Recipes, Illness part 456, a new Steam Vac, and YOUR OPINIONS NEEDED for natural cleaners.

  • I have a recipe simmering in my Crockpot that was sent to me by a reader!!  I altered it a bit, mostly because I didn’t have all of the ingredients as I thought I did.  If it works out as well as I think the recipe will, I’ll post it here.
  • Two of my kids are still sick.  I found out from our pediatrician (after I took Ethan in, last Thursday) that there’s a virus running around where kids will run a high fever with usually no other symptoms for 5-6 days.  Yesterday was day #6 for Ethan, and it was the first day that his fever did not peak over 101°.  But… he came down with… um…  flu-like symptoms yesterday!!  How awful is that?  Be healed of one illness and get struck with another immediately.  So, today, he has virtually no fever, but he still doesn’t feel great.  AND, Grant, my child who gets sick once every two years or so, woke up on Sunday morning with a high fever.  So, today is day #3 for him.  😦  We missed their baseball game last night, and will not be going to practice today.
  • I got a never-used Hoover Steam Vac off of Craigslist for about 1/3 of the cost of buying it in the store!  Just in time, because our home is 3.5 years old, and we have never had the carpets cleaned (though most areas of the house get vacuumed twice a week), because Fiala is just starting to scooch off of  the blankets I lay out for her on the ground.  🙂  Sweet baby.
  • Speaking of Fiala, her eczema issue is SOLVED!!!!!  Bless God!!!  I’m slow to put 2 and 2 together, but I realized that her skin problems started a few months ago concurrent with when I started to use Melaleuca’s new formula laundry products.  I wasn’t certain, so I tried a plain water “wash” on her clean clothes with 1 cup white vinegar added, then did an additional rinse with more vinegar.  For her dirty clothes, I washed them in “old formula” Melaluca detergent, using powdered borax as a stain-remover/brightener, then the vinegar rinse.  Within two days, her skin was improved.  Now, almost a week later, her skin is 90% better.
  • I have been a happy and loyal Melaleuca customer for six years, but am likely going to cancel my membership within the next month.  Melaleuca customer service has really been outstanding as I’ve been going through this skin issue with Fiala, but, honestly, I’m SO upset about their products ripping up my baby’s skin that I’m ready to toss Melaleuca out the window NOW.  But, my husband basically wants me to do a cost/benefit analysis to make sure it’s a good idea to permanently stop using their products.  It has been great to have reasonably priced, effective, environmentally sound cleaners, and the convenience of ordering online and having the stuff shipped here every month.  However, Melaleuca requires a certain level of purchases every month, and if I no longer purchase the laundry products, I won’t meet the minimum.  I already started scouting out new products when I went shopping on Sunday night.  Funny — when we started using Melaleuca, practially NO ONE knew what I meant by phosphate-free laundry detergent, let alone dishwasher detergent.  Now, there are MANY options, readily available, both at Trader Joe’s, and at Sprouts, a local natural-foods grocery & healthgoods store.  Soooo…. if you use natural cleaning products of any kind, what do you like?? What have you tried and not liked?  If you have a blog post on it, just leave a link.  Otherwise, please inundate me with comments!!  I’m looking for laundry detergent, laundry stain remover, dishwasher detergent, hand dish soap, bathroom cleaner, mulitpurpose cleaner, glass cleaner, toilet cleaner… the works!  Plus, your favorite bath soap bars, too, while you’re at it.

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on April 21, 2009, in Allergies, Babies, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Family, Housework, The Dear Hubby, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Here’s a link to a recipe for making your own laundry detergent.

    This person says it costs her $5 to $6 and lasts for about a YEAR! I haven’t used it yet because we bought a huge amount of detergent from Costco a while ago.

    For cleaning the house (multi-purpose, countertops, bathroom, etc.) I use this:

    Fill a spray bottle with:
    4 oz vinegar
    12 oz water
    1/2 teaspoon your favorite dish soap (there are many natural ones out there)
    5-8 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (works as a disinfectant)
    5-8 drops Lemon Essential Oil (as a disinfectant)
    Lavender Essential Oil–as needed for fragrance

    Makes 16 oz.

    So, I hardly ever buy cleaning supplies. I just mix ’em up at home whenever I run out. For glass I use regular rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.

  2. I just ordered Shaklee stuff.

    I am using their stain remover (bleached a shirt twice, didn’t get the stuff out…used their stain remover in paste form…got it out!) Their general cleaner and their scouring stuff (thought some stains on my stove were permanent…NOPE…not with their stuff!) I don’t have a dishwasher but they do have dishwasher detergent etc. When I bought it they sent me several info dvds to pass around. happy to send one to you if you want to email me your address. They have a lot of other stuff that I just don’t have use for.

    I tried Costco’s detergent and it gave my baby skin issues.

    I was trying Costco’s stuff before going with Shaklee because Shaklee was more expensive. Guess I’ll give it a try now. (Or read your readers responses and get some ideas myself! :))

    I use Costco’s dishsoap. like it alot.

  3. glutenfree4goofs

    Wow, I use Melaleuca but have not quite run out of my stock of the old detergent yet. Now I’m scared! Tomorrow’s laundry will be using the new. YIKES! I’ve been a loyal customer as well for probably 5 years and had always been happy but that will be a big bummer! I joined because of my Ethan’s skin problems. Will see. One of my good friends used to use Melaleuca but her husband decided it was too expensive she does something similar to Daja’s recomendation. I also have ordered Shaklee and like the products but find it to be more expensive than Melaleuca. The stuff from Traders (can’t remember the name right now- white bottles, green writing) doesn’t seem to work real great but it is safe and medium cost. Ok, that’s my two cents, I hope my Mela Detergent works!

  4. I make our own laundry detergent and it lasts forever. I made some the day after I got home from the hospital (from having the baby) and I still have about 25 loads left of it. That is going on 3 months.

    I will need to come back with the other links of things that I use. But I very seldom buy cleaners. I do still use cascade in the dishwasher but have a recipe I will try when we run out. I am completely convinced that is what has helped us save money.

    I also have a recipe for homemade shout. Email me if I forget to come back with the links.

    Poor babies! I hope they get better soon!!

  5. I buy laundry soap from my friend Holly at
    as she’s very very good with letting me know what ingredients are in what (I have Celiacs and lots of various allergies).
    I grate it down, simmer it in a gallon of water. When the water is clear, I add a cup of borax and a cup of washing soda. Simmer again until clear, and then I put it in my old refillable laundry detergent spout thingy LOL. Then fill it the rest of the way with warm water and shake it well. It uses about 1/3 of a cup per load.
    I also make my own vinegar with Kombucha tea and use that in a downy ball in each wash, sometimes if I’m feeling frisky I use some essential oils in the mixture so my clothes smell awesome..
    I also use Holly’s soaps and lotion (that lotion is awesome) and her spray in conditioner for my hair (which is waist length) and on my 20 month old’s hair. (we don’t use regular conditioner) she also makes shampoo, but we have really hard water and it doesn’t work so well here. You can also request various smells from Holly, it doesn’t have to be what is actually listed on the site.
    For color-safe-bleach I use 2 bottles of peroxider in a gallon container and then fill it the rest of the way with water. 1/4 cup per wash. This also works REALLY well on counters (especially white ones). For soap scum and hard water stains, I use 1/2 vinegar 1/2 water in spray bottle and just spray it on the whole shower after each use.

  6. Glad that your children are recovering! Hopefully they will be up to awesome-ness status as usual soon!

  7. We’re still getting into the homemade/natural cleaners game… so I don’t have any solid recommendations. But I’m loving the links others provide [smile].


  8. My Mom recently started using this for laundry:

    1/3 Bar Fels Naptha
    1/2 Cup (Arm And Hammer) Washing Soda
    1/2 Cup (20 Mule Team) Borax Powder

    Grate the bar soap and put in saucepan W/6 cups water and heat till melted.

    Add Soda and Borax. Stir till dissolved. Remove from heat.

    4 Cups hot water into bucket. Add soap mixture.
    Add 1 gallon+6 Cups hot water and stir.

    Let set for 24 hours.

    I use apple cider vinegar for conditioner. The eczema on my back is clearing up.

    I use vinegar in the fab. softener dispenser and the clothes are every bit as softened and static reduced as with Downy, but without the perfume.

    Looking forward to trying the suggestions you’ve gotten. 🙂

  1. Pingback: Homemade Laundry Soap!! « Only Sometimes Clever

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