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Slice of Life

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Laundry Tabs, Dishwasher Tabs...

In an earlier post I wrote about binging. No not alcohol or gambling or even copious amounts of food but on types of food I eat, reading books, writing, sports and hobbies. I begin a routine and embrace it to the fullest until I am no longer satiated and then I move on until I get the urge to read again, write again, dabble in photography, knitting, biking, etc. The good news is they always come back.

One of my favorite binges is baking which usually occurs in the dead of winter. I love being in the kitchen and concocting delectable goodies from new recipes. My husband loves it too for I can bake a mean pan of oatmeal rolls, cookies, and one of his favorites brownies.

Last August, due to health reasons, I became gluten/wheat free. It was a leap for me but I had felt so poorly for so long I had to try something more holistic than just taking stomach medications. And so the journey began. It was a learning curve but I am happy to report, I feel so-ooooo much better. But I digress.

My newest binge is making cleaning products. Why? Well, I think I still wanted to bake but a baker has to taste their product (or at least I have to). So the joy of baking was no longer there for me (my husband has not complained). I tried to replicate my recipes with specialty flours with no success. I still wanted to be in the kitchen in the dead of winter and food was not the answer. I saw a recipe for liquid laundry detergent on Facebook and decided to give it a try. It worked great. My next experiment was dishwasher tabs. I have never been a fan of the plastic encasement on the tabs that we buy. Where does that plastic go? Does it completely melt? I think not.

I get the same kind of satisfaction from creating cleaning recipes as I used to get from baking. Not all products come out great the first time but after tweaking and when you get one that really works well, it is an accomplishment and then the savings can begin too. The savings are a bonus factor. I did not do this to save as much as to fill a need to be in the kitchen experimenting in the dead of winter. I think of myself as a homegrown kitchen chemist. I love science.

I can make dishwasher tabs and laundry tabs for about half the price of the ones in the stores. I know what is in them and I can control whether they have fragrance or not. They are just the right size, not too much or too little. They take up less room and are less messy than their dry or liquid cousins. My spot remover works better than anything I have ever purchased and my kitchen wipes can be used in the classroom because they are safe for the kids. They are made with rags that get washed and used again instead of being thrown away. I like that.

Next recipe...a liquid to wash the outside windows that dries without squeegee and is supposed to be streak free. I will believe that when I see it and can't wait for it to warm up so my husband can give it a try!


  1. I can't wait for it to warm up.
    I can't wait for the sun to come up
    and sparkle through these just-clean windows
    so that the outside world
    filters in to this inside world
    with only translucent glass between me
    and spring.

    PS -- line lifting into poems on a Sunday morning

  2. I love how you turned "trials transitioned into new traditions." I'd love to know your secret recipes..and admire that they are safe and you know what is in them.....but I can't even find time to clean let alone make my own cleaners. So KUDOS to you!

  3. Wanda,
    It's so great that you are able to create your own cleaning products. I admire that you have the interest to do this and have been successful. You'll have to update us on your window cleaning experiment when it happens.

  4. Wow, Wanda, I hope you share a recipe or two. The spot remover sounds wonderful. My tabs don't have plastic, so don't know which you mean, but I'm willing to try anything. I've been making a super recipe for pla-dough for years, much better than the store brand. Somewhere I have some "lawn" recipes that my dad used instead of all the chemicals. You should write a blog just about this-bet it would be so popular!