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All-Natural DIY Drano: Safe and Effective Toilet Declogger

By Rachel Tiemeyer

It worked! This all-natural DIY Drano recipe really worked.  Not just once, but it did the trick two different times on my completely clogged toilet. (Yes, we have really crappy toilets–no pun intended.)

DIY Drano

Let me tell you, I was one happy homeowner upon discovering this simple, cheap, and safe DIY Drano solution!  That’s because a plumber visit costs at least $150 and Drano and Liquid Plumbr scare the snot out of me.  Seriously, listen to the warnings from the Liquid Plumbr company itself about the dangers of its product:

“…Never use Liquid-Plumr with other drain-cleaning products. The bleach contained in Liquid-Plumr can react with other chemicals, such as ammonia, to create toxic vapors. Also, use of a plunger can be dangerous, as the product can damage skin, eyes and mucus membranes on contact…Handling lye in any form can cause chemical burns and skin damage, and ingesting it can result in permanent injury or death.” (Source)

Do I want a chemical compound like that in my house, near my babies, in our water system?  No spanks.

The best part, besides the fact that this all-natural DIY Drano actually works, is that it only requires two CHEAP ingredients out of my kitchen cabinets. Check out this DIY Drano recipe my 3-year-old could make and administer to said clogged toilet…

All-Natural DIY Drano Recipe

1) Into a clogged toilet filled with standing water, dump 1 cup of baking soda.  Let it sink to the bottom.

2) If the toilet doesn’t have much water, add 1 gallon of boiling water to really get things moving.

3) Next, add 2 cups of vinegar slowly, so it won’t fizz over onto your floor.  Ickkk!

4) Let it sit for a couple of hours and see if the water has drained.  If it has not, let it sit overnight and then plunge, if needed, before flushing.

My Test Results of the DIY Drano

Tonight, I tossed in the DIY Drano and let it sit for a couple of hours.  When I returned, the standing water was gone and the toilet flushed right away!  However, the first time I used this all-natural DIY Drano recipe, I had to let the concoction sit overnight in the toilet.  After a good plunging, it began to work a little better.  I used the DIY Drano one more time, and after a few hours, the toilet was completely unclogged.

From my research, it sounds like this is safe and effective to use in kitchen and bathroom sinks and drains, as well.  One tip I read was to hold something over the opening of the drain so the fizz goes down it instead of back up and out.  Obviously, I didn’t do this for my toilet!

May the toilet unclogging force be with you next time you give this DIY Drano a try!

DIY Scented Soap Bars

By Rachel Tiemeyer

DIY All-Natural Scented Soap Bars with safe, non-toxic ingredients

by Jessica Ellingsworth of Mayvn, Contributing Author

A recent school family project assignment had my daughters and I wondering what to conquer. “Let’s make soap!” one of them suggested. What?! Jessica here, and after a little research I have a fun and easy Spring project to whip up with kids that is also great for end-of-the-year or Mother’s Day/Father’s Day gifts.

One of the first obstacles I found when researching soap-making with kids is the process of mixing oils with lye, a caustic substance. Even though there is no lye in the final product (if ingredient ratios are correct, digital scale required!), there is still the saponification process that has potential hazards when rookie moms and small hands are involved. Who knew I had two little aspiring chemists on my hands?!

DIY All-Natural Scented Soap Bars with safe, non-toxic ingredients

Taking their ages and my inexperience into account, I found and purchased blocks of raw soap bases that have already been through this process for me, leaving the fun part of melting, scenting, and pretty packaging to us. Another pro for doing a melt and pour: there is no ‘curing time’, so soap is ready immediately after cooling–a win for kids! All three of my kids really enjoyed the process and love knowing they made something so useful. My husband and son even made a “manly” soap.

Depending on the costs of your chosen essential oils, I estimate a small bar of natural homemade melt and pour soap costs around $1.50.

Without further adieu, here is the 7-step process for making DIY Scented Soap Bars:

1. Assemble tools and ingredients. You’ll need:

  • glass measuring cups
  • sharp knife
  • a pot
  • soap molds (plastic or silicone work best so there is ‘room to give’.) I even used a clover cupcake mold I had stashed away and found an inexpensive soap mold at Michael’s craft store.
  • bars of soap bases–I purchased organic coconut oil bases at Bulk Apothecary, but they can be found a number of places.
  • essential oils and droppers–You can pretty much fragrance with anything you can dream of. For our maiden voyage in soap-making, we settled on batches of Rose Oatmeal, Sweet Orange and Eucalyptus.
  • Finely ground nuts, oatmeal and herbs for texture (optional). Chopped herbs like lavender are beautiful for Spring.
  • a small amount of rubbing alcohol in a small spray/spritz bottle
  • craft paper, tags and pretty ribbon if gift-giving.

DIY All-Natural Scented Soap Bars with safe, non-toxic ingredients

2. Cut blocks into cubes. Heat slowly in a pot over low heat until melted.

DIY All-Natural Scented Soap Bars with safe, non-toxic ingredients

DIY All-Natural Scented Soap Bars with safe, non-toxic ingredients

3. Take off of the heat and add fragrance, colors and/or textures, to your preference. Natural soap colorants made with mica can also be purchased. Pro tip for fragrance: 5 grams of essential oil per pound of soap.

DIY All-Natural Scented Soap Bars with safe, non-toxic ingredients

4. Pour into molds.

DIY All-Natural Scented Soap Bars with safe, non-toxic ingredients

DIY All-Natural Scented Soap Bars with safe, non-toxic ingredients

5. Spritz lightly with rubbing alcohol to dissipate bubbles.

DIY All-Natural Scented Soap Bars with safe, non-toxic ingredients

6. Let soap firm up in the molds for 2-4 hours. The soap will be firm to the touch and easily release from the sides of the mold.

DIY All-Natural Scented Soap Bars with safe, non-toxic ingredients

7. They are now ready for use, or package in paper and pretty ribbons for fragrant gift-giving.

DIY All-Natural Scented Soap Bars with safe, non-toxic ingredients

Happy Spring!

About the Author

JessicaJessica is a freelance writer, stylist, and recipe developer. She lives in Austin with her husband, two daughters, and son. She loves makeup artistry, interiors, travel, being in the kitchen with her kids, creative living, and exploring the streets of Austin for inspiration and the best food dives. She blogs at Mavyn.

Homemade All-Natural Carpet Cleaner

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Important Update as of 4/11/14: It has been over a year since using this on my carpet. The stains are still mostly gone, but my carpet is now lighter in those areas. I have old carpet so I much prefer this to the dark stains, but I want to give you fair warning that this concoction does have the power to bleach your carpet!

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

Warning: Umm, this post might gross you out. I wouldn’t recommend eating breakfast while reading this one. 🙂 But, I assure you it will come in handy if you have young kids or pets!

I’ve found myself Googling “how to get poop out of carpet” and even “how to get puke out of carpet” a few different times over the years, but without much luck.  When you have small kids around, these are the things you Google.

Last night, we had another one of these incidents when my 1-year-old had his diaper off for just 1 minute!  My husband and I were determined to get the poop stain (along with all the track marks!) out this time, yet we didn’t want to use any kind of harsh chemicals in our son’s room, especially before bedtime when he could inhale the fumes.

We ran across this site and discovered how to make our own non-toxic, all-natural carpet cleaner.  Before I worked on my son’s poop stain, I decided to really test this all-natural carpet cleaner recipe. We had a 7-month-old puke stain from my 3-year-old in the play room. Yuck! I gave it a try, but my expectations were low.

Check out how this homemade carpet stain remover worked to get this OLD stain out of carpet

BEFORE…

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

AFTER…

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

So, did this all-natural homemade carpet cleaner get out all evidence of the puke and poop stains in our house? Not every last bit. In the right light, you can still see a shadow of the stain. But, I would say this carpet cleaner got the poop and the puke stains out from both locations in our house as well as I could hope for. They are 90-95% gone and hard to see unless you look closely.  I’m satisfied with that, since it didn’t add harsh toxic fumes to our house. I suspect I would have had the same result with store-bought, chemical-laden carpet stain remover anyway, as I know from prior experience.

Last little perk, this all-natural carpet cleaner kills any germs left on your carpet due to the poop or puke! The vinegar and borax both have bacteria-killing power.

If you want to save money, kill germs, reduce chemical exposure in your home, and get poop and puke stains out of carpet effectively, I recommend trying this homemade all-natural carpet cleaner recipe below.

All-Natural Carpet Cleaner Recipe

Adapted from eartheasy

1) Remove all the solid waste with a paper towel and throw far, far away.

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

2) Mix together:

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup borax* (I used 20 Mule Team Borax, which you can find at almost any grocery store in the laundry detergent aisle.)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

3) Rub the paste into the carpet over the stain and let sit for a few hours. I suggest using a rubber glove or Ziploc bag over your hand (like I did in the pic below) to apply. You know, so you’re not touching poop and such. (Gag.)

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

4) Vacuum up the dried paste on top of the carpet.

5) Get down on your hands and knees and scrub, scrub, scrub with a wet washcloth or rag. Rinse the rag out periodically and keep scrubbing until you don’t see any more discoloration on the rag. (I worked at this quite hard and it helped immensely!)

6) Let wet area dry and then vacuum one last time.

7) Give the stain a few days and it will dissipate even more.

* If you’re wondering what borax is and if it is safe, here’s a thorough blog post that explains more and can help you make your own decision. I feel okay with using it, personally.

Here was my nearly-miraculous result on the 7 month old puke stain in our play room. I couldn’t believe it! I thought we were going to have to call our carpet cleaner and shell out $50 or cover it with a rug forever…but no siree! Thank you homemade carpet cleaner recipe!!!

DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner - homemade and non-toxic

Like this homemade all-natural household product? Try another thrifty, non-toxic solution that’s worked for us!

All-Natural DIY Drano – Naturally unclogs your toilet or any drain with only 2 ingredients!

All-Natural DIY Drano

Make Your Own Non-Toxic Foaming Hand Soap – Incredibly easy and cheap!

non-toxic hand soap

Homemade Laundry Detergent – This will save you tons of money and leave your clothes clean without harmful chemicals.

how to make homemade laundry detergent

All-Natural Homemade Disinfectant Spray – Clean any and all surfaces in your home with this safe and effective all-purpose cleaner.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XoXp-M9plLI/TlAoJeocfJI/AAAAAAAAAtE/3qZHeoQFWrY/s1600/IMG_0561.JPG

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