Turn A Necktie Into A Phone Case


Turn A Necktie Into A Phone Case

I needed a soft case for my phone so my keys wouldn't scratch it up inside my purse, and I also happened to have a bunch of old, unwanted neckties laying around. It just made sense to apply one thing to the other. I put some basic sewing techniques to use, picked out a matching button from the large collection I've amassed over the years, and behold, a new necktie phone case.

Turn A Necktie Into A Phone Case
The phone pouch I made is pretty basic; it's just a pouch with a cover. However, I've seen some really beautiful creations online where people have constructed necktie cases with multiple pockets, and turned them into other forms of art.

This is why you should think twice about throwing things out, they may come of use later on. You can also convert old neckties into small change purses, camera covers, etc. Just use your imagination!


Use Rock Salt as a Natural Dehumidifier


Use Rock Salt as a Natural DehumidifierYou know how sometimes salt becomes clumpy in the shaker? This is because salt is a natural desiccant and absorbs moisture in the air. That's why salt makes such a great natural dehumidifier.

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You'll Need:

- rock salt
- a contraption to hold the rock salt

Directions:

1. Place the rock salt in a contraption that will allow air to pass through it. It should be placed in a container to catch any water that drips to the bottom. That's it! The picture below should illustrate what I mean a little better.

Use Rock Salt as a Natural Dehumidifier
I've placed rock salt in this interesting MUJI sponge soap dish (unfortunately, I think it's only available in Europe and Asia). The design of the soap dish allows water absorbed by the salt to drip through the sponge and settle in the bottom. You can easily make your own version with a regular sponge and a dish, or by filling a container with small holes in the bottom with rock salt, then suspending it over a catchment container.




To Use:

Use Rock Salt as a Natural DehumidifierPlace your homemade dehumidifier in closets and in corners of a damp room. You'll need to empty out the water that drips to the bottom every once in awhile. If you've opted to simply put the rocks in a container without any catchment system for dripping water, simply leave it out under the sun once in awhile to dry out the salt, and when all the moisture is gone you can reuse it.

Although all salts are natural desiccants, it's better to use rock salt, as the larger granules allow damp air to pass through more easily, thus allowing it to absorb moisture more efficiently.

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This is a great non-toxic, environmentally friendly and economical way to keep your home humidity free!

How to Make Washing Soda Out of Baking Soda

How to Make Washing Soda Out of Baking Soda
This is a follow up on post on my previous one about how to make your own natural laundry detergent. I figured these instructions would be helpful for those who, like me, have a hard time finding washing soda in their neighborhood.

Making your own washing soda, also known as soda ash, is a very simple process. All you need to do is change the chemical structure of baking soda so that it becomes washing soda. If you're interested in a little chemistry lesson, read on. If not, skip to the directions below the decorative page break.

Washing soda is a white powdery substance that is soluble in water and is able to absorb moisture in the air. Baking soda has a chemical formula of NaHCO3, whereas washing soda has a chemical formula of Na2CO3. In the simplest of terms, this means washing soda has one sodium atom and one hydrogen atom more than baking soda does. When baking soda is heated at a high enough temperature, a change takes place that releases elements from the chemical compound to leave only Na2CO3, or washing soda.

This is why all you need to do to create your own washing soda at home is to heat up some baking soda at a high enough temperature.




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How to Make Washing Soda Out of Baking SodaYou'll Need:

- baking soda
- a baking pan
- an oven

Directions:

1. Evenly spread some baking soda into a baking pan.
2. Bake it in an oven at about 200°C (about 400 °F), until all of it turns into washing soda. This will probably take anywhere between 30-45 minutes. Stir the baking soda once in awhile while it's being heated to make sure it bakes evenly.

How to Make Washing Soda Out of Baking Soda
It's like a zen Japanese rock garden you can play around with in your oven! Just be careful not to burn yourself.
3. When complete, carefully remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool, then transfer what is now washing soda into a container. You'll be able to tell when the transformation is complete by the subtle change in texture and color. Baking soda has a bright, white luster to it, while washing soda has a dull color and is a tad grainier. Hopefully the picture below is helpful, although the difference is much more apparent when you see it in person.

How to Make Washing Soda Out of Baking Soda
Left: Baking soda
Right: Washing soda

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How to Make Washing Soda Out of Baking Soda Keep in mind that you'll end up with a little less than when you started. One cup of baking soda will probably yield 4/5 of a cup of washing soda. So remember to account for that when making your measurements.

Most people use washing soda at home as a water softener while doing their laundry. What water softener does is prevent elements such as magnesium and calcium ions in hard water from binding with the detergent, and they'll easily wash away with water instead.

Washing soda can also be diluted in water and run through hot water boilers and coffee machines to clean them of any mineral buildup inside.

Hope you found this useful!

Make Your Own Natural Laundry Detergent

Make Your Own Natural Laundry Detergent
I have terribly sensitive skin, and I used to just blame it on poor diet, the environment or bad genes. Then it occurred to me that the actual culprit for my skin problems might have something to do with what I put on my body every day my clothes. Specifically, what I've been using to wash my clothes.

Therefore, I decided to make my own laundry detergent that would only include the most basic and natural ingredients that I could manage. As it turns out, making your own laundry detergent is not all that hard, not to mention cheap! There are recipes scattered all across the Internet for how you can create your own laundry detergent, and almost all include basic bar soap, baking soda, washing soda and borax.

For my own laundry detergent, I'm going to stick with Castile or Marseille soap as they are the most environmentally friendly of bar soaps, and forgo borax completely. Although borax is a naturally occurring mineral that many say is completely safe for everyday use, there is still controversy over its effects on human health, so I'd prefer to err on the side of safety and not use it. Besides, I don't consider it an absolutely necessary ingredient to create an effective laundry detergent, so not including it in my recipe just means one less thing I have to worry about!

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You'll Need:

Make Your Own Natural Laundry Detergent- vegetable-based bar soap
- baking soda
- washing soda (can't find any? make your own!)
- essential oils (optional)

Directions:

1. Grate the soap bar into fine pieces. You can do this manually or with a food processor.
2. Mix the grated soap pieces in with baking soda and washing soda. You can experiment with the ratio, but I like to stick to a ratio of 1 part soap flakes to 2 parts baking soda and 2 parts washing soda.
3. Make sure you mix the three ingredients evenly, and here you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance if you prefer. I like to use lavender essential oil since it gives washed laundry that fresh floral smell of cleanliness, and it also has the added benefit of having antibacterial and anifungal properties.

To Use:

Make Your Own Natural Laundry DetergentAdd a tablespoon or two of your natural homemade laundry detergent to a regular load of laundry in your washing machine, begin the wash, and you're good to go! Don't worry if the solution isn't as sudsy as what you're used to. It's a common misconception that you need a lot of bubbles for things to get "clean". But the truth is, any suds you see in the wash are just excess bubbles in the water, and they aren't actually doing anything for your laundry.

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Make Your Own Natural Laundry DetergentAs we all learned in chemistry class, the soap in the mixture is what acts as an emulsifying agent to help lift oils away from the clothing. The baking soda helps further dissolve dirt and grease stains on clothing, brightening colors and keeping whites whiter, while also acting as a great deodorizer (check out this post on other things you can do with baking soda!). And finally, the washing soda helps soften the water, meaning the carbonate ions in the washing soda bind together with the mineral deposits in water so that they are easily washed away, rather than remain stubbornly attached to the fabric of your clothing.

Make Your Own Natural Laundry Detergent The first time I washed a load of clothing with my own homemade laundry detergent I was really surprised at the results. I had no doubt that my clothes would be cleaned, but I was so happy to find that it actually worked better than the commercial laundry detergents I had previously used. One particular white article of clothing I had figured would never return to its original luster came out of the wash fresh, bright and as white as the day I bought it. It also smelled great and the fabrics were all comfortably soft to the touch, and nothing was ruined.

Make Your Own Natural Laundry Detergent I've been making my own bath, beauty and home care products for awhile, so I really shouldn't be surprised anymore that many cheap, natural do-it-yourself recipes work better than the commercial stuff. But each and every time I'm still delightfully surprised, and I always end up wondering the same thing why hadn't I started doing this sooner, and why isn't everyone else doing this too?