How To: Liquid Laundry Detergent – Saves a Ton of Money!!

Today I’m going to show you how simple and quick it is to make your own homemade liquid laundry detergent that you can use in a normal and HE washing machine.  It will also save you a TON of money.

Homemade laundry detergent is gentle on clothing and gentle on the skin.

Here are the ingredients you will need.

  • Fels-Naptha – comes in a 5.5 oz bar, you will need 1/3 of the bar
  • Borax – Half Cup
  • Washing Soda – Half Cup
  • Water

Start by boiling 6 cups of water in a pot (I use a dedicated pot for this so I do not get any soap residue in my food).  Grate the bar of soap and stir to melt completely.  Once completely dissolved, take off of heat and add your borax and washing soda.  Stir until all dissolved.

In a large bucket (I use a 5 gallon bucket) put in 4 cups warm water.

Add Soap mixture to bucket and stir.

Then add 1 gallon, plus 6 cups of water, I just use regular temp water (by regular I mean not warm or cold) and stir until well incorporated.

Allow mixture to sit overnight.  It will tighten up and become a consistency similar to egg drop soup.  Mix well so all the gelatinous parts are well incorporated and pour into old detergent containers for use.  It is recommended to use 1 cup per load, I use less for smaller loads.

The recipe will yield 32 loads of laundry.  Now let’s see how much you can save!

Laudry Det

 

Coconut Oil – Quick Facts and Uses

Coconut Oil is antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial meaning coconut oil can kill the bacteria that leads to tooth decay.

Coconut Oil – Comes in several varieties

  • Extra Virgin – Unrefined – 76 degree
  • 92 degree – Not common
  • Fractionated – Liquid – low aroma – more expensive long process to isolate and distill the triglycerides in the oil – infinite shelf life – Refined without chemicals
  • Refined – 76 degree – Long Shelf Life

The two most common types are Refined Coconut Oil, and  Extra Virgin or Unrefined Coconut Oil.

The least processed and healthiest is Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. When looking for Extra Virgin Coconut Oil try to find a brand that is Cold Pressed, Non-Hydrogenated, and Organic, if possible.

I won’t get into the ways of extraction for Coconut Oil and the refining process, but here are a few quick facts.

Coconut oil is mainly made up of a medium-chain fatty acid called lauric acid.  (Lore-Ick) Lauric acid consumption gives beneficial effects including antibacterial, anticancer, antiviral as well as giving you immune-boosting effects.

Now, Both refined and unrefined coconut oil contain the same amount of Lauric Acid. However Unrefined coconut oil is richer in phytonutrients. Also Polyphenols, which act as antioxidants in the body, are damaged by the process used to produce refined coconut oil, so more are present in the unrefined kind.

Uses:  Coconut Oil can be used in food, drinks, fuels, lubricants, medicines, cleaners, toothpaste, creams, lotions, balms, massage oils, body butters, lipsticks among several, several others.  But it has many direct skin, hair, and a few other uses as well. Let’s cover those now.

  • Apply directly to dry skin especially on Elbows and use after showers on your whole body instead of lotion
  • Rub on eczema to help tame it
  • Rub on age spots to help fade them
  • Mix with salt for an exfoliating scrub for your face or even for your feet
  • Mix with sugar for a body scrub
  • Put in spray bottle for a nice tanning oil
  • Massage a light layer directly to your face for facial moisturizing
  • Apply to hair for an overnight, leave-in conditioner – just apply a small amount and comb it out – wash it out in the morning
  • Use sparingly to help tame flyaway hairs
  • Use a small amount to help de-frizz split ends and reduce static in your hair
  • Apply to your cheekbones over your makeup to highlight them
  • Use as a moisturizing and gentle shaving lotion
  • Works as a great makeup remover
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Chaffed skin? apply a small amount as often as needed to soothe the area
  • Apply to scrapes and cuts instead of Neosporin
  • Use by itself for massage oil

o   And if the massage goes well, works as a natural Sexual Lubricant

  • Has also been used as a lubricant for small motors and engines
  • Works as a stretch mark preventer if applied to your stretching skin during pregnancy

o   Also works as a nipple cream during breastfeeding – natural and safe

  • Apply to Sunburns
  • Great for use in homemade deodorant and homemade toothpastes
  • Take a spoonful everyday to help boost your metabolism

o   Also can be used for a quick boost of energy throughout the day

  • Use to Season your cast Iron pan
  • Its gluten free and used for cooking as a replacement for butter in baking or a high heat cooking oil
  • Lastly give small amount to your pets for health benefits or use on your kitten’s paws to help cut down on hairballs

Let me know what your favorite uses for coconut oil are in the comments below.

Also the cheapest place I have found Organic, Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil is at Sam’s Club where you can get a 54 oz bottle for just under 15 bucks.  I Researched Amazon, but the cheapest I found was $24 dollars for a 54 oz.  You may be able to find a cheaper price at a bulk seller online, but make sure to factor in shipping costs when doing so.  $15 dollars is a great price compared to everything else I have seen.

Let me know in the comments below if you found it anywhere else cheaper.

Borax – What Is It and What Is It Used For?

Borax – what is it? Is it good – bad?

Most people know Borax as sodium tetra-borate, is a boron mineral and salt, mixed together and its mined directly from the ground.

Some people confuse this mineral for Boric Acid.  Boric acid is when you take Borax and mix it with acid such as hydrochloric or sulfuric acid.  So therefore boric acid can be found along side borax near volcanoes or other areas such acids may occur naturally.

Since many people confuse Borax with Boric Acid and wonder if Borax is bad for you.  Well first Boron is a mineral your body needs for bone building and development, your immune system and your brain need to it function as well.

Through my research of this product there are several points to be made.  First borax is completely natural.  It has not been found to be a carcinogen, which simply means it does not cause cancer.  It does not accumulate and build up in your body, it is not absorbed easily through the skin, and it is not harmful to the environment.

There are a few negatives. First, it is a mild skin irritant.  The FDA has banned Borax as a food additive because excess boron in the soil can kill crops.  And Finally, when consumed at high levels in mice, it was shown to disrupt the reproduction cycle.  So, it is not recommended to ingest Borax.

So overall I find it to be an extremely helpful product and only dangerous if ingested, so keep it away from your children and pets, other than that is has a multitude of uses.  Here they are

  • Use to make homemade laundry detergent
  • Use to make homemade dishwasher detergent
  • Use 1/2 cup per gallon of water for carpet cleaning machines
  • Pour into your toilet bowl and let sit for a few hours, it loosens the buildup, and clean with brush
  • Pest repellant when mixed 1 to 1 with sugar
  • Mice repellant when used by itself, sprinkle on floor
  • Flea Killer – sprinkle on carpets, pet beds, or anywhere else fleas may be hanging out and hatching.  Vacuum clean after 30 minutes.
  • Used to preserve fresh flowers – use one part borax and 2 parts cornmeal
  • Remove sticky, gummy adhesive residue when mixing 2 parts Borax and 1 Part Water

o    Also use paste for a gentle dish cleaner – clean with dishcloth for porcelain and aluminum cookware

o    Rust remover – add lemon juice to the borax paste and remove surface rust

  • Deodorizer – mix 4 cups water with 1 tablespoon borax – rinse after cleaning

o    Bonus tip – soak stinky kitchen sink sponges and scrubbers overnight to remove odors.  Can also put into trash cans, garbage disposals, humidifiers or any other containers that can generate odors

  • Shower, Tub and Tile cleaner when used as other powdered cleaners

o    Safe and Gentle fiberglass cleaner won’t scratch the surface

o    Perfect for sinks as well

o    Lots of Mold? – smear paste on moldy are and let dry overnight – sweep/vacuum up powder and rinse the residue

  • Clean outdoor furniture – Mix 1 tsp. dish soap, 1 tsp. borax, 4 cups water in a spray bottle
  • Cat litter additive – Mix a few Tbls with litter to minimize odor
  • Stinky linens? Soak in 64 ounces of water with 2 cups borax – soak 2-4 hours rinse clean
  • Drain Cleaner – 1/2 cup borax then 2 cups boiling water – sit for 15-30 minutes and run warm water to flush out
  • Mattress Cleaner – dampen mattress, sprinkle with borax, use warm wet towel and rub in – let dry then vacuum clean
  • Weed killer
  • Sparkle your china dishes – soak in sink with 1/2 cup borax – rinse and wash normally
  • Clean hairbrushes and Combs – small container of warm water – 1 tbls of dish soap, 1/4 cup borax – soak, swirl, swish – drain water, rinse, and let dry

Have anymore uses, let us know in the comments below

Borax can be used to make your own slime and bouncy balls!  Crazy Stuff!  Let me know if you want to know how those are done!

As far as the cost goes, I found 10 lbs bags for $20 on Amazon Prime.  This is a great price and I’ll include the Amazon link below.  And if you do not already have it, I will provide the link to get a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime as well.

 

How to: Homemade Deodorant with Health Benefits and Cost Savings

Homemade Deodorant

Why Make and How much does it save you?

Commercial Deodorant contains aluminum, amongst other contaminants, which is a carcinogen, and can cause cancer as well as damage the nervous system and has been shown to lead to Alzheimer’s.  Also, your armpits have lymph nodes in them.  Lymph nodes, found here (point), can transfer cancer very easily and are not a good place to put a carcinogen, like aluminum.

This deodorant is made with coconut oil, which as described in the Coconut Oil Video, is antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial so this is excellent at killing the stinky body odors that start there.

Also this recipe calls for a Non-GMO arrowroot powder, but I have also used Non-GMO cornstarch as well.

Soooo…. here’s the recipe:

3/4 Cup Coconut Oil

1/2 Cup Baking Soda

1/2 Cup Arrowroot (or Non GMO Cornstarch)

20 Drops Essential Oils

Mix first three ingredients until it becomes a nice stiff paste.  Then you can add essential oils of your liking to make the deodorant smell however you like.  One of my favorites is adding 15 drops of Lemongrass and about 5 drops of lavender.  If you have ever had Ben and Jerry’s Liz Lemon flavor with Tina Fey on the carton, this smells just how that tastes.  I use this one all the time.

Store deodorant in glass container and apply a small amount with your fingers.  Or if your bathroom is always colder than 76 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can put back into your old deodorant sticks.  Just pack it in with the dial twisted all the way down and use as your normally would.

As a side note, few people have a problem and their armpits get irritated because of the Baking soda. There are two possible fixes to this.  You can add more arrowroot and coconut oil to cut the baking soda some and in future recipes just use 3/4 cup arrowroot and 1/4 cup baking soda.  Also you can use a mixture made of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water and spray of splash on your armpit, it will balance the Ph in your armpit and should stop the irritation as well.

No let’s see how much this can save you.

Recipe Quantities Package Cost
Ingredients Quantity Weight / Volume Cost Total Quantity Where Bought?
Baking Soda 0.5 Cups 8 oz  $ 7.57  192 oz  Wal-Mart
Arrowroot Powder 0.5 Cups 2.26 oz  $ 14.00  48 oz  Amazon
Coconut Oil 0.75 Cups 6 oz  $ 14.98  56 oz  Sam’s Club
Essential Oils (Sampler Pack) 20+ drops 1.0 ml  $ 18.65  60 ml  Amazon
Cost per Recipe
 $                0.32
 $                0.66
 $                1.61
 $                0.31
 $               2.89
Cheapest Commercial Deodorant is 12 oz for $6.98 at Sam’s Club
Homemade is $2.89 for about 12 oz.
Total Savings is At least $4.09 Per Recipe Over Commercial Brands
Or About $1.02 per Stick of Deodorant

When I do price comparisons I always check at discount stores, so if you do not buy your deodorant in bulk, your cost savings will be a lot more!

Castile Soap… How to Make Your Own From a Castile Bar

Castile Soap – How to turn from Bar into Liquid

Castile Soap is a soap made from natural oils, mainly Olive Oil and or Coconut Oil, but also can contain palm and safflower oils along with vegetable glycerin, and fragrance.  The best castile soaps have the fewest ingredients.  The most common brand, and probably the most expensive brand out there is Dr. Bronner’s.  There is a lot of hype around the brand but it does contain a lot more ingredients and lower cost oils, and is about twice the cost of others.  I recommend using Kirk’s brand.  It has the simplest recipe, less expensive, and is overall the best in my opinion.

Most castile soap is in liquid form and is already scented, but the cheaper way to get it is in bar form and simply turn it into liquid yourself.  The cheapest way is to make it from scratch but you have to use a chemical, sodium hydroxide during the process and we’ll save that for another video.

Recipe:

I purchased these 1-lbs bar of castile soap off an online retailer that I found to be the cheapest at the time… but you can find it in 4 oz bars at the same or cheaper price from Amazon.  I’ll link it below.

Ingredients are:  Castile Soap Bar (unscented), Boiling Water, Essential Oils

  • First thing I’m going to do is chop it up into tiny pieces so it will melt easier.
  • Boil 11 cups of water
  • Pour boiling water over the soap bar pieces and stir
  • Wait 20 minutes, and you have liquid castile soap
  • Put into containers
  • Add essential oils to each container for different scent

For a 4oz bar of soap you want to use 2 3/4 cups, or 22 oz, of boiling water and can be made simply in a 24 oz mason jar using the same method.

I use Peppermint Essential Oils for Shampoos and Body Washes

Lavender EO for Laundry  and Hand Soaps

Use your favorite scent for Baby wash and baby wipes

Cost Savings:

I’m going to compare the cost savings to making your own liquid soap as opposed to buying it in liquid form.

How To: Homemade Toothpaste – Why Make It and How much Money Can it Save You?

I make my homemade toothpaste to ditch the ingredients I do not like in commercial brand toothpaste.  Not to mention it helps remineralize your teeth to rebuild cavities and soft spots, fights plaque, naturally whitens, and is great for treating sensitive teeth.

The ingredients I look out for and that are found in almost every store bought brand of toothpaste are:

Sodium fluoride

o   Listed as a toxic ingredient for ingestion and inhalation.  It can affect the heart and              circulatory systems in high doses.  I know there is a lot of debate on the subject and            whether or not it is beneficial for your oral health but I stay away from it if I can.

o   Yes it is said to aid in the mineralization of your teeth, but I can do that with my                  toothpaste with natural, not chemical ingredients.

Glycerin

o   There are many different types of glycerin.  You may not know what kind is in your            toothpaste, because the type is never stated, and some may be natural and same may        be chemically created.

o   I do use vegetable glycerin all the time in shampoos and soaps, but I don’t recommend      for toothpaste.

o   The debate on glycerin is that it prevents minerals from coming in contact with your            teeth.  Glycerin actually coats them with a thin layer that prevents minerals you put in        your mouth throughout the day to interact with your teeth.  It is extremely hard to              rinse off.

o   So if you want glycerin on your teeth or in your toothpaste, use it after you use this            toothpaste

Also, I use coconut oil, xylitol, and bentonite clay in my homemade toothpaste recipe, so check out those blogs on why these are beneficial products that all help with certain areas of your oral health.

Recipe:

  • Baking Soda                                        1.5 cups
  • Coconut Oil                                         1 cup
  • Distilled or Boiled Water                    1/2 cup
  • Xylitol                                                   1/2 – 1 cup
  • Salt – Sea Salt                                       3/4 tsp
  • Essential Oils                                       25-40 drops
  • Bentonite Clay                                    4 T.

Mix first six ingredients up until incorporated, then add in your bentonite clay at 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency you may end up using more or less depending on your preference.  Store in a glass container for up to 6 months, DO NOT use metal containers they can corrode from the baking soda.  To brush your teeth, just scoop out of container and brush as normal, use same amount you are accustomed to.  Makes about 32 oz by volume of toothpaste.

If you are used to normal, commercial brand toothpastes, the taste and texture can be a little displeasing at first, but it is a taste that can be aquired after about a week or so.

Cost Savings:

Below is a MS  Excel spreadsheet I created to show the cost savings of making your own toothpaste.  I compared making the 32 oz batch recipe above to purchasing Colgate brand bulk pack I found cheapest at Sam’s Club.  This shows that you can save minimally $1.17 per 8oz tube if you make your own. If you purchase a more expensive brand for sensitive teeth and whitening, this will save you a lot more per tube, upwards of $8.70 over Sensodyne.

Excel Sheet I created to show cost savings8

Link

Day One has come and I’m half way through it so far.  I wanted to take some time out to outline my Diet plan for this contest and how I plan on Sticking to it.

To give you some background, I’ve tried several different diets including, but not limited to:

  • South Beach Diet
  • My Fitness Pal App (Calorie Counting)
  • Nutrisystem
  • Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Juice Diet
  • Exercising with eating “healthy” all natural foods

I’ve seen great initial results with all of these diets, but have always had a hard time sticking to them.  The diet I lost the most weight with and stayed on the longest was using the My Fitness Pal App on my iPhone.  I lost 25 in about 2 months.  I went from 240 pounds (my biggest weight) down to 215.  But as with all my other diets, I got bored, and started cheating on my diet.  The first time I cheat on my diets it always seems like I ate some phantom food or something, because I would never gain a single pound and sometimes it seemed like I would lose a pound or two after splurging on a fast food burger and fries.  So then I always thought I would get away with it and would continue to do it over and over until a month later I would be 5-10 pounds heavier than my lowest weight on the diet.

Soooooo…. how do I change my previous behavior and keep a plan on track for 2 months?   Well the good news is I can admit my previous failures.  That’s the first step.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  But how do I not get bored like I always have in the past?  Failure needs to be our teacher, not our undertaker (Zig Zigler).  I have never held myself accountable for failing in the past.  That is one reason I wanted to start this blog and video log.   When I fail, I am going to make the commitment that I will be honest and open about that… even if the failure doesn’t lead to weight gain, I will bring attention to it and figure a way out to rectify it.  Next I need to be random and switch up my diets fast when I feel the bored-ness coming on and the weight starting to level off.

Next, I have a weight loss plan in mind and am going to lay it out here…. Everyday I will drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water on whatever diet I may be on.  This is a good constant for any diet and I’ve done this often in the past on a diet or not.

My weight loss plan will be as follows… the first week to 10 days I am going to be on the Nutrisystem Diet.  That is the most recent diet I did and I still have food left over.  That diet puts your food intake at about 1500-1600 calories a day.  I should be able to lose about 3-5 pounds over the next 10 days on this.

After all of that food is done, I will be doing the Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Diet of juicing. If you have never seen the movie “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” I would recommend it.  Its not too long and tells you about the health benefits of doing this diet.  I did this before almost 2 years ago and lost 15 pounds in 10 days.  I plan on doing it for 10 days this round as well and it should allow me to lose 10-15 pounds.

This is about the time my weight starts to level off, but the next step will be back to My Fitness Pal.  I will incorporate as many fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains as I can on this diet at the beginning.  It is the recommended way to come off of the Juicing Diet is by eating whole foods that are in no way processed.  I should be able to lose another 5-10 pounds over a two week period on this diet.  It will recommend me to eat about 1700 calories a day.

After that period I will probably have anywhere between 2-4 weeks to stay on a diet and consistently lose weight.  This will be the time that I need to start getting more creative.  I will probably continue the calorie counting diet, but to keep focused I think I need to start cooking more often.  I love to cook and will explore low calorie – high taste options to keep me interested.

I’m a little worried at this point my weight will level off and I will have a hard time losing any additional weight even if I stick to my plan.  If this does happen I will start incorporating exercise (yikes) into my diet plan.

I would love to hear any ideas you all may have to help me finish the last 2-3 weeks of this diet.  Let me know if you think my idea of switching up the diet is a good one or not.

Hopefully there will be a skinnier Paul here soon!

Video Log Link

Biggest Loser: Office Weight Loss Contest

My place of employment decided last week we would do a Biggest Loser Weight Loss Contest for some friendly competition and a little money wager added on.  Rob, our office bookie, laid out the rules and they are as follows:

  • Entry fee is $20
  • Contest is for 2 months
  • You receive a raffle ticket with your initial buy-in
  • Weigh in every week (We chose Tuesday Mornings)
  • If you lose weight from your previous weigh-in you receive a raffle ticket
  • If you gain weight there is a $5 weekly penalty from your previous weigh-in weight.  Also there is a $5 penalty if you miss weigh-in for a non-excused reason
  • You can buy-out of the competition for $15 at anytime, but if you weigh-in you still have to pay the penalty
  • If you become sick, ill, or have a legitimate reason to withdraw you can do so but forfeit any penalty money and receive your buy in back
  • No prescription medicines or surgeries that can aid in your weight-loss of any kind.  OTC supplements are OK
  • At the end of the 2 months the person who lost the largest percentage of weight from their initial weigh-in receives 50% of the pot and the other 50% is raffled off.

Also, we were fortunate enough to have our Company put up $500 for first place and $250 for second place, no company money is going to our raffle.  Our office has around 20 employees and we have 9 people who decided to weigh in this morning.

Let me know if you think this format is a good idea or a bad one in the comments below.  I personally like the fact there is money involved to help motivate some to win and also help motivate others to not gain weight.  I will update with posts every few weeks on this topic.

Also, I am doing a video log on my YouTube page, V-Log, to tell you a little bit on my story and how I plan on losing the weight and how I’m going to try to stay on track.

Have a great day!

Paul

youswags.com

You Don’t Have to be Great to Start, But You Have to Start to be Great! – Zig Zigler