Frugal Mindset

Our journey to a simpler life!

Frugal Mindset - Our journey to a simpler life!

Feeding Chickens Naturally

FEEDING CHICKENS

WHAT to feed CHICKENS who are not free-ranging every day?  

Brett and I get tired of forking out money on grain, and chicken pellets or mash for our 4 girls.  There must be a more sustainable way.  

We are free ranging them for a few hours each day on the weekend and once or twice during the week for an hour or two in the evening.  Other than that they are in their pen which is about 6 metres by 4 metres approximately which has a few fruit trees growing in it for shade for them (mulberry, lemon, orange, coffee tree, chocolate custard tree, and persimmon tree).    

I have been researching what other people have been doing and found some interesting posts.

FERMENTING MASH

One lady has a great blog post on fermenting mash naturally before feeding to her chickens and she outlines the benefits of doing this.

How to Ferment chicken feed.Bigger eggs, healthier chickens.

http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/ Tue, 04 Nov 2014 20:58:56 -0800

So basically, feeding fermented feed with naturally occurring probiotics is like setting loose an army of microscopic disease fighters inside your chickens… every time you feed them. … probiotics when put into the wet feed. I’m not going into a huge amount of detail (because this post is already going to be way long, but if you’re interested in more information you can see our ridiculously information-packed, long-winded article on the Natural Chicken Keeping blog).

Read more …

CHICKEN “TREATS”

This man has some great suggestions on “treats” for his chooks.  I had been investigating breeding “mealworms” and black soldier fly larvae as main source of protein for my girls and a cheaper source than commercialluy bought pellets but he gives an interesting warning about why more than a few at a time could be damaging to them.  Alot of food for thought:

What To Feed Your Chickens | HenCam

http://hencam.com/ Tue, 12 Jun 2012 09:29:17 -0700

As good as it is, commercial feed should not be the only thing that your hens eat. A standard-sized hen will eat between 1/4 and 1/3 pound of pellets a day, if it’s the only food offered. However, it remains essential for our backyard hens to have …

Read more …

HOMEMADE GRIT

We do not buy grit for our chooks but I crush up egg shells and put a few in their feed each day.  That way they do not recognise that the shell looks like their egg they just laid and start eating their own eggs, but I have a cheap supply of grit.  So far in the last two years it has worked for me and I have had no problems with shells not forming properly on their eggs.  

SPROUTED GRAIN

This lady sprouts organically sourced bulk whole grains and then sprouts them for her chickens.  

A Life Unprocessed: Sprouted Grains for Chickens

http://alifeunprocessed.blogspot.com/ Wed, 11 Jan 2012 16:27:00 -0800

In order to avoid buying conventional chicken feeds, I’ve been simply buying organic whole grains (“feed quality”) from our natural foods distributor, Azure Standard. They are the ….. I’d like to stop using bagged chicken feed (the ingredients list is terrifying), but I’m afraid of my chickens not getting the nutrition they need. Reply … Arsenic seems to accumulate more in the eggs than the meat, but is probably added to broiler feed more often than layer pellets. Here’s an …

Read more …

MEAT as PROTEIN?

One of the big things I have wondered about though is that as chickens are omnivores by nature, should I be feeding them meat?  I have heard stories that during the depression children would be asked to catch rats and mice to feed to the chickens to keep them laying eggs.  

Lesson 422 – Winter num-nums for the chickens – gag …

http://simplethrift.wordpress.com/ Wed, 19 Oct 2011 09:13:09 -0700

Didn’t that make them carnivores? … And then I read in Joel Salatin’s book “Folks, this ain’t normal” that years ago, one of a young boy’s winter chores was to make sure that the hen house was supplied with critter carcasses throughout the cold months precisely to … This winter, instead of leaving the carcasses in the back woods for some hungry animal walking through, we’re going to be feeding them to our chickens (who will eat them only after I’ve turned my head.).

Read more …

Of course,  when they free range they catch insects etc and scratch for bugs in the ground.  But what sources of living protein can chickens safely eat? and can I grow worms or bugs specifically just for my girls to eat? Would this be a smelly exercise?  

The lady below has some good advice:

What Do Chickens Eat | Raising Free Range Chickens Guide

http://www.raisingfreerangechickens.com/ Wed, 17 Jul 2013 07:29:23 -0700

Should I feed by chickens meat? Chickens are omnivores, which means that they naturally eat both meat and vegetables.. So giving chickens meat is quite alright. Even if you do not intentionally give your chickens meat, they …

Read more …

Grow Your Own Chicken Feed | The Natural Poultry Farming …

http://thenaturalpoultryfarmingguide.org/ Tue, 19 Mar 2013 09:01:07 -0700

… being a free ranging poultry farmer is not always easy. Buying pellet feed for our chickens is a quick feeding solution but it’s expensive and won’t necessarily give your birds all the nutrients they need. … Why not try a more natural, home-based, self-reliant feeding methodology? Putting it simply, we could try growing our own chicken … Learn what the poop from a healthy bird with an efficient digestive system looks like. If you make a change and start getting a lot of …

Read more …

BLACK SOLDIER FLY LARVAE

If anyone is interested in growing and harvesting your own black soldier fly larvae for your chickens here is a great “how to” video and blog:

How to Build a DIY Black Soldier Fly Grub Composter (Video)

http://www.treehugger.com/ Wed, 10 Aug 2011 06:56:23 -0700

It made it into this infographic on which composting method is best for you, but it’s fair to say that grub composting—or the practice of disposing of organic waste by feeding it to black soldier fly larvae—is.

Read more …

Black Soldier Fly Larvae: From Worm Bin to Chicken Feed

Raising Black Soldier Fly Larvae is useful for composting your food scraps and using the mature larvae as chicken feed as a protein booster. You can get the …

Read more …

EDIBLE ALGAE

If you live where you can grow edible algae on a dam or in a bath tub this can be a cheap food source for chickens.  Just make sure it not the poisonous type and this will be a great food source.  

Boots and Oil: Edible algae coming to a rooftop near you

http://greg-bno.blogspot.com/ Sun, 10 Nov 2013 08:05:00 -0800

Chickens will definitely eat it. Ducks too, most likely. I don’t know about goats, but goats are said to eat anything. What about grasshoppers since grasshoppers eat anything? Grasshoppers! Yeah, they eat grasshoppers in …

Read more …

USING CHICKENS NATURAL FORAGING BEHAVIOURS TO DEVELOP YOUR FOOD FOREST

And if you can grow a food forest you can use chickens to establish this and prepare the way by eating the weeds and preparing the soil.  Here is a great video by an amazing man who explains how he uses his chickens natural behaviours to contribute to his food growing.  Brett and I completed our permaculture certificates online with him last year (2013). 

Survival Food Forest with Chickens: Zero to 10 Years Tour!

Watch the Full Video for FREE http://www.geofflawton.com Clip from the new “Surviving Collapse – Designing your way to Abundance” is a story on how Geoff Law…

Read more …

Using Chickens to Control Pests in a Food Forest

Chickens are your much needed partners in controlling pests such as fruit fly when your Food Forest System is being established. From Geoff Lawton’s new DVD …

Read more …

FEEDING CHOOKS ON COMPOST

AND how to feed chickens entirely on compost and never buy grain again:

How to Grow Chickens Without Buying them Grain By Only Feeding them Compost

Watch the full video here at http://www.geofflawton.com Whilst on a tour of the US, Permaculture teacher Geoff Lawton was giving a talk at Montpelier, Vermon…

Read more …

Quality free chicken feed from the compost bin. Composteur nourriture poules Compostador y gallinas

A compost bin is teaming with life, a whole raft of invertebrates, to provide your chickens with free, organic nutritious quality food. However, because of t…

Read more …

FOOD SCRAPS

Food Scraps for Chicken Feed

You can your wean your chickens off grain and produce more nutritious eggs by feeding your chickens on food scraps and compost. This video talks you through …

Read more …

WORMS and LARVAE

How to Make Calcium for Chickens & Compost Worms

This is an easy, cheap way to supplement and recycle egg shells. (Sorry; I could not resist the “Cheap” comment!) Both layers and compost worms require calci…

Read more …

Feeding larva from compost to chickens

After rotating the compost I noticed a few larva (I am not sure what they really are). We feed a few to the chickens. Earlier I found a yellow jacket nest wi…

Read more …

GROWING COVER CROPS FOR CHOOKS

Raised Bed Cover Crops for Feed and Compost

I show you how to turn raised beds cover crops into compost. I feed my chickens and rabbits the grains and they turn it into a soil amendment. This is an org…

Read more …

TOXIC FOODS for CHICKENS

Avocado is hugely toxic for chickens!  

What foods NOT to feed your chickens | The Natural Poultry …

http://thenaturalpoultryfarmingguide.org/ Wed, 20 Feb 2013 02:50:43 -0800

Don’t feed the following things to your chickens (I’m sure people have experienced exceptions to this list, but if we want to raise our birds the best way possible, it’s “better safe than sorry”.) Food Stuff Why Not Raw green potato …

Read more …

Toxic Treats! What NOT to Feed your Chickens – Fresh Eggs …

http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/ Thu, 07 Feb 2013 12:27:00 -0800

To help clear up some of the confusion about what is toxic to chickens and what isn’t, we decided to sort through the various misconceptions running rampant, and use some reputable sources such as the Merck Veterinary …

Read more …

10 Foods You Should Not Feed Your Chickens | Ready …

http://readynutrition.com/ Sun, 09 Feb 2014 02:57:35 -0800

Salty foods – Foods containing large amounts of salt can lead to a condition known as salt poisoning, salt toxicity, hypernatremia, or water deprivation-sodium ion intoxication. The small bodies of chickens are not meant to …

Read more …

Feeding Your Chickens Table Scraps | McMurray Hatchery …

http://blog.mcmurrayhatchery.com/ Tue, 04 Oct 2011 09:00:00 -0700

Garlic, onions, and other strong tasting foods – These aren’t necessarily harmful to your chickens, but they may import an undesirable taste to the eggs that your hens lay. Avocado skins and pits – These contain persin, …

Read more …

Fresh Organic Gardening – What Not to Feed Your Chickens

http://freshorganicgardening.com/ Wed, 16 Jul 2014 04:28:08 -0700

Some people feed their chickens anything, not knowing that some foods are toxic to chickens. We all know that chocolates are dangerous to dogs; these too are dangerous to chickens. The following foods are not advisable to …

Read more …

Acorns: Toxic Feed For Poultry « Wood Ridge Homestead

http://woodridge.wordpress.com/ Thu, 07 Oct 2010 08:24:15 -0700

Acorns: Toxic Feed For Poultry. 7 October 2010. 15 Comments. Acorns are very plentiful here since we have so many Oak trees. They are gathered between September and October on our place and since I have several uses for Acorns, I like …

Read more …

List of Plants Toxic to Chickens | Urban Chicken Podcast

http://www.urbanchickenpodcast.com/ Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:39:44 -0700

Here is a list of plants commonly found in the average home and yard which are toxic (at varying levels) to chickens. Do not feed these plants to your flock!

Read more …

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH

Applying Diatomaceous Earth To Chickens

http://www.wormfarmingrevealed.com/diatomaceous-earth-food-grade.html Here are a few easy methods for applying Diatomaceous Earth to chickens to rid them of …

Read more …

Clean Stainless Steel Sink with Bi-Carb Soda

Of course, a good supply of Bi-Carb Soda is pretty much essential  for any frugal mindsetter. It’s wonderful stuff!

Here’s a quick way to revitalize  a scungy stainless steel kitchen sink:

  1. Give the sink and tap a liberal sprinkling of Bi-Carb. (I bought some Bi-Carb in a handy little jar that has a sprinkle lid).Bi-Carb Soda Jar with Sprinkle TopBi-Carb Soda on Sink
  2.  Give it all a good rub with a damp cloth and rinse well.Wiping down Sink with Bi-Carb Soda
  3. Polish with a dry cloth.Sink Polished Bi-Carb Soda

Done!

Our Lovely Girls – Chooks

Our girls not only help out with gardening but also provide us with an abundant supply of beautiful, fresh eggs!

Home Made General Purpose Cleaner

Wiping benches

© Depositphotos.com/Pakhnyushchyy

Basic general cleaning liquids are quite easy to make at home. There are a lot of different recipes for such products.   For my first attempt, I opted for a very simple recipe using apple cider vinegar, water and tea tree oil.

What you’ll need:

  • One cup of water
  • One cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 30 or 40 drops of pure tea tree oil
  • 500 ml spray bottle
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Funnel

Making the mix:

  1. Add water and vinegar to mixing bowl
  2. Add essential oil
  3. Stir mixture thoroughly
  4. Decant to spray bottle using funnel
  5. Shake bottle thoroughly for final mix

Thats it! Its now ready to use.

Variations:
White vinegar, or perhaps other types of vinegar could be used in place of the apple cider vinegar. You could also use other types of essential oil. Or you could leave the essential oil out of the mix.

Usage
It is very easy to use  – just spray and wipe with a clean cloth or sponge – and the vinegar smell is not unpleasant and dissipates quickly.   It is a good general purpose cleaner for the kitchen, laundry, bathroom and other areas of the house.

It is also really good for streak-free cleaning of mirrors, windows and other glass surfaces.

Efficacy
Being a skeptic at heart, I’m often a little leery of some of the claims made about substances such as vinegar. And, it must be said that the supposedly miraculous properties of vinegar are often overhyped and I’d take some of the claims with a sizeable grain of salt.

That said, however, various credible scientific studies  have proven that vinegar does indeed have anti-bacterial properties.

And, other scientific studies have shown that tea tree oil also has anti-bacterial properties.

One could reasonably assume that combining the two substances should increase the overall germ fighting power of the finished product. Of course, that assumption is entirely non-scientific. Without laboratory testing, I can’t know for certain how the two substances work together or how efficient they are at killing germs in the environment when applied as a cleaner.

But, I can say that the product does a good job of cleaning around the house and should certainly help to kill germs. It may not have quite the germ killing power as strong, chemical laden commercial cleaners but it is still an effective, very cheap and safe household disinfectant.

A note of caution:
Tea tree oil in its concentrated form can be toxic, especially to pets.  It may also cause allergic reactions for some people.  In this cleaning mixture, the tea tree oil is highly diluted, and should be safe. However, if you have concerns, you could substitute another oil or just omit the oil altogether.

 

The Wonders of Duct Tape

Duct Tape Roll

© Depositphotos.com/ ekostsov

In the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the galaxy, the late Douglas Adams suggested that the most massively useful thing an intersteller hitchhiker can have is a towel.  Of course, I would never doubt the wisdom of such a well travelled and well respected gentleman.

Nevertheless, I’d suggest that duct tape would almost certainly run a close second to towels in  the “most useful thing in the galaxy” department.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that no household (or spacecraft) should be without a good supply of duct tape.

Just the other day, I repaired a broken tidy bin with some well positioned duct tape. An item that would have been thrown out has thus acquired a few more months of useful life.

The day before, I repurposed an old shampoo bottle as a liquid hand soap dispenser via an elegant wrapping of duct tape.

Some past uses of duct tape:

  • Emergency secured the arm of my glasses to the frame
  • In lieu of misplaced sticky tape when wrapping presents
  • Quick fix for torn upholstery in an old car
  • Wrapped old wooden handles of garden tools to prevent splinters
  • Held together a cracked fan case
  • Short term repair of split garden hose
  • Held the broken head of a vacuum cleaner in place
  • Repaired broken toys to allow a few more hours of precious play
  • Held together a broken washing basket.

In fact, its uses are virtually endless. So, do your self  a favour and make sure you have roll or two strategically positioned around the house for easy retrieval.  Its a good idea to keep some in your car as well.

It also allows dads to tell very bad jokes about the true origin of duct (duck) tape to their hapless youngsters.

Make sure you get the good quality stuff available in hardware stores rather than the thin cheap knock-offs that they have in some discount shops.

Note: Apparently, what we call duct tape here in Australia is a little different to what is called duct tape in other climes. Never mind, it does the job regardless.

Home Made Liquid Hand Soap

Child washing with liquid  soapIt’s great to have liquid hand soap in handy dispensers close to various taps in your house. It can encourage children (and some adults) to practise good hygiene by washing their hands more often. But, the commercial stuff can be very expensive. Especially, if you have young children who often seem to be fascinated by liquid soap dispenser pumps.

But, making your own liquid hand soap is amazingly simple and extremely cheap.

I used pure Sunlight Soap which should be available in any major supermarket here in Australia. However, you could use any  kind of soap. Preferably go for one that is mild and as chemical free as possible.

If you want fragrance, just add a few drops of essential oil.  I used lavender oil in this mix. However, adding fragrance is optional and the soap will work fine without it.

You could also add colouring to your soap, although I didn’t bother for this batch.

I bought three ceramic pump soap dispensers for $3 each at K-Mart. But, if you have some empty commercial  soap dispensers laying around, you could certainly use them.

I used a little under two litres of water for my mix. My first batch was way too thick, so I added a lot more water. Exactly how much water you need will depend on the type and quantity of soap you use. You may need to experiment when making your first batch. Be sure to note how much water you ended up using to make it easier to prepare future batches.

Note: When the mixture is still hot, it will be very watery and you may think that it will never be thick enough for liquid soap. However, when it cools, the mixture thickens a lot more than you might anticipate.

Anyway, on to the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 bar of pure soap of your choice
up to 2 litres of water

Tools:
large saucepan, wooden spoon, jug, grater, mixing bowl, funnel, several pump soap dispensers,  jar for storing excess soap

Method:

  1. Grate the bar of soap into the bowl
  2. Bring one litre of the water to the boil. Remove from heat and add grated soap.
  3.  Return to heat and stir until all of the soap is fully dissolved. At this point the liquid will still be very thin and watery.
  4. If you wish to add fragrance or colour you can do so now. Add and stir well.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool until the soap begins to thicken.
  6. You may find that the soap has become too thick. If so, return to heat and add more water.  Conversely, if the mix is too thin, simply add some more soap. Allow to cool again
  7. When you have your mix just right, reheat to thin the mixture a little and decant into your soap dispensers using a funnel.
  8. Any soap left over can be stored in a jar for future use.
  9. After a few hours the soap should have thickened up and be ready to use. If you have a fairly thick mix, it may take some vigorous pumping to  get it to start flowing for the first time. But, once started, it should pump easily from then on.

Cost: 
This is admittedly a pretty  rough estimate. The soap bar I used cost around  80 cents (bought in a 500 gram box of bars). Add a few cents to cover the cost of heating the mixture and a few cents for essential oil.  So, I reckon that $1.20 would get you around 1.5 litres of soap. Around 30 cents per dispenser fill.

The Power of Positive Checklisting

In my ongoing quest to get more organised, I’ve lately been using a simple checklist system to help me keep on track with the plethora of mundane daily chores that are required to keep a busy household running smoothly.  Things like washing up after EVERY meal, cleaning toilets, washing clothes, folding clothes, keeping the fridge tidy and accessible, emptying bins, etc etc.

If you stay on top of these everyday tasks, they don’t really take up that much of your day. But, let them slip even for a day or so, and a household can spiral towards chaos pretty rapidly.  And  getting back on track can turn into a big job that takes you away from much more important things.

Since I’ve implemented my new system, things have been running really smoothly. In fact, I’ve found that checklisting for everyday chores has been quite amazingly effective!

Here’s what I do. I’ve set up separate checklists for mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Just having each chore listed and waiting to be checked off not only reminds you instantly of what needs doing but also serves as a real incentive to get the job done.  Even if you are tired or busy, having unchecked items on your list can inspire you to make a little extra effort and get the items completed. The simple act of completing a list feels like a worthwhile little achievement in the course of your day.

I’m using a lovely and simple  iPhone/iPad app called Check Check.  The app allows you to set up multiple lists of tasks, tick them off as you go, and then click a button to reset the list for next time.  The app is always at hand via my iPhone or iPad. List accessibility and reusability is crucial. Rewriting you lists each day would be too time consuming  and you’d likely stop bothering fairly quickly.

A more low-tech approach might be to write and print out your lists, laminate them, and then use  a whiteboard marker pen or similar to check off items. A quick wipe down at list completion and you would be good to go next time.

But, whatever approach you use, the goal is to incorporate your checklisting into your daily routine so that it becomes second nature.

If your household tends to be a bit chaotic or disorganised, give this a go. You might be quite surprised at how effective it is.

Checklist

The Power of Checklisting

Chronic Shopping List Failure Syndrome

It seems to me that one important strategy for living simply – and frugally – is  to get organised! I am, by nature, not a particularly organised individual.  I’d hate to think how much precious time and resources I’ve wasted in my life because I’ve forgotten to get something or can’t find something.

To that end, I’m currently undertaking a personal organisation audit with the goal of finally getting the everyday aspects of  my life streamlined and flowing smoothly. I mean it this time. Really!

Anyway, one of the first problem areas that my audit has revealed, is a terrible case of  Chronic Shopping List Failure Syndrome (CSLFS).   As in, before I go shopping, I run around and do up a quick shopping list of the most obvious requirements. But, invariably, I forget stuff. Invariably! So, I end up going back to the shop to pick up extra items before the next proper shopping day. And, because I’m busy, I usually go to the more expensive convenience store down the road rather than the big supermarket. And, of course, every time you go to the shop, you usually come back with a few extra items that you don’t really need.  ( Like use-by-date buns with yummy cheese and bacon bits on the top that rate at about one millions calories each). At least I do anyway.

So, CSLFS can cost you both time and money. Over the course of a year, it would add up to a fairly significant amount of time and money, in fact.

The solution?

  1. Find an old notepad or exercise book (we have a stack of half used ones left over from previous school years)
  2. Find a pen (makes sure the bloody thing works)
  3. Find some string
  4. Bore a hole in  back of said book
  5. Use string to tie pen to book
  6. Place book in an easily accessible location such as a kitchen draw
  7. Assemble family members and threaten them with heinous acts of violence if they should dare to remove either the book or the pen for any reason whatsoever.

Now,  when you think of something that needs to be bought, pop it on the list STRAIGHT AWAY. Instruct other family members to do likewise. (Again threaten family members with acts of violence if they add frivolous items to the list such as “Xbox” or “225 Mars Bars”).

So, on shopping day, you already have a list well underway and can just add any final items before tearing out the page and departing. No more excuses for forgetting stuff!

And, when you get home, if there are a couple of items that you couldn’t get for what ever reason, add them to a new list for next time.

This SHOULD work. I will make it so!

shopping list solution

Shopping List Solution

 

Homemade Laundry Liquid – First Attempt

This post details my first attempt at making my own laundry liquid. I used the recipe outlined by Rhonda Hetzel on her excellent Down To Earth blog. There are many variations and approaches that you can take to create your laundry liquid.

The recipe and method I used are listed later in the post. But, before you jump in and make your own batch, can I suggest that you review the following points:

  1. Soap:
    I used ready-made Lux Flakes for my first batch. But, you can apparently use any sort of natural soap by simply grating it to the required amount. This would work out even cheaper! I’ll try that option when the Lux runs out.
  2. Procuring Ingredients:
    In Australia, Lux Soap Flakes (or equivalents) and Washing Soda should be available in the cleaning aisles of the major supermarkets. I found mine at Woolworths.Borax can be a little harder to find. Comments on other blogs suggest that it is sometimes available at supermarkets. However, Woolworths and IGA didn’t have it in the city I live in.I finally found it at Bunnings (large Australian hardware store chain)I’m assuming that the products or their equivalent will be available at similar stores elsewhere in the world.
  3. Borax:
    There has been quite a lot of often heated debate over whether or not Borax is safe to use in your cleaning recipes. My personal view is that the supposed dangers are considerably overhyped. Your homemade product is likely to be much safer that many store-bought, chemically laden equivalents.  But, if you are concerned, you might like to head over to Crunchy Betty’s excellent and sensible analysis of Borax and have a read.Some users suggest that you can leave Borax out of the mixture, although they note that cleaning results may not be as good without it.
  4. My “Twice Cooked” Method:
    Most recipes I have seen instruct you to heat the ingredients in one litre of water and then top up to ten litres. I followed this, but found that the mix separated completely in to water at the bottom and thick soap gel at the top. And, even after stirring, there were still large clumps of soap throughout the mix. In my initial “trial wash” some of the soap clumps didn’t dissolve properly and stayed on the clothes. And the entire mix seemed overly watery.This may have been because I did not heat and dissolve the mixture enough initially.  However, I’ve seen a lot of user comments that describe the same separating and clumpy problems.Anyway, I found that by reheating the mix as described below, I ended up with a much creamier end-product that does not separate nearly as much as it did initially.As noted, this is my first attempt. I’ll experiment further with future batches. I may be able to streamline the procedure I’ve outlined and still get the same results.
  5. Costings:
    It cost me around $3.63 (AUD) to make ten litres. That is well under half the cost of  the cheapest generic brand laundry liquids that I have used. And only a fraction of the cost of the big-name laundry liquids that can cost $80 or $90 for ten litres.
  6. Effectiveness
    We’ve now done several loads of washing with the homemade liquid. To me, it seems to be just as effective as the commercial brands. At first, you may miss the “fresh” added fragrance that we have been manipulated into thinking means our clothes are cleaner.

Ok, so let’s get cooking!

Ingredients and tools:

  • 1 Cup of Lux Soap Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Washing Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Borax
  • 10 litres water
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon for stirring
  • Jug for measuring water
  • 11 litre plastic pail with lid
  • Plastic paint stirrer to keep with pail for re-stirring
  • 1 cup capacity jug for adding laundry liquid to machine

Method:

  • Add Lux, Washing Soda and Borax to saucepan
  • Add 1 litre of water
  • Bring to boil, stirring continually
  • Ensure that all ingredients are fully dissolved
  • Pour contents of saucepan into pail
  • Top up with further nine litres of water to make 10 litres in total
  • Stir thoroughly
  • Leave to sit for 24 to 48 hours stirring occasionally. (The mixture will separate and made become quite clumpy)
  • Stir and then decant half of mixture into the large saucepan and heat slowly
  • Bring to near boiling point, stirring continually.
  • Repeat with second half of mixture
  • Mix two halves together and stir thoroughly

Use:

  • Give pail a good stir with paint stirrer  before using
  • Use around 1/2 cup of liquid per top-load wash. More for large or heavily soiled loads.
Ingredients and Tools
Heating
Bringing to Boil
Adding Remaining Water
Final Stir
Finished Product

 

Stockpiling Containers

I’ve recycled suitable food and liquid containers for years. However, its a good idea to hold some such containers back from the recycling bin for later reuse.

You never know when you might need a container for preserving food, holding screws or other little knickknacks, or purposes yet to be imagined.

I  stockpile containers for just such unforeseen future needs. “Stockpiling” in this case just means randomly chucking containers in a cardboard box I have in the shed. I sort the containers as I take my recyclables to the bin. Getting to the container box and back adds approximately 10 meters to my journey, so its not too taxing. :)

A range of containers are good to keep. Soft drink and milk bottles. Glass and plastic jars. Small cardboard boxes of various shapes and sizes. Even small containers such as vitamin bottles. All are potentially invaluable!

Just a little safety reminder.  It is NOT a good idea to reuse food or beverage containers to store ANY type of chemical or potentially dangerous product.  People – especially children – could mistake the substances for something they can eat or drink.

containers

Stockpile containers for later use.
© Depositphotos.com/cmiflippo