Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February Pintest & Reviews!

Hello, lovelies! I am very happy to continue my monthly round of tested Pins from Pinterest and my reviews of those adventures. This month, I chose to focus on making my cleaning products more green, which means less chemicals, dyes, and other additives. I think you'll really enjoy this month's read :) Other pintests are here and here.

Orange Vinegar Spray

Over at One Good Thing By Jillee I spotted an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner made of citrus peels and white vinegar. Since I've been obsessed with clementines and oranges lately, it made sense to give this a go!

I stuffed a glass bottle full of peel pieces and poured white vinegar over the top. I let it sit on the counter for about 2 weeks until the liquid was thickened, orange in color, and smelled delightfully of clementines. The batch in the above photo is only about 1 week old and unfortunately, still smelled quite vinegar-y.

I transferred the cleaner into a spray bottle; it fit perfectly!

In order to give it a test run, I cleaned the bathroom sink. In this photo, you can see some nasty stuff, like hair, dust, and a wee bit of water marks. I swear, this was only after a week! I sprayed the cleaner on and let it sit for a few minutes.

Results: When I wiped away the spray, the sink was disinfected, clean, and gleaming. I am pretty impressed with this cleaner. It didn't streak or leave anything unwanted behind. I liked the orange scent and I feel confident that my bathroom is germ free (or close to it).

Would I make this again? Definitely! It is really inexpensive and a great way to use citrus peels.

Laundry & Dishwasher Detergent

I had a couple of inspirations for making homemade detergents: Frugal by Choice, DIY Natural, and Being Creative. To give these two cleaners a test run, I realized I needed to get the basic supplies. Luckily, both powders had two ingredients in common: Borax and washing soda. Here's what I used and how much it all cost.

20 Mule Team Borax, 76 oz: $3.79
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, 55 oz: $3.29
Epsom Salt, 6 lb: $6 (ish--this is from memory!)
Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Soap, 5 oz: $3.49

Total:  $16.57. This made 7 cups of laundry detergent and 5 cups of dishwasher detergent with salt and Borax to spare.

This soap, I admit, was a little pricey. But I feel like it was a great investment to make a chemical and dye-free laundry soap that wouldn't irritate our skin! Plus, it smells the way babies smell: so fresh, clean, and slightly sweet!

Laundry Soap

I started by grating the bar of soap. It took a bit of muscle and patience, but it really didn't take that long. Plus, it smelled amazing.

 Next, I added 2 cups of Borax.

Next was 2 cups of washing soda.

To top off the mix, I added 1 cup of baking soda.

Then, I shook it up! I made an effort to evenly distribute the various powders.

Results: I tested out the soap but using 2 Tbs. for a load of laundry. Not only did my clothes look amazing (so clean!), they smelled incredibly fresh.

Would I make this again? Absolutely! This is so much cheaper than buying "dye-free" detergent or organic laundry soaps. Plus, it was fun to make :)

Dishwasher Detergent

This was an absolute breeze to make: mix 2 cups of washing soda, 2 cups of Borax, and 1 cup of Epsom salt. Done! I only need 1 Tbs. of this to clean a load of dishes. I also used vinegar as the rinse agent by pouring it into the appropriate holder in the dishwasher door.

Results: My dishes were as clean with this homemade soap as they are with the pricey Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent! They weren't spotty or streaky at all, and each load costs pennies.

Would I make this again? Without a doubt! The Seventh Generation dishwasher soap is one of our more expensive buys. If I can avoid the high cost AND unwanted chemicals, then count me it!

I hope you all find this post useful. I can't wait to use up the other cleaners we still have in the house so I can exclusively use homemade ones. It truly gives me peace of mind to know exactly what is in the products I use around the house.

Enjoy! xo