How To Make A Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner

This citrus All Purpose Cleaner is completely non-toxic and costs only pennies to make! #homemadecleaners

When my kids were babies, I would spend their nap times in the bathrooms with the vent fan running, scrubbing away and trying not to breathe the toxic fumes.  However, the day came when they no longer napped, and, even worse, they wanted to help!  I didn’t want them in the room, much less handling the chemicals in those cleaners.  So, I set out to find a better way to a cleaner home. 

Honestly, I didn’t think natural cleaners could live up to the cleaning power of chemical products.  But, for the most part, I have been pleasantly surprised.  In the cases that I do have to turn to a chemical cleaner, I simply rest in the fact that our exposure has decreased substantially.  

This citrus All Purpose Cleaner is completely non-toxic and costs only pennies to make! #homemadecleanersThe staple of a great natural cleaning arsenal is a great all purpose cleaner.  This easy-to-make cleaner combines citrus (which works as a degreaser, stain remover and freshener) and vinegar (which serves to break down mold, grease, mineral deposits and bacteria).  It’s completely safe for the kids, cheap to make, and smells amazing!  Use it to clean and deodorize sinks, stovetops, countertops, bathtubs, floors, toilets, and more. 

Grab the printable recipe below!

How To Make Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Glass jar
  • Orange peels (or any other citrus fruit peels)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of salt
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  1. Fill your glass container with orange peels. (You can save orange peels in the freezer until you have enough and are ready to make the cleaner.)
  2. Lightly coat the orange peels with salt and let them sit for at least 30 minutes. This will pull the oils from the peels for a great citrus smell and more cleaning power.
  3. Fill your container with vinegar and water. I like about half and half.
Any combination of citrus fruit peels can be used. Experiment to find a scent you love! Essential oils can also be added along with the vinegar and water.

Now that you have a cleaning product that’s safe for your little ones, check out these tips for getting your toddler to help around the house!

Do you cringe when your toddler wants to "help" you around the house? Read why you should let them help and how to deal with the messiness. #parenting #momhacks #toddlers
Are you concerned about the chemicals in your home?  Have you made any of your own cleaners?

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Want to save money and reduce toxins in your home? This diy laundry detergent will do just that! Give it a try! #homemadecleaners #diy

Wool dryer balls both save you money and cut down on the chemicals in your home. Plus, they are super easy to make! Here's how. #frugalliving #greenliving #homemadecleaners

How To Make Powdered Laundry Detergent Without Grating Soap

Last week, as I was grating a bar of soap to make another batch of homemade laundry detergent, I decided that there had to be a better way.  So, after a little poking around on-line, I learned that Ivory soap expands and turns to a foam when heated in the microwave.  Aside from being a really cool science experiment to do with the kids, I found it to be the perfect solution to my soap-grating woes!

When removed from the microwave, the Ivory will be brittle and flaky but will retain all of it’s cleaning power.  So, it’s super easy to run it through your food processor and end up with a fine powder–perfect for the powdered laundry detergent recipe below.  Or, you can simply crumble it with your hands and add it in place of the grated soap in this liquid detergent recipe.

Do you want to make homemade laundry detergent but don't like grating soap? This post will show you how! (Plus, it's a really cool science experiment!) #laundrysoap #homemadecleaners

Remember, this only works with Ivory soap.  Oh, and be sure to check out why it works

Update:  A reader informed me that this will also work with Fels Naptha.  Just keep a close eye on it and don’t “overcook”. 

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase, I may (at no additional cost to you) receive a commission.  Thank you so much for your support!

Powdered Laundry Detergent 

Tools you will need:  A microwave, food processor, and a recycled container for storage.  (Here’s a quick way to remove the label.)


Place Ivory soap on a plate in the microwave and cook, watching constantly. It will turn to a foam. Once cooled, use your food processor to turn it to a fine powder. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and store in recycled container. Use 2 tablespoons per load.

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January Happenings, Homemade Cleaners, and Bloopers

labels for homemade cleaners

labels for homemade cleanersBelieve it or not, 2015 is already 1/12th over!  Around here, that is super exciting news since it means we are getting closer to SPRING!  And, spring means new babies (of the chicken variety) and gardening!  For those participating in the Homesteading Challenge, we have made several new homemade cleaners and started a homesteading journal!

So, today I wanted to take a few minutes to recap our adventures and catch up on anything that we may have missed.  We’ve made an all-purpose citrus cleaner, liquid laundry detergent, no grate powdered laundry detergent, wool dryer balls, and re-labeled recycled containers.  For my subscribers, make sure you check your e-mail for printable labels for your homemade cleaners and journal, as well as printable homemade cleaner recipes for your homesteading journal.  If you’re not a subscriber, it’s not too late!  Subscribe in the left sidebar for the free printables!

We also launched the Our Life Out Here You Tube Channel.  It’s been an adventure of it’s own, and I want to thank my friends, family, readers, and viewers for all of your support!  It’s meant the world to me, and I am truly humbled that you would take part of your day to read or watch the musings of this simple Oklahoma girl.  So, I put together this little blooper video to say “Thank you!”

In February, we will be planning and dreaming about our gardens, preparing our soil, and starting seeds indoors.  We can’t wait to get started and hope you come along for the ride!

Repurposing: How To Remove A Printed-On Label

labels for homemade cleaners

labels for homemade cleanersThis month we have been working to reduce chemicals in our homes and save money by making our own cleaning products.  We have made an All Purpose Citrus Cleaner, Laundry Detergent, and Wool Dryer Balls.  So, today, we’re going to have a little fun by repurposing some old containers and putting pretty labels on them for our new products.  🙂

The best way to save money and get great containers is to re-purpose containers from commercial products.  If you don’t have any laying around, try your local recycling center.  They are usually glad to let you take things and re-purpose them.  However, one challenge with re-labeling these containers is many manufacturers have started printing their labels directly onto them.  Today, I am going to show you a quick and easy way to remove those printed-on labels, so you can replace them with your fun, homemade labels.

By the way, I have free printable labels available for my subscribers.  Simply print and Modge Podge onto your containers or print them onto 8 1/2″ by 11″ shipping labels, peel and stick.  🙂  Feel free to subscribe in the left sidebar if you’d like to receive our printables.

Shared on:  Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop, Frugal Family

The Great Homesteading Challenge

Homesteading Challenge

Homesteading Challenge

Happy New Year Friends!!!  2014 was a great year for us as we ventured into un-charted (for us) waters.

I hope your year was wonderful also, but even if it wasn’t, that’s the beauty of a new year.  It gives us a chance to step back, reflect, plan, and forge ahead with a clean slate!  I know for me I’ve suffered from a little thing called “analysis paralysis”.  I’ve spent many hours researching and planning, but have rarely taken the next step of actually implementing the things I was studying.  For that reason, my word for 2015 is ACTION, and that is my reason for creating THE GREAT HOMESTEADING CHALLENGE of 2015!  I introduced this challenge in a previous post, then spend an undisclosed amount of time looking for information on how to create a challenge group.  😉  It turns out, I didn’t find a ton of information, so, guess what, I’m going to take ACTION with what I know!

The best way to get involved is to subscribe to our blog.  Subscribing simply means that you can provide your e-mail over on the right, and you will get notified when new content is on the blog.  You will only get notified if there is new content, and I promise I will never take advantage of, sale, or laugh at your e-mail address.  🙂  If you subscribe, you will get an additional monthly e-mail outlining the projects for the month and a shopping list.  Also, as part of my challenge, I will be creating a notebook with recipes, information and spreadsheets for the various challenges.  After all, information on “how to survive a long term electrical outage” won’t do much good if it’s all on my Pinterest account.  Subscribers will also receive links to all notebook pages I create throughout the year.  If you choose not to subscribe, we still love you!  You will have access to all how-to videos/instructions on the blog–just make sure you pop in and check for new content!

Soooo… Without further ado, here are monthly topics for the year!  We look forward to learning together!  Let’s make 2015 amazing!

January: Homemade cleaners. We will be making laundry detergent, soap, all purpose cleaners, etc. The goal is to reduce the amount of chemicals in our home and save money.

February: Gardening. It’s still cold here on the homestead, but it’s a great time to plan and get a head start on a great spring garden.

March and April: Frugality. Tips and tricks to get out of debt and stay out of debt, even while building a homestead.

May: Chickens. Chickens are a great way to get into livestock. They are relatively inexpensive, provide both meat and eggs, and are tons of fun! They are even allowed in many municipalities and backyard chicken keeping is on the rise as more and more people become interested in knowing where their food comes from.

June: Preparedness I. We’re not talking in a crazy prepper way, but when you live 30 minutes from the nearest urgent care and electrical outages could last for weeks, basic first aid and food storage is a must!

July: Food Preservation. Now that the garden is producing, it’s time to harvest and store some of those yummy veggies for the cold winter ahead!

August: Preparedness II. Preparedness is such a broad topic that we can’t possibly cover it all in one month.

September: Winter Prep. Winter’s coming! It’s time to get the garden, animals and buildings ready!

October: Replacing the Grocery Store. It’s amazing how easy it is to make many of the things that we buy at the grocery store weekly!

November: Skin Care/Beauty Products. Now that we’ve reduced the chemicals used our home, let’s reduce those that we use on our body, too.

December: Year In Review/Planning. What worked? What didn’t work? Let’s use what we learned to plan for an even BETTER 2016!