Homemade laundry detergent

How’s your weekend been? I ran the Komen 5K on Saturday and have been phasing out the kids’ summer clothes today…

I also made laundry detergent! Having a family of four means having scads of laundry to do. Which means spending a pretty penny on laundry detergent. I decided it was time to make our own detergent; it was much easier than I’d anticipated. The hardest part was scouring the town for ingredients.

Found the recipe on this blog (very cute mommy blog by the way) but will re-post it here.

You will need:

–1 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated (amounts to approx 2 cups)-use smallest grater size so it’s super fine (found bar at Ace Hardware for $1.29)

–1 cup Borax (found box at Ace Hardware for $5.49)

–1 cup Washing Soda (found box at Dillon’s for $2.85)

–1/4 cup OxyClean (not necessary, but can be added) *I didn’t use it*

Mix all of it together with a spoon; will look bumpy, granular, and probably not all-mixed (that’s ok).

Use 1T for a light load and 2T for a large or really dirty load.

Drea has some helpful notes on her blog about the cost-effectiveness of homemade versus store-purchased laundry soap. She makes a strong case!

The smallest grater hole on my grater caused the soap to stick. I had to use the next largest size, and the soap came out in little curlie-cues. I’m not too worried about it because it’s still pretty fine. I’ve heard food processors can grate soap down pretty fine as well, but I don’t have one.

I doubled the recipe to make the effort worth it (Drea mentions a double-recipe lasts up to 6 months!!), and used Ivory as the second bar of soap. For storage I used a GladWare reusable storage container (8-cup size).

I feel very productive and Suzie-Homemaker-ish! The soap smells so fresh and I can’t wait to use it.

I may be in big trouble for admitting this, but I rarely read the Pioneer Woman’s website because it makes me feel a) overwhelmed and b) little? Like my blog is little. But her blog is simply beautiful and she is a talented writer. I love her. I do!

When thinking of Easter dessert ideas, I went straight to PW’s site, and of course was led to another site, Gingerbread Bagels, that has this make your mouth water easter candy bark recipe.

Here’s how you make it, per Gingerbread Bagel’s original recipe.
(all photos this post are mine)

Easter Candy Bark

8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
8 ounces milk chocolate chips
7 ounces pink candy melts

1/2 cup Spring Oreos -cut in half (they have a yellow center)
1/4 cup Easter Candy Corn
1/4 cup Mini Cadbury Eggs – cut in half (the hard shell ones)
1/4 cup Mini Robin Eggs (malt balls/Whoppers)
1/8 cup M&Ms (You can use whatever kind you like)

Measure out the candy and cookies. Set aside.

Lay out a large piece of parchment paper. You’ll use this to make the Easter Candy Bark on.

Put 8 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips and 8 ounces of milk chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl. Melt the chocolate chips but be careful not to overheat the chocolate.

Spread the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper into an 8 by 11 rectangle. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect.

In a microwavable bowl, melt the pink candy melts. (you can use whatever color you like). Be careful not to overheat the candy melts. Drop the melted candy melts on top of the chocolate.

Using a knife, swirl it up and down. Then swirl it back and forth.

Place the candy and cookies on the melted chocolate/candy melts. Press down lightly.

Allow the Easter Candy Bark to dry for at least 3 hours. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

Now that I understand the basics of “bark” I just might be hooked on making it all the time. Please note I refrigerated mine overnight, as it wasn’t hardening up enough on the counter. Also, I used a baking sheet because I was out of parchment. It broke/popped out just fine.

And because no holiday is complete without cupcakes, W & I whipped up some cupcakes. He “helped” decorate by putting his finger into the frosting (and licking it) each one. Guess we can’t share now.


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