Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I think I'm in Love with .... Vinegar

All my life I have despised vinegar!! My dad always put it on his food (ring bologna, French fries, etc). YUCK!!! Just a small whiff of it made me want to GAG! But for months I kept reading on Pinterest how wonderful it is to use in place of chemical-filled cleaners! And I really do LOVE having a home free of those nasty chemicals, But could I get past the smell of this gross stuff!?!

All of that changed when I saw a "pin" that showed how someone mixed orange peels with vinegar to help mask the odor. I am currently addicted to mandarin oranges and we eat at least 3 or 4 of them per day in this house. So orange peels are not hard to come by....

So what did I have to lose?? I took a mason jar and dumped in orange peels from 3 mandarin oranges. I added a mixture of half water and half vinegar. Then I let it "brew" for 3 days!

Then came the moment of truth.... I opened it up and although I could smell a small hint of vinegar, it didn't bother me at all. So I poured it into a spray bottle (there was still a lot left in the mason jar) and decided to test it's magic!

And.... It has AMAZED me!!!

So far it has:
gotten marks off my walls
grease marks off my kitchen backsplash
cleaned my flat top stove burners
taken all the finger smudges and other gross marks off my sink and stainless steel appliances
Cleaned anything off my kitchen counters (even permanent marker that had been on there for a few weeks)
Cleaned caked on kid-food off my kitchen table
And... I even used it to clean my NASTY microwave (see pic below if you dare....)

I'm really embarrassed to even show this picture.... (Please don't judge!!) But I used the remaining amount of vinegar that didn't fit in the spray bottle, and I heated it up in the microwave for 1 minute.... And VOILA!!! The nastiness literally wiped right off (it took less than 60 seconds to wipe it clean!)

Last week I took a road trip with my 3 year old to Ikea and we picked up this awesome little microwave plate cover for only $1.95! So hopefully my microwave won't get that nasty ever again!!

Anyway - back to my new love... I plan on trying it on MANY other things in my home, including my bathrooms, which I out off cleaning as long as possible!

If you have any vinegar related tips, PLEASE post so we can all try them!! :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

[Dreaming of Being a...] Domestic Goddess


I'm not sure what exactly caused my little domestic spurt today, or my desire to write a blog post, but maybe it's the start of a new chapter in my life! :)
I realized as I logged into my blog tonight that I haven't published a blog post since the end of 2010! How sad.... I have a few drafts that I started since then, but they never made it to completion. I guess if you are reading this one, it finally made it past the draft stage!
I have really been on a kick lately to rid my house of lots of chemicals, both cleaners and in foods we eat. I haven't gotten rid of them completely, not sure if will ever be able to.... Baby steps, people! I have tried a few of my Pinterest recipes and some of the natural cleaners are -eh- not so great! I have found a way to make natural air fresheners and household cleaners that I really like (maybe I'll blog about that tomorrow)... But today is all about my new favorite laundry detergent!

I have tried 2 or 3 Homemade and chemical laundry detergents and they all left me disappointed. So I recently found a recipe that wasn't entirely "chemical free" but would save me A LOT if money (remember, baby steps)!! So I decided to try it out.

I found the original recipe here: http://www.howdoesshe.com/cheaper-and-better-diy-laundry-detergent/

I followed it pretty closely, but here is exactly what I used to make it:

1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean (powdered detergent - I used the one free and clear of dyes)
4 (5.5 oz) Bars of Fels Naptha soap
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
2 (28 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener

The first step was to grate the soap (this was not fun). I got a big bowl from my kitchen, sat down to watch Dr. Phil and started grating! It was done within the hour, so not too bad I guess! I even took a 10 min break in the middle to grab a snack (mainly because my hands were cramping up).

The only thing left was to mix all the ingredients together. I had a big plastic container at the house that I decided to use. I layered it a few different times to make it easier to mix.

Then I used the OxyClean container and scoop to put some of it in so that I don't have to get the huge container down each time I do a load of laundry.


You only have to use about 2 Tablespoons of detergent for each load. AWESOME! According to the website I got the recipe from, this should last about 1 year (if you do 6 loads of laundry per week)! And I totally believe it! Just look at that massive amount of detergent! And the best part..... It only cost me around...... $30!!!! (I forgot to save my receipt so I don't know the exact amount...oops!) But it could be a lot less if I would have waited and used coupons to purchase those items. But, I have a love-hate relationship with coupons (another blog post for a later time!)

So I did my first load of laundry with the new detergent tonight and.... It's awesome!! Smelled great, felt clean, and was VERY soft! SCORE!!!! :)

Please let me know if you have ever tried to make homemade detergent and how it worked for you! And if you happen to try this one, please let me know what you think!!