The Things We Make

Josh would like us to move toward making as much of our food and cleaning products as we can. This won’t work for everything but it is still a good idea!


My kids adore homemade bread. In fact, two of them told me today that we need two bread makers! Actually, what needs to happen is I need to get on the ball and learn to bake bread without using a machine. 

Josh takes his lunch to work so I have been trying to have a loaf already sliced up for him to make a sandwich. I haven’t had to buy a loaf of sandwich bread in about a month I think. This does mean we go through flour like crazy though.  I stock up on bags of unbleached all-purpose flour when I see it on sale. I also have a bag of active dry yeast in the fridge that I refill my jar of yeast from.

Kitchen cleaner and hand soap

I recently started using essential oils in a diffuser and realized that I could make hand soap using them. I used a hand soap recipe from The Wellness Mama.

Instead of buying new foaming hand soap containers, I just reused my empty foaming hand soap containers that I and my mom has on hand. At first, my boys weren’t sure what to think of the homemade hand soap but I think they’ve gotten used to how the soap feels because they don’t complain anymore! I haven’t bought hand soap for a few months at least.

Changing my cleaners might take me a little while. I am pretty happy though with the vinegar kitchen cleaner I am using now. At first, the vinegar smell bothered me a little bit but now I don’t notice it. I don’t think this cleaner will work in the bathroom though especially on our counter.

I can’t seem to find the recipe I used for my kitchen cleaner but recipes are definitely easy to find on the Internet! I used lemon and lavender essential oil in my kitchen cleaner. I will probably use more of the oils in my next batch.

I do have some bottles of 409 and bleach cleaner if I feel like I need to do a deeper cleaning.

Dryer Balls

I don’t make these but since they are reusable I think they belong in this category. I haven’t bought dryer sheets in months! 

I use Woolzies dryer balls

Two things I have noticed:

They reduce drying time on small loads mostly. I tend to have large loads all the time so I am still having to run my dryer twice to get large loads dry. Our dryer also came with our house and I have no idea how old it is. Maybe we just need a bigger dryer! Or I need more dryer balls.

Static is still present in loads during the winter. It could be that I need a new set of dryer balls. I have had my current set since probably the spring.

Laundry Detergent

Josh wants us to go back to making our own laundry detergent. We were using soap nuts for a while but I just didn’t feel like the clothes were cleaned, especially Josh’s work clothes.

I still have a big box of Eco nuts. Josh is the one who uses them. I use whatever I find on sale laundry detergent.

There is a good reason Josh wants to change our laundry detergent. He wants to install a gray water system to the washer so the detergent we use has to be okay for plants. I guess that is also a good reason to use soap nuts. It would be better if we could find a recipe for a plant-safe laundry detergent.


I’m sure there is more that will be added to this list, but it might take us some time. Baby steps, right?

A quick update: 

Josh replaced the drain pump in our washer but it didn’t work. The washer did need a new one because the old drain pump rattled when it was shaken. He thinks it might be the circuit board so he is going to replace that. If that doesn’t work, we will have to buy a new washer.

Also, the sourdough bread was actually good! It wasn’t a brick like I thought it would be. I used most of it to make garlic bread to go with Italian wedding soup.


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