Life Changers

Every once in a while, I come across a product that completely revolutionizes the way things get done in our house. I am not one to invest in the latest and greatest, but some products are just life changers.

With everyone gearing up for spring and the cleaning of every nook and cranny, I thought it might be fun to exchange reviews on some of the products that have made our lives easier, better, or more organized!

There are two products I find myself using on a regular basis, ones which I loathe to live without. They are extremely efficient and wonderfully inexpensive!


murphy-oil-soap-singleOur family is a fan of real wood. Most of our furniture has at least some detail of carving incorporated. Cleaning and conditioning used to be a challenge. Either you buy wood oils and risk ruining any fabric attached or you end up using a product that doesn’t efficiently maintain your furniture.

Murphy’s Wood Oil Soap completely changed all that! Not only is this soap powerful enough to clean the grimiest of wood, but it is gentle enough to leave your hands feeling absolutely wonderful. It smells awesome and won’t harm your fabrics either.

We use Murphy’s several days a week, cleaning everything from the wood in our home to the tile floors. Murphy’s is so versatile, we even use it to clean our cars.


Both my husband and I enjoy cooking. We use our pots and pans for every meal of the 2010-10-21-BarKeepersFriend_rect540day, with snacks in between. With the multitude of ingredients being tossed in different dishes and all the various oils used in cooking, our pans can get a bit tarnished looking.

For years we tried using various products to keep them looking like new. (Being OCD this is an area of struggle for me.) I used Comet, Ajax, and a few others. Nothing seemed to bring back that lovely shine and polish of a new stainless steel piece of cookware.

Recently, I have started using BarKeeper’s Friend. Oh, my goodness! This stuff is the greatest cleaner on earth for anything in the kitchen or bathroom. Now all our stainless steel is sparkling like new!

I use BarKeeper’s Friend to scrub our sinks, toilets, tubs, grout, and anything else which needs that little extra spit and polish. My husband said he even used it to wash his hands after doing some heavy-duty yard work.


If there is one kitchen gadget we can’t seem to get enough of, it is Pampered Chef’s Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer. The kids like the curly cue spirals that come out and I like the speed in which I can work. This makes cooking just a little more fun!

While out doing my weekly grocery shopping today, a vendor passed out free kitchen tools. This got my mind whirling on all the products which have altered the way we handle life.

They might not be important in the grand scheme of things, but they are changing the way we live and function in our home.

Which product has been a life changer for you?


16 thoughts on “Life Changers

      • Thanks, I’ll have to try it. Sage_Brush has an interesting recipe for homemade laundry detergent as well. Might have to give both a shot and see which works better. Although I must confess, the price factor for homemade detergent sounds nice!


      • Yes! I was just reading another comment and its sounds wonderful. I’d like to try it too. If you ever do it, please post about it. I’d live to hear your thoughts. Maybe you could do a Detergent Make Along and see if your subscribers want to do it. Then we could share reviews about how it works in different places across the country in different water types. I’m in if you do 😉


      • What a fun idea! We’ll have to add it to the mix. I have some other recipes I have tried recently; homemade body scrubs, conditioner, and more. It would be fun to do some Make Alongs and get other’s opinions on the results.
        Great thought!


  1. We love Murphy’s too, but our favorite use for it was always for cleaning leather – saddle’s, that is 🙂
    Now vinegar is my best cleaning friend, as is DR. Bronners, thousands of uses and non-toxic so I don’t mind the kids handling them.


    • I imagine it would be good for saddles.

      I have just recently discovered Dr. Bronners, but can’t find it anywhere local. I will have to order over the computer in order to try it. It seems very versatile, but I mostly wish to try it for my hair. Having curly hair, it is hard to find a great shampoo that won’t dry it out. I have a wonderful recipe for homemade conditioning shampoo, but I need Dr. Bronners to finish it off! Now that I know someone who appreciates the product, I’ll have to give it a try. They seem very reasonable in price.


  2. We only have wood floors throughout the house, except the lower level which is old timey linoleum. I love Murphy’s Oil Soap! I use it everywhere. Cleans even that old linoleum. And, I’ve been using Bar Keeper’s Friend for 31 years. Some areas of the country have hard, lime water. Here, or well water is full of iron. Even with a state of the art water treatment system, complete with iron filter – I still get rust stains. BKF works like a miracle on my old white porcelain. Especially the old farm sink in the kitchen.

    The apple peeler changed my life too. My hubby loves cherry-apple pie. I used to get such bad hand cramps, peeling those slippery apples. Now, I can do three pounds of apples in about 5 minutes. Thank you, Jesus!

    My latest revelation comes in the form of home made laundry detergent. I was annoyed with the constantly rising prices on commercial products, that IMO, don’t work all that well. I did some Googleing and came up with one that works tons better, and is tons cheaper. It’s all over the internet now, but here is the one I really like:

    3 bars grated Fels Naptha soap (easier to grate if unwrapped and air dried for a few days)
    1 box borax
    1 box washing soda
    2 cups baking soda
    2 pounds oxygen bleach
    1 bottle Purex Crystals (optional, i really like the fragrance)

    This is the ONLY laundry product that will completely remove the stinky dog smell from my ancient (13 1/2) Labrador’s mattress cover. I used to use a double amount of detergent, plus Pine Sol – and it still smelled!

    The overall cost for me is 1/5 what I was paying before, for better results.


      • I use one of hose big green cat litter buckets from SAMs club. It has a handle and hinged snap on lid. It is perfect for mixing the detergent I then transfer a smaller amount to a decorative container.

        I forgot to mention that the dose is two level tablespoons per regular sized load. No suds so its safe for HE machines. I do four loads each and every day (it used to be six!) and I use one batch about every three months. That includes really large loads in my super capacity machine (it can take a king sized comforter. )


  3. Vinegar and cheap shampoo are mainstay cleaners here. They are inexpensive, effective, and non-toxic. The shampoo is especially great on ring-around-the-collar! But my favorite new find is dryer balls. No more fabric softener needed! For the months when my clothesline is out of commission, I can just throw a ball or two into the dryer with my wash and things
    are good to go!


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