I've been doing a lot of DIY stuff lately... partly for the sake of saving money, mostly for the sake of being cautious about the myriad toxic chemicals that enter the home in the form of cleaning and hygiene/beauty products.
First stop: Laundry Detergent
Well, actually... I did that second. The real first thing I did was replace my "all-purpose" cleaner with simple citrus-infused vinegar:
I peeled four clementines and sprinkled them with salt to help the peels release their citrus-y goodness.
Then I split the peels between two large jelly jars and filled them with white vinegar almost to the top, but not quite. That's it. Let them sit for two weeks (adding more peels each time you have that delicious fruit - and the reason for leaving a little room at the top).
This amount will fill a typical-sized sprayer. I reused an old Windex bottle. However, I used my homemade cleaner once and lost it... or that is, I put it away so well I can't find it. If I ever unearth it (or just make more), I'll elaborate more on how great it is.
It being my first time out of the gate with my new cleaning product, I intended to use it full strength to see what I thought of it, but I've heard it can be diluted with water and still does a good job.
So, about that laundry detergent.
Here are the players.
The Fels needs to be grated.
I just used half a bar.
Dissolve the Fels in a gallon of water, then add a cup each of the Borax and washing soda.
When everything is dissolved, turn off the heat and add another gallon of cool water.
When it's cooled a bit, poor it into gallon containers.
Two gallons of fantastic-working laundry detergent for pennies per load. This cost me less than $2.00 to make (plus the pennies it took to turn on my stove).
This will do between 64 and 96 (32 and 48 per gallon) loads depending how much you use per load (1/2 - 1/4 cup). The amount I use varies depending on the size of the load.
This recipe gelled a bit too much; it's not easy to pour it out of the spout, so... Kristiina, who has made this more often than I, suggests reducing the borax to half a cup. I'll try that next time!
Think you'll give it a try? What's your motivation for this type of DIY project... dollars or toxins?