Homemade Dry Laundry Soap

Now this is the very first thing that I decided to start making. It just so happens to be my favorite and it is the biggest money saver. It is so quick and easy, I just want to kick myself for wasting soooo much money buying commercial laundry soap. This is a very basic recipe and just about everyone I know uses this or something very similar. The site that I snagged the recipe from does a great job at a cost breakdown so if you want all the details I’ll let you check it out for yourself but to sum it up: it costs about $0.21 per load with a commercial product. This stuff? $0.05. That is a savings that really adds up. Plus, I think that mine is even greater because I can find the ingredients cheaper than what they have them listed for.

I’m going to address a couple of things people have said to me when I told them I make my own laundry soap.

I have to use “free and clear” products because of sensitive skin.

I have super sensitive skin and eczema. My breakouts have cleared up significantly since making the switch. In-fact, I don’t think I’ve had any since switching… Interesting… I was using ALL free & clear liquid laundry soap, Downy free & clear liquid and dryer sheets. FYI, “free & clear” only means that it doesn’t have any dyes or perfumes. Which is what people are most commonly allergic to. It still contains a long list of unknown chemicals. Also, people commonly use this (or slight variations of this) to wash cloth diapers. Frankly, if it can go onto a newborns extra sensitive tender skin, it is certainly gentle enough for the average public. Just sayin’.

I have an HE washer.

-Me too. The only reason that you need special laundry soap is because you need “low sudsing” soap and this is. So no worries.

I would also like to point out that I have a 2-year-old boy and a husband that works outside. Clothes in my house are freaking dirty and this stuff does the job.

So what do you need?

  • 1 C. 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1 C. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT BAKING SODA!)
  • 1 bar Fels-Napha (I’m making a double batch so I have 2)

Now this whole process took me 15 min with the “help” of my 2-year-old, and taking (crappy) pictures to show you folks. Again. So quick.

In the original recipe they hand grate the soap. I’m lazy, we have talked about this. So I busted out my food processor. Do what works best for you. I use both the grater blade and my regular blade, you’ll see why. Now I’m sure it says in the manual to NOT do this. But it just works so well! So yes, I “stack” my blades so I don’t have to empty the container to then put the second one in. I just slip the grater off and I’m ready to move on.

Lets get started. Grate the soap. How ever you would like to.

The lazy way

It will look a little like this.

Now I like smaller pieces because I’m OCD but the soap will not have a problem dissolving if left like this, so I will then hit the chop button to get them a little smaller.

My food processor wont grate the last little bit of soap as it just gets stuck and spins around on top. If yours does too you can certainly use a hand grater or whatever but I actually like to hang on to these to use them as a pre-treat on tough stains. It takes grease out like you wouldn’t believe. It will also dry up poison ivy on your skin if you happen to be so unlucky to get it.

Measure it out. (again, I’m making a double batch so I’m using 2 cups of each.)

Pour it in.

and your done!

Pour it into any container that you would like. Use 1 -2 TBLS per load depending on the size of the load and how soiled they are.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you have tried it, how you like it!


Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

This has got to be the easiest DIY thing I make. It literally will take you longer to pull things out of your cupboards and to put them away then the actually “making” process. Would love to give credit to where I got this recipe, but 1. I don’t actually remember, 2. it really is a combination of two recipes and 3. I have increased the amount of salt that was in the original recipe. It is pretty basic though.

What you need (this is a double batch and makes about 3 Cups)

1 C. 20 Mule Team Borax

1 C. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT BAKING SODA!!!)

1 C. Kosher Salt

**8 pks unsweetened lemonade

A container large enough to hold the mixture. I use an old cottage cheese container. A mason jar, Tupperware, or in a pinch, a one gallon ziplock bag will do.

Then all you do is measure it out and dump it in. Put the lid on tight and give it a good shake and your done! See, EASY.

Use 1-2 TBLS per load. I personally use 1 in the “pre-wash” or open spot and 1 in the spot with the lid. I have been using this homemade mix for months and love it.

A little note, because of the citric acid in the lemonade pks, the mixture over time will start to get hard or “chunky”. I solve the problem by giving it a good shake every time I use it.

**The original recipe calls for citric acid which isn’t that easy to come by but you can order it online, find it at your local brewery supply store or some natural/organic/whole foods places will carry it. I called around and to buy it local it is $9.99/lb and I’m too cheap for that. After searching the interwebs, I found that the lemonade pks work just as well and at $.12 each they are quite a bit cheaper and much easier to find. The citric acid is what is used so your dishes are not cloudy. If you have really hard water you can always increase the number of packages that you’re using or you can use straight citric acid.

Then, instead of using an expensive rinse agent, just pour in some white vinegar.

Cheap & Easy 🙂

Let me know if you have any questions and if you try the recipe what you think!

Homemade Liquid Fabric Softener

This recipe I think I can actually call my own. It took me quite a few batches with lots of trial and error to find something that I really liked. I started by reading through all sorts of different recipes that I could find on other people’s blogs and honestly I’m not even sure where I got this ingredient list from but the measurements and method are something I did on my own.

You’ll need:

  • 6 C. vinegar
  • 4 C. Boiling Water
  • 1 C. Baking Soda
  • 20-30 Drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

Start by bringing the 4 C. water to a boil in a LARGE pot. (it is going to bubble up at some point so grab the biggest pot you have)

 Once boiling, turn off heat and add 1 C. baking soda. It is going to foam up!

<– Adding this

                                                  Does this –>

Give it a good stir until it has (for the most part) stopped foaming up, it will continue to make a sizzle sound though and should look like this:

 Add vinegar about 1-2 C. at a time just to control the foaming.

Stir it up. Now is when you can add in your oil. This isn’t necessary for the function of the softener it is just to get rid of the vinegar smell. I used grapefruit just because I like the smell and they were out of lavender.

Some of my favorites are french lavender, grapefruit, orange, lemon, & eucalyptus but you could use whatever you’d like. I found my essential oil for $5.40 at a local natural foods store and I’m on my same bottle I started with even after about 6 batches I have about half a bottle left.  

After mixing in my oil I pour the mixture into a juice pitcher to fill old commercial fabric softener bottles. You could use what ever you would like. I’ve reused vinegar bottles and such. Experiment! It is the fun part.

I have an HE front loading washer and use 1/3 cup in each load. As the batch makes 10 cups you get about 30 loads for just pennies.

Cheap & Easy. 🙂