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DIY Natural dishwasher tablets with only 3 ingredients

April 26, 2019

One of my bugbears with dishwasher tablets is the amount of packaging they have. I appreciate the manufacturers wrap them separately to stop tablets from attracting moisture and crumbling. But it just seems like such a waste. Who cares if you have to throw in a few crumbs for the final wash.

Even the ones that dissolve are made from plastic (PVA – polyvinyl alcohol) aren’t what they seem. They aren’t biodegradable and leave molecules that linger in the environment.
Plus all the chemicals that are washed away with the water equally don’t make me feel good.

This is why I’ve been determined to try and find a natural way of using my dishwasher. I’ve tried various methods with varying success… One batch turned out perfectly and then melted in the heat…

This method uses soda crystals, bicarbonate of soda, salt and citric acid. Citric acid helps to bind the minerals together in hard water and improve the effectiveness of the other products. My best advice is to be really sparing when adding water.

DIY natural dishwasher tablets

How to make DIY natural dishwasher tablets

You will need:

1 cup of soda crystals
1 cup bicarbonate of soda
1 cup of kosher salt (I used Maldon for this because I had it to hand – but in future, I’m going to look for a cheaper alternative)
½ cup citric acid
Drops of water
I also add in a few drops of antibacterial essential oil for added cleaning power: lavender, citrus fruits, rosemary etc
Silicon ice cube tray and a mixing bowl

DIY natural dishwasher tablets ingredients

The method:

Mix all the ingredients together and add tiny amounts of water until the mixture stops crumbling and binds together.

Firmly pack the mixture into the ice cube tray and leave to set for a few hours.

DIY natural dishwasher tablets in silicon ice cube tray

Take out of the silicon and store in an airtight jar somewhere cool.






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Flavoured chilli salts – an easy homemade Christmas gift

December 12, 2018
flavoured chilli salts

I have a lot of great cooks in my family so I wanted to give them something they would actually use. I decided to make flavoured chilli salts because who doesn’t like a bit of extra spice in their life.

You will need:

How to make flavoured chilli salts

A container – I had these little jars from Ikea left overfrom last year’s crafting

Decent sea salt – I bought Maldon sea salt

Chilli flakes

Paprika

The method:

You need about one teaspoon of chilli flakes and one teaspoon of paprika per quarter cup of sea salt. However, this can really be adjusted to taste.

I used the container to help measure and whizzed everything up in my nutribullet. I used a teaspoon to put the flavoured chilli salts back in but if you were fairly steady of hand, you could just pour it.

And that’s it. Done.

I think they would look great with some brown paper labels explaining the contents.

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Easy handmade Christmas gifts – mulling baubles

December 9, 2018

It always feels like Christmas has started with my first glass of mulled wine. This is one of the reasons why I decided to make mulling baubles for some of the men in my life.

All you need is:

Clear fillable baubles. I bought this set of 12 from Amazon. They are plastic – however, I’m hoping they will be reused year on year.

Ribbons, pom poms or anything fun to decorate the bauble with. I found these tassels in Hema.

Cinnamon sticks

Nutmeg

Star anise

Cloves

The method:

Fill each bauble with one cinnamon stick, one nutmeg, a couple of star anise and a handful of clove. Tie the bauble at the top with the ribbon or tassels. And that’s it… Voila!

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Easy handmade Christmas gift ideas – candles in recycled jam jars

November 27, 2018
candles from recycled jam jars

In recent years I’ve become much more conscious about stuff: how much stuff I have and how much stuff I’m buying. I particularly feel this trigger at Christmas time when I’m also aware that I’m filling someone else’s life with things that they probably don’t want or need. However, I really love gift giving and treating people so I always make everyone in my family at least one handmade Christmas present.

I also think there is something really lovely about a handmade gift and knowing someone has given their time. In truth, handmade doesn’t tend to be cheaper when comparing to high street goods. One person on their own doesn’t have the buying power of a mass-market corporation. However, I try to buy organic and sustainable materials so I feel the quality is much better. I also try to reuse and recycle where I can with the hope that what I’m giving is more sustainable.

One of the handmade Christmas gifts I like to make is candles. The best bit is that it couldn’t be easier. There is a much more specialist way of making candles. However, I’ve found this to also produce really good results.

The easy handmade candle method

Candle making materials

Something to hold the candle in such as jam jars, vintage cups, spice jars, tins etc. Look for something that’s not too skinny as I find they collect soot otherwise.

Candle wax. I use soy wax.

Candle wicks. I bought a kit from Amazon similar to this one here which contains a wick holder. You can also prop it up with pens too.

Essential oils. I buy them from a shop called Baldwin’s.

Plastic jug

Stirrer. I use an old chopstick.

Microwave

Scissors or wick trimmer.

Directions 

  1. Wash each jam jar thoroughly and make sure they are properly dry. You can remove the residue label with baking soda and cooking oil.
  2. Stick the candle wick to the bottom of the jar. I use wicks with stickers. However, you can use a bit of melted wax or white tac. I tend to prod it down with the rubber end of a pencil.
  3. Keep the candle wick in place with the wick holder.
  4. I guesstimate how much candle wax to use and pour into the plastic jug. There is probably a much better way of doing this… However, you can always add more wax to the candle.
  5. Microwave at short intervals. The wax should be completely clear.
  6. I let it cool for a minute or so and then add in essential oils. You need a lot but no more than 8% of the wax, otherwise, it spoils. Stir thoroughly.
  7. Slowly pour the wax in. I tend to end just before the jar fastening.
  8. Leave to cool overnight.
  9. Trim the wick and voila, you have a candle.
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