April 6, 2009

Domestic Diva, Indeed.

So, some of you will read this and think I'm the biggest nerd ever. Some of you will read it and stand amazed at my feats of craftiness.....well, ok, probably not, but you'll think this is pretty darn cool. I'm not the first person I know to do this, and I by no means made up the recipe. I'm just excited that I actually did this....not just talk about it. :)

I made my own laundry detergent!!!!!!!! So super cool. AND CHEAP!!!!!! You can find a recipe on the website http://www.suite101.com/ in an article titled "Making Your Own Laundry Detergent." (creative, huh?! lol!) Below is sort of a combo of the on-line recipe and the one my sister used. They were basically the same.

Here's the stuff you need:

5 Gallon Bucket (with lid) (if you live in Conway, Home Depot is the only place I could find that had lids with the buckets)
Knife or cheese grater
Large pot (must hold 5 cups of water)
Long spoon or paint stick for stirring
20 Mule Team Borax (can be found at Wal-Mart or Kroger)
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda - this can be found at Kroger)
Ivory Soap (3.1 oz bar) or one bar of Fels Naptha Soap (can be found at Kroger)
Keep an old laundry detergent bottle.

Shave the soap (i used the small holes in my cheese grater) into a pot with 5 cups of water. Heat the water enough for the soap to melt. Pour into the 5 gallon bucket with 1 cup of Borax and 1/2 cup of the washing soda. Fill the bucket up with hot water. (as hot as you can get it) Cover the bucket and sit overnight until cooled. You will then have 5 gallons of a lumpy gel. Fill your old laundry detergent bottle half way with the lumpy gel, then fill it the rest of the way with water and shake it. Ta Da! You have laundry detergent! :) You will use a little over half a cup of the detergent for a large load.
The Borax is about $3 per box. The washing soda is $2.50 (i think). Ivory soap was $1.30 for 3 bars. So, total cost of all ingredients is $6.80, but you can make several recipes from these ingredients. $6.80 is less than a lot of bottles of store bought detergent! This recipe should wash around 110 loads of laundry. There is also a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent. I may try it next! :)

It's kind of fun making stuff from scratch. It's rewarding and oh, so kind to the pocket book! :)

I also made my own butter the other day - again, thanks to my sister's example. :) You need a mixer (a stand mixer is better) and a pint of heavy whipping cream. Beat the cream on high for several minutes. It will get thicker as you go, and eventually the liquid will start slinging out. (you need a lid or something to cover your bowl while this is happening or your kitchen will be covered in milk! I used a paper plate with a slit cut halfway through to slide over the beaters.) Once the liquid it out (keep it - it's whole milk) scrape the butter into a fine strainer and press any left over liquid out. Rinse it under cold water and press a couple times to get the rest of the liquid out. This should yeild one cup of butter and one cup of milk. This is not as cost effective as the detergetn, but it's fun to make. You can also put your butter back into your mixer and add garlic and parsley, cinnamon and sugar, or any other flavors you would like to spread on bread! The butter is super yummy!!!

Aren't you impressed with my craftiness? Well, actually, other people's craftiness - I'm just copying them. But hey, I'm totally all about the homemade these days! :) So, Martha Stewart, stick that in your 18th century hand carved pipe, and smoke it. :)


Sisters said...

Dude, for real. You are killing me! :)

Paige said...

I just love you and your 18th certury hand carved pipe! Love it! I need to send you pictures of my baby blocks I made for the baby room. Still no baby to fill it...slowly but surely God will provide!

Sparkless said...

I made that soap once too but found my whites got really grey using it so I switched back to regular detergent for whites.