Thursday, December 29, 2011

DIY laundry soap

Are you tired of buying expensive laundry soap? 
Well..with a family of seven I was, so I found a recipe for homemade laundry soap. This stuff is awesome because it's way stronger then the store bought laundry soap. You only have to use 1 Tablespoon per load. I'm thinking it will last about 9 months (We do about 8 loads a week). 9 months of laundry soap for less than $10, have I got you interested yet?

What you'll need: 

  • 1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle

  • 1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle

  • 3 bars of Fels-naptha soap, found in the detergent isle

You should be able to find all of these items at your grocery store,(I was surprised to find it on all on the same shelf). This detergent is fairly mild smelling, it's not over powering. If you love a strong scent you may have to add a essential oils also (I used lilac scent)

**I plan on using this for cloth diapers also, but I may omit the Fels-naptha soup not sure yet.**  UPDATE: Soap (including Fels-Naptha) should not be used because of the residue issues.

 Now that you have everything you need let's get grating. Start out by grating your Fels-naptha soap just like cheese. You can use a food processor or just use your hand held grater, what ever you have. This is the part my kids love to do! 

I decided to put the mixture in a container with a lid lined with a trash bag, (this way the little ones don't use it as a sand box & it will stay air tight). 
 Next add the boxs of Borax, Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, Essental oils (optional) and mix well. Don't worry about the Fels-naptha soap it will melt in any cycle, even cold.
Wasn't that easy? You just made soap..Enjoy!

Fruit Leather

Due to K having A.D.H.D, We have been reading more and more labels.  Basically almost all snacks for kids out there have HFCS, Dyes or Artificial flavoring. So I have been trying to find Healthier alternatives.
Here is a recipe I found :

Fruit Leather


  • Fresh fruit (apricots,bananas,peaches, plums, berries, apples, pears, grapes)
  • Water
  • Lemon juice,
  • Sugar (if needed)


 1 Rinse the fruit. If you working with stone fruit, take out the pits, chop the fruit. If working with apples or pears, peel and core them, then chop. If working with grapes, de-stem them.

2 Place fruit in a large saucepan. Add a half cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked through. Uncover and stir. Use a potato masher to mash up the fruit in the pan. Taste the fruit and determine what and how much sugar, lemon juice, or spices to add. Add sugar in small amounts (1 Tbsp at a time if working with 4 cups of fruit), to desired level of sweetness. Add lemon juice one teaspoon at a time to help brighten the flavor of the fruit. 
Continue to simmer and stir until any added sugar is completely dissolved and the fruit purée has thickened, another 5 or 10 minutes (or more).

3 Put the purée through food processor. Taste again and adjust sugar/lemon/spices if necessary. The purée should be very smooth.

4 Line a rimmed baking sheet with sturdy plastic wrap (the kind that is microwave safe). Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet to about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.
5 Place the baking sheet in the oven, try to keep any plastic wrap from touch the sides of the oven or the oven racks. Also try to make sure that the plastic wrap hasn’t folded back over on top of the purée. If this happens, the purée won’t dry out. Heat the oven to a low 140°F. If you have a convection setting, use it, it will speed up the process and help dry out the purée. Let dry in the oven like this for as long as it takes for the purée to dry out and form fruit leather. We usually keep it in the oven overnight, so about 8-12 hours. The fruit leather is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface.

6 When the fruit leather is ready, you can easily peel it up from the plastic wrap. To store it, roll it in its plastic wrap, put it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

4 cups of fruit yield about one baking sheet of fruit leather.
Got my info from

Cloth Diapering

Cloth Diapering

I have used disposable diapers since 2001, without giving it any thought.  50 million diapers get tossed each day and each one takes up to 500 years to breakdown. I wanted to try cloth diapers with my youngest daughter to save us some money, since we’re a one income large family. When she was born we used disposable, but switched to cloth due to very sensitive skin.
 We got the “gDiaper Everyday g’s 6-pack” to try them out. It took some time to get use to them, but now it’s like second nature. We have many colors “Grateful red,  Guppy green, Good vibe stripes, Great orange, Genuine vanilla bean, Good night blue, Goddess pink and Gooseberry purple.”  The gDiaper = #1 a soft cotton outer diaper cover made of breathable material ,#2 a snap-in liner made of highly breathable, waterproof material and #3 an insert whether you use gCloth or the 100% biodegradable gRefill. The gCloth is two layers of soft 100% polyester micro-fleece and two layers of hemp/cotton to absorb wetness and hold moisture in. The gRefills are made of sustainably farmed wood fluff pulp, with sodium polyacrylate (SAP) for absorbency, and cellulose rayon. No plastic. You can flush them, compost them or even toss them. They will break down unlike the disposable.

My gDiaper stash on our drying rack (an old crib rail placed vertical).
info from
We have tried another type of cloth diapers called  “Pocket diapers”, we use Simply Cloth by
They are made out of regular material (polyester) and coated with  PUL- so no covers needed! The minky diapers are made out of very soft and plus micro-fiber fabric. Also water proof! The microfiber inserts are made from environmentally friendly material. They are 100% unbleached materials. A fabric with tiny strands and with 40 times more surface area for absorption. It is light, less bulky and durable.. These diapers have snaps instead of Velcro.. the velcro tabs will stick terribly to the inserts while in the wash…causing the inserts to fray.  Another big reason is, velcro has a tendency to tilt upwards towards the baby’s tummy- causing a rubbing rash. Pocket diapers are exactly what they sound like, a pocket in the back of the diaper is where you insert as many pads as you need for absorbency. They come in lots of colors and patterns..I double up on inserts all the time, I find that one is not enough our little wetter.  Even my husband like these ones, because there is no extra steps. You will need to change the whole diaper, unlike the gDiaper. Just unsnap the diaper, change it for a clean one. It helps if you stuff them a head of time.

This is some of my stash on our new clothesline.