Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Clean as a whistle: part two

The previous post by Rey details a cleaning solution you can make yourself.  Here's a variation on it.  You can skip the essential oil, add about 1/2 c lemon juice, skip the washing powder, and add a tablespoon or two of baking soda, and get an equally powerful cleaner with stuff everyone is likely to have on hand.  The lemon juice doesn't have to be fresh.  It doesn't even have to be edible. You want it for the citrusy smell. 

I sent bottles of this to my husband while he was in Afghanistan.  There were 20 men in a single tent. They were packed on top of each other like sardines.  With the heat and the poor climate control, not to mention the barely adequate laundry and bathing facilities, the smell was "unbearable".  The message he sent was "baby, you gotta help me!"

According to him, this simple mix helped immensely. Soldiers were offering to pay me to send it regularly. And since it is non-toxic, not caustic, flammable, or explosive, I didn't have to declare it as a hazardous material when shipping. 

The baking soda and vinegar react, though, so let it rest before screwing a lid on it or the bottle will explode from built up pressure.  It won't hurt anything, but it's inconvenient lol!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Clean As A Whistle.

PhotobucketYesterday was housework day for me. I freely admit that housework and I do NOT get along very well at all. I'm an outdoorsy type person so washing dishes and sweeping floors just aren't my thing. I powered through the day though and even managed to clean my bathroom. (Wanna talk about scuzzy? *ugh* 2 men/boys in the house can sure make one large mess in a bathroom.)

Another thing I hate about having to clean house is all the different cleaners you have to use. There's one for the kitchen and one for dusting, one for mopping and two or three for the bathroom. All of these cleaners smell horrible and are overloaded with harmful chemicals. I'm allergic to bleach and any kind of cleaner with bleach in it. So that in itself narrows down my choices on commercial cleaners. So in true PnP style I decided "What the heck?" I'll make my own. This recipe is extremely simple to make and can be increased or decreased depending on how much you need of it.

PhotobucketAll Purpose Eucalyptus Cleaner
1 cup White Vinegar
2 cups Hot Water
1/4 teaspoon Dish Detergent
12 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Spray Bottle

Pour the vinegar into your spray bottle followed by the water. Add the dish detergent and the add your eucalyptus EO. Screw the sprayer on tight and give it a really good shake. That's it. Simple huh?
(The amounts listed in the recipe are for a 32 oz. spray bottle. If you want to increase/decrease the amounts just remember for every 1/2 cup vinegar use 1 cup of water.)

This cleaner can be used for all of your cleaning needs. I used it for dusting, to clean my counter tops and cabinet fronts in my kitchen and I even used it to clean my *scuzzy* bathroom. It worked like a charm on everything, even the shower. (For some reason no one in my family can grasp the concept of wiping down the walls and the faucet when they get done in the shower.) The vinegar acts as a degreaser for all that kitchen scrubbing that needs done and the eucalyptus, besides smelling awesome, has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties. So everything gets good and clean.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How To Get Rid Of Uninvited House-guests.

PhotobucketNo I'm not talking about your in laws or in my case, MY parents. I'm talking about roaches. Or more generally those big roach looking things that southerners call water bugs. In general, the larger cockroaches do not bother me as long as they stay out of my house but, because of the drought we are currently experiencing in Central Georgia, several of these nuisances have taken up residence. So, in my fashion, I set out to find a way to get rid of the dreaded things naturally and at little cost to me. And thanks again to TipNut, I believe I have found the solution to my "bug" problem. You can find the original article here.

Roach Ball Recipe
White Flour
Boric Acid or Borax (although Boric Acid is a bit more effective)
Confectioner's Sugar

The amounts for each of the things listed above are something you will have to figure out depending on how much coverage you need. To start, mix the Boric Acid and Flour in a 50/50 ratio. (I used half a cup of Borax and half a cup of flour.) I added in 1 tbsp of confectioner's sugar and just slowly added water until it formed a sticky dough. (Don't add to much water...You don't want to end up with a soupy mess.) Roll the dough into marble sized balls and place them EVERYWHERE. Especially the dark recesses where your uninvitees like to hang out. The trash can, the backs of cupboards, under furniture, etc. You can always add a bit of bacon grease to the mixture to make the roach balls a bit more "appealing". The original article said it should take about a month for the roaches to be gone so we will see how it goes. They also list a recipe for larger infestations, but since mine is limited to seeing one of the little freaks every now and then I didn't bother with it, but you can find it here as well.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Whiter Whites and Brighter Brights.

So far I've mostly been doing posts on beauty recipes. (Don't ask me why because I'm so far from beauty conscience it isn't really funny) Now I figure it's time to move on to more household based things.

PhotobucketIf you are like me you do A LOT of laundry. I firmly believe someone should come up with some form of birth control for laundry. Once it goes in the basket it begins to multiply almost instantly. So by the time I get around to doing it I have a pile that resembles a small mountain. As for the detergent we use...it's normally the cheapest liquid we can find. Lately we've been using Sun Ultra Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent (250 fl oz). And honestly, at 8 bucks a bottle it's not all that expensive compared to some brands I've seen on the shelves lately. Another good thing about it is, it doesn't break me or my children out like the more expensive brands of detergent. However, in my search for cutting corners and trimming costs, I've found that I can MAKE laundry detergent for much less than even what I pay for the brand I'm using now. 

Alright here's the math. (If you are like me and not a morning person you may wanna hold out on all this mathematical brilliancy until later in the day *lol*.)

Sun Ultra Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent - $7.97 (before taxes at Wal-Mart) - 250 fl. oz. bottle does 160 loads. (about 2 gallons)

Homemade Laundry Detergent - $8.30 (before taxes) - 576 fl.oz.does approximately 288 loads. (about 5 gallons) *the price on this depends on where you live and how much you have to pay for the ingredients*

Either way, you come out cheaper in the long run. It takes my family about 2-3 months to go through a 250 fl. oz. bottle of detergent. So let's say every 3 months you pay $8.00 for a store brand detergent. That would be $32.00 a year for that store brand. With the homemade detergent you would cut that in half to $16.00 a year.

Ok ok I'm so done with the math now that I've confused even myself. *LOL* Lets move on to the actual recipe. I found it on TipNut in their 10 Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent Recipes post. (FYI TipNut is another of my absolute FAVORITE websites for DIY things.) I used the first recipe in that list and doubled it.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent *from TipNut*
2 quarts of water
4 cups bar soap (Ivory) *I read this as 4 BARS of soap but it came out fine as 1 grated bar = about 1 cup*
4 cups Borax
4 cups Washing Soda *washing NOT baking*
4 gallons of water
A clean 5 gallon bucket with a lid.

PhotobucketPut the 2 quarts of water in a large pan and bring it to a boil. Slowly add the grated bar soap and stir constantly until all the soap is added and melted. (When I say slowly add I mean it. I added it all at the same time and spent close to an hour stirring huge lumps of melting soap.) Pour the soapy water into your pail and add the borax and washing soda. Stir, stir and stir some more. Once you've got that all mixed up add your 4 gallons of water and, yep you guessed it, stir some more. I found that if you make sure the 4 gallons are warmish and you add it slowly it works better than trying to add it cold and all at one time. Then you're done. Put the lid on your bucket and sit it next to your washer.Let it sit for a day or so before you use it and always make sure to stir it well before adding it to your laundry. Use 1/4 cup per load of laundry. 

PhotobucketOn a side note, you can always add some of your favorite essential oils to give the detergent the fragrance of your choice. I wouldn't go overboard with the EO's as I'm not sure if they can stain your clothes or not, but just add a few drops slowly until you get to the desired scent you are pushing for. Also, this detergent is not a sudsy, lathery detergent but that's ok so don't be alarmed when you notice it isn't sudsing up.

JB and I made our batch of detergent yesterday so I've not tried it yet but I expect great results. (I'm trying to use up what's left of my store bought detergent because I don't want to waste it.) So try out the recipe I've posted or head on over to TipNut. They even have a couple of recipes for powdered detergent for those of you that just don't like liquid detergent. If you are looking for even MORE money saving laundry tips be sure to check out Linsey Knerl's post 6 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Laundry over at Financial Highway.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cruising The Web.

PhotobucketSince today is the 4th of July and I'm doing my level best to spend it with my family I didn't try out any new recipes. Instead I'm listing some of my favorite websites where I find other recipes to try out and some herbal sites that I absolutely LOVE!!! I hope everyone enjoys them and I also hope everyone has a safe and happy July 4th.

PhotobucketMoney Saver & DIY Websites:
The Peaceful Housewife
Money Saving Queen
Money Saving Mom
Live Renewed

Herbal Websites:
Gardens Ablaze
Annie's Remedy

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Oil Slick Ahead.

Ever wiped your hand across your face and felt like someone dumped a bottle of cooking oil on it when you weren't looking? Yea, I know the feeling all to well. No matter how often I wash my face and no matter what I use, I still have that oil slick feel, especially around my nose. All that oil is not conducive to clear skin either. (I mean I'm 30 years old. I was done with the puberty acne outbreak 10-15 years ago. Seriously.)

Soooooo, I set about finding a way to fix this problem. And lo and behold, I think I might have come up with the right combination of stuff to take care of the oil AND the acne. WOOT!!! It's a fairly simple recipe and compared to the other acne medications out there relatively cheap as well.

Tea Tree Oil & Calendula Sea Salt Face Scrub
5-10 drops Tea Tree Oil (be sure to test for a reaction BEFORE using tea tree oil)
1 Tsp. Calendula Petals
Sea Salt
Olive Oil
A small container to put all the ingredients in. (I used a small baby food jar.)

Fill container (again I used a small baby food jar so keep that in mind when filling your container) almost to the top with sea salt. Add just enough olive oil to moisten the salt completely. (Any of the other oils will do just as well so long as you do NOT use baby oil. Olive, grape seed, almond, etc. are all light enough to absorb into the skin and will sit on top of it like baby oil does.) Grind your calendula petals into a rough powder and add that and the 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to the salt and oil mixture. Put the lid on the container and shake it vigorously. 

I use this mixture twice a week. Since the sea salt also acts as an exfoliator you don't wanna over do it. Twice a week is plenty. Since I've started using this recipe I've not had the "cooking oil" complexion. I absolutely love it.

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket(5 Peas)

About PnP

I started The Peasant and the Pea as a way to categorize all of the handy little DIY recipes I've come up with and found over the years. V came on board with me and she is just as crazy about making her own stuff as I am. We both firmly believe that everyone can afford to save some money in this day and time, and we hope that by posting these quick little tips, tricks and recipes, that we may just save someone a couple of bucks. We sincerely hope you enjoy our posts and we always love to hear feedback, suggestions or just a comment saying hi. We are always looking for new tips, tricks and recipes as well, so if you have one you want to see posted, shoot us an email. Also, if you have something you'd like to try but would rather someone else be the guinea pig, shoot us an email. We don't mind being test subjects. :)

Thanks for stopping by,
Rey and V

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