Friday, October 18, 2013

DIY Natural Homemade Laundry Detergent

Lately I've been thinking more about my health in regards to what on earth I'm putting on and into my body. It's been almost 4 weeks now with my swollen ankles that were diagnosed with a deltoid sprain, and they still aren't better! I got prescribed this anti-inflammatory medication called Duexis that's new to the market to help decrease the swelling, and my stomach lining just isn't liking the side-effects of it (what can I say it is sensitive). Needless to say I've been searching Pinterest and the Internet for natural remedies instead of taking the medicine. Can't lose my stomach!!

So I've been icing, lifting my legs up, drinking my apple cinnamon detox water, and now putting cucumbers directly onto my ankles so that the cucumber skin absorbs the extra liquid/water that's sitting around under the skin. Read more this remedy here.


Next up on my list is making a cucumber mint detox water to drink, which I'm really excited to make and will post when I have the recipe just right ;)

Now how do healing cucumbers relate to homemade laundry detergent? ... It's more NATURAL than man-made stuff! I was reading an article a few days ago which really reminded me that skin is our body's largest absorber and largest organ - anything that gets put on it, goes in it.

When you wash your clothes with store bought laundry detergent, you allow chemicals and unnatural fragrances to seep out into the water that 'cleans' your clothes and then you think all is good. Well, a lot of the most popular brands of detergent have cancer and lung disease linked compounds like sulfates, phenols, and petroleum distillates that you breath in and that stay stuck to the material of your clothes which touches your skin all day. Some experts apparently think that these chemicals can even act as hormone disruptors. Now does any of that sound good or 'clean' to you?? Answer should be no, which is why I made it a priority this week to do a little research and come up with my own homemade laundry detergent that has less of the bad and more of the good. Fitting for Breast Cancer Awareness month too!


What you'll need is a trip to Walmart first. You can get all the ingredients there at a low price. I was inspired by Rebecca over at the Camp Wonder blog's post on how she made her laundry detergent and even added a homemade fabric softener as well. But I'm short on time most days and wanted to keep things simple at first, so I did a little edit to the mix she recommended to bring in the natural lavender smell - yes natural, I'll explain how in a sec.

Things you'll need:
* 3-4 1/2 gallon mason jars plus any other sizes you might like
* 1 box of washing soda (55oz) 'aka Arm & Hammer'
* 1 box of Borax (76oz)
* 1 box of Clorox stain fighter and color booster (100oz) -or- OxyClean
* 3 bars of Yardley London English Lavender bath soap (4.25oz)
* 2 cups of baking soda
* 1 large plastic tub
* Medical mask
* Cleaning gloves

Now, let's break down why these ingredients are so much better than the pre-made store bought solutions to laundry detergent. No dyes, no perfumes other than the soap, and it's all better for the environment too. Read the links provided if you're not familiar with the chemicals, you'll be surprised on how much you'll learn and what not to buy the next time you're at the grocery store.
Borax is a mineral made up of sodium, boron, oxygen and water, and can be found in most natural soaps. Washing soda is made from salt and limestone found in natural deposits. Yardley London English Lavender bath soap is a naturally moisturizing soap made with pure lavender extracts and essential oils to sooth symptoms of stress (they get a + from me for having 100% recycled packaging and being made in the U.S.A.). On top of that, the soap is paraben free and sodium lauryl sulfate free.

On to making your detergent!
I saw a lot of recommendations to use a food processor|blender|grater to chop up the soap - but that failed SO BAD for me (my blender died). So I want to recommend a better way to chop your soap into fine pieces and get your workout in for the day at the same time...use the bottom of a mason jar and crumble those pieces! First use a knife to cut the bars up a little bit and then add a little bit of the washing soda and Clorox powder to the mix. Then put those arm muscles to work with the mason jar.



After you have the soap in pieces as small as you can get them, grab the plastic tub, head outside with your medical mask on, and start dumping the rest of the ingredients listed into it. You want to mix all the ingredients so that the Yardley soap pieces are evenly distributed within the mix. Once you're done mixing, fill all your mason jars with the lovely NATURAL laundry detergent you have just made all by yourself!


When you are ready to do a load of wash, depending on how dirty your clothes or towels are, use about 2 TBSP of your mix for a top load washer. Really that's it! Super effective. For HE washers you can try using about 1/2 cup for really dirty clothes and about 1/4 cup for for a regular wash. You won't see a lot of suds like you would normally see with a store bought detergent and this is normal and ok. Suds don't clean, the ingredients do!

You can use your detergent on both colored and white clothes. If you use it in cold water for dark clothes, you might want to place it into a small glass dish and let it sit in warm water to help dissolve the soap. DO NOT PLACE IN THE MICROWAVE.

If you are allergic to or just don't like lavender, you can substitute the Yardley soap for Felsnaptha soap bars that have virtually no sent in them. If you want to add a fabric softener to this washing recipe, I'd get a one quart glass bottle of white vinegar and use 1 cup of it during the rinse cycle. If you have trouble getting soap suds out use the vinegar for this too.

I've read that making your own laundry detergent can save you a few hundred dollars a year depending on what you already use that's store bought detergent, so we'll see how long this batch lasts me!


Unless otherwise stated, all content and photographs are ©ArtSea Chic. Please do not copy or distribute photographs without first asking for permission. Paid endorsement disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of compensation for my endorsement, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this blog, which are mentioned in the ArtSea Chic Media Kit. Please know that I only recommend and endorse products and services that I personally approve, appreciate, and feel would be helpful for readers. All ideas and opinions expressed are completely my own. Thank you for supporting ArtSea Chic!  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

We Broke Coastal Cleanup Records!

Remember last week when I told y'all I'd be participating in the Texas General Land Office's Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup? Guess how many Texans did their part in making sure we have safe beaches now and in the future...11,665 Texans! All of us together picked up 207 TONS of marine debris which broke the record for the largest coastal cleanup under Adopt-A-Beach ever, how awesome is that!?

With over 5,000 Texans on Galveston Island alone, we stayed more inland to do our part in cleaning Horsepen Bayou which at our meet-up location boarders a high school, running trails, roadways, and housing communities. Yes, the shoreline of the beach is very important to clean, but trash ends up way beyond the edge of the Gulf, sneaking into small waterways gathering and not being as noticed - but remember this area still considered to be coastline.


Horsepen Bayou was really beautiful to see, with wildlife conservation efforts seen on the banks. We saw dozens of jumping fish, (a small alligator we think), squirrels, a snake, large freshwater snails, cranes and other types of birds, and of course the popular mosquitoes of Houston. Even with my swollen ankle I was still able to do my part!

With as gorgeous as this bayou was, it had SO much trash! We found some really interesting pieces along our walk on the bank: 

4 softballs (all from the same team- Lightnings shame on you) 
Large metal pole (we bent it an used it to clean out the grassy areas of the bayou)
Dozens of styrofoam cups, mason jar, Crown Royal bottle
Newspapers still in their plastic bags
Bottle caps
Plastic grocery bags, etc


It was great to participate in another cleanup to support Adopt-A-Beach since my last one was back in the summer of 2007 on Galveston Island, and that was a great experience. I do however have a couple recommendations for what it's worth if anything could be structured better for the next cleanup as more people participate and the event gets bigger. Not every cleanup site is as popular as Galveston, but every site should still give off the same participation appreciation from coordinators to keep aligned with the movement.

>> High school volunteers need a location coordinator who will actually check and respond to emails. My brother needed to get into contact with our coordinators to confirm him participating so he could get service hours for NHS and we never heard from them via phone call or email, which made me have to contact the lead volunteer coordinator for the program.

>> Lunch/snacks and drinks should be provided at every site. Being in the sun from 9AM - 12PM picking up trash makes you tired and really hungry/thirsty! It'd be more convenient to have food and cold (our water bottles were just sitting out) drinks provided at the meet-up location so we don't have to drive somewhere all dirty and sweaty.  

>> What happened to the Adopt-A-Beach T-shirts? Back in 2007 we got a free aqua blue Adopt-A-Beach T-shirt for volunteering, would've liked to proudly show off a shirt for volunteering this year. I guess either the cost is too large for the number of volunteers now, or Shell Oil decided to take that over, or at our cleanup site we just weren't given one. From a marketing perspective free T-shirts are more than a word-of-mouth marketing asset, they're a quiet informer wherever it is worn to those who get a glance at it.

>> Organize cleanup sub-sites where kayaks, canoes, and SUP boards can launch on the waterways and get to the hard-to-reach trash! This would be a great outreach effort to get kayakers, fishers, SUP boarders, canoers involved in protecting the waters they love! It could be as easy as 'Bring Your Own Kayak, Canoe, or SUP board' and the program provides plastic trash grabbers to use to reach out on the water to get the trash.

Overall, it was a great event though and the dedication of all the volunteers to take the time out of their schedules to make sure we have clean beaches and protect marine wildlife is truly amazing. I would recommend participating in any Adopt-A-Beach cleanup if you haven't done one before! Check out the program's site here.



Unless otherwise stated, all content and photographs are ©ArtSea Chic. Please do not copy or distribute photographs without first asking for permission. Paid endorsement disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of compensation for my endorsement, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this blog, which are mentioned in the ArtSea Chic Media Kit. Please know that I only recommend and endorse products and services that I personally approve, appreciate, and feel would be helpful for readers. All ideas and opinions expressed are completely my own. Thank you for supporting ArtSea Chic! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bringing Back Coastal Home Luxury

If you had a bit of beach inside your home would you ever leave to drive down to the local pool ever again? This stunning coastal beach house designed by Mark Gacesa and his Ultraspace team, covered by Home Adore, is pure coastal home luxury at its finest. I love the natural wood beams against a natural flat exterior, not to mention the pools of water and sandy tropic islands throughout the property layout!









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