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The DIY Life: Lemon Kitchen Sugar Scrub

14 May

We’ve all been there. You’re slicing, mincing, chopping garlic like it’s your job. You wash your hands. You wash your hands again. And again and again and…you get the point. They still smell of garlic! Or you’re mixing up some bread dough and you’ve got dough crusted around your fingernails and stuck all over your hands and it’s going to take at least what seems like days to get it off with the old soap and water method. Fret not oh fellow kitchen queens. This kitchen scrub is here to save the day! All natural, and made with ingredients that you have in your kitchen (you SHOULD have these ingredients in your kitchen!) The sugar helps exfoliate your hands, the olive oil keeps your skin moisturized, and the lemon juice and zest cuts through the stink and leaves behind an oh so mild lemony freshness. I keep mine next to the sink in an old mason jar and just scoop out some when I need it. If you’ve been touching meat be sure to use a spoon to get the scrub out so you don’t contaminate the jar. I’m going to make a second batch and keep a jar by the laundry tub for after gardening or painting cleanup. This would also make a great little gift for the holidays or a housewarming! This recipe will yield 3 jelly jars worth of scrub of 1 pint and 1 jelly jar.

It’s simple –

2 1/2 cups white granulated sugar

zest and juice of 2 lemons

1 cup olive oil

Stir to combine and put into mason jars. Voila. DIY made fast. And easy!

The DIY Life: Homemade Fabric Softener

26 Mar

Let’s face it. Gas is almost $4 a gallon here in my neck of the woods. So being frugal and making my own fabric softener to go with my homemade laundry soap isn’t really a far fetched idea. This recipe is cheap, easy, and you can customize it to your liking by picking whatever scent conditioner you like! Don’t worry, your clothes won’t smell like vinegar. Depending on what scent you choose, you can’t even smell the vinegar!

What you will need:

6 cups hot water

3 cups white vinegar

1 15oz bottle sauve conditioner (in the scent of your choice)

Container(s) to put the finished softener in

Place all 3 items in a large bowl and mix together with a whisk to incorporate the conditioner. Place it in mason jars or any other reusable container and have it ready for the next load of laundry! I use one “scoop” worth in the fabric softener compartment of my standard washing machine, and fill it the rest of the way with water. The scoop I use is one left over from the oxy clean that I add to my homemade laundry soap. My clothes are static free, softened, and do NOT smell like vinegar. They just smell clean. Like clothes should. The cost for all of this fabric softener? Under $3.

The original version for this recipe is located over at Frugal Girls so go on over and show them some love!

The DIY Life: Homemade Laundry Detergent

6 Jan

As some of you may know, I am on a mission to make as many things from scratch as possible. When I listen to my gram talk about her childhood, things were simpler. Sure, times were tough, but they always had full bellies, fun, and ate the things they grew and cooked from scratch. Today, we are all so busy that we become reliant of fast food options and quick fixes for everything. The chemicals they put in products and the preservatives in foods are causing havoc on our bodies. There are a variety of homemade laundry soap recipes out there, some with more exotic ingredients that I cannot get at my local stores (ordering online is not keeping this a thrifty project, so those were out!) Others seemed just too simplistic. So I essentially put all the ingredients together, and took out what I couldn’t find to come up with this. The ingredients listed were ones that showed up in multiple recipes so they seemed to be the most important ones. I liked that there were some people adding the oxyclean for a boost to your whites and colors. My gram remembers having to grate or shave off pieces of the Fels-Naptha bars when they did laundry, and using that in tandem with some baking or washing soda, so those were a must! When I told her about my plans and asked for her advice, she said I should use at least 3 bars of the Fels-Naptha because of the size of the other stuff I wanted to add.  (I was using whole containers of stuff, I didn’t want to have to measure!)

In an effort to save money as well as be more aware of what is in the products I’m using, I decided to give homemade laundry detergent a try. My first batch I made and shared with a few ladies who came to Christmas Eve, like a party favor. The cost for the laundry detergent ingredients, 4 containers, and 2 coffee scoops was under $25!!!

The cost for just the laundry ingredients? Wait for it…wait….$10.83!!! Yes, you read that right. If you use only 1-2 tablespoons of the detergent at a time you’ll get over 400 loads of laundry out of it! I use a heaping coffee scoop (or the scoop from the oxy clean is the same amount) so I’ll get about 200 loads of laundry out of it. 200!!! Holy bananas!

This laundry soap is safe for colors, and can also supposedly be used in the fancy HE washers based on what I’ve read on the internet to recipes that compare to this one.

I found every ingredient in the laundry aisle at Wal-Mart.

Be sure to do this somewhere you don’t care about dust. To avoid the dust, I used a 5 gallon bucket lined with a garbage bag, added all the ingredients, twisted the bag top and shook it all up. Store in an airtight container or a lidded 5 gallon bucket. It smells pretty strong when you start mixing everything up, but leaves only a very mild scent on clothes.

I haven’t found any spots of unmelted Fels-Naptha or detergent on any clothes. I sprinkle the detergent around the washer and start it filling, then I add the clothes just like I normally do. This detergent has little or no suds, so no worries about the movie nightmares of  a washer overflowing with soap bubbles.

Once I figure out the ratio to turn this to liquid detergent, I’ll post those details. Next up is homemade fabric softener! I still use good old snuggle for my fabric softener because I love the feel of laundry with fabric softener. Without everything feels like sandpaper. One step at a time!


1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (76 oz)

1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg)

1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (55 oz) found in the detergent isle

3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap

2 small containers of oxyclean or store brand oxyclean  ( I used the store brand – it was 1/3 of the price of oxyclean!)

Grate the Fels-Naptha on a cheese grater. Add all ingredients and mix until combined! That’s it!