The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

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.

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Project 365: Week 42 and 43 October 30, 2012


Sunday was the formal captains dinner

Monday we arrived at Half Moon Cay

Tuesday I was in Nassau

Wednesday was our last fun day at sea

Came back home on Thursday and the trees had already changed colors

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This is what happens when you left a husky alone

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My package arrived from my secret Halloween gifter. I think they got it right 🙂

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Making some Halloween cookies. I love these!

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Oh my, I found another Frankenweenie shirt for Mr. Mal to wear

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Found my last piece for my Halloween costume

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Subway is giving these out in their children meals. I have 2 as of today.

Making the huge tutu’s. This is mine on top of my friends. That is 500 years of tule!

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Burr it is cold. Someone does not want to get out of bed.

Halloween Party time! This is my Witches Brew

More pictures to come!

 

Project 365: Week 39 October 1, 2012

Filed under: Project 365 — Sheena @ 10:10 am
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I guess I have been too busy to notice that I have been posting the wrong week in my title for awhile now. I started typing Project 365: Week 49 and was like “wait, there are only 52 weeks in a year.” I’m a dweeb, should of been 39. Sorry! I guess I was lost but here they are!

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My Halloween Display

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Sorry for the window screen, this was Mr Blackie hunting for birds sitting next to the pumpkin display. Looked better in person.

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Finally cleaned up my flowerbed and planted 3 mum plants.

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It was a cloudy night but I could see the Full Moon!

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This is my Witches Brew for the Halloween party recipe. I tried it out to make sure it tasted good before hand and it did just a bit strong. I think I will need to tone it down a bit for the party.

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Found this at the package store. Haven’t tried it yet but I think it would go great with coffee.

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Cleaned and organized the liquor storage. I always tell people I am not an alcoholic and one people said “I know, if you were they would all be empty.” On a side note, I keep my cleaning supplies on the other side of cabinet, thus we don’t drink Drano.

 

Recipe – Drunken Noodles -Yummy! May 14, 2012

Filed under: postaday2012 — Sheena @ 12:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

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I use my fresh basil

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  • 2 14-ounce packages 1/4-inch-wide flat rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Thai chiles (I used Thai Chili Paste)
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup black soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 2 green bell peppers (about 12 ounces total), cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves or regular basil leaves
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts

Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently. Drain.

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Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and Thai chiles; sauté 30 seconds.

Add chicken and the next 4 ingredients and sauté until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add noodles, tomatoes, and Anaheim chiles; toss to coat. Transfer to large platter, sprinkle with basil leaves, and serve.

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If you really like hot stuff I put in 4 tablespoons

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This is the fish sauce. I used Oyster sauce 1/4 cup

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This is the finish product. It was very good, still missing something and couldn’t put my finger on it. I am trying to get it as good as Taste of Thai’s maybe I should just ask what they use.

 

How to Make Homemade Banana Bread… Yum May 2, 2012


Have overripe Banana’s? Turn them into bread!

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 20 min
Yields: One large loaf of bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Butter, soften
  • 2 large Eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups Overripe Mashed Bananas
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven at 350 degrees F and grease (lightly) a loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients: The flour, baking soda, and the salt. Set to the side.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl combine the soften butter with the brown sugar. Once it is well mixed add the 2 eggs and the mashed bananas.
  4. Take your wet mixture and combine with the dry. Don’t over-stir!
  5. Pour mixture into your loaf pan or pan of your choice.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes. Check with a toothpick if bread if cooked. Let cool for 10 minutes

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I recently started a hub page to see if my blog entries could gain some cash. This is my first post. Enjoy 🙂