Chadds Ford Historical Society

Revisiting History

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Brief Origins of Native People and Archaeology in Pennsylvania



To start off the series, it might be worth mentioning that the history of native people in the Pennsylvania region (including New Jersey, New York, and Delaware) has been a rich and diverse one, even within their own particular tribe. The Lenni Lenape who are one of the main groups of native peoples found in this region during the time of colonial settlement, and even today, have a rich history that isn’t presented enough in the retelling of our local history. Let’s begin by talking about the origins of native people in Pennsylvania.


Meadowcroft Rockshelter – Washington County, PA: Earliest recorded archaeological site in North America and Western Pennsylvania (19,400 BCE according to PHMC).

Found in this place: stone tools (Clovis point), largest collection of animal and plant remains (in Eastern North America), firepits (which carbon date from 16,000-14,000 BCE). 


Not found were: any evidence of a written language or currency.

This collection of findings shows us that people were living in our region prior to the Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia in 4,000 BCE and the Early Dynastic period of Ancient Egypt in 3,000 BCE. These individuals were seasonal hunter-gatherers. Types of animals they would have hunted were caribou, elk, fish, and deer. They also gathered a variation of seasonal plants such as hawthorn plums and blackberries.

Two other archaeological sites, ShawneeMinisink in Monroe County (12,000 BCE according to PHMC) and Shoop in Dauphin County (9,000 – 9,500 BCE according to the State Museum of Pennsylvania) show similarities between the groups living in each region based on their hunting migration patterns.


The Paleoindian period dates to the Pleistocene or Ice Age. Even though glaciers melted up to Canada, the average temperatures in Pennsylvania were at least 10 degrees cooler than they are presently and the Pennsylvania region was covered by a spruce-pine forest with limited quantity of oak or other deciduous trees – like we find today.

There are disputed routes from where the Paleoindian population may have migrated from. This picture presents a commonly known migration route, originally developing in Africa and eventually crossing over from Asia into North America. There are however arguments between those in the archaeological community about individual people groups using watercrafts to sail along the Atlantic during the ice age, using glaciers as a land guide. Many native people have their own origin stories about how they were always part of the land they lived on since the time of their creation. Will we ever know for sure?



The archaeological record is fascinating and something that takes time to figure out. Archaeologists use a number of techniques in order to understand their findings with each site they dig.

Some of the dating techniques used in archaeological study are (but not necessarily all used in the archaeology of Pennsylvania):

◊ Aerial Photography

◊ Radio Carbon Dating (C-14)

◊ Thermoluminescence

◊ Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

◊ Dendrochronology

◊ Stratigraphy

◊ Argon-Argon Dating

◊ Uranium Series Dating (Daughter Deficiency/Daughter Excess methods)

◊ Style Analysis

◊ Relative Dating

◊ Paleontological Method

◊ Potassium – Argon Dating

◊ Archaeomagnetic Dating

◊ Fission Track Dating

◊ Obsidian Hydration Dating

◊ Fluorine Dating

◊ Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL)

◊ Rehydroxylation Dating

Past archaeological study was not utilized as a way to understand people groups the way that it is done presently. Little was thought of native peoples without a written language and who according to past archaeologists, used primitive tools, shelters, and clothing from their surroundings. Luckily, that has changed. Preservation is something any serious archaeologist is interested and is the key element to efficient and truthful archaeological study.

Findings of the past are important, not only because they tell a story about the individuals who used particular items, it also can teach us a lot about ourselves and our own past. We can also revisit the challenges our ancestors faced and see how they may have dealt with hardship or adapting to their environment. We can recognize the importance of the tools they used from their surroundings or the foods they subsisted on, to give us a better understanding of our own personal health in modern day culture – and focus on how we can adapt our present conditions to the past in order to balance ourselves from the overwhelming modern day.

Next week, I will discuss the Lenape in more detail and give insight into their creation myth story and some information about the areas they populated and some brief cultural history up until the colonization period.


Written By: Sarah Krykew






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Tavern Talks Revisit: Colonial Herbal Remedies

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Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to live during a time where germ theory was non-existent and blood letting or using leeches to “remedy” an illness were the norm? Yeah…me either. Most often, the service of healing the sick was left to the housewives and mothers who used a variety of herbs to help with aiding the sick in their treatment of whatever was ailing individuals within their family or community. During our Tavern Talks series, visitors had the opportunity to learn about the powerful healing properties of herbs, flowers, and other plants. Here is a short list of different herbs and how they were used medicinally to treat those suffering from various kinds of illness:

Lemon balm: Digestion.

Sage: Stress/anxiety relief.

Feverfew: Headaches, body aches, and fever (placed on head of individual).

Tansy: Sunburns, cramps, gout, and plague.

CranberriesWounds (mashed and used on the skin directly).

Mint: Skin diseases and indigestion.

Southernwood: Upset stomach.

Morning glory: Laxative (vines only); Backache and broken bones (flowers only).

Calendula: Placed on cuts/sores (Cultivated, dried, ground, and mixed with animal fat).

Comfry: Respiratory issues, fevers, hemorrhoids, ulcers, gangrene (and other skin wounds and sores), broken bones, menstrual problems, and gout  (Used in tea form – both leaves and roots). 

Chickweed: Hoarseness, coughs, and mucus.

Fennel: Indigestion and stomach cramps.

Parsley: Stomach ailments/indigestion and gas pains.

Basil: Used to pull poison from animal bites in the body.

Honeysuckle: Fevers, sore throats, boils and skin sores.

Chamomile: Colds, jaundice, dropsy, body aches.

Rosemary: Painful joints and muscle aches.

ColumbineSore mouths and throat/fast delivery for childbirth.

FlaxRheumatic pains.  (Seed aided in digestion and was used for poultices).


Often, we think of natural remedies as an important step back in time for curing a plethora of ailments. Unfortunately, over time, scientific and medically proven studies have shown our own personal health history, age, pregnancy, and other factors may contribute to a natural remedy being more harmful than helpful. That is why it is so important to ask a doctor when trying any new type of non-prescription medical treatment of an illness. English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper, in the 17th century, still recommended the Comfrey roots, “full of glutinous and clammy juice…for all inward hurts…and for outward wounds and sores in all fleshy or sinewy parts of the body…It is especially good for ruptures and broken bones.”  This could have been used both as a tea (orally) or a poultice (outwardly) for wounds. However, there are studies that were conducted in the 70s which suggest comfrey could be harmful to the liver.

Either way, speaking of herbs and the beneficial properties thereof is something that many modern day individuals have began to take interest in once again. Many individuals, not wanting to partake in conventional synthetic or processed pharmaceuticals, have opted out of the modern equivalents of medication that their natural and plant-based predecessors can provide. Some even choose to use prescription medication in combination with a more holistic approach.

Whatever it is you choose, be sure to carefully discuss your concerns with a doctor. If you are just fascinated with herbs, flowers, and other types of plants for study without actually partaking in their use medicinally, that works also! Its amazing to see what nature can provide for us – even if it smells and looks pretty!


By: Sarah KrykewGuide Specialist


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Spring Cleaning Series Grand Finale! – May 20, 2016



Our time for Spring Cleaning never really stops! We usually have to clean something or another about once a day throughout the entire year. As we end our very brief “Spring Cleaning” series, we will open a new chapter by introducing a short new series of fascinating information about the local Indian populations that live here today and that have been around for many centuries before colonists arrived here on the Eastern Coast of the U.S. Join us as we talk about fascinating groups of individuals who continue to cherish their own honored traditions, even after the passing of time and newly introduced settlements of various cultures in our area.



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Published by: Sarah Krykew, Guide Specialist

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Spring Cleaning Series – May 13, 2016




Closet make overs don’t have to cost you a fortune! Be like a colonist and hang your one and only pair of clothes for the month on your bedroom wall peg! But, all kidding aside, sometimes thinking about having to reorganize can bring on the frustration of “what to do with all that stuff!?” in your mind. It doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Here are some interesting tips on how to make your messy and very full closet, completely easy to navigate by some simple organizational tools you can find at your local hardware or department store. If you have more shoes than you can ever imagine, invest in a shoe rack. Sometimes you may see the versions that hang without adding holes to the walls by simple placement of hooks over your closet door. If you don’t mind hanging items from the wall, there are versions that can cater to that need. Otherwise there is track shelving you can install on your walls. This would probably take you a little more time. You can even use plastic storage bins that stack high and roll on wheels. If using this method, you can throw a small sachet of baking soda into each compartment to keep odors at bay.

For all of those clothes you have hanging up with mismatched hangers, the best route is to take big bulky or wire hangers that don’t match, and toss them into the recycle bin. Purchase new plastic hangers, all uniform in size and shape, to make clothes fit more easily on the rack. Sometimes you can find them for $5 or less at your local dollar store or discount department store.



Today we have the luxury of closet space for clothing. Colonial times were “simple” in the fact that they used a few pegs on the walls to hang their clothing or a chest of drawers to store it away. When we speak about clothing, we mean, one outfit that was probably worn daily for a week and then changed. Sometimes a pair of breeches or apron would be changed, depending on the occasion, whether going to church or a more formal event. Elite individuals had the opportunity to change in and out of clothes multiple times a day due to their particular eating habits and social gatherings (individuals had dinner and supper which prompted them to change their clothing because of the formality of these rituals). The common folk typically kept it pretty simple. Colonials often wore clothing that was made of a combination of flax, linen or wool (linsey-woolsey) due to time constraints for actually having the fabric made to wear, money, and practicality. Cotton was not common in the Pennsylvania region until after the 1800s. The elite had more access to satins and silks based on their income and accessibility.

Storage space was not only limited (and still isn’t) to a few bedroom or linen closets. The image below shows a good use of storage space in a colonial home for kitchen and dining items. Today we utilize our kitchen cabinets with shelves in much of the same fashion, except they are typically closed off with cabinet doors. We also have kitchen islands or counter tops with pull drawers to store away our silverware or other items.


Regardless of how you choose to reorganize, there will probably always one place in the home where you can declutter and maximize your space by placing in a few extra shelves, dividers, or hangers. Start now, spring is here!

Have you checked out our Pinterest page? Check it out! at:                                 

Published By: Sarah Krykew, Guide Specialist

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Spring Cleaning Series – April 22, 2016


Want to learn something new and refresh your mind from all of the hectic schedules our days bring in the spring months? Be like a colonist, find meditation time! Meditation does not have to be religious at all. In fact, meditation is a form of calming the mind that allows you to be present in the moment with just yourself and to slowly chip away at unwanted and bothersome or overwhelming thoughts. Between working and having a schedule filled with things to do each day, you are probably thinking, “I’ll never find time to fit into my day to just sit and relax!” But you can. It’s all about fitting in your schedule to a calm and quiet time. It’s vitally important to human health. Did you know that “the relaxation response [from meditation] helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves,” according to cardiologist Herbert Benson, MD of the Mind and Body Institute at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Benson is well known for his research on the health effects of meditation. Think about the medical bills you could possibly spare by just incorporating a relaxation technique that has been shown effective to work for some individuals. This is not medical advice, so please speak to your own medical practitioner before starting on any new routine. But, if you are healthy enough for the go-ahead from your physician, it would probably be a great addition to your daily routine!

From a colonial perspective, there were often individuals who were very devout in their Christian faith, and others who attended church because it was required, depending on the location of the colonies they lived in. Typically, this involved a quiet spiritual meditation at home or at church. Sometimes individuals even mixed their Christian spirituality with non-Christian beliefs in the laws of nature.

During the colonial period, there was a well-known group of individuals who were very instrumental in the practice of “meditation” or “quietness”. They were known as “Friends” or Quakers. This religious tradition had a substantial following in Pennsylvania during the 1600s and 1700s. As one one modern day Quaker writer named Michael Mirkel states, “silence and witness are two pillars of Quaker spirituality”. Today, individuals who don’t identify as Quakers, but who wish to sit in meeting and in stillness with a group of Quakers is welcome into the Quaker community without any reserves. An early Scottish Quaker writer and governor Robert Barclay described Quaker worship as each individual returning, “inwardly to the measure of grace in themselves, and not being only silent as to words but even abstaining from all their own thoughts, imaginations and desires”. This may sound very similar to Buddhist Eastern meditation practices, but there were many differences. Regardless, the understanding of meditation as an important practice is not a new idea. It’s an idea that has been around for thousands of years and will continue to be considered important because of its many proven benefits to mental and physical health.


If you are not sure on where to get started, first figure out whether you would choose to have a religious or non-religious experience of meditation. For our purposes on getting you started, here is an easy way to practice what many call “mindfulness” or just “meditation” to calm your mind of the noise that clouds it from the non-stop hustle and bustle of each day.

Step 1: Sit cross legged on a cushion or chair or you can even lay flat on your back on the floor. Take a deep breath and close your eyes.
Step 2: Listen to or pay attention to your breathing. Don’t change the way you are breathing, but just focus in on it and the movement of air from in and out of your lungs.
Step 3: If you become distracted by any thoughts, recognize they are there but try to return to focusing on your breath.
Step 4: Don’t judge yourself or ignore distractions. Those thoughts may be there, but simply bring yourself back to the focus on breathing.
Step 5: Each day you should start this routine in 5 minute sittings. Try to meditate at the same time every day. You can set a timer to let you know when your time is up. If you cannot do more than a minute, try to graduate yourself to at least 5 minutes by the next day or days. Eventually, work your way up to 10 minutes. At some point you may be able to do this for about 30 minutes if you choose to do so. Regardless, this will give you the refreshed and calm mind your body needs to add vitality to each day!

Meditation and mindfulness do not only have to be done in this way. Just getting out and walking in nature on a short path through your local park may help alleviate stress. Maybe it’s listening to some calming instrumental music that eliminates the never ending thoughts and just helps all of the craziness in life melt away. Whatever it is, do it. It won’t hurt a bit.


Have you checked out our Pinterest page? There are some fun and exciting pins on mindfulness and meditation we suggest!

Check it out! at:



Posted By: Sarah Krykew, Guide Specialist

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Spring Cleaning Series – April 29, 2016


Spring is here! Sometimes the winter can cause us to get the blues. It can also cause us to pack on unwanted pounds because of the human body’s amazing ability to adapt to the climate. In the winter months, our bodies and minds adjust themselves according to the amount of daylight we take in or don’t get. That can often affect our mood. This can also affect our eating habits. In colder climates, human bodies, as with many other mammals, are given the ability to “store up” fat within the body and the brain signals us to search after heavier, fattier, and more carbohydrate and protein dense foods. This would have definitely allowed humans to survive when living a more hunter gatherer and nomadic type of lifestyle.

Once humans became sedentary and technology developed to warm our homes and allowed us to work, while not having to actually do much full-body physical activity, or to eat and feel certain ways at certain times of the year, the fall and winter months still have not changed for a majority of individuals. Oftentimes, it is spring and the renewal of life giving fresh foods that allow for an individual’s opportunity to change the pace of eating very heavy foods and respond by breaking free to do a “spring cleaning” of both mind and body. The sunlight is out for longer periods and the weather becomes warmer, which makes doing activities outdoors an easier and more enjoyable task. Food needs also change. Lighter foods are introduced into the body, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, in order to cleanse the body of the unnecessary body fat storage it acquired during the fall and winter months.

Time to load up on the freshest foods you can find! How about starting your own kitchen garden? During the colonial period, the kitchen garden was a place from which the family’s main source of nutrition came. This was not only true of the colonial settlers living in the region, but of local Indian tribes, one in particular called the Lenni Lenape.


During the winter months, most food eaten would have been either salted, picked, dried, or preserved from the previous months of a fresh harvest. Harvesting your own foods is a great way to save money, while also eating the freshest ingredients possible all from your own yard! An easy way to start a garden without having much space can be to start your own container garden on a deck or small porch. Some of the easiest plants to grow in containers are tomatoes, basil and other herbs, zucchini and yellow summer squash, strawberries, peppers, spinach, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, radishes,  collards, carrots, beets, potatoes, cauliflower, and beans or sugar snap peas. Not all of these items would have been grown by local Indians or colonists due to food taboos or simply no introduction to them yet. However, it is great to utilize some of those old bigger flower pots you may have been hanging on to but really not sure what to do with. There are some plants that may need a climbing trellis due to their vining nature, like pole beans or cucumbers. Others can be hung upside down to grow easily without toppling over and having to be tied to a pole like tomatoes. Depending on the item you want to grow, the growing instructions for pot size (both width and depth) may be exclusive to that plant and not necessarily the same as all of the others. Try to find an area on your deck or porch with adequate sunshine, a good amount of warmth, and when the frost has passed. This will make growing a lot easier. You can choose to start from seed indoors or outdoors or by using already pre-grown vegetables and/or fruits from your local nursery or hardware store. Here are two examples to set you along. Please offer up any suggestions you may have on starting your own “kitchen garden”.

Suggestion 1: Tomatoes! – Growing tomatoes upside down can be a great way to grow without having to use a support to keep them upwards! Start off with a 5 gallon bucket or specialty planter from a local hardware store and cut a hole about ¾” at the bottom of the bucket. Next, pick a tomato variety. Push the root ball of a pre-grown plant into the pre-cut hole of the container so that the plant is hanging outside and the root ball is above the plant and inside the container. Fill the top of the container with damp potting soil. Make sure it is damp enough to stick to the container and not able to fall through the ¾” hole. Hang them in a spot where they will get at least 6 hours of sun a day. Water at least once a day or twice a day if the temperatures rise above 85° degrees. This can also be done with pole beans, cucumbers, and strawberries!

Suggestion 2: Carrots! – Carrots prefer cooler temperatures and are great for early spring growing. There are many varieties of carrot from white and purple to orange. You can also grow from seed or pre-grown sprouts. Choose whatever works best for you. Carrots grow best in light and loose soil. Choose a potting soil that has a pH level between 6.0-6.8. Any pre-made potting soil for vegetable gardening should do the trick, even if it doesn’t specify the pH. Find containers that are about 12″ -15” deep. Keep the soil consistently moist for easier growth. Within 14-17 days seeds will start to sprout (if using seed). After 60-70 days, carrots will be ready to harvest. They grow best between 50°-75° degrees.

Not a fan of gardening or don’t have the time?

How about joining a CSA or becoming a locavore? “CSA, is that some sort of secretive government agency? And what on earth is a locavore you ask? Is that some weird kind of meat eater? Well, no and… no.

             CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. A locavore is a person who is interested in eating most foods from the local community and not transported from more than 100 miles away (or about that many miles). These are both great ways to support your local community’s food production and local farms. A CSA oftentimes requires a membership or subscription at a fee or volunteer time for free weekly fresh produce. Sometimes these CSA’s last a season or more depending on the membership/volunteer agreement. This is a great way to get fresh produce, sometimes cheaper than from your local supermarket. This is also a good way to be a locavore! You are not only buying into a membership, it is also going directly into the hands of a local farmer who is making wages to produce the food you eat! It’s a reciprocal relationship. Not only do these two ideas create a great opportunity to invest in the local community and health, it also has less of an impact on the environment. Less transportation is involved overall because the food choices you made had to travel less of a distance. They may also be organically grown, which helps alleviate the impact on soil, water, animals, people, and insects that come in contact with the chemical herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides many times used in conventional large scale farming operations.

Even though colonials would not have been familiar with these terms, many were locavores and supported agriculture through trading or buying from one another. They also may not have understood the concept of organic and non-organically grown produce, because typically there were some plants and herbs grown strategically to deter pests such as weeds, animals, and insects. Local farms in southeastern Pennsylvania did export crops from Philadelphia, which was not a “locavore” type practice. However, there were family farms that were well established, like those of the Pennsylvania Dutch who were able to select a diverse variety of crops to keep the family fed throughout the year.

Whatever route you choose, we hope that you take the opportunity to feel a rejuvenation in your health as you work the land (or even soil in pots) with your own hands, or feel positive connection to the support you give your local community for the fresh produce these life giving, immunity boosting, brain health supporting foods can provide!




Have you checked out our Pinterest page? There you may find some interesting pins on how to start your own garden!

Check it out! at:



Published by: Sarah Krykew, Guide Specialist

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Spring Cleaning Series – April 15th, 2016



During the colonial period, the colonists did not have the ability to go to their local super market to buy the cleaning supplies we are so familiar with today. The concepts of harmful bacteria and viruses were not understood until closer to the late 19th and early 20th centuries thanks to Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. People did not think of using anti-bacterial and anti-microbial hand sanitizers and sprays to kill the source of their affliction. Instead they looked toward their religious understanding of the world through the lens of good vs. evil or they had a slight understanding that something else was amiss within the body or their environment and used more natural and non-synthetic means to aid in cleaning within the home.

Looking to clean your home in an inexpensive and more natural way like the colonists did? Here are some money saving and environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and healthy ways you can accomplish the task! Now remember, some of these suggestions may not include ingredients the early settlers would have used, but may be similar.

  1. Citrus infused vinegar. Any jar that you have on hand with a lid will do. Fill a jar with citrus peels of your choice or a combination (orange/lemon/lime) and pour in undiluted white vinegar. Leave them to infuse for up to two weeks (under your sink works!) and strain the vinegar to use as a natural cleaner for windows (add a little water for this) or for mopping floors and disinfecting surfaces! These can be kept in a jar or once strained transferred to spray bottles.
  2. DIY Herbal Extracts. Have you ever realized how expensive buying your own herbal extracts actually is? This fun and simple experiment from the herbs you grow in your own backyard can prove to be beneficial to your wallet, cleaning your home, and a friend or family member who may receive it as a gift and/or to the flavors they produce for the food you might add them to! Here are some simple ingredients you will need to get you started:
    Your choice of herbs (spearmint, peppermint, lavender (edible), lemon, orange, vanilla bean, coconut, etc).
    1 large bottle of vodka (any will do).Supplies: 2 oz glass tincture bottles, some mason jars, labels. Grab your mason jars! Next, label them with the individual ingredient. Add 1 c spearmint/peppermint or other herb lightly smashed to release oils and with stems removed to 12 oz vodka. For vanilla beans, add 3-4 split vanilla beans per 8 oz of vodka. Next, you will want to close these off in sealed containers (mason jars work). Place them in a cool and dark place for about 4 weeks. The color of the alcohol will change and this is normal. Once ready to be used, take a funnel with a filter and place in individually marked bottles. If giving as gifts, put a small fresh amount of individual ingredient in each mini jar. These can be used in both cleaning for a fresh smelling way to clean windows or to add in your cooking repertoire!
  3. Have a stain? Un-shout it out! Some individuals have sensitivities to laundry cleaners but a few items you may already have on hand can do the trick. Coffee, tea, or mud stains? Immediately pour boiling water over the stain or if dried and set-in, scrub with a borax paste and wash soon after. Grease or oil stain? Sprinkle with dry baking soda to absorb the oil and soak in undiluted white vinegar, scrub with dish soap or choice, and wash. Got tomato sauce? White vinegar directly on stain and wash immediately. Wine or red dye? Use a mix of 50/50 peroxide and water and soak. Yucky vomit, urine, poop, blood, egg, gelatin, glue or other protein based stain? Do not use warm water on these! Instead, soak in cool water and then cool wash with added mixture of ½ c peroxide and ½ c baking soda. Ink or paint? Soak in rubbing alcohol for 30 minutes and wash.
  4. Looking for a more natural and pleasant smelling air freshener? For those who have allergies to candles and aerosol perfumes, these are a very efficient way of making the house smell nice, without being overly heavy in scent. Just simmer a quart of water with 1 sliced lemon, 2 tbsp of rosemary and a tsp of vanilla. You can also try 1 sliced orange, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/3 tsp nutmeg and a few whole cloves. Another would be 1 sliced orange, 1 tbsp vanilla, and 2 tbsp sage (fresh or dried). Essential oils can also be used in place of the fresh ingredients, just check the labels for recommendations on measurements.
  5. Interested in a sensitive skin laundry soap recipe? Don’t be too intimidated! This is pretty simple and very cost effective and can last a person many month’s worth of money on laundry detergent. Three ingredients needed are Super Washing Soda, Borax, and Bar Soap. These three items can be found in any local grocery store in the detergent aisle! The bar soap can be of your choice, either what you have on hand or cheapest for you! If you have sensitive skin, try to find a hypoallergenic and unscented version. Otherwise, there are two types of laundry bars you can find with the laundry detergent called Zote and Fels-Naptha that are fairly large in size. Now, you can make the soap into a powder form. Grate down entire soap bar and throw into a food processor to finely shred. In a large container add 2 cups washing soda, 2 cups borax, 1 cup grated soap, cover and shake to mix thoroughly. Use 1/8 c to 1/4 c per load. If you are interested in making a liquid version, here it is! Grate the bar soap and add it to a pot with 2 quarts of water and gradually heat. Stir constantly until soap is dissolved. Put 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water in a 5 gallon bucket and stir in 1 c of borax and 1 c washing soda until dissolved. Pour the soap mixture from the pan into a 5 gallon bucket. Stir well. Cover and leave over night. Shake until smooth and pour into gallon jugs or jars. Use ½ to 1 c per load.
  6. Need to polish some wooden furniture? This one is fairly easy and makes your furniture look beautiful and smell fantastic afterwards! It is great at restoring wood and removes water marks too. Using a funnel, pour 2 tbsp olive oil into ¼ c of distilled white vinegar, and ¼ tsp of lemon oil (or fresh lemon juice) into a bottle. Shake well. It can be poured very scantly or sprayed onto the surface. You can even dab some on a microfiber cloth. Use on finished wood furniture and always go with the grain or move in a circular pattern to distribute the oil throughout the furniture piece. Remove any excess with a clean cloth.


Have you checked out our Pinterest page? Here you can find some fun and exciting ways to create your own DIY cleaners!

Check it out! at:



Published by: Sarah Krykew, Guide Specialist