Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MYO Laundry detergent

There are so many tutorials for making your own laundry detergent online and I actually use a recipe that I found and did not make my own. I found mine on Wikihow (can you tell I use wikihow a lot?). The tutorial is for a liquid detergent which I have made with a friend and I regularly use the powder version in the video on the same page. So for this reason I will not post another tutorial because that would be redundant. Instead, please check out the tutorials for the wet and dry versions already available at Wikihow. I can vouch for both those recipes since I have used them myself.

The page of tutorials is HERE

Some benefits of home made laundry detergent:
Save $$$. I bought all the washing soda and the Borax at Wal*Mart for about $3 each. Doing about 10 loads of laundry a week one pair of boxes lasts several months. The two I have were bought about 6 months ago and I am about half way through the box. This is with giving some away too.

Save time. It only takes about 10 minutes t0 make, believe it or not. As you make it more and more often you get better and faster. You will get used to having all the tools ready and make less of a mess too. This is faster than going to the store to get some!

Save more money on more cleaning products. The combination of borax and washing soda can be used to clean many things. I use about 1/4 cup of both with 4 gallons of water and use it where I would an all purpose cleanser. I even wash windows with it. The borax has recipes on the side of it for other cleaning uses. This mixture is great for washing the toilet too.

Works in HE washing machines. I have not personally used it in high efficiency washing machines but have been researching this kind of soap online and have seen multiple reports that it works in HE machines. HE washing detergent is more expensive than the regular stuff so this is really something people with HE machines should be doing. 

Clothes doesn't get stinky. Ever notice how sometimes when you forget the laundry in the machine overnight it gets a little stinky and you have to re-wash it? Well this laundry detergent stays fresh even after sitting in the machine for long periods of time. No re-washing!

Easy to alter to your personal needs. Sensitive to soaps? Are your kids sensitive to cleaners and can only use mild baby soap? Use a very mild soap or a baby soap in place of the regular bar of soap called for in the recipe. You can even add a few drops of an essential oil if you like a lavender sent or any other sent in your laundry detergent or any other cleaner you might make with these ingredients.

I really hope everyone does this. It will cut down on your cleaning bills!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fun with plastic bags

Unless you are super smart and remember to bring cloth bags with you to the store you probably have too many plastic bags under your sink or in the pantry just waiting to get thrown out or recycled. Well what if there were uses for these things? Turns out there are many hings you can do with old plastic bags. 

One great thing to do with them, for anyone that sews, is to fuse them together to become one thick plastic sheet that can be sewn like fabric to make anything from purses to rain coats to shoes to new shopping bags to whatever. It becomes hard to tear but you can still cut and sew it.
A really simple bag fusing tutorial with video can be found on etsy.com's how to section and another tutorial with a slight difference at cut out and keep. There is also a tutorial on the threadbanger website on how fuse the plastic and also make a padded laptop case with the newly fused plastic. 
Threadbanger mentions that you should not use pins when sewing the fabric but that you should use bobby pins instead to prevent having too many holes in your 'fabric'

Another great thing is good news for people that like to crochet and knit is to make plastic bag 'yarn'. This is also really simple and again you can make bags or anything you would normally knit or crochet, even dresses. 

Just for a larf, before typing this up I used the search option on wiki how and looked up more tutorials for things to do with plastic bags and found a few of interest.

Friday, March 27, 2009

How to make a vase from a plastic bottle

I found this tutorial on wikihow.com 
There is really a lot of information on there. Go to the Wikihow to make a vase from a plastic bottle page to learn more about making this vase but I have posted the basic tutorial here.
 Here is the finished product. Much more elegant than you would have thought for a recycled bottle, eh!
Anyhow, now for the tutorial.

You will need a plastic bottle, like the 500 ml  kind that had pop in it, scissors and some decorative stones.


  1. Mark and cut the smooth middle portion of the bottle to give an even edge approx 7.5 to 8cm (3") above where you want the fluted rim to be.
  2. Measure and make straight, evenly spaced cuts all the way around the bottle. Cut the segments in half and then cut each of those in half to make even, thin strips.
  3. Carefully press and fold all the strips outward to make a level edge all the way around.
  4. Press the bottle upside down on a flat surface to ensure an even edge.
  5. Weave the tip of a strip over the next one and under the next two. Fold and crease it so that the tip is at the place shown here by the arrow.
  6. Fold and crease the next one the same way, but weave this one over two and under one.
  7. Fold the third strip and weave the same as the first one.
  8. Continue around in this pattern until the last three and tuck each one under the next until woven in completely.


  •  Be sure to maintain the regularity of the creases.
  • Because the plastic will be very lightweight, add marbles, beach glass, or decorative stones in the vase to provide a weighted base.
  • When you add the marbles and stones and allow the light to shine through your vase, it will produce beautiful, stained glass-like colors.