Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pinterest Successes

Originally I found Pinterest fun to pin cool fashion finds, dream home pictures and whimsical quotes.  Lately my pins have moved in a much more practical direction.  I've been obsessed with all of the do-it yourself ideas.  I recently tried out two that I am thrilled with.

I love all natural spray cleaners but they can be really expensive at almost $4 a bottle.  I love cleaning with vinegar so when I saw a pin that made a citrus vinegar all purpose spray I was willing to give it a shot.  I added a bunch of clementine and lemon peels in a jar and filled the jar nearly to the top with vinegar   This was during a week when I was eating a ton a clementines and I always have fresh lemons on hand so this not only let me try a new cleanser but it helped me reuse some peels that were otherwise headed for the trash.

Here is the jar:

I let it sit for 10 days.  Every couple of days I gave it a quick shake.  The result was a very concentrated, dark colored,  citrusy smelling solution.   I poured the diluted liquid into a spray bottle about 1/4 to 1/3 full and then topped the bottle off with water. I wish I had a prettier spray bottle but this one certainly is functional.

Then came the real test: I tried it on my kitchen counter.  It worked like a charm.  It didn't leave any sticky residue, it had just a slight fragrance of citrus and no scent of vinegar.  I seldom have really big, messy spills so I think this one is a keeper!  I kept the original jar, added a few new peels, added more vinegar and I have a new batch brewing.

My other big project was trying out homemade powdered laundry soap.  I know, I know -you are thinking that it's all very crunchy or overly pioneer woman.  Well, again this is about trying to use fewer, simpler products that are less expensive and work just as well.  There are a ton of sites out there that will guide you through the "recipes" for making your own so I will spare you that but here are my assembled supplies all ready to go:

The hardest and most time consuming part of this project was hand grating the soap in the same manner you would grate cheese.  I had to do three bars so it took a while but here is the "cheesy" result:

I was then ready to mix everything together. I used a large bucket and began layering the ingredients a little bit at a time mixing well as I went. Here's everything in the bucket mixed together:

I was able to then portion it into smaller containers.  The one I will use for carrying back and forth to do laundry with is an old orange juice container.  The top is great because it has a small cutout that holds exactly one tablespoon.  That makes for very easy measuring.  You are supposed to use 2 tablespoons for a regular load of laundry.

The container is a little bit emptied since I immediately had to try the stuff out.  I knew a good test for me would be to wash my bed linens.  It's important to have soft, fresh clean sheets and comforter.  I am not someone who needs or wants a ton of fragrance left on my laundry.  I know many people do and you should be aware that this laundry soap has very, very little fragrance.  I added some of the purex crystals for softness and fragrance but I used only about 1/4 a jar in this entire batch.  That probably isn't enough for most people but I loved the results.  The linens smelled fresh and clean but they didn't smell perfumey.  Everything was soft and this is coming from the relic of a washer and dryer in my basement which doesn't do a great job.  I can't wait to try this stuff at my usual laundry mat.  Another pinterest success story!


  1. I love my homemade detergent and will never go back. You used all the ingredients I use although I've added some OxyClean to my last few batches. You will be hooked too once you see how long a batch lasts.

  2. Jen I am also hooked on homemade detergent. I absolutely love it, and I really love that $12 out of my grocery budget isn't going to laundry supplies every month. I think a batch usually lasts me for almost 3 months, and I do A LOT of laundry. One thing I have done on my last two batches - - after the "cheesey stage" of grating the soap, I let the shreds sit on a cookie sheet, spread out, for a few hours so they dry a little. Then, I pulvarize them in a food processor into almost a powder substance. I find that the end product dissolves better (I usually wash on cold) and I don't end up with spots of soap on my laundry. Can't wait to try the vinegar spray - - I have made it before but never with citrus so I think I will really like this one. Great post!

  3. Thanks for the great tips and the support ladies!!

  4. You should also google homemade yarn dryer balls-you'll never need dryer sheets again either.