” for just over two weeks now. My hair has never felt this clean and healthy. I don’t have an issue with my oily hair anymore, NONE. I can wash my hair every other day without fear of my hair looking like an oil slick. I still use hair products like hairspray and pomade. I have found some recipes for homemade hairspray I would like to try.  If I do I will let you all know how it turns out. For now I’m just super-duper excited about my awesome, clean, shampoo free hair!
Please see the links below and do give the baking soda shampoo a try. After you do, please post your comments and let me know what you think.
Have a Blessed Day,

1 Tablespoon baking soda for every 8oz of water
Yep, it’s that easy. I have heard that some people put their mixture into a bottle with a pull-top cap like some water bottles have. I mix 16oz at a time and it lasts me about 3 washes. I haven’t been too careful about how much I’m using. It’s not like it cost much.
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider vinegar for every 8oz of water.
I have not used this yet. Like I said, my hair is naturally very oily. I felt no need to condition my hair. But if you do try it let me know how you like it!
Here is the link to Living On A Dime

Here is the link to the first in the series of YouTube videos I told you I found. She has several different videos going all the way to day 15. You really should take the time to watch them all. Some of them are very funny.

Monday, March 19, 2012

~Homemade Laundry Soap~


Sorry for the lack of activity on here. After working all day, trying to stay awake late enough to have quiet time to blog is so hard for me. Are there any other mothers out there besides me that are ready to go to bed at 9p?  Please tell me I’m not the only one!
So I have been on the road to personal improvement for quite some time now and out of that has  grown the desire to make homemade household products. Body scrubs, lip gloss, and homemade cleaners.  It really is rewarding to clean something and realize that you made it from stuff you had on hand, it works well, and it cost you so little.  If you find all of this “homemade” stuff a little odd, then think again. With the economy the way it is, I don’t know anyone that couldn’t learn to save money on the basics that they use every day.
Today I bring you the wonders of HOMEMADE laundry soap. It’s being pinned all over Pinterest. There are all sorts of different recipes out here. Most are very similar. There are liquid versions and powdered versions. I use a liquid version.  My coworker uses the powdered version. Take my word for it, it’s awesome!  I have been using my own homemade laundry detergent for 6 months now and I can tell you that I will never buy laundry soap again. Yes, I do mean never. Well I’m here to tell you that there is no reason to be skeptical any longer.  This stuff works and it’s cheap! The total cost for all the supplies will probably range from $7.00-$10.00 depending on where you buy them. You will have leftover ingredients so the true cost of making the detergent is MUCH less than $7.00-$10.00. 
As I said before I have been using this laundry detergent for 6 months. Please note I didn’t say I have been making this stuff for 6 months. That’s because I only made it once. Yep, I have only made one batch of this stuff and it lasted me 6 months. There are 5 very active people in my home and we spent maybe $4.00 on that 6 months worth of laundry detergent. If that alone doesn’t convince you to try this, I don’t know what will.
I can’t tell you where I ended up getting my recipe from. I looked all over the internet and gathered many different variations of the recipe and finally settled on one what made the most sense and had the simplest process. I think I picked a good one because I love it.  I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Below are the recipes for both a liquid detergent and a powdered detergent. I haven’t used the powdered detergent, but my coworker uses it and she loves it. I think it’s just a matter of personal preference really.  Some things to note…The Fels-Naphtha soap does have a strong lemon/citrus scent, but your clothes will not smell like that when they are done washing. The clothes just smell clean, no scent really at all. As a matter of fact I add scented crystals to my wash if I want it to smell like something.  For the liquid soap recipe, you will have to shake your soap before each use. It gels after it sits so in order to break up the gel you need to shake it up.
As an added bonus I have also included my recipe for homemade dishwashing detergent. It’s been way too long since my last post so call this my “I’m sorry gift” to you. Don’t be overwhelmed by its simplicity. It really does work. LOL
Have a Blessed Day!
Liquid Laundry Detergent
½ bar Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap, grated
6 cups water
½ cup Washing soda
½ cup borax
Heat 6 cups water and soap in a large pan until dissolved. Stir in washing soda and Borax. Mix and heat until dissolved. Boil 15 minutes. Remove from heat. (It will have the consistency of honey.) In a 3 or 5 gallon bucket, add 1 quart of hot water, then add the soap mixture. Mix. Add enough cold water to make a 2 gallon mixture. Mix until well blended. Let sit 24 hours. The soap will gel. Use 1/2 cup for each load. As it sits it gets gelled again you will have to shake your laundry soap bottle before you use it to break up the soap before you pour it out of the bottle.
Makes 2 gallons. (Approximately $ .40 per gallon)
I change the amount I use per load depending on how soiled the laundry is, but I would say I use about 1/3 of a cup per load of laundry.

*You can also use Zote soap if you would like. I haven’t, but from what I have heard it is comparable to Fels-Naptha. Also Zote soap is pink and the thought of pink soap is so cool to me.
**If the detergent doesn't gel it will still work. The original recipe said to use 1/3 bar of Fels-Naptha. I use ½ of a bar and fill my 5 gallon bucket with water. I think that the soap is just less concentrated.  

***There are almost 0 suds with this type of soap. So it works well with HE washers. 

Powdered Laundry DetergentOne 4lb 12oz box of Borax
One 4lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
One 3lb 7oz box (55 oz) Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
Three bars of Fels-Naptha soap (Zote soap can be used instead of Fels-Naptha)
Two small containers of Oxyclean or store brand Oxyclean (for a total of about 3.5lbs)
This detergent is fairly mind smelling. If you love a strong scent you may have to add a fabric softer to each load or the dry crystals (my preference) that can be added to laundry for a nice fresh scent.
Start out by grating your Fels-Naptha (or Zote) just like cheese. You can use a food processer or just use your hand held grater, whatever you have on hand.
Toss all ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket lined with a garbage bag. Once everything is mixed store soap however you like. You may want to keep the majority in the bucket and then keep a smaller container in your wash room with a small coffee scoop inside. That’s it…you are done. Use 1 tablespoon per load.

Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Baking soda
½ cup of Kosher Salt
Use 1 tablespoon per load.
*Make sure to put vinegar in the dishwasher (where you would put your jet dry) so you don’t get spots on your dishes. I always know when I need to add more vinegar because my dishes will start to get spots.
**You do have to rinse your dishes clean before putting them into the dish washer. This will not take off stuck on foods. But most people I know rinse their dishes before putting them into the dishwasher anyway. :)