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So, I love to bake. Love it. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.
I also love to be cheap. LOVE x INFINITY.
I think one of the biggest wallet blows whilst baking is a good vanilla extract. I’m always a little gutted to walk down the aisle and see the price of a decent vanilla extract(and personally I just can’t bring myself to buy the imitation, I love baking and I respect baking). When I started reading around, poking about Pinterest, et cetera, I saw a recipe for vanilla extract. What did I say? YOU can make your own vanilla extract! Guess how much it’ll cost….go ahead….
vanilla beans(2 or 3)*
a glass container(depending on your container you may want a funnel and if you don’t have one, you can fashion one out of paper if you’re really in a pinch)
5 seconds of your day
Clean your container and make sure it’s nice and dry. Get out your vanilla beans and slice them length wise(my favorite part because it smells so yummy and I spent all night sniffing my fingers like a weird beast) then place them in your container. Use your funnel and pour your vodka into the container. Put lid on and place in a dark, dry area.
Now comes the hard part: let it sit for 8 weeks, shaking every day. I try to shake it when I get my morning coffee together.
You can use them just like store bought vanilla extract. Some people top it off as they go, some people wait until it is low and then refill it and wait another 8 weeks. You can use these beans over and over for I’ve read 8 months to a year. I’ve read some people who said that they have gone even longer.
*Some people use the casing of the vanilla beans after using the beans for another recipe, also. If you need your beans for something, you may as well try it out, right?
**You can use other types of alcohol for you base. I’ve read that some people have had wonderful results with Jack Daniel’s in particular while some people have used rum. Try different things out. You can buy 2 vanilla beans for the price of a bottle of vanilla extract so you will end up winning either way.
I had originally made the vanilla extract on July 19th and as of today, August 5th, this is how my vanilla extract appears…
If you look at my bottle in particular, you can see loose vanilla beans in the bottom and oils in the top. The color has obviously shifted from completely clear to a nice amber/brown. I can’t wait to try it!!
One of my favorite DIY cleaning adventures thus far has been this laundry detergent. Super easy to make, easy to get your hands on the ingredients(seriously, we’re already on the internet, utilize it) and I love how my clothes feel when they are done.
I followed the recipe from shalommama.com(if you click the photo of my detergent, you can reach the page with a lot of her input and information)
1 box Borax powder
1 box Washing Soda
3 bars Fels Naptha soap
1 32 oz. container oxygen bleach
40 drops essential oil (I used sweet orange)
Grate the soap bars. Mix everything together. Put in a container. Use. TADA!
The hardest part was grating the bars of soap, as my food processor is too small for the bars to fit and I needed some me time. The only items I ordered online that are on this list are the fels naptha and the oxygen bleach, because I didn’t want to use oxyclean. I DO WANT TO POINT OUT, if you can buy borax and washing soda in the store, please, save yourself money and do that. I was pricing everything out and these boxes both are only about $3 each in the grocery store but if you order them online, they are around $10+. Really, it’s not worth it to buy online. I am hoping to find an oxygen bleach I can trust locally because I feel like it would make it even more reasonable of a price.
Also, I added the essential oils and while they make my laundry area smell absolutely delicious, they don’t seem to make it through to the end product for me. I’ve even tried applying it to some homemade wool balls and nada. Oh well, right? At least when I throw my doors open, it smells fresh and bright.
I have a smaller sized washer, not high efficiency, and probably older than me, so I just use a 1/4 cup measuring spoon and eyeball it depending on the size of my load. Much better for me, since I was using liquid before and I couldn’t tell you how much I used on anything, I just pushed the button and fell asleep.
This recipe makes a good amount, so be prepared to store extra away. I filled two of those jars pictured, one to the top and the other 2/3 of the way. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have enough to make it through a few months and I try to do a load of laundry every day.
So, after being obsessed with Pinterest for quite a while and having a visit from a friend who makes her own products, I have decided to start making my own, too. I will be testing out many ideas for cleaning supplies for around the house and also working on hand soaps, mouth wash, etc. I will also be making magnesium oil!
I am also really interested in trying out homemade vanilla extract and my mom was telling me about some vodka she had at her house. I am a total old lady so I keep a few beers in the fridge for when I am feeling nuts and decide to drink one (but mostly because I like to cook with beer).
One of the first steps I need to take is changing from plastic containers to glass. I guess I could store some things in mason jars but I need to get the pumps, etc and a good idea of the size of containers.
I am really excited to start this all and to post my fun and findings on this blog! Who knows, maybe one of your recipes will show up!