Saturday, April 24, 2010

Laundry The Old Fashioned Way

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Did you all read last weeks Luggable Loo post? It is something that we will all wish we had prepared for in advance if our toilets are not usable. Although not fun, necessary. After gathering the supplies for a portable potty I realized that we will need a way to wash our clothing. This is a chore I am not looking forward to doing without electricity, but it has been done in days past and can be done now. This post contains information on how to make a "washing machine" and also some "recipes" for homemade laundry soap. (information was found at,, and

This month has quite a bit of information that you may need in an emergency and I urge you all to print out the information that you think you may need and keep it all in a binder. There won't be any electricity to run your computer and printer when an emergency happens. So, start an emergency binder for your family and keep all your information in one spot.

Homemade Washing Machine:

Supplies Needed:
  • 5-gallon bucket with lid (cut hole in middle of lid for plunger handle to fit through)
  • Toilet plunger (brand-new, clean, with holes to eliminate splashing and suds)
  • Store in bucket:
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Stain remover/stain stick
  • Vinegar (add 1/2 cup to rinse water) helps remove soap
  • Rope (for clothes line)
  • Clothes pins
To Use:
  1. Empty contents of bucket.
  2. Place water, small amount of detergent, and clothes in bucket.
  3. Move plunger up and down for a few minutes or until clothes are clean.
  4. Remove soapy clothes and ring them out.
  5. Dump out soapy water (on your garden or lawn.)
  6. Place soapy clothes in bucket and fill with clear, clean water.
  7. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to rinse water.
  8. Move plunger up and down to rinse clothing.
  9. Wring out clothes and hang to dry.
Conserve water - use rinse water for next load of laundry.
NOTE: You could store two 5-gallon buckets, stack one inside of the other. Use one bucket for the soapy water and the other for the rinse water. You may be able to wash and rinse a couple of batches of clothes without changing the soapy water depending on how dirty the clothes are.
As found on

Homemade Laundry Soap

"Making your own laundry detergent is so easy and cost-effective that it's a wonder we ever started buying the brand name stuff at all. The recipes for liquid and powder laundry detergents are simple, natural and cost as little as 2 cents per load!

All you need are three basic ingredients:
1. SOAP (bar, powdered, or liquid)
all of which you can buy at your local grocery or health food store.

For soap, I recommend going au naturel with either Boraxo powdered hand soap or Castile soap, which comes in liquid and bar form.

The next ingredient, borax, is a mineral compound that works as a multi-purpose cleaner and bleach, so it's a green solution to keeping your whites bright.

Washing soda, which is similar to baking soda but more alkaline, cuts grease and neutralizes odors.

Here are two basic recipes for liquid and powdered laundry detergents. If you miss the floral fragrance of commercial brands, you can use naturally scented bar soap--or vamp it up even more by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the liquid detergent recipe--lavender is always divine.

Please note that even though the ingredients are from natural sources, they can irritate the skin, so it's a good idea to wear gloves while mixing."

-2 cups finely grated natural or artisan bar soap, such as Fels Naptha OR 1 cup liquid Castile soap
-2 cups borax (20 Mule Team Borax Natural Laundry Booster suggested)
-2 cups washing soda (Arm and Hammer suggested)

Mix soap, borax and washing soda in a pan with 1 qt. water.
Heat to just shy of boiling, stirring, until water thickens and suds form. Pour into a clean 5-gallon bucket. Pour another 2-1/2 gallons of boiling water into bucket: stir well. Let sit 24 hours. You can leave it in the bucket and cover it, but I like to store mine in vintage 1/2 gallon milk bottles.

Use 1/4 cup per regular load. If the mixture separates over time, either stir or gently tilt back and forth in its container to remix. MAKES 2-1/2 GALLONS
(Note: Grating the soap may seem tedious, but you can do it in a food processor with a grater attachment, and it makes a ton of detergent--more than a month's supply.)

Borax will kill your plants, don't pour laundry water onto plants.

2 cups powdered hand soap (Boraxo suggested)
1 cup washing soda (Arm and Hammer suggested)
1 cup borax (20 Mule Team Borax Natural Laundry Booster suggested)
Mix all ingredients well and store in an airtight plastic container.
Use 1/4 cup per load of laundry. MAKES 4 CUPS

(Source: Mary Jane Butters)

NOTE: You can go to this link for more information regarding the above-mentioned newspaper article.

Washing items shopping list and prices:
  • 20 Mule Team Borax - (2.98/Walmart Superstore, 3.97/Reams,Smiths, not found at Harmons)
  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda - (2.69/Harmons, 2.79/Reams,Smiths, Walmart)
  • Boraxo Powdered Hand Soap (12 oz. - this measures 2 cups) (1.99/Reams, not found at Walmart, Smiths does carry Borax)
Did you know you can make your own dryer sheets as well? This is something you can use now and save yourself a lot of money.

Homemade Dryer Sheets

  • 2 C water
  • 1 C white vinegar
  • 2/3 C any hair conditioner (Dollar Store brands work great, find a smell that you like)
Mix, not shake all ingredients in a tupperware. Keep rags in the mixture and ring out until slightly damp when needed. Keep the lid on the tupperware when not in use. Washcloths cut into fourths work great for dryer sheets.




Enjoy the journey!
Enjoy the blessings!
Feel the peace!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Earthquakes, Water, & Sanitation

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As most of you heard, we had a 4.9 earthquake in northern Utah this week. I hope that you will all see this as a warning of a bigger earthquake and take this time to prepare yourselves. Click HERE to view the Utah Red Cross Be Ready Checklist.

 I strongly urge you all to have adequate water storage. Make it a priority! Think of how many times you turn on a faucet during the day. Many people 
 will be inconvenienced when there is no water. I like to have large spray bottles on hand for times that we won't have water. I will use one for water with soap in it and one with just water. The kids can spray their hands with the soapy water and then a few sprays with the water bottle. This will save water when everyone washes their hands.

How is everyone doing with the April goals? Have you planned a garden or found a container to plant a few plants in? I hope everyone took advantage of the case lot sales and stocked up on the food items that your family uses.

One of the other April goals is to gather cleaning supplies and in this category is also sanitation. I know, none of us want to think of this, but we really do need to prepare for times of toilets not flushing. On to the portable potty......

This awesome information found at:
During a disaster “just plan on losing your utilities.” It is important to have a Sanitation Kit because we don’t know when our disaster will be. The lack of proper sanitation can cause the spread of disease and even death.
Here’s some ideas for assembling your own Sanitation Kit:

“Luggable Loo*” - snap-on lid (fits 5 or 6 gallon buckets)
1 (5 or 6-gallon) bucket
Store the following inside your bucket until needed:
  • Heavy Duty disposable garbage bags (you won’t want to deal with leaky bags
  • 1 (12 oz.) “Super Sorb” (takes care of odors - available at janitorial supply stores)
  • 1 container “Hi-Genic” (non-acid bowl and bathroom cleaner - available at janitorial supply stores)
  • 1 bottle of hydrogen peroxide (natural disinfectant)
  • 1 small bottle of vinegar
  • 1 container baking soda
  • 1 empty spray bottle
  • 2 to 3 rolls toilet paper (with cardboard removed)
  • 1 pkg. baby wipes
  • Feminine hygiene supplies
  • Disposable gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion (hand sanitizer will tend to dry out hands)
  • Bonus: 2 emergency blankets (for your privacy screen if needed)
Directions: Empty contents of the bucket. Line the bucket with a heavy duty disposable garbage bag. Put 1 tablespoon “Super Sorb” into the garbage bag. Securely attach “Luggable Loo” lid. Keep lid closed when not in use. When bucket is 1/3 full, empty it by tying the bag up and disposing of it properly.
To dispose of waste:
Emergency Sewage Storage. “Keep on the premises at least one extra 10-gallon garbage can or other waterproof container with a tight fitting cover. This should be lined with paper and/or a plastic bag. And the lid should be fastened to the can to prevent its loss. Such a can may be used for the emergency storage of body wastes until the public sewage system can be put back into action, or until other arrangements can be made. Empty your emergency toilet into this storage can as often as necessary. A small amount of household disinfectant should be added after each use. If you live in an apartment, you may not have a large garbage can or room to keep one. In that case, two smaller covered pails or other containers will do just as well.” –
Another option for disposing waste:
“When the plastic bag is filled to a point where you can carefully dispose of it, you will want a tight-fitting leak-proof container you can put the filled bags where insects and vermin cannot get at, or you may want to have a fairly deep hole (at least three to four feet deep) in your back yard where you can safely dispose of the bag, cover with a few inches of soil at each disposal and have a cover to keep vermin out and people from falling in….” –Sanitation, Part 1
For more detailed information regarding Sanitation check out:
Sanitation, Parts 1 & 2
*LUGGABLE LOOS are available at:
* Recreation Outlet, 3160 S. State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84115 (Sells the lid separately for $7.99 ea. or the bucket and lid for $12.99.)
* Cabela’s ($9.99 - lid only/$14.99 lid and bucket)
* Target (available on-line only) has a bucket and lid for $14.99
* Rei ($18.00 - lid and bucket)
* Google “luggable loo” to find the best prices and locations for you.
*Emergency Essentials $15.95 bucket, lid, 2 enzyme packets. They also sell a pop up porta potty tent for $59.95 which can also be used for a shower
Click HERE to view the doodie bags that turn waste into gel for easier clean up.
Click HERE to view the bags that fit on your existing toilet.
NOTE: “Be Ready Utah” has an idea for an Emergency “Porta Potty” Kit which includes Kitty Litter:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April Goals & Homemade Cleaners

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April is great so far and I hope you are all ready for a new month of goals. Today's warmer weather made me feel like organizing, cleaning out, and getting the garden started. We have 3 goals this month. They are:
  1. Shop the case lot sales at Smiths or Maceys and stock up on items for your 3-month menu plan. Click HERE to view the case lot prices for each store.
  2. Plan a garden, plant a garden or container, and learn how to sprout seeds/grains for nutritious sprouts.
  3. Stock up on cleaning supplies. Whichever you prefer. I like to make some of my household cleaners so if you do too then stock up on vinegar, baking soda, ammonia, rubbing alcohol and bleach.
I found a very interesting post on container gardening with soda bottles and milk cartons. Click HERE to read and see the great pictures. And click HERE to see another post by the same ladies on milk carton gardening. If gardening seems too intimidating these ideas are simple and look like they will give you great results.

April is a great month to plant the cold weather plants like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, lettuce, onions, and cabbage.

Sprouting wheat is a great way to get to add nutritious nutrients to your food without having to buy vegetables. This is great if we had an emergency and fresh produce was not available. Click HERE to read my previous post on sprouting wheat. Sprouting is a great way to get your children involved with gardening too. Check for some great sprouting kits. To learn more on sprouting other seeds besides wheat, click HERE.

Cleaning supplies vary vastly from home to home so this area is going to be mostly personal preference. When I find a good deal on cleaning items I stock up and hope another sale comes before I run out. I don't like paying a lot of money for them. I also don't like the harmful smells and toxins that are in many cleaning supplies. I found some great "recipes" online that I use to clean with.

Laminate Floor Cleaner
1/3 part rubbing alcohol
1/3 part water
1/3 part white vinegar
I marked a spray bottle with the lines for each third and then I have floor cleaner that lasts a long time. I use a micro fiber mop that I can throw in the washer after I clean.

All -Purpose Cleaner
1/2 gallon water
1/2 C vinegar
1 C ammonia
1/4 baking soda
Add enough water to make 1 gallon. Shake well, use in spray bottle. I keep this in an old juice bottle labeled cleaner and pour into my spray bottle when needed.

Window Cleaner
1 pint rubbing alcohol
4 T ammonia
1 T liquid detergent
Add enough water to make a gallon. Add blue food coloring if you want it to look like the store's brand.

Aprils Goals:
Shop the case lot sales.
Garden, garden, garden!
Gather cleaning supplies.

Enjoy the journey!
Enjoy the blessings!
Feel the peace!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April is Here

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Welcome to a new month, April is here! Next to December, April is one of my favorite months. This is the month of case lot sales, Conference, Easter, and maybe some warmer weather. This is the month to take inventory of your 3-month supply. There are many sales on canned goods that make it very easy to stock up for at least 6 months worth of food. If you need canned oranges or pears, or maybe tuna this is the month for you!

I want to give everyone a challenge this month. Make a list of ingredients from the recipes that you are going to use for a 3-month supply. (If you haven't already made one) These can be recipes that you use now or maybe some simpler recipes that you could make without a lot of prep. Which ever you choose, make a list of ingredients. Use this list to shop from and you will have stored food quicker than you thought. (Click Here if you need more info.)

Case lot sales start on April 7th and go for 2 weeks. This is a great opportunity to save a lot of money and get a lot of food. I will list the prices and deals as soon as they are available.

April's other goals are to gather seeds/sprouting supplies and to have cleaning supplies stored. Gardening is a wonderful way to become self-reliant. Being dependent on the grocery store for our food is not a safe insurance policy for food storage. Learn how to garden or plant something new this year. I have just gotten into gardening and am excited to plant more than I did last year.

Cleaning supplies are items that you will really want to have on hand if you aren't able to get them from the store. Disinfectants and sanitizers are a necessity when there is sickness around. In a disaster this becomes even more important as cleanliness will help to keep infection and disease from spreading. Storing ingredients to make your own household cleaners is a topic we will cover in later posts.

Watch the blog this month for case lot pricing and posts related to cleaning and gardening. This will be a really fun month and hopefully many of you will get a great start or add some great items to your storage.
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