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Laundry Detergent Revised

Ok, so I was not totally satisfied with the laundry detergent smell. I simply added 2 capfuls of Purex Crystals and instead of fels-naptha soap, I used DOVE brand soap for women. I love the smell now! I also reduced the water by a couple of cups to keep it form getting too watery. I placed a quarter of a gallon in recycled milk jugs so I could see the firmness and decide to add water or not once it set for 24 hours. My next project is home made Febreze!

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Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

As a “couponer”, I would always look for sales and coupons on any laundry detergent, softener, and dryer sheets I could find. First off, you never have enough, you always need it, and it is stupid expensive! My mom actually found this recipe, but there are many others out there you can use as well. Either way, I used this one and it smells fantastic. You can also make your own softener, but I have not done that one yet. About too though, so I will share once I do it! These products show below are all found at Wal-Mart, and I have seen some at HEB. They are all inexpensive and you use very small portions of these (except the bar soap) so they will give you A LOT OF CHEAP DETERGENT!! I made one of these batches 4 months ago and I am only half done with the batch. Family of 4, hard working and always outside= super dirty laundry and lots of loads. Oh, and I use this on my HE washer and it works great!

*Start Saving your Laundry Detergent bottles, or have your family and friends save you some. The ones with the push button dispenser are not great for this since the consistency is a little off for the drain. I use the smaller bottles with the handle to help pour.

The Ingredients
The Ingredients for Home Made Laundry Detergent

Start off with:

  • 4 Cups hot water
  • 1 Bar of Fels-Naptha Soap
  • 1 Cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (no normal baking soda, must be sodium carbonate)
  • 1/2 Cup Borax
  • 5 Gallon Bucket** (optional and can be found at home depot for $4)


  • Grate the Fels-Naptha into a large pot with the water
  • Continuously stir over medium heat until soap dissolves. It takes a while, so make your grated pieces small to speed up the process.
  • **For using the bucket: Fill the 5 Gallon Bucket half full of hot tap water.
  • Add melted soap, super washing soda, and borax and stir thoroughly.
  • Fill bucket to top with hot water
  • Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken
  • Stir and fill the laundry soap dispenser half full of soap and the other half with water.

You will probably get a better mix doing it with a 5 gallon bucket. However, if you do not have a bucket to use, this is how I did it:

  • After melting the soap, add the washing soap and borax to the pot, along with enough water to fill your large pot.
  • Stir and let cool
  • Pour into each container 1/4 to a half full, and then fill the rest with hot water.
  • This gave me 3 containers of detergent and the solution thickened in the container. I only needed to add more hot water to one container to loosen it up a bit, but for the most part it gave me a gel consistency and I have been very happy with it.

    The consistency of my detergent is gel-like
    The consistency of my detergent is gel-like

*Experiment with this recipe! I have been told you can add any bar soap you want for the smell you like. Fels-Naptha is just a really good stain fighter and all of the ingredients are found in the laundry detergent aisle. You can also add essential oils (REAL ESSENTIAL OILS!) to your mix for an even better smell:)

Hopefully this is a good place to start! Good luck!

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Make Your Own Cleaning Products

My family and I started to become a part of the “Green Movement” by recycling, watching our energy usage (yes with kids you are always monitoring their light switching abilities!), and making our own cleaning products. Like any parent, you always worry about your small Children getting into the cleaning cabinet or “how much bleach can my nose and brain handle?” while we are hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom. These are simple recipes that I use, and now I feel comfortable with my kids using them because I know I won’t have to call poison control if they accidentally spray themselves:). What making yor own cleaning products also does for you is it totally saves you money! The Ingredients are similar, cheap, and you always have tons left over for future refills.

Good rule of thumb: Buy empty spray bottles when at the store ($.97-$3) because as a homesteader, they always come in handy and are reusable!

My green cleaning products
My green cleaning products

All-Purpose Cleaner:

I use the first one, but have used the second one. Both work great!


  • 4 Tablespoons Borax
  • 2 teaspoons Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons liquid dish soap
  • Warm Water to fill a 32 ounce bottle


  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 Tablespoons Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap
  • Warm Water to fill 32 ounce spray bottle

Granite Counter Cleaner:
I also use this on my stainless steel appliances.


  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Dish Soap
  • Warm Water to fill 32 ounce spray bottle
  • Spray and Wipe


  • 1/4 cup Rubbing Alcohol
  • Couple drops of Liquid Dish Soap
  • Spray and wipe


  • 1/2 cup ammonia
  • Quart Warm Water
  • Soak rag, wipe, and then dry with soft cloth


Wood Polish (move over Pledge!):
You can use a mason jar or spray bottle, really just a personal preference.

  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
  • Spray, wipe, and polish with soft rag
  • Or put in Mason Jar, dip rag and wipe surface, and then polish with dry, soft cloth

Bathroom Cleaner (Bye Bye Scrubbing Bubbles):


  • 1/4 Cup Borax
  • 1 Cup Vinegar
  • Spray and wipe

Tub and Tile (non-stone):

  • 1 2/3 Cup Baking Soda
  • 2 Tablespoons Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Spray and Wipe

Window/Glass Cleaner (Move over Windex!):


  • 1/4 Cup Vinegar
  • 4 Cups Warm Water
  • Spray and Wipe (use newspaper to wipe for streak free finish)


  • 2 Cups Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dishsoap
  • Spray and wipe, newspaper is useful here too.