Wednesday, November 14, 2012

~DIY Detergent Recipes~

Have you started making your own soap detergents and cleaners yet?  My youngest started on the bandwagon about a year or so ago searching for safer ways to keep her family and home clean.  She is the one who brought to my attention how UNsafe many of the ingredients are in products that I have used for years.  So, I've been changing the way that I clean.
 Laundry Detergent.  There are lots of recipes out there, for both dry and liquid concoctions, with slight variations here and there.  So you may want to do a bit of Google searching to see which one would work for you.  This is the recipe that I found some time back and have been using it for several months now.  Ingredients needed:
4 lb. 12 oz. box of Borax
4 lb. box of Baking Soda
3 lb. 7 oz. box of Super Washing Soda
4 bars of Ivory soap (or any natural soap such as Fels Naptha, Castile or Zote), grated
3 lb. container of OxyClean**

**Our clothes weren't quite as bright as I would have liked, so I ended up adding OxyClean.  An ingredient seen in many of the soap recipes I've found.  Much better!!

Note:  I have a front-loading washing machine and this is perfectly safe to use.  I use about 2 to 3 Tbsp. (little less than 1/4 cup) per load.  I haven't found anything that says to use more for top-loading machines.

I had a couple of bars of the Castile soap and decided to use it along with the Ivory.  Some soaps are easy to grate and some are not.  Ivory is a softer bar and grated very easily while the Castile bar is harder and took a little bit more effort to grate.  I found that using a regular ol' cheese grater was actually faster and easier than using my mini food processor.  Could have been my machine, I don't know.

Fabric Softener.  We use well water out here in the country and it is a very hard water with lots of mineral content.  To a large bottle of regular ol' vinegar, I add at least 30 to 40 drops of lavender oil (for fragrance).  Add about one-half cup to the rinse section of your washing machine.
You could use any essential oil but I use the lavender because of its calming effect.  This particular oil is not overpowering and I could probably add more oil if I wanted a stronger fragrance.  I just order mine on Amazon.  The vinegar is not only great at softening our clothes but to clean the gunk out of the washing machine!  I need to do a post about all the different uses for vinegar.

 Dishwasher Detergent.  I've finally used up my stash of over-the-counter dishwasher pods and am able to use this recipe that I found on Pinterest; first posted on  Liz Marie's blog.  Needed ingredients:
4 lb. 12 oz. box of Borax
3 lb. 7 oz. box of Super Washing Soda
Large container of Lemi-Shine (citric acid or Fruit Fresh has also been recommended)
1 cup of regular or Kosher Salt (works as a softening agent)

 Pour all your ingredients into a large trash bag.  Close the top of the bag with one hand and use your other to, basically, knead the ingredients together mixing and breaking down any clumps.  This also helps keep 'dust' particles from floating around in the air that you don't want to be breathing.  You don't want to be digging your hands into the mixture as it can be a little hard on the skin.

 Hold the bag over the large container that you'll be using for storage and cut a slit close to the bottom of the bag.  Much easier than trying to pour it from the top! ;)

 I am using one of my cherished enamel pots to store my soap, which is about 8 inches tall so you can see that it makes quite a large amount.

 Now all I need to do is create a cute little label to put on the front!
 My dishes went from this (can you see the cloudiness on the glass?).... this!  Look at that shine!!

I didn't figure up the cost of what I spent on ingredients for my soap recipes but I can guarantee you that it's a whole lot cheaper than the name brands...and much safer to use, too.  Plus, a little goes a long ways!  I'm a believer.

How about you?  If you've jumped on the bandwagon, I'd love to know about your recipes.  If not, I encourage you to at least make a small batch to see what you think.

Oh, don't forget!  The giveaway for my Breakfast and Brunch Cookbook ends tomorrow, November 15th.  If you haven't entered yet, you've still got time.  Go here to get your name in the drawing.

Have a sparkling, sunshine-y day today!!

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Carol OurSearsKitHome said...

Hi, Velma,
I do make our laundry detergent. It takes about 15 minutes to make up. Don't use a softener. Definitely worth while!
I use Fels Naptha, didn't know Ivory was an option. Good to know!
We only run the dishwasher about 2x a week. And had problems keeping the glassware clear, so I do use a name brand pod for that.
I would like to have a recipe for homemade dish liquid, though!

Anonymous said...


I make my own soap too using Zote Soap (it makes a pretty pink detergent is the reason! ) works just as well as fells naptha and ivory. I do think I am going to add the oxiclean in - my whites do get dingy so I have to soak them every 2 or 3 washes.

Have to try the dish washer recipe!! Thanks!

bee blessed

vintage grey said...

These are great!! Thank you for sharing!! Love your sweet enameled bucket! xo Heather

Erica of Golden Egg Vintage said...

Someday! Someday I will do this! :)
I LOVE your white enamel bucket!
Perfect for what you needed it for.
Thanks Velma

Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch said...

I'm saving your recipe for later. I soooo need to do this. So where do you get those lesser known ingredients?

Suziq1023 said...

#1 daughter makes laundry detergent because of her septic tank. I have a front loader and limited time so I was hesitant - so thank you for that info! I made fabric softener with vinegar, baking soda & water and loved the results. I use all fragrance free products so didn't bother with any lavender or lemon. Thank you for this post - my cold pack canner may get used after all ;)

Kerin said...

Good morning Velma,
Such a great post.
I loved that you included so many different recipes also.

I have made my own laundry detergent before, but because of our mineral laden water, my whites just do not get as clean.
We need a water softener.

I do use vinegar in the washing machine, and am happy to know that I can add essential oil to it, for a dose of fragrance!

I'll have to give the laundry soap another try, and use some oxi-clean with it.

Thanks again, dear friend.

Have a great weekend!



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