Stuff You Can Make Yourself: Scouring


Hi Kids!

Next in the lineup for Stuff You Can Make Yourself is scouring powder, tub-scrub, cleanser…whatever you like to call it.  It’s the stuff that gets your sinks, tubs, tub surrounds, etc. clean and sparkly.  Pretty nice on the grout too, I must add.  You can also use this to scrub pots and pans after the kids are done cooking your Mother’s Day breakfast!

I even use this to get burnt crud off my glass-top stove.  No, it doesn’t scratch or harm the surface.  I’ve been using it for months!

1 cup Borax
1 cup table salt
1/2 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer makes this too)
*Optional:  5 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil, for scent (but I use 3 drops peppermint and 4 drops pine)

You can just whisk or shake this mixture together, but I like to run it through a food processor to mix it completely, and to bust up anything that’s gotten lumpy.

Sprinkle, scrub, sparkle!

Stuff You Can Make Yourself: Glass/Mirror Cleaner



It’s finally acting like Spring outside, over most of the country, and people all over are doing something they only do around this time of year.  Oh, they SAY they do it more often, but really, cleaning your windows (inside AND outside), is pretty much a spring cleaning activity.  (Wait…I may have just tipped my “lazy” hand…)

After much testing, I have come up with the worlds greatest all-natural, ammonia-free window cleaner.

Here’s the recipe:

In a 26-oz. spray bottle (or larger), combine:

20 oz. distilled water
4 oz. white vinegar
1 oz. rubbing alcohol (or absolute vodka, if you really wanna use it to clean windows)
1 to 2 tsp. cornstarch (or tapioca flour/starch)

Shake before each use…the cornstarch won’t dissolve, so you need to shake it or it’ll clog up the sprayer!

Plus, it’s fun.  Shaking things is fun.

To break it down, the water is the carrier, the vinegar is the cleaning agent, the alcohol makes it dry faster, and the cornstarch prevents streaking!

Take that, blue window juice!  If you NEED it to be blue, pop a drop or two of food coloring in there, but don’t overdo it!

Note:  I’ve been using this on my surfaces too, and it works nicely!  Do not use on sealed granite or other sealed solid surface, though!  Alcohol will damage the sealant!

Stuff You Can Make Yourself: Floor Cleaner


Hello my lovelies!

Ok, I make a lot of neat stuff that not everyone can make at home.  I mean…do you have bentonite clay, citric acid and raw shea butter just hanging around in your cupboards?  (I just know someone’s going to comment saying, “Why yes…yes I do!” and the effect will be squashed…but that’s ok.  You get the point.)

I’ve been making much more than soap for a while now, but my cleaning products aren’t the kind of thing I’d want to package and sell.  It’s just too darned easy to make them at home, and they’re WORLDS cheaper than anything commercial…especially the organic brands.

So here’s my natural floor cleaner recipe.  It’s great on hardwood, laminate, vinyl, tile…whatever you’ve got.  It works!

In a spray bottle, available at any hardware store, mix:

20 oz. distilled water (tap water has buggies and junk in it that will leave residue and film on your floors)
4 oz. white vinegar
5-10 drops of sweet orange essential oil (available at most health food stores)

The water’s the carrier.  The vinegar’s the cleaning agent.  The oil adds fragrance and wood conditioning, as well as grease cutting and cleaning properties.  If you have wood or laminate floors, go for closer to 10 drops.  If you have ceramic tile, stay on the lower end with 5 drops.

SHAKE BEFORE EACH USE!  The orange oil will rise to the top, so shake that bottle when you use it!

Spray on, mop.  No need to rinse.

Simple, cheap, and it works!  Enjoy!

Why Natural Soap? What’s the Diff?

Patchouli Herbal
There are lots of differences, but the most important has to do with glycerin.  Glycerin is what gives soap its “slip” and moisture.  It’s the element in professional shaving soaps that make that lather result in a good shave.
Commercial soap companies extract the natural glycerin from their soap and sell it to lotion companies, or use it in their own lotion products if they have them.  That’s why commercial soaps are so drying.
Handmade soap retains all its natural glycerin content, so it’s never drying.  Because I use only handmade soap, my need for lotion has diminished dramatically, and I haven’t purchased shaving cream since I tested my first handmade bar.
The other differences are pretty obvious…commercial soap uses synthetic chemicals for lather, fragrance, and handmade soaps are very often all-natural or even entirely organic.
Ours are usually 100% organic, with the exception of a few natural fragrance oils which I will occasionally use instead of an organic essential oil.  Mine are also always vegan.  No animal products.
Those are the major differences.  Isn’t soap educational?