Welcome 2014. I have changed the way I do things around here and it is working very well!
Time to share with others, what is working for me.
Homemade, clean and cost efficient soap!
Here are three recipes for housekeeping I am implementing and have been for some months now. All the recipes I am passing on to you, were harvested from the Pinterest site or given to me by friends.
LIQUID LAUNDRY SOAP
5.5 oz of grated laundry soap. I use a bar of Zote or Fels Naptha, grated with my food processor, using the fine blade.
4 cups water
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
a 5 gallon bucket with lid
An empty container to hold the weeks worth of laundry soap
I use a scale to measure the 5.5 oz. of grated soap accurately.
Pour the 4 cups water into a saucepan, heat to hot, not boiling and sprinkle the grated soap into water, stirring until all melted and dissolved.
When dissolved pour into the 5 gallon bucket and add hot tap water to fill to the 5 gallon line. Add the Borax and Washing Soda and stir well. My husband cut me a nice big paddle out of wood to use just for this stirring process. Otherwise use a long yardstick or other long object so as not to burn your arm with the hot water while stirring.
Set the cover on the bucket lightly and allow to sit in place and cool. Mixture should solidify to a gel consistency, and will need to be stirred again. At this point I fill my liquid laundry bottle, to 3/4 with the soap. Scooping out the gel with a measuring cup and pouring into the empty liquid laundry soap bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle to the top with hot water, cap tightly and shake.
I store this bottle nearer to my washer. I shake the bottle well before using. It only takes 3 cap fulls to wash a heavy load! Less soap for lesser load.
LIQUID HAND & BODY SOAP
1/2 gallon distilled water
1 bar Dr. Bonner Soap, or Kirks Original Coco Castile Soap
(May substitute other bar soap but it must contain glycerin in the ingredients list, or purchase glycerin separately to add a spoonful to glycerin free soap.)
3 or 4 clean empty soap dispensers
Measure out 1/2 or the gallon of distilled water into a large saucepan. Heat water to just hot, not boiling. Grate the bar of soap and add to the water. Stirring until dissolved. Allow to cool on counter or stovetop. Cover. Overnight or after many hours, this will set up and become a gel. Stir and pour through a funnel into your empty soap dispensers. You may want to add essential oil, about 10 to 12 drops to the pan of cooled gel and stir, before pouring into the dispensers.
* This works for dishes, hair, bath anything. If it looks like it's gelling up at anytime, just shake bottle good before using.
HOMEMADE SPRAY CLEANER
12 oz. Dawn Dish Soap ( I like the clean and clear Dawn)
12 oz. white distilled vinegar
10 drops essential oil (optional)
Measure all ingredients and pour into a large spray bottle. Use for kitchen sinks, counters, bathroom tubs, sinks toilets, works well on stoves, too! Spray and wipe, wipe again with rinsed cloth if needed, the surface should dry to a shine. It won't smell vinegary, either. Not so that it bothers you, anyway.