Tag Archives: green cleaning

DIY Laundry Stain Remover

{I’m going to go ahead and put a disclaimer at the beginning of my post, because let’s face it.  Yes, Cage Free Dad is awesome and helps with laundry.  Don’t hate me!}

Now, on to the topic at hand today.  Last week, Cage Free Dad was helping with laundry (see? I said don’t hate me!) and accidentally left a tube of Chapstick in one of his pants pockets.  Ooops! If you’ve ever done that yourself, you know the stains it can leave.  Unfortunately, he chose this cycle to add Pistache’s brand new t-shirts, so everything that is new to this season now has these nice grease stains all over them.

In a panic, I went to my mom friends for help, and got a few different suggestions, ranging from chalk to Blue Dawn.  Since I already had some Blue Dawn dish soap, I decided to look up how to remove stains using it.  After reading several posts about different ways it can help, I concocted a stain remover that I am really pleased with, so I thought I’d share it with you now.

DIY Stain Remover

Please note, this is not something you can mix up and keep on hand.  You’ll have to make it every time you have stains to remove, because otherwise the magical properties the Hydrogen Peroxide with dissipate.

What You’ll Need:

  • Blue Dawn dish soap
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Baking solda
  • teaspoon sized measuring spoon
  • small bowl for mixing

The Recipe

To make your stain remover simply follow this recipe:

Use 1 teaspoon of Dawn and mix it with 2 teaspoons of Hydrogen Peroxide.  If you want to make more or less of this stain remover, simply use the 2:1 ratio.  Once you’ve mixed those 2 ingredients in your bowl, add some baking soda to form a paste.

Let it Sit

For best results, use your stain remover immediately by rubbing it into the stains on your clothes.  For Pistache’s t-shirts, I let them sit about an hour (I tested this on one of my older shirts first to make sure I wasn’t further ruining her clothes, you should do the same).  After the hour is up, I washed the clothes on a normal cycle and then laid them flat to dry.  This is important since putting clothes in the dryer can set the stain even further.

Pistache’s clothes had already been through the dryer with the stain once, so I didn’t want to do it again.  Most of the stains came out on the first try, but a few pieces still had visible stains.  For those, I simply mixed up another stain remover and repeated the process again.  Depending on how important this article of clothing is to you, you can repeat this process as many times as needed. Unfortunately, one of the new t-shirts did end up in the play clothes drawer after the second attempt at removing the stain, but all others look brand new again.

While I’ve only used this stain remover on grease stains so far, the reading I did online showed that other bloggers have used their Blue Dawn stain removers on a variety of different stains with success, so it is certainly worth a shot.  I know I’ll be trying this concoction first from now on on any stains that come my way.

 

 

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How to Make Your Own Gunk Remover

As you know, this Cage Free Mamma has a new home.  It’s amazing, and overall has been kept up very well.  However, I’m a stickler for cleanliness and there are some aspects of this older house that just scream “Clean me!”

For example, the stove that was left with the house, which looked clean on the surface, but after about a week of use, I began to notice the kind of sticky, gunky build up that just wouldn’t budge with my normal vinegar-water cleaner.  No matter how much I scrubbed, I couldn’t make that slight stickiness go away.  It was like decades of grease build up that had gotten no more attention than a quick wipe down in the evening.  Still, I’ve been convinced that this very old stove is actually very valuable and very useful (It’s an old Jen-Air), so I took it upon myself to find away to remove the gunk build up so I could be happy with my old appliance!

After asking some older relatives and looking around online, I finally found a solution that I thought might work on this gunk, and decided to give it a try.

Image

Before (left) and After(right) of my homemade goo-gone scrub

If you have old, gunky appliances in your home and really want to find a way to clean them without using store-bought chemicals, you should consider trying this out.  It’s 100% natural and safe for use in the kitchen, and you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry!  If not, they are easy to find in most grocery stores.

Here’s what you need:

-1/2 c baking soda

-1/2 c coconut oil

-1 old toothbrush for scrubbing

-1 old sponge or towel for wiping

-1 canning jar for storage

That’s it! You simply mix your baking soda and coconut oil together in the jar and use your toothbrush, towel, or sponge to clean the desired area.  I tried the towel first, then the sponge, and neither of them gave me the results I wanted.  Luckily, we had just bought new toothbrushes the day before, so I had a spare lying around that I could use for extra scrubbing power.

As you can see in the photo, I scrubbed half of the clock face on the stove and then took a picture, to show how much it takes off!  I’ll be trying this scrub in different areas of the house soon, but honestly, I was pretty wiped out after doing the entire stove top, vent, knobs, and oven door handle.  I’ll have to wait a bit to try it out elsewhere!

Do you have a favorite homemade cleaner? Please share!

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How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

When Pistache was a baby, she had horrible eczema.  It was awful to the point of bleeding sometimes.  Our pediatrician at the time wasn’t very concerned with finding the cause, and so we went on the search ourselves.  While that was an extremely rough time in all of our lives, I’m grateful that it turned me towards a greener, cleaner lifestyle.  Her eczema is the reason for our entire lifestyle. The chemical-free cleaning, clean eating, and slow vaccinations.  The “war on eczema,” as we still call it, was a real turning point in our lives.

One of the first changes we made was to use dye-free, fragrance-free detergent, and we noticed a big change when we did that. Unfortunately, detergents free of dyes and fragrances actually cost more.  Don’t ask me.  You’d think since they are leaving out ingredients they could charge less, but that’s big business for you, right?

Homemade laundry detergent smells great and looks pretty!

Anyway, I did some research and learned about homemade laundry detergents.  How perfect!  This stuff is so easy to make, too.  It’s almost not worth buying detergent at the store, it’s so easy, and cheap.

All you need to make this laundry detergent yourself is:

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda)
  • 1 bar Fels Naptha soap (or your favorite bar soap)
  • Cheese grater (or spare food processor)
  • Jar that closes
  • Laundry scoop
You can find the 3 top ingredients in the laundry aisle at most stores.  In fact, I found all 3 items right next to each other, like the stockers knew I was coming in looking for the ingredients.

To make this detergent, you simply use your cheese grater to finely grate an entire bar of Fels Naptha soap into a large bowl.  Then measure out 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of washing soda and mix all three ingredients thoroughly.  I use about 2 tablespoons of detergent for a large load.

I know a lot of people are worried about the switch from liquid detergent to powder, and while there are several recipes out there for liquid laundry detergent, I just haven’t felt the need to switch.  We always used liquid detergent and I was a little concerned that the powder would leave my clothes stiff or itchy, but it absolutely hasn’t.  I add a splash or two of white distilled vinegar and then just wash my clothes as normal and they come out with no smell (of vinegar or soap), and just as soft as they used to when I used liquid detergent.

If you have sensitive skin, or even if you just want to cut back on your chemicals, this laundry detergent is a great detergent to try.  Since you can substitute the Fels Naptha for a soap that you know your skin can tolerate, this is even good for people with sensitivities to different soaps and smells! I have a friend that makes this using Dove soap as well, and it works just as well as mine does.  Give it a try.  It’s so easy, and so cheap that you’ll wonder why you’ve been spending the big bucks on brand name detergents.

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