Well, my blogging has been lagging a great deal lately. Several reasons for that, 1. Sick kiddos. Nothing real serious, just lots of snot and barking coughs that lasted a good week before spending another week or so tapering off. 2. The time change kicked our hineys. It took several days to find a new groove that worked for us, so before we did I was one exhausted mama trying to parent whiny, exhuasted, half sick kids. 3. Our computer/computers have been having some major issues. Our laptop caught some sort of virus not long after we got back from Ukraine. It has periods where it works fine, and then for a while it won't work at all. When Josh isn't working, he can usually mess with it and bring it temporarily back to life. It has been getting worse though, and seems to be pretty much out of commission for good now. The mouse on our desktop went out, and since we've been busy, it took several days to actually get to the store to get a new one. So we spent several days without the internet. 4. I found a fiction series that peaked my interested. About 30 pages in to the first book I was hooked, so I spent all last week spending every single free moment reading. I finished the whole series in a week, so I guess I now have to face reality again.
All that to say, those are my excuses for not blogging lately. I also want to preface this blog post(although at this point I don't think that preface is the right word) by saying that it really SHOULD have pictures, but it doesn't. I'm going to share my adventures in making my own toothpaste and my own laundry soap. Those kinds of posts really should have pictures. BUT our desktop doesn't have a memory card slot, so I don't know how to get the pictures from the memory card to the computer. Alas, you will jut have to use your imagination.
Like I said, I have been experimenting with making my own toothpaste and my own laundry soap. It is something that I've been wanting to do for a while, but I guess I have just been lazy, or pre-occupied...
Let's start with the TOOTHPASTE:
This was SO easy. It litterally took me five minutes from start to finish.
The ingredients are COCONUT OIL, BAKING SODA, and PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL.
I put 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a small glass bowl. I added one teaspoon of baking soda, and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil. I took a butterknife and mixed it all up. Coconut oil is soild, but soft at room temperature. Once it was all mixed it put it in a small plastic container that has a lid. I keep it in my bathroom on the shelf. When I brush my teeth I stick my took brush in the container and scoop some on to my toothbrush. Out of habit, I wet my toothbrush before brushing my teeth, but you don't have to.
The first time I used it I didn't really know what to expect. It doesn't lather like regular toothpaste, but my mouth feels very clean afterwards. I really really like it! When I run out of what I have and need to make a new batch, I am going to go ahead a make a bigger one so it will last longer. I plan on using a little less baking soda and a little more peppermint essential oil. Peppermint can be STRONG, so it is best to start small and add more if you want. Next time I plan on using 4 tablespoons coconut oil, one heaping teaspoon of baking soda, and 20-25 drops of peppermint essential oil. This toothpaste is free of chemicals and it is all natural. It also has the added benefit of being very frugal. I plan on transitioning the kids over to this toothpaste too. Their batch will have less peppermint though, since my kids don't like "spicy" toothpaste. I have two kiddos that swallow their toothpaste, so this is a very safe alternative to regular toothpaste, which should NOT be swallowed. Also, you don't have to use peppermint essential oil. Clove, cinnamon, and theives would also be great choices!
Now, for the LAUNDRY SOAP:
This was super simple also, and only took about 20 minutes total.
I started by boiling one gallon of water. Once it starts boiling(or a little before, if you are impatient like me), you shave two bars of Fels-Naptha soap in to the boiling water, stopping every so often to stir. You can get Fels-Naptha soap on the laundry aisle at Wal-Mart for 96 cents a bar.
Once the Fels-Naptha was stirred in and melted, I added 2 cups of borax and 2 cups of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda. Both of those items can be purchased on the laundry soap aisle at Wal-Mart. Once it was all stirred in together, I put one gallon of hot water in to a five gallon bucket. After that I poured in my soap mixture. Then I poured another gallon of hot water on top of that. I stirred it all up and then let it cool. It filled my 5 gallon bucket about 3/5 full, and once it has cooled it forms a very thick gel. Today is my first dy to use it, but I washed several loads using 1/2 a cup of the laundry soap mixture, and it worked great. The finished laundry soap has a very clean smell. If there isn't enough scent for your taste, then you can always add some essential oils to the mix. Lavendar is always an excellent choice for things like that. If you are looking for a chemical free and VERY frugal way to wash your clothes, THIS is the choice for you! Seriously. It was very cheap and easy to make. Once again, I am sitting here asking myself WHY I waited so long to do it!
So that's all I got for tonight. I have so other ideas that I am going to be experimenting with in the near future, so I'll let you know how that goes.