Showing posts from June, 2013

Homemade Cloth Diaper Detergent - Recipe #2

I've heard that castile soap creates build-up on cloth diapers and reduces the absorbency, so I created another version of my cloth diaper detergent without the soap.
Sodium Carbonate - 7 lbs for $9.07 (112 oz, $0.08/oz)Sodium Percarbonate - 6 lbs for $10.60 (96 oz, $0.11/oz)Sodium Bicarbonate - 13.5 lbs $6.59 (I bought this at BJs)  (216 oz, $0.03/oz)The recipe: 2 cups sodium carbonate ($1.28) 2 cups sodium percarbonate ($1.76) 2 cups sodium bicarbonate ($0.48)
TOTAL: $3.52 to make 58 oz USE: 2 tbsp, or 1 oz, per load = 58 loads COST PER LOAD = $0.06 COST PER YEAR = $21.90

Automatic Dishwasher Detergent

For years, we used Finish (with powerball and Jet Dry!) as our automatic dishwasher detergent. Every few months I bought the XL container from BJ's. Then I looked it up; the EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning gave it a rating of C for "some concern" across multiple levels, but what really irked me was the warning that it may cause nervous and digestive system effects. What a counter-intuitive effect from clean dishes! I set out to make my own.

I made several concoctions. Some left my dishes looking like I'd sprayed them with concrete dust, forcing me to wash them all by hand. Boo. Others worked fairly well until I found glasses with big globs of goo stuck in them, and had to hand wash those, too. I broke down and bought a package of 7th Generation to get me through a few weeks, and to take a break from trying to make something that worked. And then, I mixed up this recipe, which works really well:

In a glass jar with a lid mix:
1/4 cup citric acid
1 cup sodium carbonate…

Foaming Hand Soap

After I started to make my own cleaners/soaps, I examined the ingredient list on the back of the bottle of my favorite foaming hand soap. Yep, you guessed it; all my hand soaps are from Bath & Body Works. There is a lot to learn about ingredients, and this is just the tip of the iceberg: Ingredients ending with "-eth" are the ones to really look out for, and this soap, like many others, contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), along with a host of other chemicals. The presence of these 
"-eth" chemicals indicates a process called ethoxylation took place. Ethoxylation produces a byproduct called 1.4 Dioxane. This is typically not listed on any labels because it is not considered an ingredient; it is a byproduct of the manufacturing process. Anyhow, the California EPA suspects 1.4 Dioxane to be a kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant, and respiratory toxicant. Any product that lists ingredients with "-eth" have the potential to contain 1.4 Dioxane. 

(It is import…

Natural Carpet Deodorizer/Refresher - Make Your Own Scent

Baking soda is a staple in my home. We use it as a cleanser, scouring agent, and more recently, a natural carpet deodorizer/refresher. 

On Monday night, I asked my husband to take the kids outside to play for a while so I could get some much needed vacuuming done. The noise created by the vacuum scares the begeebus out of my little ones, so as long as they are outside, no one will have a meltdown. 

The recent humidity we've had plus constant playing on the floor (read: crawling, food smooshing, drink spilling) made it a little stinky. I turned to my trusty bag of baking soda for a quick, easy, and green solution to make my own carpet deodorizer.refresher. Here's the recipe:

In a glass jar with a lid, add:
2 cups baking soda
10 drops of your favorite essential oil (I used lavender)
Screw the lid on tight and shake to mix the oil with the baking soda.
Sprinkle it all over your carpet and let it sit (the longer the better). I gave it 5 minutes and vacuumed it up. It left my carpet smell…