Natural Fruit Fly Trap

ImageThis is not an incredibly interesting post but hopefully a useful one. For some reason every year at this time our kitchen becomes inundated with fruit flies. Can’t stand the little buggers.

I found this easy homemade trap over at Passionate Homemaking and tried it out this weekend. My husband was just staring at it for the longest time trying to figure out what I’m up to now.

It’s very simple. You take a jar, I used a quart mason jar, and put a piece of fruit and some apple cider vinegar in the bottom. Then roll up a piece of paper to make a little cone and put that in the jar. Apparently the little pests aren’t smart enough to fly out of the cone so once they go after the bait, they are trapped. After you’ve caught them, just put the jar in the fridge for a bit and they will drift off to fruit fly heaven…or something like that. Easy!

All natural cleaning scrub recipe

This is one of the easiest cleaning recipes but one of my favorites. If you’ve made my homemade laundry soap, you should have Borax and baking soda around. The recipe is simple: 2 parts Borax to 1 part baking soda. (If you don’t have the items already, Borax can be found in the laundry aisle at most grocery stores.)

First, take a large nail and a hammer, and punch holes in the top of your mason jar. This will be your container for your scrub.

Then mix your Borax and baking soda together and a bada bing!

Use in showers, tubs, sinks and tile for a simple, non-toxic and non-abrasive cleaner. You can also sprinkle in your garbage disposal and drain, let stand for 15 minutes and rinse to clean and deodorize.

DIY Laundry Soap Recipe

Making your own laundry soap is SO incredibly easy. I was sold at the first use. AND, it’s way cheaper than the store brand variety.

I have tried a few recipes and this one is my favorite. Funny story about the Fels Naptha. When my sisters and I were little, my mom would threaten to wash our mouth out with the yellow bar of soap if we used bad language. I only remember this happening once to me, and I think it was more of a two second bite than an actual washing…but still.

DIY Laundry Soap Recipe
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup Oxiclean
1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap bar

(Both the Washing Soda and the Fels Naptha soap can be found in the laundry aisle of most supermarkets.)

1. Combine the Borax, washing soda, baking soda and oxiclean in a big bowl and mix together

2. Grate the bar of soap using a cheese grater. It actually looks quite like cheddar cheese.

3. I use my blender to mix the soap with the other ingredients and break down the soap into smaller pieces. Put about half of the white mixture into your blender and half of the shredded soap so you don’t overload your blender. If you run it too long, I have found that the motor will heat up and some of the soap will melt and get stuck in the blade. So put it on the pulse setting and give it a few short pulses. You can also use a food processor if you prefer. Do the same to the second batch.

That’s it, you’re already done! See, not so hard after all. And doesn’t your kitchen smell heavenly now??

Use a funnel to put the soap into your container of choice. I use a large mason jar and put a cute label on it. Head on over to Limeshot Design for the free and adorable mason jar labels I used.

And the savings! This recipe will make approximately four cups of detergent. You only need to use 1-2 Tablespoons a load. So that gives you 32 regular loads or 16 large or heavily soiled loads. At just under $3 a jar for all the supplies, that makes for more money for things funner than laundry soap. (Yes, I know funner isn’t a word but it makes me laugh.)

One more thing – this formula is perfectly safe for HE machines because it is low sudsing.

Homemade granite cleaner

Granite looks so great when it’s clean. But it hardly ever is around our house. I refuse to go through a bottle a week of the special, expensive granite cleaner. So, I did some research and came up with a recipe that I make at home and it turns out it works better than the store-bought stuff. Easy peasy.

Homemade Granite Cleaner
1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka
5-10 drops of Dawn or other dish soap
Water
10 drops essential oil or tea tree oil (optional)

Put the rubbing alcohol or vodka into a 16oz squirt bottle. (I don’t know why you would waste vodka on cleaning but apparently some people do.) Add the dish soap, essential oil and fill up the rest of the bottle with water. Give it a few shakes and you’re good to go. I always add essential oil or tea tree oil because it takes over the alcohol smell. And lavender essential oil and tea tree oil just happen to be naturally antibacterial so that’s a nice bonus. I just got a new essential oil called “Blues Buster” that is a combo of tangerine, grapefruit and geranium. Heavenly!

*I know a lot of people use vinegar for all-purpose cleaners but be sure to avoid using vinegar on any natural stone as the acidity could cause damage.