Tag Archives: baking soda

Homemade Citrus Infused Household Cleaner

Citrus works great as a degreaser, stain remover and freshener.  Vinegar is also a great cleaning agent, breaking down mold, grease, mineral deposits and bacteria.  Combine the two and you have a great natural cleaner.

Citrus Collage // Herbivore Triathlete

This cleaner is eco-friendly not only because it is biodegradable and safe to use, but because it is making use of products that would otherwise be thrown in the trash.

Directions:

  1. Place the leftover rinds from any citrus fruit (orange, grapefruit, lemon, etc) into a glass jar.
  2. Pour white vinegar over top of the rinds until vinegar covers the rinds.
  3. Put a lid on it and let it sit for 2 weeks.
  4. Remove rinds, strain liquid through a sieve, and store in a glass jar.
  5. Use diluted 1:1 water to citrus vinegar in a spray bottle.

Remember the dishwasher detergent I made? I told you then that the vinegar works as a rinse aid and that citric acid is what keeps deposits and buildups off your dishes. I know sometimes I miss the lemon-y smell of store bought dishwasher detergent. Now, I’ve got a solution! Use this simple, 2 ingredient cleaner as the rinse aid. Perfect!

Check out my other Do It Yourself posts!

Advertisements

Homemade Veggie Wash

Should you wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them? I know I do!

There are several reasons why you should take the time to wash your fruits and veggies before eating them.

To begin with, unless your fruits and vegetables are organic, they grew up in fields covered in pesticides and herbicides. Although the pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables are considered to be at safe levels for human consumption, do you really want those extra chemicals on your food? Once your fruits and vegetables were ready for harvest, they were handled by several different pairs of hands in the fields and orchards, then in the warehouses, and finally again in your grocery store. Bacteria such as ListeriaSalmonella and E. coli may all be lurking on your produce, whether they are organically grown or conventionally grown. These bacteria all cause food-borne illness and need to be washed away.¹

Maybe you only buy organic fruits and veggies, so you don’t believe there’s a need to wash your produce, well think again!

Organic fruits and vegetables may not be grown with pesticides, but they’re still susceptible to “pesticide drift,” which is what happens when the wind blows chemicals from a nearby conventional field. Pesticide contamination can also happen during packaging, since many produce companies use the same warehouses to package both organic and non-organic produce.

But the biggest reason to wash your fruits and vegetables is to get rid of germs, according to Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group

But I’m eating an orange/banana/cantaloupe you say, there’s a peel on it, I don’t need to wash that! Wait, do I?

The fact is, yes you should even wash produce that have inedible peels such as bananas and oranges. The reason is this: As you peel them, your hands can get contaminants — such as pesticides or bacteria — on them, and this could transfer to the fruit inside. Another thing to remember is that you should wash produce immediately before serving (rather than before you put it away), because washing produce can actually shorten the shelf life of the product.³

Directions:

Mix ingredients listed below then pour in clean spray bottle. Spritz on fresh produce generously. Sit for 5 minutes then rinse off well.

IMG_5171

1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
2 TBS baking soda
2 TBS lemon juice

Note: Make sure to first combine ingredients in deep container since there will be some fizzing action.

Still not sure about the right way to wash fruits and veggies? Read this article from Huffington Post.

Check out my homemade detergent and dishwasher “recipes” as well.

¹ About.com
² The Kitchn
³ The Fun Times Guide

Do It Yourself Dishwasher Detergent

Remember when I showed you how to make laundry detergent? I told you then that I also make my own dishwasher detergent, so that’s what I’m going to share with you today. This is super easy and quick to make.

What you will need; Borax, Baking Soda, Citric Acid and White Vinegar

IMG_4738-2

In a bowl combine;

  • 2 cups Borax
  • 2 cups Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup Citric Acid

Stir it up and put in a container with a lid. Use 2 tablespoons per load of dishes. Add a splash of vinegar to each load as a rinse agent, if desired. That’s it!

IMG_4739-2

This detergent will clump because of the citric acid. Here are a few ways to make it clump less;

  • Add a tsp of rice to the detergent to help absorb moisture.
  • After combining ingredients, leave mixture out and stir several times each day for a day or two.
  • Add 1/2 tsp. citric acid separately to each dishwasher load rather than adding it to the detergent.

Now let’s check out how much money we’re saving by making our own detergent.

Borax ($3.38 for a 4 lbs., 12 oz. box), Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda ($3.24 for a 3 lbs., 7 oz. box) Citric Acid ($4.99 for a 7 oz. jar), 1 gallon of White Vinegar $1.79

Using 2 tablespoons per load of dishes, I can get about 18 loads per batch of detergent that I make, that’s equal to $0.05 per load!

  • White Vinegar as a Rinse Agent 1 gallon solution – $1.79 – 1 fill = $0.06 per fill

Do you make your own dishwasher detergent? Or laundry detergent? Tell me in the comments!

Do It Yourself Laundry Detergent

I’m always looking for ways to save money. I also try to reduce, reuse, recycle as much as possible. I’ve always felt that it is important to keep the earth clean for future generations and to conserve natural resources. So when I found a “recipe” for homemade laundry detergent I knew I wanted to try it! I’ve been making my own laundry detergent now for close to a year and don’t regret my decision for a minute. Not only am I saving money and reducing landfill waste, it’s also been great for my oldest daughter’s psoriasis. I was paying for laundry soap without added perfumes, etc. Now I make my own! I’ve seen homemade detergents that you can add scents too, but I really prefer the mild soapy smell of the one I make!

It’s super easy to make and all the “ingredients” can be found at your local store.  I live in a small, rural town and both the local Wal-Mart and Tops carry all the necessary things I need.

Borax ($3.38 for a 4 lbs., 12 oz. box), Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda ($3.24 for a 3 lbs., 7 oz. box) and Fels-Naptha ($0.97 for 5.5 oz)

I also bought a box grater (less than $10)  to use only for grating soap and a 5 gallon bucket with a lid ($2.00 at Dollar General)

A 5 gallon batch of laundry detergent will last my family between 4-6 weeks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Fels-Naptha Bar soap, grated
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 quart (4 cups) boiling water

Directions:

  • Boil water, once it’s boiling, add grated soap a bit at a time and stir until dissolved. I stir the entire time to ensure that there are no soap clumps, it won’t hurt the end product if there are any however. Also, adding soap to boiling water causes LOTS of foaming up and it can boil over really quick! This step will make your house smell soapy fresh!
  • Fill the 5 gallon bucket halfway with hot water.
  • Add the Borax and Super Washing Soda and stir well.
  • Stir in the melted soap mix.
  • Mix very well, then fill the rest of the bucket with more hot water
  • Put on lid and you’re DONE!

I usually wait to use the laundry detergent until the next day. It will form a gel in this time. You could probably use it right away if you needed to though. I use about 1/3 cup per load.

So how much am I paying per load of laundry?

It costs me about $1.31 to make 5 gallons of laundry detergent.

Using 1/3 cup per load, I can get about 240 loads out of a 5 gallon batch=less than $0.005 per load!

The box of Borax has 9.5 cups in it, the Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda has 6.875 cups in it, and the bar of Fels-Naptha will make 2 cups of grated soap.

I also make my own dishwasher detergent, stay tuned!