Reduce, Re-use, Recycle: Laundry Soap

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I know I’ve already written a post about homemade laundry soap. I’ve been using basically the same recipe for several years, but I’ve got to tell you, I found a BETTER recipe. No kidding! And for the life of me I can’t find the original post, which concerns me a bit, because I like to give credit to where credit is due. (The following recipe, though, is tweaked…I added vinegar and essential oil to the recipe.)

The other recipes I used always involved grating soap. Now, I haven’t minded that too much, but this recipe doesn’t involve grating of any kind. AND it’s cheap.

So, here is the recipe:

1 cup Borax

4 cups boiling water

Stir until Borax is dissolved.

Add 2 TBLS Dawn dish soap (the original blue kind)

1/4 to 1/2 cup of vinegar

Pour this all in a gallon jug (I used an empty vinegar jug) and then fill with cold water. I added a couple of teaspoons of lavender essential oil and then shook it all up.

I use about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of solution to each load of clothes.  I’ve noticed that it really brightens the whites. I’ve also put this in a spray bottle to use as a pre-treat. (And I love the fragrance!)

Super cheap. Super easy. I’m sold!

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Reduce, Re-use, Recycle: Homemade household cleaners!

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When my son, Ross, was little, he struggled with a constantly runny nose and allergy like symptoms. I did quite a bit of research and found out some interesting little tidbits of knowledge. Not only did I find out that you should never store your household cleaners under the kitchen sink because their fumes could speed up the corrosion of plumbing (this was back when everyone had metal plumbing pipes), but I also learned that many of the fumes from the cleaners would hover right around ground level, which is where Ross and the other little people in my home stayed most of the time. (Go here to read about household cleaning chemicals.)

Scary stuff.

I was also on a tight budget back then, and tried to find alternative ways to save money. What I found is that homemade cleaners could actually work better than their more expensive counter parts, and the health benefits to using them outweighed any inconvenience. There are lots of different recipes, but here’s what I do.

Basically, what I do is use about 1 part water to 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle. I like to add about a tablespoon or so of tea tree oil (which you can buy at Walmart) and some nice essential oil. I use however much smells good. 😉 Last time I mixed up a bottle, I used about 1 tablespoon of Lemongrass, and I didn’t use tea tree oil.

Some people put borax in the mixture, which might be helpful, and I think I’ll try it. I have been very happy with the cleaners! Vinegar is a great sanitizer and the lemon grass fragrance hangs around a while. Sometimes I’ll put a drop or two of Dawn dish soap, sometimes I don’t. It just depends.

It works great on stainless steel, in the kitchen and in the bathroom. I recently had to scrub my tub (using homemade soap sometimes will leave some wonderful soap rings that are a bit hard to get rid of. I simply sprayed the tub down with my mixture, put some baking soda on my cloth and scrubbed happily away. End result: Shiny tub.

If you really need specific measurements go here or here  for some great recipes!