May 11, 2010


Because I'm exhausted and about to have a nap while Jane's napping, I thought a quick post giving you updates on some of the products and such that I have recommended is in order...

Numero Uno... The Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent recipe. Still one of my favourite finds. I have gotten so many questions from you gals about this and a lot of questions about whether or not it's ok for HE washers. Honestly, I don't have a yes or no answer. I did a little research on it and it seems the key to HE washers is that the detergent needs to be low-sudsing (I made up that word). I will say that the recipe I use (find it below) is definitely low sudsing. Basically, when added to water, it dissolves and just turns the water a little cloudy. My recommendation, if you are interested in trying it out with your HE washer, is to try one tbsp of detergent first and see how it goes. It's definitely worth a shot - SUPER easy to make, super cheap and works great. I just made my second batch this week. I made my first batch in February, and had used 3/4 of it as of this week. It cost approx. $2.62 to make twice the recipe. So, using my trusty calculator (definitely not my brain), my laundry detergent cost me $1.96 ($2.62 x 3/4 used) over the past 14 weeks, assuming I do 4 loads of laundry per week, ha ha ha ha, OMG it cost me less than 4 cents per load of laundry. Is that right? That seems too good to be true. Yup, checked it. It's right. So, at this rate, for the entire year's laundry, it will cost me $7.28 for laundry detergent... let's be a little more generous with it and say $8. I used to spend more than $8 for a container of liquid Gain detergent that was 64 loads, which according to the 4 loads per week assumption, would have lasted me 16 weeks. I'm basically spending a third of what I used to spend. That's not even mentioning the fact that both of the main ingredients, washing soda and borax are environmentally safe products, packaged in cardboard (vs. plastic), not full of chemicals, dyes and perfumes, and I save myself the annoyance of having to buy separate detergent for myself and Jane. AND, both borax and washing soda have a bazillion other uses in the home - I sprinkle washing soda on the carpets 30 mins before I vacuum (it smells awesome and has baking soda so it deodorizes). I also use either (both are stain removers) with some warm water to soak any of Jane's stained clothes if I'm not doing laundry right away. Both are great household cleaners, stain removers, etc. Click here for some other uses for borax. Click here for some other uses for washing soda.

Here's the laundry detergent recipe again for the newbies:
 1/2 bar of grated bar soap (Fels Naptha is best but we can't get it in Canada so I used Sunlight Laundry soap and it's fab)
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm&Hammer Washing Soda
(all ingredients can be found in the laundry aisle, just look hard - up top or down low as, surprise surprise the cheap stuff doesn't get prime shelf space)
Grate the laundry soap using a cheese grater. I tried not doing this and just using the food processor and it didn't work as well. After it's grated, throw it in the food processor and make it into a finer powder. If you don't have a food processor, you can leave it as grated - no biggie!
Mix in the borax and washing soda and VOILA.
I had an old coffee grinds measuring spoon that I use to put two tbsp of detergent in with each load.

Second thing on my list (my list is in my head so this could be a short one :p)... homemade all purpose cleaner. I have made this recipe a bazillion times since the first try because I use it everywhere, all the time, and love it. It's super easy to make. SUPER cheap. And there appears that there's not extra germs floating around because I am used enviro-friendly, baby-friendly, natural cleaners (vs. chemically nasty crap) as we're not all getting sick all the time or getting food poisoning or anything! It definitely gives me peace of mind now that Jane's eating 100% finger foods to clean off her high chair with something I made and know every ingredient. Not to mention, like the laundry detergent, the ingredients in the cleaner have many other uses... the castile soap can be used for basically everything - I got the lavender scented and have used it all bubble bath, baby wash, shampoo for myself, etc. It's awesome. And don't even get me started on the bazillion fabulous uses of vinegar!

Another update - SkinFix Buttocks Paste. I wrote about this product back in February after I had been using it for a few weeks on Jane's mild-moderate diaper rash. Still in love. Still use it at every diaper change. I have learned since that you can find it at most Sobey's (Canada) and is rolling our to Superstores/Loblaws in the next few weeks. You can also get it online at (free shipping). I wanted to update as I had mentioned in my initial post that the jar would last me a long time and it did. I got it mid-January and I just ran out last week... so about 16 weeks, with at least 6 diaper changes a day - that's around 672 diaper changes baby! Seeing as I had gone through 1/5 of my Zincofax jar in a weekend, I think that's a pretty long lasting product (not bashing Zincofax, it works for some I know).

Pampers Dry Max Diapers - Mommies beware. Apparently some babies are having a bad reaction to the new Dry Max diapers (getting a burn on their bottoms). Personally, I still love them, only use them and have never had any issues (and Jane has sensitive skin). If you're using them without issue, I wouldn't worry. If you've yet to give them a try, don't buy a giant box - buy a smaller sample if you're interested. I'd be curious to know what the "burn" is. After reading this article, I see that parents are complaining of "diaper rashes and chemical burns"... well, to me, how do you know the difference? I wonder (and I'm not an expert) if, because of the nature of the diapers - dryer, thinner, more absorbent), if parents are changing babies less or not noticing when the diaper is wet because of those attributes... thus, baby is getting a diaper rash? Definitely interested to see where this goes. Like I said, love 'um and have had no issues myself. Anyone have a different experience?

K, gotta go - Jane's awake. Remember how I said I needed to have a nap? Yeah, this is why I love and sometimes hate blogging. Nap? HAH! Blogged for an hour instead! :p

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Ange said...

Love your recommendations Jen - and so appreciate you going to all the work of breaking down the cost of making our own cleaners - you rock!!

Anonymous said...

We had a bum burn from these diapers. Was definitely not a diaper rash. We use cloth diapers, but use disposables from time to time for different reasons. Hadn't had a problem, but last week had not go to laundry so he was in these for both day and night. His leg looked like it was all dry and cut up. Really did look like a chemical burn.

Jen said...

Yeah, that's crazy Krista! I'm interested to know more about this for sure.

Unknown said...

Hi Jen!! I love your homemade laundry detergent recipe, i couldnt find the fels naptha either, or the sunlight laundry, however i did find zote which said it was for delicate washing, so i assumed this would be okay! i made a batch today and am hoping that the zote is okay to use! what do you think?


Jen said...

Hey Ashlee,
I'm sure Zote is fine - I'm pretty sure you can use any soap, even body soaps. I've heard of some using Dove, Dove Baby, etc. I'm sure it'll be perfect!
Jen :)