Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Zen Cleaning: Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

My recipe for Liquid Laundry Soap:
( I am putting some info at the end of this post about the ingredients)
All these ingredients can be found in the Laundry Section of your Grocery Store, when in doubt call first.
Ingredients:
1 Liter of Water
1 cup of bar soap grated  (I used an Organic bar that I like)
1 cup of Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Baking Soda
3 3/4 Liters of Water
Large Bucket with lid for Mixing
Some Clean Empty Laundry Soap Jugs, preferably reuse your old ones, or ask around

Directions:
In a Large pot on the Stove Boil 1 liter of water, grate your soap onto a plate.  Add Soap to boiling water. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir.  Keep mixing and simmering until all the soap is dissolved, the liquid should become clear and you should not see any particles floating around.
Remove from heat.
Add hot soapy water to your Large Bucket.  When working with any powders, avoid breathing in the dust. Now carefully and slowly add Borax, washing soda and baking soda and mix until they are dissolved.
Now you will need to slowly add the 3 3/4 Liters of water, mix, mix, mix.
Put the Lid on and let cool over night.  Now you need to mix well and put into your containers for use.  I suggest you shake before using, as it will gel.  But the more you mix the less it has the tendency to take on the texture of snot.  This doesn't bother me, it is effective, environmentally friendly and inexpensive to make.

TAAAADDDDAAAAAAAAA!  You just made Liquid Laundry Soap!  This Soap is low sudsing and safe to use with Top and Front Loaders.  I use about 1/4 cup per load and I have a top Loader.  You may want to use a bit more for a heavily soiled load. All the ingredients are safe, septic safe (we are on a septic system), natural and biodegradable. 

Just in case you missed my last post about the Powdered Laundry Soap:

White Vinegar makes a great fabric softener and eliminates odors.  I use a "Downey Ball" filled with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup and let it do its thing. 

So are you ready for a recipe for dishwasher detergent?
Mix equal parts of Borax, Washing Soda and Baking Soda and store in an Air tight container.  Use 2 TBsp per load.
Oh and did I mention that you need not purchase "jet dry"!  Just put white vinegar in the jet dry rinse agent dispenser!!!  Super Shiny dishes and it deodorizes your dishwasher too!!

Now for some info on the ingredients we used:

"Baking Soda: is a naturally occurring substance, created from the evaporation of Lake water in the hot desert climates.  This stuff was used in Ancient Egypt.  Baking soda chemically destroys grease and fat."  It freshens, clean and makes things sparkle!!

Borax:  "is the fifth element on the periodic table of elements. Carried by streams flowing out from the runoff of Nearby mountains during wet seasons, the mineral rich overflow becomes concentrated in temporary lakes  that then evaporate  in the barren desert climates.  Ultimately the concentration accumulates to produce the crystals we know as borax.    It is a great cleaning agent, weed killer, and disinfectant. "

Washing Soda: is a sodium of carbonic acid and is domestically well known for its everyday use as a water softener for laundry.  It effectively removes oil, grease, and alcohol stains from clothing.  Also great fro descaling.

White Vinegar: "No matter the origin-a first fermentation of sugar to alcohol, and then alcohol a second fermentation to vinegar.  Acetic Acid is born!"
It has been around for over 10,000 years and used by the ancients for cooking, cleaning and healing.
Vinegar neutralizes Alkaline soaps.  So it makes a great rinse agent.

Soap:  "consists of sodium or potassium salts of fatty acids and is obtained by reacting common oils or fats with a strong alkaline solution in a process known as saponification." " Soaps are useful for cleaning because soap molecules which dissolve in water. Although grease will normally adhere to skin or clothing, the soap molecules can form micelles  which surround the grease particles and allow them to be dissolved in water. Applied to a soiled surface, soapy water effectively holds particles in colloidal suspension so it can be rinsed off with clean water."

A lot of science I know!!


My next installment will include a how to on Homemade Liquid Hand Soap!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Winner's of my Earth Day Giveaway!

And the winner's are:

1st prize:  Katelyne Shuttleworth

2nd prize:  Margie of Hamsa Healing

3rd prize:  Jonah Wainberg

Thank you to all who entered!  I willing be doing more great giveaway's!

Chriss

Kreativ Blogger Award!!

I recently received this inspiring a Award from Junckshop.  You can check out her Etsy shop:http://www.etsy.com/shop/junck  and her Blog Here:  http://junckshop.blogspot.com/ 
She makes Jewelry and such by repurposing what would otherwise be thrown away!  Thank you for making my day!

By accepting the award, I must now complete the following 7 steps to give this award its proper respects!! They are:

1. Post the award on my blogspot.
2. Thank the person who gave it to me.
3. Link to the person who gave this to me.  See above!
4. Share a list of 7 things that you probably don't know about me... 

5. Choose 7 great bloggers to give the award to.
6. Share a link to their blogs.
7. Leave a comment on their blog.
Seven things you wanted to know about me......
1.  I crochet with my left hand.....so yes, when I write patterns I have to literally reverse some components!!! (not as easy as one might think.)
2.  I really detest Spiders in my house!  The kids will capture them (and any other insect!) and set them free outside.
3.  I am fanatical about my household recycling, I wash items that some people would throw out so that they can be recycled.  In my home, "If it can be recycled, it will be."
4.  I love Thrift Store jeans!  They are so comfortable and soft.  And I always find the style I need and want!
5.  I dream of world peace.  I dream of living beyond tolerance, I dream of humans accepting humans.
6.  I put as many vegetables in as many dishes as I can when I am cooking.  Sshhh!  Don't tell the kids or my husband!
7.  I love my life.  :D


Here are the Bloggers I have chosen to receive the award:
http://babazoobee.blogspot.com/

http://soapstarcanada.blogspot.com/
http://vaughnde.blogspot.com 
http://nuorganics.blogspot.com/ 
http://mckinleyscloset.blogspot.com/ 
http://tresbelleknits.blogspot.com/ 
http://adorebynat.blogspot.com/ 




I hope you all have some fun with this!!  :D

Friday, April 2, 2010

Zen Gardening: Reconnecting with your food!

I wish I could put into words how it feels to really provide for your family and no, I don't mean in a monetary sense.  This is probably one of the single most important things I do as a Mother, Wife, Woman and Human Being.   Not to mention, it seems in western society  this is becoming a forgotten way of life that is making a come back.  (Thank heavens!)

I am not a stay at home Mom. I am married to an awesome Husband., I work outside my home caring for our Elderly, I have my home based business "The Art of Zen.......Crochet",  I have 1 daughter aged 14, and Two boys ages 7 and 4.  I am busy, but being with my family, "providing" the best food I can grow and make for them is an absolute for me.  I am giving the gift of Nutrition and therefore "Health" to my children.  Not to mention,  I am passing these skills on to my children.

So how do I do it?  How do I make the best food a priority? We grow as much of our own food as we are capable, and every year we grow more.
 Are we Vegans or Vegetarians?  No, we eat meat.  We try to eat local meat and wild game.

The Truth is not everyone can or is even willing to grow a garden.  Understandably, not everyone  the has room or the time.  So what about community gardening?  One great program available in quite a few communities is a box program, where you have a "share" in a local farm.  Take your children blueberry or strawberry picking at a local farm.  Take the produce home, wash and can or freeze, or even better let the kids help you make freezer jam!  Its not hard.  Grow a Tomato plant on your patio, and enjoy going out to pick them and eat them right off the plant, still warm from the sun or make your own tomato sauce.  My children love being told to go into the garden and have snack.  We keep the hose handy to wash what they get, and they enjoy amazing food that they have helped us grow!

If you do plant a garden, don't do it alone, involve your family, ask them to help.
We could never get the garden planted without my children's help.  One of us will go along and make the holes for the seeds, another one will put the seeds in, then another will cover them up.  It gives my kids a wonderful sense of worth to be directly involved wit our well being as a family.  You don't need fancy equipment.  Just, the right soil for what you are planting, and an appropriate container or bed. 

Have you  ever been cooking a meal, and then decided to go get something out of your garden to add to that dish?  Bringing what you have grown or purchased locally to your table is such an amazing feeling!  It gives me true gratification, elation, satisfaction and zen to feed my family food we have produced our selves or has been grown locally.  I know it is "good food", that it will truly Nurture their bodies, and give them what they need.
Winter time?  Grow some sprouts in a jar, or lettuce on your window sill! 

Need more info on Gardening?  Our Elders our one of our best sources for tips on how to grow food.  Personally I have been lucky enough to learn from many Elders on how to grow my food.  Try contacting your local gardening center and see if they carry books written by Agriculturists in and for your area.  Your local library will have loads of books.  The Internet can also be a great source of information.  If you are new to gardening, pick only a few easy items to start with.  

Want to learn to cook and preserve your food?  Try searching for a "Community Kitchen"  Group or even check out the Health Food Stores in your area.  You can learn to make the most of a dollar, the art of bread making, baking, stews, soups, casseroles and so on.  Most often you can find groups will plan events such as canning, or learning to freeze your own produce for little to know cost.  You just bring your own supplies and food, and then get to learn how. 

Harvest time in the fall is when most of these groups get together.  But you could start your own.

So I am challenging you to try growing some of your own food and see what difference you can make.

Remember its about the journey, not the destination.

Happy Zen Gardening!

April Giveaway!

Here it is, my Giveaway for the month of April:




Lovely Lilac Triangle Scarf in Bamboo Yarn.
Bamboo is super soft and an amazing fiber to wear!
What you need to do to get a chance at winning this?

1.)  Become a follower of my blog, believe me it'll be worth while as there will be MONTHLY giveaways!)
2.) Email me @ theartofzencrochet@live.ca with your name and please put April giveaway in the subject line. 
That's it!  I will announce the winner at the end of April!