Monday, August 29, 2011

Wash Yo Bed

I wish I could say I have a nesting thing going on here, but really it's Pinterest!! Today after DIY Detergent Earth and while I am waiting on my fruit leathers to dehydrate I naturally surfed Pinterest. Lately instead of pinning and obsessively checking out boards, I have been going through mine to actually DO some of the fun homemade, natural things I have pinned. Today I washed my mattress. Water-free washing? Yes. I found this website on Pinterest and did everything accordingly! NOW I have lavender scented laundry to fold on a clean mattress that all smells like glorious lavender!! What a day!

DIY Detergent Earth!

This is will be my 2nd batch of homemade laundry detergent aka DIY Detergent Earth! I call it DIY Detergent Earth because it sounds like an important mission and because it is! I did a lot of reading and poking about natural websites and products to find exactly what I thought would work for my family. I never used anything special for Avery except for when I washed her newborn clothes sans tags coming straight off the shelf. I didn't really even think twice about my laundry detergent until I started using vinegar in my fabric softener dispenser instead of dryer sheets (not recyclable or biodegradable). I found this blog from Bonzai aphrodite. I already used baking soda in my laundry for a boost and vinegar so I figured I would give it a shot!

My 1st attempt at making Detergent Earth was a disaster!! I waited too long in between mixing the items and didn't stir like she suggested and ended up with natural concrete. No. Lie. After spending about 10 minutes banging my empty coconut oil bucket on the steps out back the hardened concoction finally started to crack. So what's a girl to do? Try it again, right away. Immediately I began again, mixing and stirring, mixing and stirring, and stirring and mixing. To pass the stirring time I hiked up my pants and sat outside on the steps to soak up some Vitamin D! After I finally saw this goop turn into the 'cake-y' sponge Bonzai Aphrodite wrote of I kept stirring 5 more minutes just to be safe! 

My husband was skeptical but that was almost 3 weeks ago and I am just now making a new batch today. It has lasted several loads, the laundry comes out wonderfully clean and smelling heavenly! There were a couple of loads that my faith in Detergent Earth shuddered so instead of fretting I just added some extra Borax to the water and once again this earth friendly product became mom friendly as well!

As Bonzai's blog states Detergent Earth is literally 5 ingredients! FIVE!!!
Here is her explanation of them (*me):

  • White Vinegar – Vinegar is simply acetic acid: diluted, mild, and edible, but acid nonetheless.  As such, it will dissolve dirt, mildew, mineral build-up, and soap scum.  Vinegar is something of a wonder cleanser, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of it around here in the near future.  Available everywhere.  (* I got 4 gallons for 2.99$ at Costco!!)
  • Baking Soda – Baking soda is another amazing all-purpose cleaner, but it’s also an excellent deodorizer.  As well, it softens water and helps to maintain neutral pH so that detergent can work more efficiently.  It keeps your colored clothes from fading and also gets whites brighter.  Available everywhere, but check the bulk bins at your local co-op.  (*I did go to Costco and get a 13 lbs bag of Baking Soda for ... 4.99$!) 
  • Washing Soda – Baking soda’s kickbutt cousin.  Washing soda is much more alkaline and cuts oils like a pro, so it’s great in the laundry.  It also helps to deodorize, but fighting grease and stains is the primary purpose.  Look for it in the drug store or supermarket, in with the laundry and cleaning supplies.  (*I had to go to three different stores to find this, but now that I know where to get it, the shopping will be easy! Arm & Hammer makes the one I bought and a whole box was 2.99$)
  • Borax – Borax is awesome!  It’s a natural stain remover and an excellent alternative to bleach, because it’s an anti-fungal/anti-mold and all-around disinfectant.  Coupled with regular soap, it greatly increases cleaning power. Look for it in the drug store or supermarket, in with the laundry and cleaning supplies.  (*Found this in the regular laundry isle at SaveMart)
  • Castile Soap – ‘Castile’ isn’t a brand, but a type of soap: one that is made using only vegetable oils (as opposed to most soaps which render from animal fat).  So not only is it vegan and cruelty-free, but it’s much easier on the environment as well.  Castile soap is a superior gentle cleanser, and quickly biodegrades.  I use Dr. Bronner’s lavender scented soap, and I absolutely adore it.  Available at most ‘natural’ stores, and many Trader Joe’s. (*I was lucky enough to actually HAVE the same soap she did so I used Dr. Bronner's Lavender soap as well!) 

Here is a picture of everything but the castile soap. I use an empty coconut 
oil bucket to mix and store my Detergent Earth!

1 1/4 cups white vinegar
1 cup baking soda
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1/4 cup liquid castile soap
Mix in a large, non-metal bowl. I re-used (and decorated!) my previous soap tub, which worked great.  Start with the vinegar and continuously stir as you add each powder.  Try to stir out and break up any clumps.  Finish with the liquid soap.  It will seem wet, like a thick paste, but keep stirring and it will begin to flake and crumble into a moist ‘powdered detergent’.  KEEP STIRRING! If you quit too early, you’ll find a very hard mass the next time you go to use it. So use them biceps and stir it to completion. You’ll end up with a sort of soft clumpy cake-y ‘loaf’, that will easily crumble off for use.
If you use plain non-scented castile soap, you may add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Store in a lidded container and use about 1/4 cup per load.

(* Because the overwhelming power of Lavender has consumed and calmed me this whole pregnancy I added MORE Lavender scent to it with 100% Lavender Essential Oil!!) 

I also grabbed some eco-friendly natural fabric softener with lavender  essential oil in it to put in my fabric softener dispenser since the laundry detergent has vinegar in it. I truly have loved making and using my own detergent and highly recommend it to anyone looking to not only save some money in the end, but also do a little part in making this planet safer for your family and each other! I just recently discovered a new idea via Pinterest where you make your own long lasting dryer sheet! You soak a towel (like a baby burp cloth) in your favorite fabric softener, let it dry, then use it for up to 40 loads of drying clothes! Because we still have babies and baby clothes everywhere I know I would have to personalize the dryer towel so we wouldn't put it up. That adventure is a step that I am comfortable holding off of because I am truly happy with the results I have seen in the past 3 weeks! Now if my husband wants the ritual of the dryer sheet then that's a whole other post...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

fast food = happy mommy

Hello you, blogger world. I have been frantically trying to figure out how to merge my blogger to my new email address and it's pretty much impossible and I am not savvy enough to do it, I'll just wait until someone graciously does it for me, or just have 3 email address... forever. Either way for all you the gals (&gent) that like the recipes I have quiet a few headed your way, so please be patient! I have broken out a dehydrator and started practicing with that and have been trying to craft and stimulate my growing toddler thanks to my new pinterest obsession! If you don't know what this is, click this link --> pinterest Literally it's the best place to keep an online "portfolio" of diy, wish i was there's, kid ideas, furniture loves, and pretty much well, whatever you want! Recipes, Ideas, Hacks.. it's all there! For my only trick today I will be giving you the most simplistic dinner trick I have besides crackers and cheese... Instant Stir Fry!

I usually buy a couple of frozen bags of organic brown rice from Trader Joe's, but most grocery stores have this! This is a quick and easy add to lots of meals, but when paired with steamable frozen organic veggies or even quick steamed of whatever you have in the fridge. A splash of fish sauce, tamari or soy sauce, maybe a pinch of garlic and boom. Veggie stir fry in less than 10 mins. This is a quick make if you have leftover meat you need to get rid of but there isn't enough for a full meal, or even a Smörgåsbord of vegetable leftovers from dinners throughout the week. Random as all this sounds, it works and it's good. You can always purchase some frozen edamame and have an appetizer too ( I add them into our stir fry's)! Stir fry to me is a blank canvas starting with brown rice, do what you want and have fun with it! Try something new every week! This is the only picture I remembered to take since it was so quick and we all were ready to eat!