No More Polishing Silver! (Silver Cleaning Solution)

The last time my daughter was visiting she pointed out how tarnished my daily silverware looked. I told her it was supposed to be that way. I call it tarnish ware........All joking aside, it was pretty bad, but I hate polishing silver. In fact, I've gotten rid of most of my silver for that very reason. Also, we aren't really the silver entertaining type. I do love my everyday silver though, so I decided to try this solution that my mom told me about. Guess what? It works!!! Really. The most time consuming part was measuring the ingredients. I had it all done in less than 15 minutes. Now I'm not going to ever have an excuse for having tarnishware again. Here's what you'll need:

  • 20 C (5 quarts) hot water
  • 1 1/4 C (10 oz) white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 C (10 oz) salt
  • aluminum foil

I decidedly kitchen sink was going to be the easiest place to do this. I doubled the ingredients so that the solution was deep enough to cover all the utensils. 

First, fill your container (sink) with the hot water. Add the salt and vinegar and stir to combine. 

Now add foil to the container, submerging it to the bottom.

Add whatever needs to be polished to the solution, making sure it's touching the foil and totally submerged. If it's not touching the foil, it doesn't work. My tarnish was instantly removed. In fact, I didn't get a very good picture showing how bad it was because it happened so quickly. 

Shiny & bright!

I was so excited, I decided to do my jewelry too. I used a smaller container and changed the measurements for the solution. For a small batch use 1 C water, 1 TBL salt, and 1 TBL vinegar and a small piece of foil. 

Now let's see if my daughter notices...

Warning---If you have a pattern that is intricate and you like the tarnish in the cracks, don't use this solution because it will remove all the tarnish.

I'll keep you posted...


Mason Jar Storage

I love mason jars. All sizes. LOVE them. Today I used them for storage in my freezer. I keep all my nuts in the freezer because it helps them stay fresh much longer. When I opened the freezer door today, this is what I saw.  

Not only does it look like a disaster, I have to pull everything out to find what I'm looking for. Enter the mason jars. Each type of nut got it's own jar and voila! Organized and accessible. 

It's such a simple thing, but it makes such a huge difference. Now I don't cringe when I open the door.

I'll keep you posted... 


Liquid Laundry Soap

It's official. I'm now one of those people who makes her own laundry detergent. I never would have done it on my own, but my daughter had a baby so we made some for her to use and it was so simple and so cheap that I decided I would be a fool not to make some for myself. The detergent we made for her was a powder, but I have a front loading washer so I made mine liquid. I'm no mathematician, but I've figured out that this detergent cost a couple of cents a load compared to over fifty cents per load of the stuff I bought at the big box store. That adds up! I can spend the savings on something much more exciting than detergent. You should try it. Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 bar Naptha soap or Zote soap
  • 1 C Arm & Hammer washing soda
  • 1 C 20 Mule Team Borax

Grate soap and add to 4 cups boiling water in a large pan. Stir until all soap is dissolved about 5-15 minutes. Turn off heat.

Mix soda & borax in bowl then add a small amount at a time to the liquid stirring well with a whisk until each addition has dissolved.

Remove from heat and add 1 quart of warm water. Mix well. Let stand about 4 hours. As the mixture cools, layers will form and the soap layer will be very thick.

Now it's time to mix the layers again. I recommend using an emersion blender if you have one. If you don't, you can use a blender, mixing small amounts then combining them.  

As you mix the thickened soap, add water several cups at a time, until you reach the viscosity of liquid laundry detergent. When I made this batch, I added a total of 10 quarts of water. That gave me about 2 1/2 gallons of detergent. If you have a top loading washer, you can make your soap thicker, but I have a front loader so it needs to be thin. 

Pour the detergent into containers and that's it. Use 1/3 cup per load. 

I used Zote when I made this batch but I used Naptha when I made my first batch. They both work great. The only differences I can tell are in the color and fragrance. the Zote is bright white and has very little smell while the Naptha is more ivory and has more fragrance. They both do a great job with the laundry.

I'll keep you posted...