Category Archives: Household Items

Bar Keepers Friend

The bar keepers friend is a very fascinating, well adverse, successful friend. If you know much about me and my history, I do not drink alcohol, so this may pose many questions; where and how would I have met this friend? This friend I am talking about is not your typical friend. This friend is rarely talked about; almost a secret even. Now who I want to introduce you to is actually not a “who” but a “what.” If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen you will be utterly grateful for this friend. This friend is actually a powder that will brighten, tighten, and shine anything you can think of.

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My mom was in town this weekend and was asking me if I knew the bar keeper. I had no idea what she was talking about; she proceeded to explain to me that the bar keeper is her best friend. Meanwhile I was trying to clean my dutch oven with an SOS pad and was very unsuccessful. I was scrubbing and nothing was happening. I had “Pam” spray basically glued on to my pot (I make my own “Pam.”) I was so irritated because I have felt lately that almost all of my pots and pans were looking grungy, even though they are for the most part, less than a year old. My mom proceeds to tell me about this miracle called “The Bar Keepers Friend.” She was raving about this product and says she uses it on anything and everything. You don’t have to scrub, it comes right off. She continued to tell me about this product as she graciously ignored my irritation while I had no success scrubbing. As we got talking she was making me really question her authenticity about this so-called miracle that I gave up cleaning my dutch oven.

Meanwhile, my dad overheard us talking and decided to sneak off to the store. He comes back with this miracle powder and my mom starts scrubbing away at my pots, dutch oven, coffee pot, sink, and stove top. Might I add this was at 9 o’clock at night right after we started the movie “Night of the Museum.” All four of us (my husband, dad, mom and I) were hovering over the dutch oven as we watched the grime wash away. She moved on to the stainless steel pan that hangs from our hanging pot rack displaying our dirty, grungy looking pots that are not dirty but extremely burnt on the bottom and coated with a film. Kitchen aid told me to soak my pans in lemon juice and boiling water, needless to say that absolutely did nothing for me. I was so upset about this because I had spent so much money on my pots; Kitchen Aid is a great tusted brand but was giving me serious doubts. I literally had them less than 24 hours at that point and after my first use they looked 5 years old. So here we are nine months later and my mom is providing my kitchen with a makeover. Wah-lah, this magical moment began my belief for my new friend the “bar keeper.”

I cannot begin to explain the amazement behind this. Our coffee pot literally looked as if there had coffee brewing 100% of the time. (Might I add, we have only had the Coffee pot for ten months). Again, I have scrubbed this pot with an SOS pad, ran lemon juice and vinegar through and nothing would lessen this stain until now. It looks absolutely brand new; I was so shocked, but still had little faith. My mom moves on to the stove top; we have the four coiled burner with the trays below she pulls out one of the dirtiest trays and bam, same thing. I must say this almost solidified my belief but my husband had to go a step farther. There is a water stain in our bathroom sink; NOTHING has worked on this water stain…until now. I swear, by the time my husband showed me this I was literally amazed and a true believer. Nothing would shake this faith now, the bar keeper was a true, honest friend now. What’s even more incredible is that it all happened within minutes. No hard scrubbing or wearing your hands out.

I must explain that this product is not only a life changing product, but it is unbelievably cheap. It runs less than $2 at Walmart and comes in a container like Comet. I am really surprised that I haven’t heard of this before let alone seen an advertisement. There’s no scrubbing involved, you wet the product slightly, lather up a paste and watch the grime wash away; the trick is you barely add water. Now we have shiny pots and pans hanging in the kitchen, you can almost see your reflection perfectly in them.

We also had the pleasure of brewing coffee this morning in a “brand new” coffee pot.

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Bathroom sink before

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After

I must say, it’s the little things like that that put a smile on my face. Easy, convenient and successful tips and products will help make me happy as I spend a lot of time cooking and cleaning. My husband is always reminded that it’s “the little things” that always put a smile on my face. He continually tells me this because it continually rings true.

Now, go and purchase this lovely product and have a drink with your girlfriends about the “bar keeper.”

This product can be used on anything. It is not a disinfectant but does take away stains and make your house look like new. Bathroom sinks, tubs, stove tops, kitchen sinks, pots, pans, coffee pot, pyrex and much more. Incredible!

 

Laundry Detergent

I do laundry a few times a week considering my husband works out most days of the week and I have a little boy who manages to get every outfit filthy. The amounts below will last between 9-12 months; definitely a huge money saver and all natural ingredients. I still use fabric softener because I love the smell of fresh clothes and let’s face it; the detergent itself is very natural that you can feel good about buying fabric softener throughout the year because you don’t have to buy detergent. I made my first batch when Cooper was first born. I remember sitting on the floor in the family room grating the soap while he slept peacefully in his swing. I ran out in June right before we moved. This was 11 months off one batch.

 

I have an HE washer and did research to make sure this was safe on the washer. It is absolutely safe. The biggest reason for HE is with front loaders most detergents get too sudsy and can ruin the pipes. This detergent is all natural and does not get sudsy. There is a liquid detergent you can make as well, but to be honest this one is cheaper and preserves well. I haven’t tried the liquid one yet…maybe next year when I run out. Will keep you posted if I do.

 

Laundry Detergent:

 

  • 1 4lb Box of Borax
  • 1 4lb Box Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
  • Box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 3 Bars Fels-Naptha Soap (found near the ingredients above in detergent isle)
  • 2 small containers Oxy Clean (roughly 3.5lbs total)
  • 1 Large Glass container with Lid*

 

Mix all ingredients in a large bucket or paper bag to help mix well. Shred the Fels-Naptha bars with a cheese grater or food processor and mix with remaining ingredients. Use 1-2 TBSP per load.

 

*This detergent is very mild yet cleans very well. Do not place in a plastic container. I made this mistake and had to throw it out because it became one solid brick.

Dishwashing Detergent

I started making my dishwashing detergent not long after I began the laundry detergent. I found it to be way cheaper and it lasts significantly longer than store bought and you know what is in it. My dad has made the comment more than a few times that he doesn’t want me to turn in to a complete “hippy” since I make everything myself. I explained that being all natural and organic doesn’t have to put a label on me; it allows me to feel confident that I am eliminating as many chemicals as possible within reason. This idea is beginning to grow on him as he has seen the numerous ways I’ve began to save money and chemical additives. J

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 4lb Borax
  • 1 4lb Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
  • 2 Cups Iodized Salt

 

Mix together and place in a glass jar. I got mine from Target and it looks like a cookie jar, probably because I love cookies. Do not place in a plastic container because it will become one solid brick, I made this mistake and due to the plastic container and lack of salt, I believe this combination was a poor choice.

 

I have Jet Dry in my dishwasher that helps make my dishes sparkly clean and shiny. If you do not have this added bonus, keep white vinegar near your detergent and add this as a shining agent. White vinegar is my friend when it comes to cleaning.