Welcome to the first edition of Purely Home. A new segment here on the blog, that will be featured every Monday. I will be sharing tips that I have learned on creating a greener, cleaner, simpler home.
Yes, you did read that right. I recently started using Soap Nuts and they have changed my laundry life. Though, they aren't actually a nut, rather the fruit of a Sapindus tree. The tree is native to mostly the Himalayas. The fruit is simply dried and de-seeded, becoming a natural laundry solution. Concentrated forms can be used in a multitude of household cleanings and personal care. (More about that another day.) How?
When activated the nuts release saponine, a natural detergent. The detergent is chemical free any hypoallergenic. Perfect for those with sensitive skin, or for anyone wanting to take a more natural approach in their home.
Five to seven nuts are placed in a muslin bag and can be used for about five washes. When the nuts are no longer needed, they are biodegradable, as any fruit would be.
They have a very slight scent of vinegar when you smell them right out. Once your clothes are washed, they leave no scent. My Routine.
I keep an old mason jar with its cover in my laundry area. I start the washer on hot, place the muslin bag of nuts in the jar and fill it half way with the hot water. I cover the jar and give it a shake. The nuts release the saponine with just a little bit of suds. They will never become really bubbly like detergent, but that doesn't mean that they are not working.
I then will turn my water temperature to what ever I am using at the time, temperature/water amount does not matter. I throw the bag into the bottom and do my laundry as usual. I do NOT add any fabric softener, though sometimes I will use baking soda and vinegar for extra soiled items, like diapers.
They should be taken out of the washer after the load is done washing. It has been an adjustment for me, but is actually helping me not to forget about the laundry in the washer. I just place them on my dryer to dry. While it does't necessarily damage them if they are put in the dryer, it is not really recommended. Also, you don't have to use hot water to activate, it just speeds up to process, helping them to work more efficiently.
If I want our laundry to smell pretty, I'll add a few drops of essential oils to my wool dryer balls
. They are expensive, right?
You should really know by now that I am cheap. After all, I started making my own carriers, because at the time others were not in the budget. Like a lot of things, the higher in bulk you buy, the cheaper they become. Soap nuts costs around 10 cents a load, give or take a few. It really depends on what size, and brand you use. Regardless, they are CHEAP and will probably save you money in the end. I also love that that they are no fuss, unlike homemade detergents that take grating and cooking.
So I dare you. I dare you to order soap nuts and give them a try. Will people think you are a bit nutty? ;) Yup. However, your clothes will be naturally clean!http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_6?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=soap%20nuts&sprefix=soap+n%2Caps%2C233&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Asoap%20nuts
We have been crazy busy this summer. We have done so much this already but I thought you would be interested to see the girl's room makeover, or at least what I have done so far! It took us some time and is not even close to being finished. But I LOVE how it is coming out.
First a recap. I decorated their room when Lilah was an infant. I bought wall decals on target clearance. The pictures below are from when I first did their room. A year later and decals have been torn off the walls, and beds have been out grown.
The room was cute and tiny, we made it work for that time. However, Ballerina pretty much destroyed her mattress (jumping bean!) and the crib literally began to fall apart. We had to come up with something fast!
I began to research beds and found children's sized beds at Ikea. I really liked the white wrought iron look. I had my heart set on them but then Mr. Daddy suggested we do bunk beds. I settled, as long as they could be exactly what I wanted ;).
Soon enough I found bunk beds that I liked. Unfortunately, they were way out of our budget. I simplified my wants and found some for a better price. That is when I told my friend that I had found beds that we wanted. We were at a barbecue and her father heard us talking about them. He then offered us a set of bunk beds that were his daughter's growing up.
I love free things. I REALLY love solid wood beds that are sturdy and would normally be way out of our budget that are free!
(Please excuse the mess on our porch.)
I forced Mr. Daddy and his minions, The Guncle and The Gunsmith, to sand down the beds. Mean while I painted the room, with the help of Mrs. Gunsmith. After the beds were sanded. we painted them white. We did two coats and left them at that. We really wanted a rustic type look.
Pictures below are of the room semi put back together. I am really going for a shabby chic look. Paint was still on the floor and nothing is really in it's place yet. It is a work in progress.
The quilts were made by my aunt. I hope to find floral pink sheets at some point. I then picked up two down comforters, they are sooo comfortable.
Can you guess what my next project is? Yeah it is that dresser.
I need to get a better picture of the rug. I scored it for a buck at a yard sale! That bitty baby crib was also a dollar.
eh-hm another messy closet. As I said, it is a work in progress!
Happy girl LOVES being on the top bunk!
We kept Petunia in the crib mattress to help with transition. When she gets a bit bigger we get her a twin one.
As you can see, we still have a lot to do. I need to make new curtains, redo the dresser, and actually decorate it. I hope to have it finished before Squish gets here!
P.S. Thank you to all who helped us make this room make over possible!
Recently Ballerina has been on an artistic journey. Through this journey she has colored on many things, she decided that our breezeway aka summer playroom, needed a touch of flare. Ballerina used chalk to decorate the doors and walls, even the carpet. Thankfully with an un-paper towel and some water the chalk came off easily.
Crayon however is a different story. She decided to color a master piece on the windows, and on the wall. The un-paper towel and water took the crayon off the windows, I just needed to scrub it a little. However, the wall art was not budging. I tried an orange vinager mixture, Mrs. Meyers soap, and just plain water. None of those even touched the crayon.
I then remembered a number of years ago watching a day time show, and they had mentioned using plain tooth paste to take crayon off.
The art project
Pretty talented if I do say so myself.
I grabbed our tooth paste. I only had this in the house (and strawberry toms of Maine), I would suggest using just a plain white tooth paste that is not grainy.
I smeared it over the crayon, the little people had a lot of fun helping me
I let it sit for about ten minutes, then wiped it off with a dry un-paper towel.
Tada! Good bye crayon. Hello clean wall (minus the dirt, of course!)
A year ago Ballerina was having a play date with her friend Spider man. They were playing in my kitchen while I got Lady Petunia to sleep. Ballerina was able to hack the child safety locks under my sink, and pull out a bottle of bathroom cleaner with bleach. Spider man began squirting her. Her clothes were ruined and worse her skin was covered with bleach and other harsh chemicals. That is the day when I decided that there must be a way to thoroughly clean my home without risking the health of my family. I began to research natural/safe cleaning solutions and was surprised to find something that was sitting right on my lazy susan. Vinegar.
Vinegar can be used for an extraordinary amount of everyday uses.
- Toilet- Combine a half of cup of vinegar, and a half of cup of water. Pour into the toilet and let it sit over night. Scrub with a toilet brush in the morning. The vinegar will disinfect it, and you will be left with a whiter, brighter bowl (that is if your bowl is white, not blue like mine).
- Bathroom/ kitchen all purpose cleaner- Fill a clean spray bottle with half vinegar and half water, use as you would an all purpose cleaner. Your kitchen and bath room will be disinfected and you can use this cleaner around your family!
- Carpet stain removal- Mix 2 tbs of vinegar, and 1/3 cup of baking soda. Cover stain and rub in, leave over night and vacuum it up in the morning. (Please always test a small portion of the carpet first.)
- Relieve litter box stank. Cats stink. After cleaning your litter box pour a couple of cap fulls of vinegar into the empty box, scrub with a brush or sponge. Rinse vinegar out and do this every time you clean it.
- Microwave cleaner- Fill a bowl with half vinegar and half water, microwave for 4-6 minutes. The steam from the water and vinegar will loosen up any hard stains! Wipe clean with a sponge.
- Unclog drains- Pour 1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar into the sink, let it foam and bubble. Drain by pouring hot/boiling water down the drain.
- Dishwasher- To remove soap build up, run a cup of vinegar in a normal wash cycle.
- Coffee pot- Run a half of cup of vinegar through your coffee maker to clean from the inside out. This works for a Keurig as well!
- Washing machine- Use a half of cup of vinegar during a hot wash cycle.
- Remove mildew from plastic shower curtains- Place shower curtain in washing machine with a cup of vinegar and regular detergent.
- Floor Cleaner- Add a 1/4 of a cup of vinegar to a gallon of hot water. Mop as normal. (Only use this for vinyl/ non wood floors.)
- Window Cleaner- Use the spray bottle with half water and half vinegar in place of Windex.
What are your favorite cleaning uses for vinegar?