After converting a couple of months ago to Mrs. Meyer*s cleaning products, I have been loving the way my house and clothes feel clean and fresh-but not sterile or bleach smelling. Continuing on my path to all natural enlightenment, I decided to try my hand at actually making my own cleaning products. That way I can make sure that I am using natural ingredients, but I don’t have to spend a lot of money on the pre-made stuff.

While searching for recipes, I came across this one from Bonzai Aphrodite. I read a bit of her blog, and it’s pretty neat. She talks about how even the most urban household can make small changes to embrace more of a farmer’s philosophy. Here is her recipe.

Laundry Detergent

1 1/4 cups white vinegar

1 cup baking soda

1 cup washing soda

1 cup borax

1/4 cup liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s)

Pre-measure all your powdered ingredients into a non metal container. Grab a large non metal bowl and start with the vinegar. Add all the powder in while constantly stirring (with a wooden or plastic spoon), if you stop you’ll end up with a hard rock! Once everything is incorporated and lump-free, add the liquid soap. It will be liquidy for awhile, and then slowly thicken. Stir for another few minutes, and you’ll end up with a soft clumpy loaf. Store in an airtight container. Use 1/4 cup per load.

*note- I like to put it in while the washer is filling and dissolve it before adding clothes.

Cost Breakdown

Borax (4lb box)- $3.74

Washing Soda (3lb 7oz box)- $2.95

White Vinegar (1 gal)- $2.37

Baking Soda (2lb box)- $1.00

Dr. Bronner’s Lavendar Castile Soap (.5 lb bulk priced at $5.49/lb)- $2.75

Total Ingredient Cost: $12.81, and this will make several batches! Making your own detergent averages about $0.01-$0.03/per load! Plus, all of these ingredients can be used in other cleaning solutions like dish soap, dishwasher soap, bathroom scrub, glass cleaner, and all purpose cleaner.

Here are some other recipes from Bonzai Aphrodite that I want to try.

Dish Soap

1 cup liquid Castile soap

3 tablespoons water

a few drops essential oil (if using unscented Castile soap)

Combine all ingredients in a bottle!

Powder Dishwasher Detergent (not for hardwater)

1 part borax

1 part washing soda

Distilled white vinegar

Combine the powders in a bowl and mix well, breaking apart any clumps. Transfer to an airtight container to store. Use 1 tbsp of mixture per load. Fill your machine’s rinse indicator with white vinegar, for that extra sparkle.

3 Responses

  1. Lauren

    Interesting! I’ve seen these recipes here & there and haven’t yet cooked one up. Any results to report? I just ditched dryer sheets — too many chemicals to bother with!

  2. Rachael

    So far I’ve just used the laundry soap- seems to work great! We don’t have kids or anything, so it’s not getting much of a workout, but it did get cat pee off a rug LOL! Thanks for stopping by, I briefly checked out your blog and it looks so neat! I’ll have to sit down and read more later this evening when I have more time :)

  3. Welcome! «

    [...] she was here visiting. You guys know I post about certain money saving things on LCH already (like homemade laundry detergent and bread making), but over breakfast one morning we got on the topic of homemaking/staying at [...]


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