front porch trash

front porch trash

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Have you ever thought about what is in your laundry soap?
Does it clean your clothes?
Does it smell good or bad?
Is it safe for the environment?

Can you pronounce the ingredients in your laundry soap? How many are long chemical names that you don’t have a clue what they are? 

Well, I read the ingredients in my laundry soap and did a little research. I found out that the basic ingredients in laundry soap are borax, washing soda, salt and all of the chemicals that make it smell good, suds up, not clump up, and look pretty ( and water if you use liquid soap). If all you really need are borax, washing soda and some kind of soap why do we pay for all of the other stuff? Salt is used as a filler, color stabilizer, and water softener and is not necessary for good cleaning.  Borax and washing soda were good enough for our forefathers so they are good enough for me.

If you check the internet you will find hundreds of homemade soap and laundry soap recipes. I found several recipes and combined them to make my own recipe to fit my needs.

If you think laundry soap is difficult to make I am here to tell you it’s not. It is very simple. All I use for laundry soap is borax, washing soda, and a bar of soap. 

 In the past I have used Fels Naptha soap, which is an old soap that was used by my parents and grandparents. A very good cleaning soap that is great for lots of things. It is a laundry soap, a hand soap, will get rid of poison ivy oils to prevent the rash and lots of other things. Cleans diapers really good. One of the problems I have had is its availability in my area. Until recently I have not been able to find it in my local stores. Harris Teeter now carries it locally. Because I could not find Fels Naptha locally my daughter helped me make old fashioned lye soap to use as the base of my laundry soap. Works for me. I know what is in my soap. Do you?

Let’s make some laundry soap!!

What you’ll need:
          A big enamel pot (no chips) or stainless pot (mine holds 10 qts)
          Wooden spoon, long handled
          A 5 to 7 oz bar of soap
          1 cup borax
          1 ½ cups washing soda
          2 gallons water, divided
          Essential oil, your choice of scent 
                              (optional, I don’t use a scent)

Pour one gallon of warm water into your pot, bring to a boil.
Grate bar of soap.

Add soap to boiling water and stir until melted.
Remove from heat.
Add borax and washing soda, stirring well.

Add one gallon of cool water, just cold from the tap.
Mix well. Add essential oil when soap has cooled, 15-30 drops depending upon your personal preference.

You can continue stirring with your wooden spoon several times until the soap cools. I have a stick blender that I use to mix the soap. I blend several times as the soap cools. The secret is to get it mixed really well before you pour it into your storage container. The more the soap cools the more gelled it becomes. The stick blender is a quick way to mix well.

That’s it you are done.

I store mine in a 2 gallon kitty litter jug, but any jug will do. Just save old laundry jugs or you can use a bucket with a lid. Plastic is the best. I give my jug a shake before starting laundry and I am good to go.

Use ½ cup per load for top loading machines.

This soap is safe for the environment, easy to use, cleans great, and cheap to make.

 Cost analysis: bar of soap    $1.39
                       Borax                .46
                       Washing Soda   .42
                        Well water        .00
                       Total Cost      $2.27

That is $2.27 for two gallons of laundry soap!!!
(Cost in my area, may be different in your area of the country.)

How does your laundry soap add up?


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I’m trying to get back in the groove with my blog. It has been difficult with my Sweetie Pie home, recovering. I am at his beck and call and now that he is feeling better he wants to be on the go. Hello, I have things to do to keep this place going. Laundry, cooking and the other mundane things in life. I don’t need an excuse to go to Wal-Mart to look around.

I did get to do a little thrifting last week and the pickings were slim. I found some cute spring and summer clothes for Princess Green and Princess Pink. Warm weather is on the way and they require more royal garb.

This is headed for etsy or ebay.Don’t know which one yet. I have a few things to list on ebay but have been busy with other things (see paragraph one!)

This cute CeramicArts Studio flying chicken salt and pepper was found hiding on the back of the shelf at Goodwill. CeramicArts Studio had some wonderful designs and a lot of s&p sets that were fit together sets like this one. I wish the folks at Goodwill would use less tape when they tape older things together.

They covered the top of the chicken with tape and when I slowly pulled it off some of the paint came off too. It looked like it was in excellent condition until the attack of the tape. Grrrrr….

I love this little recipe holder, at least I think that is what it is.  Looks to be  Japanese from the 50’s or 60’s. If anyone knows what would have been on the round circle, help me out. I think it held a magnet, but what kind I haven’t found out yet.

Yard sales are starting now. Yeah….now to get SweetiePie to get up early and join the fun.
Happy Thrifting!! Check out the other thrifty finds on Apron Thrift Girl.

Friday, March 18, 2011


When I started my blog I promised to post regularly.

However, I didn't count on my husband getting his head clunked at work, having surgery and spending almost a week in the hospital.  Who knew?

I will not promise to be back next week, because I don't like to break promises. I will be back next week now that things are back to normal looking better.

Picked SweetiePie up at the hospital Thursday and he came home and slept for the first time in a couple of days. Hospitals are not for rest. Now he thinks that he can do anything. His body is telling him different. I think he is like most guys because I don't know many men that handle sickness with any grace.

I made the comment on Facebook that I would rather take care of a caged bear than try and keep SweetiePie from doing what he isn't supposed to do. My niece said, "have fun with Yogi"
Better Yogi than Boo Boo.

I need to go thrifting or yard sailing or something sane!!

Monday, March 14, 2011


I was being a good wife and on my way to see my SweetiePie at the hospital on Sunday when my daughter twisted my arm behind my back and forced me into the Goodwill. Of course I started kicking and screaming. You should have seen the shocked shoppers. Parent Abuse!!

Well, as long as I was there it wouldn't hurt to look around.....just a little.

And that is just what I found, a little.  One Andy Warhol butterfly snack dish, one package of unused scrapbook stamps (original price $.99, Goodwill price $1.) . Blah.........

I read a lot of thrifting blogs and I long for the Goodwill that has half price day. Ours never does. And no bulk center where everything is sold by the pound for one price. Love those!!

And ours don't have bathrooms either. Well, they have bathrooms but not for the shoppers. What's with that?
Other retail stores are required to provide public rest rooms. What makes Goodwill different?  Other Goodwill's in the state provide public rest rooms, but not the ones in the Eastern section. I don't have little ones any more and I feel sorry for the parents shopping and the kids that "gotta go".

Have some sympathy Goodwill.....let us go.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


When things aren’t the way they should be it sure makes life upside down.

My SweetiePie fell at work on Friday and we spent Friday night in the ER. Oh what fun that was. I left him there after 8 ½ hours of waiting. He had been assessed and was waiting for transport to the main hospital so I went home to not sleep. He only had to wait for 2 more hours before being transported. The reason I could not transport him was, the doctor said, that sometimes the patient stops along the way (Wal-Mart, McDonalds, etc.). Oh yeah, I would run in to W-M at 4 am for, oh let’s see….a roll of duct tape, nail polish and oh yeah that new vacuum cleaner I’ve been looking at…..then I’d go to the hospital. Sure Doc. Of course I could buy two new vacuum cleaners for what they are going to charge me for transport to the hospital. Now they are running every test they can think of to find out why he fell. He has a bad right knee, it gave way, he fell and hit his head on the pavement, slight concussion.I'll send you a bill.

I did do some thrifting on Friday before the ER.

I love the graphics on this kit from 1972. The box says 20 pre-printed patches. Any way you count the patches there are 22. So much for proof reading in the 70's. One patch has been cut and is missing but everything else is there. Probably not very valuable, but the funky factor is off the chart. Peace sign, smiley face, mushroom, lady bug. POW (as in comics, not war). Also inside the box was an unopened checkers set and coloring book. The checkers set says made in Hong Kong so they are old.

We also opened the kitty buffet this week end.

My daughter and I bought a large bag of cat food and shared it since we both have cats. One of her cats, a Norwegian Forest Cat named Fearless, decided that the buffet was open and helped herself. You can tell she is a bit puny! She only weighs about 22 lbs. Gotta keep up her strength for all that napping.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Now that you have figured out which dispenser works best for you. You know, the one that gets every last drop out of the bottle. Let’s make some super cheap and super rich lotion for your bottle.

You could mix this directly in your bottle that you will be using, but you are dealing with hot oil and hot water and I always mix in a glass mixing cup just to keep from melting anything.

Here’s what you need:

Two Glass mixing cups that hold at least 2 cups each
¼ cut olive oil
¼ cup emulsifying wax, cosmetic grade
1 ¼ cup hot water
1 Vitamin E capsule and pin to puncture the capsule
10-15 drops essential oil, cosmetic grade, scent of your choice
Wooden skewer to stir
Glass container (wide mouth jar) for cooling lotion
Dispensing container.

Here’s how you do it:

Heat water in glass mixing cup to almost boiling, very hot.
Mix wax and oil in a separate glass mixing cup.
Heat wax/oil mixture in microwave, 30 seconds in my microwave is enough, but watch carefully because the wax melts fast.
Pour hot water into hot wax/oil mixture. Mixture will turn creamy white.

Puncture capsule of Vitamin E and squeeze into hot mixture.
If you would like a scent to your lotion, now is the time to add 10-15 drops of essential oil to the mixture. I prefer the unscented because I have a sensitive nose.
Let mixture cool for a few minutes.
Stir with you wooden skewer, just to make sure vitamin E is mixed.
Pour into a glass jar so you can cap it to let it cool gradually overnight.

It’s not necessary to stir any more but I do. It helps with the cooling process.
The next day your lotion should be set and you can transfer it to a container of your choice.
I have a pump dispenser that I keep on the counter in my bathroom that was salvaged from a store bought bottle of lotion and the dispensing tube gets just about all of the lotion from the bottle. You don't have to wait overnight if your container will hold all of the mixture. You can go ahead and pour it in your dispenser. But sometimes you get lumps that will clog the pump so I just mix and then put in my dispenser. You can also put the lotion in an old cold cream type jar or any recycled wide mouth jar if you want to just dip your fingers in each time.

That’s it. You are done. You have made lotion.

Want to know how much you saved?
This cost analysis is based on what I paid for my supplies. The cost may vary in your area and I did not include the cost of shipping for the emulsifying wax because I ordered more than the emulsifying wax.

¼ cup olive oil – 2 oz   $.12
¼ cup emulsifying wax – 1 oz.  $.15
Vitamin E – 1 capsule $.08
Water – free

Total cost is $0.35 for 14 ounces, that’s 2 1/2 cents per ounce for your lotion!! The last time I priced lotion in Wal-Mart it was from $6-9 per 16 ounce bottle. That’s $.38 to 56 per ounce, plus all those chemicals.

Nothing but natural ingredients in your lotion. Check your store bought stuff and see if you can pronounce all of the ingredients. Then check the cost.

I have been using this mixture for a while now and it works better than the store bought stuff. Not greasy at all and no I don’t smell like olive oil. The lotion really has no smell to me. But the cat does like to lick my arms for some reason!!

You need to use this lotion within 6 months or it will get rancid. After all it is made of olive oil. But, trust me; you will be making another batch before 6 months rolls around.

I’m the only one who uses this lotion and it lasts me about 4-6 weeks and I use it every day on my arms, legs and face. Because of the cost, I don't worry about how much I use each time. I just use as much as I need.

You can substitute almond oil for the olive oil but I really can’t tell the difference, except in cost. (Almond oil is about $10.00 for 8 ounces and it spoils more rapidly than olive oil). I read somewhere once that Jackie Kennedy used almond oil on her face to keep it young looking. I think she could have afforded almost any kind of lotion at any price but she must have known the secrets about natural almond oil.

This recipe is a variation of several I have found on the internet. You can search and find many, many different recipes. There are some that don't use the wax and whip the oil and water. I have never had luck with those. Some are like this one nice and thick and creamy. I like this one just fine. Nice and simple.