DIY tricks

I’ve tried a few DIY tricks recently that I thought I’d report about.

I found a DIY laundry detergent recipe on Pinterest.  The cost is really low and I figured why not try it.  One tablespoon is reallio trulio enough for our large-capacity front-loading washer and the stuff comes out so clean.  It’s amazing.  There is one pain in the butt part which is that you need to grate the fels naptha soap, but I’m thinking that I can probably get my food processor to do the hard work for me next time.

There is another one making the rounds about using baking soda and peroxide to clean your cookie sheets.  I tried that one too but I didn’t follow the directions exactly.  It worked okay, certainly better than just soap + elbow grease, but not great.  In preparing this post I re-read the entry and realized that I didn’t let it sit.  Doh!  I need to do that since I sure don’t feel like scraping away at my pans.  I’ll get on it and get back to ya.

Last one, and this is a huge one, was removing rust from a very rusted cast iron griddle.  Our grill came with a cast iron grill that fits in where the ordinary grills go.  Back when it was new we used it but I seriously think we haven’t used it once in the six years since we moved into this house.  It just sat under the grill, exposed to all four seasons.  I started with a couple of recipes, all of which were some combination of acid + time + elbow grease–and I’ve already said I’m no fan of elbow grease.  Then, oh lordy, then I found another idea.  Those brilliant people at Lifehacker.com suggested using the self-cleaning function of your oven.

Now hold on, I just want to point out that this is not the sort of step to take if there is light rust on your pan.  Or rust only in spots.  This is a pretty extreme step.  But my word it did work.  The pan came out with most of the rust sitting on top as a thin layer of dust.  I did have to have at it with steel wool which was back to that danged elbow grease but I think that also tells you how much rust was on the thing.  I dried it on the stovetop and it’s now stinking up the house as I re-season the thing.

So that’s two big successes and one I’ll-get-back-to-ya.  Pretty good in my book!

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About lgiletti

What's to say? I cook, I garden, I repair things. I get into trouble sometimes but I get myself out again.
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7 Responses to DIY tricks

  1. Emma says:

    Hi, It’s Emma. I used to make my own laundry soap and it was great – way cheaper and it worked fine. I was actually just thinking about it the other day as a breezed through a bottle of detergent while tryign to catch up on the mountains of laundry around here. I have all the stuff in the basement still so maybe a project for tomorrow? I found it easier to leave the soap in a big painter’s bucket and scoop it our as needed – easier than filling old bottles that is.

  2. Emma says:

    opps I just saw that your recipe is for “powder” I used this one for a liquid – http://littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com/2009/02/make-your-own-laundry-soap.html

    • lgiletti says:

      I’ve heard of DIY liquid laundry soap. The whole “stir before use” thing turned me off, though I do have all of the ingredients on hand. I have the powder in a jar on the dryer along with a measuring spoon stolen from the kids’ play kitchen (shhhh!). Did you find you have to stir every time?

  3. Derrick says:

    If you cut the bars of soap into fourths, you can place them on a microwave-safe plate and nuke it for 1 minute. The soap expands like crazy (thus 1/4 size bars a time), but it also removes a bit of the moisture, thus making it easier to grate!! Saves a LOT of time and effort! PLUS, if you have kids, they will LOVE watching this and the older kids can even help grate it up! :)

  4. Emma says:

    I used the grater on my food processor and I just made 3 batches in 5 minutes. The problem is that the grating isn’t as fine as when I used my tiny cheese grater. I used the finest grating attachment I have. It probably doesn’t make much difference in the machine it just look funny when all mixed together. My previous batch looked like an almost uniform powder. I saw this recipe which I am going to try when I finish the giant batch I just made. http://www.stacymakescents.com/homemade-castile-laundry-soap WHy? it just looks fun. I like the sound of that microwave trick too.

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