Monday, January 25, 2016

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent - No grating!

I started making my own laundry soap about eight years ago.  The kids were little, and I was a SAHM, so I wanted to save some money.  My husband had some serious doubts as he was working as a mechanic and got quite dirty at work.  I'm happy to report that my soap removed just as much, if not more, grease than commercial detergents.  I used to make it the old way, which was making 5 gallons of liquid.  Although it only took 20 minutes to make, I had a 5 gallon bucket sitting on my kitchen counter for a day, and then I had to find a place to store it in my laundry room.  I knew there had to be a better way.  I started experimenting, and this is my new and improved laundry detergent recipe with no grating!

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent - No grating!

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales.

I prefer to use Fels Naptha for my soap, and I've been using it for years with great success.  I've also used Castile soap, but I didn't like it as much.  In fact, I used it to wash my floors and clean my house to use it up because it was that bad for laundry.  If you don't live on a farm or have kids that spill every other bite on their clothes, it may work for you.

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent Ingredients

How to Make Powdered Laundry Detergent

1.  Unwrap the Fels Naptha and place it on a microwave safe plate.  Microwave the soap until it's completely puffed up.  This took 2 minutes in my microwave.  I suggest microwaving at 30 second intervals until it looks like this.  Do not touch the soap!  It will be very hot.  Open the microwave door and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

2.  Once the fluffy bar of soap is cooled off. start breaking it up in to smaller pieces over a bowl.  I just crumble as much of it as I can by hand.  It will crumble very easily.

3.  There will be some chunks of soap left.  You can use a food processor to grind it up, or use a masher like I do.  I've used a potato masher and this round tool that has sharp edges.  I don't know what it's for, but it works very well on soap.

4.  Once it's all a powder, you should have about 1 cup of powdered soap.  Add 1 cup of borax, 1 cup washing soda, and 1 cup oxygen powder if desired.  I've made it both ways, and I like it with the oxy clean better.  You can definitely leave it out or use less if you want.  Give it a good stir to get everything mixed up.

This is what my finished laundry soap looks like.  You can see there are still some bigger pieces of soap,  I've never had a problem with it in my washer.

I use 1 tablespoon per extra large load in my non-HE top load.  I've heard that this works well in an HE washer because it is low suds, but always read your manual before you use it.

After you make this is a great time to clean your microwave.  The soap will make your microwave smell like soap, so I leave the door open to air out and then clean it.  If it still smells, leave the door open overnight.  I've never had the smell linger longer than overnight with the door open.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Valentine's Day Books for Kids

Valentine's Day is coming!  My husband and I aren't big on Valentine's Day for each other.  We used to go out and have a nice dinner and date, but stopped that when we had kids.  Sometimes he will surprise me with roses, but usually we just tell each other Happy Valentine's Day and be done with it.  The kids, however, do love Valentine's Day.  We don't get them gifts except maybe a piece of candy, but we have fun dressing in red or pink clothes--the boys usually wear a shirt of something they love instead.  Since we homeschool now, there are no class parties.  Instead, we will celebrate by reading books about Valentine's Day and making fun crafts.  Here's my top picks for Valentine's Day books for kids.

Valentine's Day Books for Kids

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Llama Llama I Love You
Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day Is Cool
My Fuzzy Valentine (Sesame Street)
Fancy Nancy: Heart to Heart
Day It Rained Hearts
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Minnie's Valentine
Hug Time Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George
The Valentine Star (The Kids of the Polk Street School)

The Biggest Valentine Ever
Alvin and the Chipmunks: A Chipmunk Valentine
I Love You, Snugglesaurus! (Made with Love)
The Very Fairy Princess: Valentines from the Heart
Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime (Junie B. Jones #14)
Little Critter: Happy Valentine's Day, Little Critter!
Peek-a-Boo, I Love You!
Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown
Valentine's Day Books for Kids

The Berenstain Bears' Valentine Party Snowy Valentine
Te Amo / I Love You: Bilingual Spanish English Edition
The Valentine Bears
104 Funny Valentine Day Knock Knock Jokes 4 kids: Jokes 4 kids
Children Books: Happy Valentine's Day to You!: Cute Short Stories for Kids, Valentine's Day Activities, and Funny Jokes for Kids
Star Wars: A Very Vader Valentine's Day
Doc McStuffins My Huggy Valentine
Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse!
Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine
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