Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Homemade soaps for the dishwasher and washing machine

Well, I was going to put some tips on here about keeping your fireplace clean, but then I found some interesting stuff about making your own dishwasher and laundry detergent. Well, me being me...cheap that is...I decided to share the homemade stuff. In this economy we all need to save as much money as we can.

Okay, okay...for those of you with fireplaces...white vinegar to clean the glass inserts, if you have them, and scrubbing bubbles, or some similar bath cleaner, to clean the bricks. Be careful not to get it on the floor. Blah, blah, blah...LOL

Can ya tell I'm a wee bit excited about these homemade detergents? Okay, here we go.

Mix equal parts Borax and Washing Soda (this is different than baking soda), and add 2 Tablespoons per load. Increase proportion of soda for hard water.
Also, instead of using expensive spot cleaners, like Jet Dry, try putting some white vinegar in the dispenser instead.

*Some people found that they sometimes their dishes didn't get as clean, perhaps they don't rinse off the dishes first. However, you can buy a box of less expensive dishwasher detergent and add a small amount to the homemade detergent to give it a boost if you need to. You may need to try a few loads until you find the mixture that works just right for you.

I found a variety of recipes for homemade laundry detergent. Look them over and try one. The liquid soaps do get a bit gelled and lumpy looking. I would think it best to store them in old laundry detergent bottles, that way you could give it a good shake before using.

For the bar soaps required in the recipes, you could try Fels-Naptha, Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps. Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles. I would also be a bit concerned with "colored" soaps, so I'll be using something that is white, like Ivory soap.

Some people with really hard water or well water may have to adjust the recipes if the clothes look dingy.

Although several of the recipes have the same ingredients, the measurements are different–some contain a higher soap to water ratio. Test and see which works best for your laundry needs.

You can add between 10 to 15 drops of essential oil (per 2 gallons) to your homemade laundry detergent. Add once the soap has cooled to room temperature. Stir well and cover.

After mixing the liquid laundry detergent recipes, cover and let sit for 24 hours before using.

These soaps are low sudsing soap. So if you don’t see suds, that is ok. Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.

Hot water
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1 Soap bar

Grate the bar soap and add to a large saucepan with hot water. Stir over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
Fill a 10 gallon pail half full of hot water. Add the melted soap, Borax and Washing soda, stir well until all powder is dissolved. Top the pail up with more hot water.
Use 1 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).

Hot water
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/3 bar Soap (grated)

In a large pot, heat 3 pints of water. Add the grated bar soap and stir until melted. Then add the washing soda and borax. Stir until powder is dissolved, then remove from heat.
In a 2 gallon clean pail, pour 1 quart of hot water and add the heated soap mixture. Top pail with cold water and stir well.
Use 1/2 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).

Hot water
1 bar (4.5 oz) Ivory Soap - grated
1 cup Washing Soda

In a large saucepan add grated soap and enough hot water to cover. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until soap is melted.
Fill a large pail with 2.5 gallons of hot water, add hot soap mixture. Stir until well mixed.
Then add the washing soda, again stirring until well mixed.
Set aside to cool.
Use 1/2 cup per full load, stirring well before each use (will gel)

12 cups Borax
8 cups Baking Soda
8 cups Washing Soda
8 cups Bar soap (grated)

Mix all ingredients well and store in a sealed tub.
Use 1/8 cup of powder per full load.

2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated - you could also try the other bar soaps listed at the top)
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax

Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
Use 2 tablespoons per full load.

How easy does that look? Can you imagine how much money you can possibly save? From some of the things I've been reading you could save up to 50-60 dollars a year, just on laundry detergent. That alone, may not sound like a lot but add it up with savings on dishwashing soap, using the new 13 watt light bulbs via the round 60 watt bulbs and what ever other ways you can come up with to save and you may be saving hundreds of dollars per year. Yes, it takes a bit of time, but it is time I'm willing to use to save our family some much needed dollars.

Not only will you be saving green, as in money, but you will be green, as in saving our planet. Think of all the plastic bottles that you throw away every year from using bottled laundry detergent. This sounds like an all around good idea to me.

My next trip to the store will include a few new items. One box of borax, one box of washing soda and some bars of Ivory soap. I'm so excited. LOL Ohmahgosh...I'm such a sad little creature...getting all excited about making SOAP.

Have a great day,
Jill Marie


swmpgrly said...

I think ill buy mine... too lazy

Ira said...

A low cost, green eco friendly, healthy natural way to clean dishes or laundry is to make a homemade liquid cleaner from soapberry which grows on the Chinaberry tree and has been used for thousands of years. It works very effectively.