Wednesday, April 23, 2014

10 Household Uses for Borax (my favorite is #1!)

Borax.  Who ever knew it was so versatile?

A few years ago, my oldest son brought home an instruction sheet on making homemade snowflakes.  Well, he was in first grade so it was "several" (waaaaaa! sniffle! Seriously he's almost a teen!?!) years ago. Anyway, you needed Borax.

I had never heard of it.  

I bought a box, and my cleaning world changed forever.  Not only did I make a snowflake with my son, I cleaned toilets, deodorized sinks and freshened laundry.  Borax is similar to a box of cleaning magic.  It's a safe alternative to bleach and harsh cleaners and it's cheap!  While it should NOT be ingested, Borax is a naturally occurring mineral also known as sodium borate. It doesn’t cause cancer and it is not harmful to the environment.

In other words, it's awesome and you need a box STAT.

If you are interested in snowflake making, which you shouldn't be because it's Spring, has the instructions.

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite uses for Borax.

1.  TOILETS!  I sprinkle some in (about 1/2 cup) and leave it overnight.  The next morning swish and scrub, and when you flush that toilet it will be clean (sparkling!) and stink free!  This is my absolute favorite use for borax.  My kids are not avid toilet flushers which leads to stinky, urine smelling toilets!

2.  Carpets. Dissolve 1/2 cup of Borax in a pint of water and sponge it onto stains, wait 15-20 minutes and "rinse" with a wet cloth.  Let it dry and vacuum.  

3. Add Borax to your laundry.  Just a 1/2 cup with freshen the clothes, help remove stains and boost your detergents cleaning powers.  If you have some tough stains, pre-soak!  Borax naturally softens hard water too!

4.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup Borax into the bottom of your dishwasher to help with spots on dishes.

5.  Stinky garbage disposal?  Add 3 tablespoons Borax and let sit at least 15 minutes.  Flush with water while running disposal.

6.  Using a clean sponge, scrub your counters and appliances with a sprinkle of Borax and some water.

7.  You can use Borax to clean your patio furniture, garbage pails and microwave.  Dissolve some in warm water and scrub!

8.  FLEAS!  If you have pets, and you suspect fleas, sprinkle borax wherever you think those fleas are hatching (pet beds etc).  Borax would need to be ingested in VERY high doses to harm a pet, but it releases a poison that kills fleas.

9.  Showers.  Use with a sponge just as you would a powder cleanser and rinse thoroughly.

10.  Unclog drains.  Pour 1/2 cup borax down the drain and follow with 2 cups boiling water.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes, then flush with water.

Any else have some helpful Borax tips I haven't listed?  Share with me! Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Craft Time: Make Your Own Volcano

My daughter brought home a nifty mini volcano from school the other day.  They were working on the letter "V" and crafted some homemade volcanoes in class.  She brought home a ziplock bag with instructions and we made her volcano erupt that very afternoon as all my kids watched in amazement.  The project worked so well, and it has so many possibilities...

School project.  Science fair.  Home on a rainy afternoon.  Bored on a hot summer day.  Home Schooling Science.  Playdate entertainment.  

You get the idea.

I love these volcanoes because they don't take much from around the house and the kids can help easily.

You'll need a small container to start your volcano, think shot glass size.  Anything you can throw out or clean works just fine.  You know those small plastic containers with lids for a side of dressing?  Those will work too.

If you desire, grab some clay from the craft store or just use dirt/mud from outside.

Sculpt your volcano using the mud/clay/etc.

Place on a plate, and help your kids add one tablespoon of baking soda to the inside of each volcano.

Add a few drops of red food coloring.

Finally, give your kids a small glass of vinegar and tell them to pour it inside their volcano...and it "erupts!"

Obviously you can be extra crafty and make bigger more elaborate volcanoes or just use the container and an imagination.  The choice is yours.

Have a fab Monday!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Fun for Everyone

Here comes Peter Cottontail...hoppin' down the bunny trail...hippity hoppin' Easter's on its way...

With Easter on the brain I want to share my current favorite "Easter-anythings" from Pinterest and around the web.  You'll love all these cute ideas to experiment with and keep you busy this weekend.  My kids are off from school the next several days and I plan on getting into the Easter spirit with some crafts and egg coloring.

Here's to cracked eggs and colorful fingertips.

For moms of little ones, check out this super cute "memory" snack idea from Dirt and Boogers.  Using plastic Easter eggs, this blogger created a great game to make snacktime fun.
Snack Easter Egg Match Game

I love these natural, non-toxic eggs from Craftgawker.  Boil and grab a white non-toxic white paint pen.  Co classy!
Natural Brown Easter Eggs
How about these Easter Eggs, by Martha Stewart Living?
Kids wil go batty for this Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt (how cool is that?!) by
Make your own Easter Egg Tree Craft (supplies are just about $1 each!) by Sweet Floweret.
I would love to try this easy (and healthier!) King Cake by Healthy Cooking Blog.
Dessert anyone?  Easter Candy Bark (so easy!) by Gingerbread Bagels
 LOVE THESE!  Push Pop Peeps (adorable!) by Love From the Oven

That's all folks, for now anyway.