Living on a Budget: How to Make Your Own Detergents

Cut costs and stop buying expensive store brand cleaning items. Learn to make you own laundry and dish detergents at home. You can do this with just a few inexpensive ingredients and see your dollar stretch further. Manufacturers load cleaning products with toxic chemicals. If you and your family are trying to live more of a green way of life, this will allow you to take several of those chemicals out of your detergents.

Recipe for Homemade Laundry Detergent

  • 1/3 bar Fels Naptha or Zote soap, Ivory or brand of choice
  • ½ cup washing soda (Arm & Hammer is fairly easily found in the supermarket)
  • ½ cup borax powder (20 Mule Team Borax is a good brand)

Grate the bar of soap and put in a heavy saucepan on the stove. Next, add 6 cups of water and heat this until the soap melts. Stirring will help dissolve the soap. Remove from heat and 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water. Let this sit for overnight. It will become gel-like. You can store this in a 2 gallon bucket with a lid. Be sure and stir well before using. Use ½ cup for regular load and 1 cup for heavier load of laundry.

Additional Hints:

The washing soda and borax powder can usually be found in the cleaning aisle of the supermarket. If you are unable to find them, they can be ordered online.

The recipe above is for a small amount of laundry detergent; however this recipe can be doubled or tripled if desired. Use 5 or 10 gallon buckets for storage of larger amounts as appropriate.

Recipe for Dishwasher Detergent

  • ½ cup Arm & Hammer washing soda
  • ½ cup 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 2-3 packets lemonade flavored powder, unsweetened
  • ¼ cup salt

Mix above ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use 1 tablespoon for regular load and 2 tablespoons for heavier loads.

Additional Hints:

Never use colored powder packets like Kool-Aid Cherry, Grape, Lime, etc. Always use powder that has no color. You do not want stained dishes.

A few drops of added essential oils will smell wonderful in the kitchen while your dishwasher is washing.

Adding vinegar in the rinse cycle leaves dishes squeaky clean.

Recipe for Dishwashing Soap

  • 2 cups liquid Castile Soap
  • ½ cup water
  • Few drops of essential oil

Combine the liquid Castile soap with ½ cup warm water. Add a few drops of essential oil. Mix well. Put into a squeeze bottle for storage.

Additional Hint:

Essential oils like lavender, lemon, or floral scents smell wonderful in this soap and it only takes a few drops.

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