Well, I am in a tip giving mood. So, if anyone cares, you can see how I have begun to make a few more things than just food. I did a bit of research online, and here are some things we now make at home rather than buy at the store.
My laundry detergent is easy peasy. It can be made in a whopping 15 minutes, although it does take a few hours to cool.
1 stock pot (big enough to hold a gallon of water)
1 big wooden spoon
1 grater (actually chose to use a cheese grater that makes fancy shredded cheese, but I wonder if a food processor would do the same thing)
1 measuring cup (I use one that holds 4 gallons)
1/2 gallon of boiling water
1/2 bar of soap (i.e. dove body soap- or you can use 1/4 of a bar of Fels Naphtha)
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 gallon of cold water
mix the finely shredded soap with the boiling water. Stir until the soap dissolves. Stir in the borax and washing soda. Mix it all together and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Mix in the cold water. Stir until it is all mixed up. If you store it in another container go ahead and pour it into your container for storage. I use the stock pot to store mine. Let it cool for a few hours, stirring it whenever you think of it (if you don't stir it, I find that it gets pretty clumpy on top and watery on bottom). When it is cool to the touch, stir it one last time and break up clumps, and it is ready to be used.
I use 1/2 cup of this detergent for a load...if I have greasy laundry, I might use a bit more. We have found that this takes even motor oil out of my husband's jeans! All in all, I am pretty happy with my homemade detergent, especially since it only costs a few pennies for a load!
**the next batch I make, I am going to boil lavender into the boiling water, strain it, and then use the scented water. I am just curious to see how well that would do.**