Some of you may have heard of Pintester, a blog where the author tries different pins from Pintrest and sees if they really work or not. Today is that day in my house. I have been pinning away and there is so much I want to try, that I finally found the time, energy, and money to try some things. So, here they are: three Pintrest projects. (PS: In no way do I endorse any of these products. My trying them is merely for your pleasure and amusement!)
Supplies I purchased for all three projects:
- 1 (76 oz.) box of Borax – $9.99 (at Target, but I could probably get it cheaper elsewhere)
- Fels Naptha Bar – $.97
- Ivory Soap – $1.24 for three bars, or $.41 each
- Washing Soda – $3.17
- Baking Soda – $1.75 (I got this in the bulk foods section, and I bought way too much!)
- White Vinegar – $3.02 for a gallon
I also purchased two plastic containers for holding the finished product in, but you can always recycle or reuse something around the house. I just didn’t have anything.
Project #1: Clean Your Top-Loading Washing Machine
When I moved into my home, I decided to get a new washer, for many reasons, but mainly because the old one was leaking and super heavy. I got the one I have now from a person who was also moving and they bought some of those lovely front-loading machines, and they had a spare washer. In the transport from their house to mine, the hose jammed the hot water line and now if I run a hot water load, water leaks everywhere. So, the machine has some quirks to it, but gets the job done. When I got it, I cleaned it really, really well and I bought some of those packets from Lowe’s.
I didn’t have any bleach, and as I mentioned above, I can’t really run the hot water, or it gets a little moist in the garage, so I just ran it with some vinegar in warm water, thinking, “Well, a little vinegar never hurt anything!”
After it was all said and done, yes, the washer was cleaner than before, but I am not sure if soaking vinegar in it did anything. What really makes it look cleaner is the hard scrubbing I did. That made all the difference in the world.
So, would I recommend this to people? Sure! I would, however, recommend that you follow the instructions more completely than I did.
Project #2: Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent
I have been trying for some time now to buy dishwasher detergent that is not only cost-effective, but good for the environment as well as effective at cleaning the damn dishes! So, I figured I could try this. It is literally equal parts baking soda and Borax. That’s it. Just fill up your dishwasher like you would with the store-bought stuff. This was by far the easiest of the three projects!
I ran a load of dishes last night and they came out just as clean as they did before! (Hot water and a hot steam bath does that to a dish.) As the original poster mentioned, you have to be sure to rinse the dishes really well before you put them in, because there are no surfactants in the DIY detergent. I, thankfully, am particularly OCD about this, so not an issue for me. I was pleased with the results, and at this price, who can complain?
Trader Joe’s Dishwasher Detergent: $4.99
DIY Cost: Borax $1.04 + Baking Soda $.44 = $1.48!
This makes about the same amount that I get in the box from Trader Joes, which is about 20 loads, so that is SEVEN cents a load compared to $.25 a load. I can handle that savings!
Project #3: Making Your Own Laundry Detergent
This one was a little harder. You can find all the ingredients at your grocery store, though, which surprised me! I was like, “Washing soda. What the hell is washing soda!?” Well, apparently it is a cleaning agent. And it is at your store. I promise.
All this takes is one cup washing soda, one cup Borax, and two cups grated Nels Patha or Ivory soap. I bought both because my smeller is off (damn allergies!) and I didn’t know which one was better. I ended up using the Ivory soap, because it reminds me of camping with my grandma. Not sure why, but I think that is what she used for laundry when we were out there.
I just finished my first load of laundry with the new soap. I was amazed, but it actually worked! I still can’t believe it. The first load I washed were whites, and they came out pretty clean. Next I washed Biff’s gnarly work Carhartts, and they turned out pretty clean, too! The only thing is if you have a big load, and you use the big cheese grater, the chunks of soap won’t dissolve all the way. But overall, I’m impressed. The clothes don’t smell as nice as I would like, but my dryer sheet helps some, and next time I will try some lavender scented Castilian soap, and that should help.
Target Unscented Laundry Detergent: $11.00 for 100 oz. or 64 loads, or $.17 load
DIY Laundry Detergent: Borax $1.04 + Washing Soda $.48 + Ivory $.41 = $1.93 for 24 loads, which makes it EIGHT cents a load.
I mean, $.17 a load isn’t bad, but even then I am paying for mostly water in the liquid detergent, so $.17 for water when I am going to dilute it in water kinda makes me mad.