My Two Best Laundry Tricks

Liquid Laundry Detergent (1/2 Gallon)

1/4 c. Borax
1/4 c. Washing Soda
1/4 c.Blue Dawn Dish Detergent
¼ t. Essential Oil, if desired for smelly laundry
Hot tap water

In a plastic 2-liter bottle put the sodas and fill halfway up with water. Shake well, then add the Dawn and essential oil. Gently top up with hot water and shake again before using. Use 2 T. For a medium load, and use undiluted for pre-treating dirty spots. Clearly mark the bottle with a permanent marker.

Anti-Static Dryer Balls

For each, take about 18 of aluminum foil and wad up into a ball. Bank the sides well until smooth; you dont want sharp little edges pulling on fine fabrics. Toss into the dryer with your clothes, but if you have concerns about a fine article, put the ball inside a sock.

This works as well as a tennis ball, without the hot rubber smell and chemicals that leach out into the steam. And if you are sensitive to fabric softeners, you wont really need any with this, as it will leave your towels as absorbent as if left on the line to dry, but fluffy as when dried in a dryer. This approach will extend the life of your fabrics as the chemicals and waxes in commercial fabric softeners actually degrade the fibers.

If you want, you can drive a nail or awl into the ball to make a deep hole into which you can drip a little essential oil.

From a very busy girl sometimes blogging at
Shucky’s Kitchen
Nelsie’s Cupboard, and
Parkdale Knifty Knitters!


About Purchasing Essential Oils

IMO Best retail essential oils:

AromaForce …

Aura Cacia … HTTPS://

Eden’s Garden …

IMO Best aromatherapy courses:

Aromahead (U.S.) … HTTPS://

Institute of Aromatherapy (Canada) …

About Wholesalers

If you are purchasing your essential oils wholesale, ask for a ‘GCMS’ (proof of gas chromagraphy and mass spectrometry testing). A good wholesaler will have their oils tested and offer the graphs, with legible results, to their customers. Why?

Wholesalers buy their oils where they can, and what they can afford. If a company is short on an oil in high demand, they may have to go to a foreign supplier that buys up whatever lots they can, and wait. Some of these agents are upright and ethical, and some are not. Some will send your distributor a sample of good quality oil, then fill the drum with substandard oil. Bringing in oils from Asia is time-consuming and costly, and lawsuits difficult; and some companies will take advantage of North American companies that way.

So cut to the chase and ask for the GCMS right away, and then check those constituents. The things that have been found in essential oils range from canine feces, tobacco, insects, to naturally-derived and synthetic aroma chemicals. Naturally-derived constituents are added to blends like Lavender 40/42 to bring those constituent levels up for marketing purposes, when the original idea was to sell the best quality of Lavender Oil having those constituent levels naturally.

And You also want it right in the paperwork that the wholesaler is a member of the right ethical organizations, an ISO company, and has the certifications in writing for the oils you are purchasing.

Regarding certain retail distributors especially the ‘multi-level marketing companies’, Google their names, ‘FDA warning’ and Dr. Pappas’ as search terms, and you will learn what you need to about them.

And please remember that in North America, it is illegal to prescribe the internal use of an essential oil unless you are 1) licensed to prescribe, and 2) have certification in clinical aromatherapy. If someone is telling you to take these oils internally because their boss told them that, DON’T!!! You can find out how many ER visits and deaths have been made because of the ingestion of essential oils.

Orange Paste Wax For Wooden Kitchen Utensils

I had fun developing this one, and you will enjoy making it if you like to cook with wooden utensils. I have a spurtle for stirring porridge, and an olive dipper, both which need occasional ‘oiling’. But I’ve made this up, my whole place smells like oranges, and I like the look…especially on my two breadboards. One is very old and has ‘Bread is the staff of life’ carved around the edges, and the other one is like a puzzle board made from different woods, a lovely thing I bought (but don’t use) from a senior in my neighbourhood. Both sucked the paste up very nicely, then let me buff them to a soft sheen.

  • 100 g.    Beeswax
  • 75 g.      Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 45 ml     Orange Wax
  • 225 ml   Flax Seed Oil
  • 75 ml     Sweet Almond Oil
  • 5 ml       Sweet Orange Essential Oil

Melt all except the Essential Oil together over very low heat, stirring until melted. Stir in the Essential Oil just before pouring into wide-mouthed tins. Lightly cover, and let them sit 4 hours before tightening the lids.

This will make approximately 525 g of a paste wax that is excellent for finishing or caring for wooden kitchen utensils such as breadboards, butcher’s blocks, spurtles, bamboo spoons, etc. Just apply a thin layer of the paste wax and buff. You will find the scent agreeable, and the orange element is antimicrobial.

Stedda Dry Cleaning

My mother was ‘thrifty’ and would rarely let my dry clean my clothes, so she made me do this, something I’ve been doing for many years since to freshen woolens and jackets that are not really dirty.

Put them in a dryer with a wet, wrung-out washcloth. But don’t use a hot setting, only warm, and only for 20 minutes. Hang them up immediately so you don’t have any wrinkles!

If they’ve picked up an odour like smoke, dissolve a little baking soda in the water you use to douse the washcloth first. You can put a couple of drops of essential oil directly on the washcloth, too.

And if static is a concern, tear off a sheet of aluminum foil and roll it into a ball. This will reduce any static in the dryer. In fact, I use this instead of fabric softener when I do my laundry. Fabrics are not slowly degraded by the industrial chemicals in fabric softener, and towels have that fresh, air-dried absorbancy while looking fluffy instead of stretch and crispy!

How to make creative gift baskets for spa products

Gift Baskets Whether you decide to make your own spa products for sale, to give to friends or loved ones, or for your own use, there’s nothing like a gift basket to add variety and interest to your creations.

This article shares a few of my favorite quick and easy ways to bundle spa products in a gift basket. (You can even do this for your own home use and turn your creations into a presentation item for your bathroom or vanity.)

Why gift sets?

If you aren’t using gift baskets or gift sets as a selling tool, you are missing out on an opportunity to garner more sales. Offering gift sets and baskets is a valuable selling tool that can accomplish multiple objectives:

* New way to promote slow-moving products (pair slow movers with popular items) * Introduce customers to new products (offering special price for sets)
* Capitalize on the “instant gift” nature of gift baskets and gift sets (quick and easy!)
* Perfect for “last minute” gifts (think Christmas, Mother’s Day, Easter, Graduation, etc.)

Leveraging the Power of Gift Sets

A bit of creative thinking can go a long way to scoring additional sales throughout the year. Have you considered offering:

* A gift reminder service (perfect for forgetful husbands and boyfriends)
* Gift registry service (for birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, Christmas, brides, etc.)
* Custom gift set service (hostess gifts, new mother sets, spa-at-home parties, etc.)

What should you put in a gift set?

The key to creating a well-received gift set is to keep the products relevant, without being trivial. You don’t want the gift recipient to feel as if they received a “generic” gift, but rather one that was selected especially for them.

Luckily, with bath and body products you have a wealth of collateral items that can be added to your gift sets. Use your imagination to find unique pampering gift items that will complement those that you make.

For example:

* Loofah
* Bath Mitts or sponges
* Bath pillow
* Nail files or cuticle kit
* Pumice Stone
* Spa Slippers
* Headband
* Relaxing music
* Herbal tea
* Floating candles, or incense

As you can see – these items don’t need to be expensive. For example, a couple of bath bombs, some sachets of fancy herbal tea, a few fragrant tea-light candles and a CD of soothing music makes a fantastic “Relaxation Set”.

A Word About Containers

You don’t have to use traditional packaging for your gift sets. In fact, you’ll invariably sell more sets when you employ your creativity! You might want to make up small sets packaged in oversized teacups, sheer organza drawstring bags, colorful totes or mini purses, novelty take-out boxes, or even in ceramic floral containers. When you package your gift sets in a non-traditional container that can be used again, the recipient is also gaining an “extra” gift!

To discover more fabulous formulations and savvy sales tips, get your hands on The Handcrafter’s Companion , featuring over 126 pampering product ideas and loads of helpful marketing and promotional information.

So many of my customers are already saving money on store-bought spa products or making a little extra on the side, so it makes perfect financial sense too…

Enjoy creating!

To your success with spa products,

Jane Church
Spa Product Queen

Deodorizing Disks For Smelly Places

You can use these in the bottom of garbage pails, dirty diaper bins, closets, and bathrooms. And no synthetic chemicals to trigger sensitivities!

Prepare your moulds before making these. They can be clean individual yoghurt or apple-sauce containers (also great as shaving soap moulds), pretty soap moulds, or paper cups in muffin tins. 

If you want to hang them in a closet, have a loop of string knotted and ready to embed the knotted end towards the top of the disk, so you can hang it on a push pin, nail, or hanger. Then use bug-repelling Cedar essential oil.

For the sick room, you will want to use the Thyme for the incredible antiviral and disinfectant properties of its main constituent, thymol.

If you prefer a lemony scent, use the Lemon Myrtle; some think it smells more like Lemon than Lemon, and its disinfectant properties are actually stronger than those Tea Tree Oil! It also blends nicely with the Lavender.

2 c. – Baking Soda – 500 ml

½ c. – Hot Water – 125 ml

2 T. – Anise Seed / Cedar / Lavender Essential Oil – 30 ml

1 T. – Lemon Myrtle / Tea Tree / Thyme Essential Oil – 5 ml

  • Add essential oils to the water and mix into the baking soda until very thick.
  • Pour into the moulds, and add the knotted loops of string if you are using them.
  • Let them dry at least 24 hours, longer if the weather is damp, and keep them in an air-tight jar until ready to use.

These can go on the back of the toilet in a pretty dish, in the bottom of smelly disposal pails before you put a fresh bag in, or you can hang them in closets, cupboards, and under the sink. You can also toss them into the bottom of cloth dirty clothes hampers – they will not hurt the clothes and the crumbs can go into the laundry when you launder the bags themselves.

Stain Removal – Effective And Cheap!

There’s lots out there about stain removers, but this one is just as effective as some of the top commercial stain removers, and more than others. You need:

2 oz. Hydrogen Peroxide
1 oz. Pure Liquid Castile Soap

Put into a small squeeze bottle or spray bottle. Just apply it to the stain (the fresher the accident the better) rinsing the article out first, if possible, and let the stain remover do its work.

Another great trick, which I did not believe until I saw it, follows.

Years ago, my teenage niece borrowed my beautiful White Stag skirt, and got nail polish on it. I freaked and she told me not to worry, she’d get it out. I was miserable as she kept dabbing nail polish remover on it until there was one huge pink smear that had spread across the fabric. She kept dabbing it with tissue, then ran into the bathroom and came back with toothpaste and a brush and started brushing that in. She finally said, “There”.

“There, what?”

“Well, let it dry and when you wash it, it’ll come out”.

I was still furious, but to humour her and teach her some responsibility, I tossed my beautiful skirt with dried guck all over it into the washer with the rest of the whites.

And you could not even begin to tell where the stain had been. I had the skirt for years after.

So I’ve kept toothpaste in the laundry ever since, and even use it around the taps, caulking, any tiny place dirt can go…meanwhile, my niece is an obsessive cleaner and laundress, and you could eat off her floors, they are that clean.

Thank you, my sweet Nini.

How To Unplug A Toilet

Sometimes things just don’t want to go down, but there is nothing unusual down there, and the plunger just isn’t helping…so what do you do?

While the water is slowly seeping down the drain, boil about a litre (or quart) of water. Pour about 3 T. of dishwater detergent into the toilet, then follow up with the boiling water. Let sit a moment. If the water level is high enough, gently plunge without splashing yourself. If not, flush, then plunge.

Most of the time this will work amazingly well. If it doesn’t, and you are sure there are no unusual objects in the trap, repeat this process.

Cheap & Gentle Fabric Softener

This is going to save you money, cut down on the amount of chemicals your skin and clothing come into contact with. Your fabrics will last longer without all the heavy commercial waxes, but you will find your towels as absorbent as if they had been hung out to dry, without the crispiness!

You will need:

1 c. Hair Conditioner (a large bottle of cheap conditioner from the dollar store is great for this)
1/4 c. White Vinegar
1/2 t. Sweet Orange Essential Oil (or essential oil of your choice)

In a large, clean fabric softener or bleach bottle, pour the conditioner, vinegar, and essential oil and shake well. Fill halfway with water, shake again, then top up the rest of the way with water. Use 1/4 c. with each load of laundry.

Nelsie’s Best Laundry Powder

You can make this without the OxyClean and Javex, but I like to give my laundry powder an extra boost. You can also use this in HP washers because it does not make a lot of lather.


3 Bars of Soap
4 c. Borax
4 c. Washing Soda
3 scoops OxyClean
2 c. Javex Bleach For Unbleachables
1 t. Lavender Essential Oil

In a food processor, start grinding the soap with some of the powdered ingredients, and when ground fine, pour into a large bowl. Proceed with the next bar of soap and powders until you are on the last bail, and add the lavender essential oil. Grind that in, and add to the rest. Gently mix all and keep in a large air-tight food container. Use 1/4 cup with each load of laundry, for a hot water wash.

If you must use cold water, put the powder into a saucepan with some water and heat it up until it is completely dissolved, then pour it into the cold-water load. Otherwise you will run the risk of having powdery smears on your darker clothes.

If you find you must treat oily spots, rub in a small amount of shampoo or dishwashing liquid. This works very well for ring-around-the-collar. For other stains, use a white toothpaste. Brush these in with an old toothbrush. You keep for this purpose.