Favorite Pin Friday: Homemade Laundry Detergent

I’ve been feeling under the weather lately, which hasn’t been a barrel of fun (hence the lack of blog posts). Thankfully, I finally got some medicine to cure my ills. And to go with the meds, I spent the majority of Labor Day weekend being laaaazzzzy and recuperating. And by being lazy, I mean spending an inordinate amount of time half-watching movies and surfing Pinterest. And what happens when we surf Pinterest? We get ideas of things we must do–now–even though we are sick and coughing and should not be doing anything other than surfing Pinterest and half-watching movies.

So what on Pinterest called me from my sickbed? This pin:

homemade laundry detergent by Swamp Hollow Designs

Homemade Laundry Detergent (pinned to my DIY Love board)
Yes, I felt compelled to stop resting in order to gather ingredients and make homemade laundry soap. (Oh, and organize my spice cabinet too.) I have no idea why. I guess I’m just not very good at sitting still! But, this homemade laundry soap made me immensely happy so I’m ok with that. It’s cheap and it’s eco-friendly, both things I love.

I made a smaller batch than the recipe listed here, so here are my smaller proportions:

  • 1 bar ivory soap, shaved. Equals about 2 cups.  (I used my food processor!)
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup borax

I mixed it all together in the super cute jar that I got as a housewarming gift and began using it immediately. It took me about 5 minutes total to put together. This is a winner for sure.

I then tried to determine the cost:

– 4 bars ivory soap: $2.37
– baking soda: I think it was about $2.99 (estimating 9 cups from 4 lb. box)
– washing soda: $2.40 (3 lb., 7 oz. box, estimating 7ish cups in the box)
– Borax: $3.39 (4 lb., 12 oz, box, estimating 10 cups)

SO:

– 1 bar ivory soap: $0.59
– 3/4 cup baking soda $0.33
– 1 cup washing soda $0.34
– 1 cup borax $0.34

= $1.60 for one batch, or about 4 1/2 cups of detergent.

7th Generation, my go-to eco-laundry detergent, costs $6.29 for 33 loads, and All costs $4.79 for 32 loads.

I use around half of an old laundry scoop per load (1/4 cup?), and I’m loosely estimating that I’d need to double mine to equal 30ish loads. So let’s go with $3.20 for my new eco-friendly laundry detergent! Deal!

You can find some better calculations here.

If you want a fun scent, add some essential oils if you’d like. Lavender would be nice. I have some geranium on hand too – those together would be lovely.

Next time maybe I’ll try a different bar of more eco-friendly soap, but first I’ll research and see if there are any you should/shouldn’t use. Anyone know?

One more Pin for you – homemade shaving cream. I didn’t try this one because it sounds complicated, but her story of making homemade shaving cream gives me giggles!

DIY: Super Quick (and very cheap) Picnic Tablecloth

Looking for a last minute tablecloth, but have no time to run to the store? Quick, grab some newspaper and masking tape, and I’ve got you (and your table!) covered.

the materials: newspaper, masking tape

the materials: newspaper, masking tape

Newspaper is the perfect tablecloth because most of us have some lying around, it is very, very cheap, and you can recycle it immediately after using. No mess!

Just spread your newspaper out, tape it, and voila. You are done. Rustic, cheap, and easy tablecloth from scratch.

To tape:
– fold corners around edges, like you would when you are wrapping a present.

cheap and easy picnic tablecloth: newspaper

fold the edges of paper around the corners

– use a roll fold if you want to hide the masking tape on top of the table.

Roll fold the tape to hide it beneath another layer of paper.

roll fold the tape to hide it beneath another layer of paper

– don’t worry about underneath – no one will see it! Just take long strips so you reach from the paper to the inside of the table, which might be a slight distance.

use newspaper for a picnic tablecloth!

newspaper tablecloth for a picnic!

Let me know if this was helpful!

View the post about wrapping gifts in newspaper.

View other DIY ideas.

Earth Day Birthday Plant Swap

In case you didn’t know, April is my favorite month. There are so many reasons for this, top of the list being 1) I’m a warm-weather girl and 2) I love plants, flowers, nature, etc. The other reason I love April? April has Earth Day! (For those of you that don’t know (shameful! kidding :)), its next Sunday, April 22.

What’s better than an Earth Day Plant Swap?

Of course I always try to celebrate this epic holiday in some small way. This year, however, I’m going bigger and better on the celebration. I’ve come up with a brilliant idea: I’m hosting an Earth Day Plant Swap.

To make the deal even sweeter, two of my very best friends have a birthday right around Earth Day, so this year, it’s gonna be an Earth Day Birthday. (They adore plants almost as much as I do, so I swear I didn’t push this on them. Ok, maybe I did, but only a little.)

Here’s what we’re doing:

Each guest will bring a (small) plant of their choice. Petunias! Tomatos! Orchids! Oh my! It doesn’t matter, as long as everyone has something to swap. Creativity is always welcome.

Then it will all go the way of your average Dirty Santa, and we’ll fight for our favorite. We’ll all take a number; No. 1 will pick his or her favorite, then No. 2 can steal from No. 1 or pick another, and so on. It could get pretty intense, fighting over the hydrangea. It’s sure to be a good time. I just can’t wait!

The best part – everyone goes home with a beautiful plant to help liven, and provide beauty and oxygen to, their home or yard. What could be better than that?!