Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Homemade Products - Washing

I am the kind of person who likes to plan ahead, BUT I don't like having too many plans.  It's similar to how I love a clean and tidy house, but I won't feel like it is clean unless my closets are clean.  I like to have at least on empty shelf in the closet, or space in the cupboards, or else I feel like I have too much stuff and I start to throw away things without thinking... That said, it's a wonder I have time to make my own cleaning and beauty products.  The key is to start with one and then add another as you feel comfortable.  In this blog post I will share a few simple recipes for common cleaning products.

I started out using just equal parts borax and baking soda in my dishwasher, and I was NOT impressed with the results.  My dishes and silverware always had a powdery residue on them, and my glasses were cloudy and far from clear and sparkly.  I tried adding vinegar and still came up disappointed.  Then I searched online some more and found two other ingredients I was lacking.  And Voi'la!  Beautiful & sparkling dishes!  Here is the best recipe I've found (and super easy and affordable) for dishwasher detergent:

* 1 Cup Borax
* 1 Cup Baking Soda (pure, aluminum-free)
* 1/2 Cup Kosher or Sea Salt
* 1/2 Cup Citric Acid (which you can find at most health food stores or breweries)
Mix together and store in a glass jar.  Use 1 tablespoon in your dishwasher compartment (2 tbs for extra dirty/greasy dishes).  Then squirt/pour some Distilled White Vinegar in the bottom of your dishwasher, and turn it on.  That's all there is to it!

I didn't know that when you become a mom, you do a LOT of laundry (especially if you us cloth diapers).  I wash a load of cloth diapers every other day, which may not sound like a lot, but before I was a mom, I was only doing laundry once a week.  The laundry detergent I make is awesome, but it kind of takes awhile because I have to grate up a bar of soap (which also works out the biceps).  So, to not have to make it so often, I use it ONLY for the cloth diapers, and then I use Econuts for all our other laundry.  Econuts are awesome!  They last a really long time, and they really do work.

Here is the laundry detergent recipe I make:

* 1 Cup Borax
* 1 Cup Baking Soda (Washing Soda causes more suds, which aren't good for HE machines)
* 1 Bar of Castile Soap, grated (I like Dr. Bronners brand.  They have a variety of different scents, but I use the unscented "Baby" kind)
Mix together and store in a glass jar.  Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.  And yes, it really cleans the cloth diapers!

So, this recipe fills up just one large mason jar, and if by chance I'm feeling extra muscular, I'll double the measurements and grate another bar of soap.  But... that's highly unlikely.  So I've searched for a convenient liquid laundry detergent to make.  Most of them are the same old ones that call for Fels Napha (which I do not recommend because of it's ingredients), and a huge bucket, and tons of gallon jugs... and I just don't have room for all that (remember, I need my empty shelf!)

Then I remembered I had a Dr. Bronners castile liquid soap bottle under my sink that I'd barely cracked open, and I decided to read it's oh-so-cluttered bottle label.  I did a little more research and found a couple more options for laundry detergent:

* 1 Cup Dr. Bronner's pure castile liquid soap
* 1 Cup Baking Soda
* 2 Cups water
* 1/3 Cup salt
Warm the water and mix with salt and baking soda until dissolved.  Pour into a one-gallon container.  Add the Dr. Bronner's and fill the remainder of the gallon jar with more water.  Use 1/4 Cup per load.  (Makes 64 loads!!!)  This recipe is even gentle enough for wool and silk.

If you are in a fix and don't have any pre-made, you can just use 1/8 to 1/3 Cup of the Dr. Bronner's liquid soap, plus 1/4 Cup of baking soda, per load.  (But obviously you'll get more out of your products and money if you pre-make it).

Anyway, I am excited to put my Dr. Bronner's liquid soap to good use and try this out!  I hope this is helpful to those of you wanting to experiment with homemade products!


  1. Hey, sweetie! I'm going to try this!! Thank you for teaching me. I'm beginning to think I'm learning more from you than you ever learned from me! Love you.

  2. Um, NOT true Mom!! But I'm glad you are going to try this!