The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

Trading Harmful Chemicals for Nature November 18, 2015


Every since I had my son I try to reduce his exposure to harmful chemicals. This is easier said than done. I tried my best to feed him locally grown foods and super filtered water to drink. I have decided to rid my house of plastics and replaced everything with glass. I put away all my non-stick pans and only cook all my food in cast iron, but I still used a ton of harmful chemicals to clean my house.

I was introduced to Young Living essential oils a few months ago. I decided to purchase a starter kit and give them a try. I am very science based when it comes to phrase “natural.” I believe many things we think are “good” for us are a marketing scheme. I went into the essential oils with this same mind set. Thus, the reason for this post. I am trying out all the different products and will give my honest unbiased review of them.

I am 3 months in and I have had a chance to try many of their products and have come to LOVE most of them.

My FAVORITE product I have purchased from them is the Thieves Cleaner. Note: the cleaner doesn’t come in the starter kit but you do get a small bottle of the Thieves oil in the starter kit. The story of this oil is inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals they used while robbing the dead and dying and they did not get sick. Kind of  a creepy story but it is awesome oil to use to protect yourself this winter.

First off, I purchased this cleaner not knowing it is super concentrated. You use a couple of caps full of the cleaner and mix it with water for an all-purpose cleaner. With help from Pinterest, I learned I could use a empty Perrier water glass bottle and a spray top for any old cleaner to make my mixture. I no longer buy any cleaners from the store. This has replaced them all. It also made a ton of run under my sink where I had tons of different cleaners from bathtub to oven. Now I have one bottle now and it honestly doesn’t even go under the sink. I leave it on the counter because I use it all day long! I give this product an A+

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If you want to purchase this cleaner I can purchase it for you at my cost, $22, or if you want to learn more about getting your starter kit check out this link

https://www.youngliving.com/vo/#/signup/start?site=US&sponsorid=3153149&enrollerid=3153149

Or go to https://www.youngliving.com/ to learn more about essential oil

 

How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent (HE Washer Safe) November 25, 2012


I am frugal by choice. I like to save money by making things we use everyday. This way, we can use the money we save to splurge on things that we enjoy in life.  One of the things I make is our laundry detergent. I honestly do not have any idea why we have so much laundry to do in the first place. It is just the husband and I living here and we have no human children, just our fur babies. I would say I do at least 2-3 loads/day. When I started writing this blog it was about noon and I had already done 2 loads of laundry. I know that will not be it for the day, because when my husband gets home from hunting I will have plenty more.

Maybe the problem is me. I will admit that I tend to wash anything and everything that will fit into my washer. That means rugs, shower curtains, floor mats,comforters, pillows, dog beds, etc.  If it fits, it ships gets washed. I am sure this stems from my fear of my house stinking. You know when you walk into someones house and it has its own odor? For example, if a home has pets living inside, people smoke inside, or they cook a lot it can have its own smell. Our house is older home and I fear it may develop its own scent. I know, it is an odd fear to have but still there is nothing wrong with having cleanly washed things, right?

I have had many people ask me for the recipe and I could have sworn I blogged it previously but I could not find the post. So, here it is with easy to follow directions and pictures. It is so simple, just 3 ingredients, and easy to do you will wish you have tried it sooner.

To start off, we need a bar of soap. The soap I use is called Fels Naptha.  It is an old-fashioned type of soap usually found in the laundry aisle.

You may use Ivory soap. It will work just fine but I have tried both and I feel that Fels Naptha is better at stain removal than Ivory. I purchased mine at Kroger for $1/bar.

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Next, you will need to grate the soap where it can be easily melted in boiling water. This is the hardest part of the whole recipe and it doesn’t take too long.

Tip: You can use a food processor to do the job but the soap will not be as fine.

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Add 12 cups water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the soap and stir contiguously until all the soap is dissolved.

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Once the soap is dissolved, stir in 1 cup of Borax and 1 Cup of Washing Soda.

Please note: Washing soda should not confused with baking soda.  They are not the same thing.  Washing soda is sodium carbonate and baking soda is sodium bicarbonate.

The brand I use is Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.  I have no trouble finding it and the Borax in the laundry section at my local Kroger.

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Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Tip: Place a wooden spoon over the pot to help it from boiling over.

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Many people use a 5 gallon bucket to store it in, not me. I think it looks a bit trashy sitting in the laundry room floor. I use a Tupperware like clear container. Since it about 1/2 the size of the 5 gallon bucket, I use only 1/2 cup vs the 1 cup that the original recipe called for. Fill it 1/2 full with warm water and pour your hot mixture in. Stir and add more water until the mixture reaches the top.

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You may add your own “smelly good” oils to the mix. I use 1 oz of Tea Tree oil because I have sensitive skin and love the smell.

This is an optional step and can be left out. Your soap will still smell great.

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Let it sit overnight.

It will become a slimy gloppy substance, like a watery gel once it has settled. Mix the gel until it becomes a thick liquid. I have read different methods of doing this. Some people using a drill with a mixer attachment or a hand held kitchen mixer. Me, I use my hands. I feel childish, but it is fun breaking up the slim as it slides in-between your fingers.

As you can see, I even have laundry going in the background 🙂

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Transfer the soap into empty laundry bottles. A large kitchen spoon works well. My soap mixture is never perfectly smooth, it always has lumps.Once it is in the bottles, I go to shaking as hard as I can. It is like DIY “shake weights.”  That helps break the lumps up even better but still there are going to be some.

I shake the bottle every time before I use it. This makes sure it is mixed well because the liquid can settle and separate while sitting on the shelf.

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The soap is a low sudsing soap; if you don’t see suds, that is ok.  The suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap thus this is prefect for HE washers.

How much am I saving?

This recipe cost me about $1.21 to make and will wash about 128 loads.That is less than a penny/load!

I normally only have to make this twice a year. When I run out all I have to buy is another bar of soap. There is still plenty Washing Soda and Broax left for about 4 more batches. Super cheap to make and can save loads of cash. I have been making this for over 2 years now and it washes just as well, if not better, as Tide does. I have even compared the 2 side by side like they do on TV. This is a good way to be green and save some green. Enjoy your soap making.