Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Off The Deep End

I have started making my own laundry detergent and fabric softener. Yep, I've totally gone off the crunchy granola deep end and I luurve it. Making your own household cleaners is a hot concept in the blog world these days I've noticed, whether due to trying to save money (that would be me. Almost $60 a month in laundry detergent alone was killing me, let alone the bank account) or wanting to know exactly what chemicals are coming in contact with your skin (that would be me too) there are many reasons to make your own.

There are lots and LOTS of DIY laundry detergent recipes all over the Web. I picked this one. I keep the extras in the original 5 gallon bucket that I mixed the detergent in and use one of the old Ivory Snow containers that I used to buy (at $25 a pop from Costco I might add) for day to day use. We started using the detergent in March and we are only on the second refill of that bottle. We do about ten loads of laundry a week so that's great savings already. The recipe I used called for 'Fels Naptha' hard laundry soap which I could not find here (US only product perhaps?) so instead I ordered a natural hard laundry soap from a Canadian online company (DH originally brought home Sunlight hard soap but I am very allergic to Sunlight so we returned it). I ordered six bars (and will update this post if I ever find their contact information again) and used only 3/4 of a bar for my first batch of laundry detergent. I also added some Lavender essential oil to the mix - the oil is too diluted to worry about it leaving residue on clothes and the smell helps me relax. I really need to feel relaxed in the laundry room.

I also really don't like the smell of and garbage created by either brand name fabric softener dryer bricks (which only last 2.5 weeks in our house versus the four months advertised) or the fabric softener sheets. However, I also really do not like static electricity. Therefore, I started using this fabric softener recipe. I really like the results. The only thing I don't like about the recipe is the fact that it calls for regular hair conditioner as one of the main ingredients and, as hair products have all kinds of nasty things in them, I have some concerns about that but not enough to stop using it until I find an alternative recipe. This recipe is easy, peasy and I just feel so darn wholesome when I use the homemade detergent and fabric softener. Not to mention that I LOVE how our clothes feel and smell. Soft and fresh and the sourness that was starting to really become bothersome in some of our towels and dishcloths is gone, gone, gone without having to use any bleach.

Next, I want to start making my own soap. I knew that this would come to pass for me someday. I have been buying handmade soap for years and years (and had the best set up of all when we lived in Kanata and a good friend in Ottawa used to make and sell soap. It was such a treat to visit her and her family and get to go shopping in the 'soap room') and knew I would likely branch off into making my own someday. There are some set up costs however so I will slowly start collecting the materials and keep you updated on my progress.

The pictures from this post are of a princess birthday cake I made this past weekend for a lovely, lovely girl who just turned six and who celebrated with a craft and pizza birthday party. Both Eldest and I got to attend the royal party. When her mother asked if I had time to make a cake I said "No, but if she wants pink I'll do it!". There is a bit of a pink dearth in our house with me and four specimens of the male persuasion so the opportunity to decorate and design a pink cake was too good to pass up.

I borrowed the princess figurines from another six year old friend.
Thanks for saving the day, A!
Face painting was also part of the fun.

And I really enjoyed the opportunity to go home with a very, scary pirate!

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