Our Homesteading Dream

Living, laughing, loving, and learning on our little suburban homestead.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Make Your Own...

One of the first steps to self-sufficiency, is learning to make due with what you have or be able to do without.

But here's the thing...many times, making your own products is cheaper, better for the environment...and healthier! So why not give it a try?

There are so many things that you can make for your family but here are a couple of basic cleaners, everyday needs that you can throw together quickly:

Laundry Soap
There are tons of laundry soap recipes on the web...try googling it!
Here's the one I use (and yes, this even gets my childrens dirty, nasty, play clothes clean and bright!)

1 quart of hot water
1 bar of soap grated
(any soap will work, but try for something more natural...this stuff goes on your clothes...which goes on your body!)
1 cup of washing soda
(this is not baking soda folks...it's sodium carbonate where baking soda is sodium bi-carbonate...different chemical compounds. )
1 cup of borax
1 5 gallon bucket
(or kitty litter bucket...or any other large, water-proof container)

Start off by grating your bar of soap. Pour your 1 quart of water into a saucepan and add the grated soap. You want your stove on medium heat and you'll need to stir it gently until all of the soap pieces have dissolved. Stir in the washing soda and the borax.

Add 2 gallons of hot tap water to your bucket and then pour in the soap/washing soda/borax mixture. Take a large mixing spoon and mix everything together for a minute or so. It's totally optional, but you can add essential oils here also...just to give it a fresh scent. I love orange essential oil for laundry.

And that's it! Let it the mixture set up over night and it's ready to use the next day. The consistency is different than store-bought liquid soap....but then it doesn't have the petroleum products to emulsify it! I use 1/2 cup for each load of laundry and it works really well. (These are x-large loads of laundry)

All Purpose Cleaner

Spray bottle
1/4 cup of vinegar
1T borax
warm water
essential oil (optional for scent and added efficacy)

This one is super easy. Add 1/4 cup vinegar to your spray bottle. Fill with warm water until close to the top. Add the borax and the screw the top on. Gently shake it to blend and it's ready to use! I like to add 8-10 drops of essential oil for the smell...and it gives it a little more of a boost. I usually use orange or tea tree oils...Use this cleaner on counters, walls, doors, sinks....just about anywhere!

"Comet" Like Cleaner

This one is reeeaaallly easy. Baking Soda! I sprinkle baking soda, spray with water and let it sit. It works as well, if not better than the comet (which has major chemicals!) Use this on stove tops, tubs, sinks...anywhere you might use the comet or scrub free kind of cleaner.

Floor Cleaner

1 cup of vinegar
1 gallon hot water
1 squirt of dish soap

Mix them together and that's it!

Those are just a few of the things you can make yourself...there are tons more out there, and each thing you make is helping to save money, save the environment...and your families health ;)

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