Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Homemade Laundry Detergent

So we had some excitement here on Sunday. Brownie kept making this "rumbling" sound, and I've always been a little concerned that "her" private parts didn't quite match Cocoa's.... If you haven't figured it out by now, our little Brownie is actually a boy!! :-O Dang it. So we had to move him into our pet store cage, which I feel terrible about because it is literally 1/4 the size of their regular cage :( Poor guy!

He LOVES hiding in the makeshift hay container I made him
I guess the hay tastes better when you sit with it ;P

Of course Judah has to be Mr. Tough Guy and told me we can't keep two separate cages. So either we neuter him for less than $100 or bring him back to the pet store and trade him for another girl. I can't give up Brownie. He is too cute!! So I contacted the vet referred to me by a local rescue and he can do the surgery for $100. Yay!!! Granted the pre-op exam is $50 but Judah didn't say anything about that :D But truthfully, Judah said that that price is fine.

So in three weeks we will bring him in to the vet and if he's mature enough, they will do the surgery that day! If he's not ready, I will bring him back in a couple more weeks. That makes me happy because none of the pigs are particularly happy that he is now in a separate cage and if he can have surgery on the day he is scheduled, then they will all be reunited in six weeks. Granted that is half of his life at that point, but for the long term, it's not bad :)

There is a chance that he impregnated either of the two girls, but I am praying God shows us some favor on that mistake. From what I have read online, guinea pigs sexually mature at three weeks for boys and four weeks for girls. Since we found out he was a boy on his fifth week birthday, that means we only had him in there for two weeks when he should not have been. Hopefully Cocoa is safe because she only would have been mature last week. Guinea pigs go into heat for just a few short hours every 15-17 days so there is a chance we missed Maple's opportunity to get pregnant (hopefully!!). Also, I have noticed that she will nip at him if he rumbles at her so I think even if he did try to mount her, she woulda kicked his butt haha. And finally, I read that boys tend not to figure out "how to do it" until they are a little older, so even though he was rumbling, he may still be too young to get either of them pregnant. So fingers crossed!

Now that you know entirely WAY too much about guinea pig mating habits, let's talk about homemade laundry detergent.

I've seen this recipe around for nearly two years now, but have never bothered to try it. I knew we were getting low on ours and I love trying homemade cleaning products, so figured why not give it a go! You can see the original post here.

These are the ingredients you need:

- 5 gallon bucket and lid ($4.14)
- 3 bars Fels-naptha soap (0.97 cents each, $2.91 total)
- 3 lb Oxiclean Stain Remover ($7.52)
- 4 lbs pure baking soda ($2.24)
- Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda ($3.97)
- Purex Crystals ($4.76)
- 20 Mule Team Borax (not entirely sure what it cost because I already had a box here, but I'll use $3.38 from the original post)

So that's a total of $24.78 for product plus $4.14 for the container for a grand total of $28.92.

Want to know the best part? All you need is one tablespoon of this stuff per load of laundry! The original article states that this makes 575 loads, so if you do 10 loads of laundry per week, this detergent will last you nearly 12 months!!! If you choose to add an extra tablespoon for more heavily soiled clothes, it may be closer to six months, but still! Less than $30 for six months worth of laundry detergent. That is crazy.

And this detergent is so simple to make! All you have to do is grate the Fels-Naptha soap with a cheese grater. The soap is pretty hard, making it super easy to grate.

It kind of looks like cheese, doesn't it? Haha

Then all you do is add the ingredients together and mix! They recommend you do it in smaller batches, so I broke the ingredients down into thirds since there are three bars of the soap. Then when I was finished, I firmly placed the top on the container and rolled it around the floor to mix everything real good! Start to finish this took me 30 minutes, and that included me being distracted and stopping to do some other tasks in between.

The yellow is the Fels-Naptha and the blue are the Purex Crystals!

I tested it out this morning and this stuff works! Some people who have tried it complained that although the detergent worked, their clothes weren't scented after washing, but that wasn't the case for me. I washed the guinea pig fleece and the tshirts they have in their cage and although the fleece didn't pick up the soap smell, the tshirts did! I haven't done a regular load of laundry yet, but I feel confident that if it can do a great job of cleaning the guinea pig bedding, it can handle anything!

Since you probably don't want such a big bucket near your washer, you can hold on to the Oxiclean container, since the measuring cup inside it is the perfect size. Fill to line one for a regular load and to line two for a heavily soiled load!

Readers: Have you tried your own homemade laundry detergent? Will you give this recipe a try?

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