Friday, January 29, 2010

Laundry and Dishwasher Detergent Recipes

Last week I posted recipes on how to make your own cleaning products and received several emails from those wanting more info and possibly pictures. These are really simple recipes...I'm all about the simple way (: The photos should help you know what to expect as you're preparing your own detergents.

I know there are several recipes out there for liquid laundry detergent. I've tried all of them, but found the process took too much time, not to mention the space needed to hold large quantities of the stuff (: I prefer the dry detergent because it takes up less space and can be made within 10-20 minutes at the most!

Laundry detergent
  • ¼ cup liquid castile soap
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup washing soda
Use a fork to blend the liquid castile soap with one of the dry ingredients first. A hand pastry blender works even better and the process goes much faster. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix.

Once all of the ingredients are added and the clumps have been blended out it should look like this.

Make as much as you need! I keep mine in this plastic container that fits perfectly above the washer.

1 Tablespoon does an entire load! If you have a really large load or one that’s extra grungy, use 2 Tablespoons.

I prefer not to use essential oils in the laundry detergent because the castile soap has such a beautiful scent all on its own. But feel free to add oils if you like. Just make sure they are clear oils, as those with any color will end up coloring your clothes. On my first batch I got a little trigger happy with the lemon essential oil and quickly found white towels to be a lovely soft yellow (: If you have a favorite essential oil, just add several drops on a cotton rag and toss it in the dryer with the clothes. Instant dryer sheet! Not only will your clothes smell great but the scent will fill your home too (depending on the location of your dryer).

Dishwasher detergent
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 10-20 drops of lemon, lavender or tea tree essential oil

Add borax and baking soda to the bowl. Then sprinkle essential oils on top and blend with a fork.

Store in an airtight container. I use this type and keep it under the kitchen sink. All it takes is 1 Tablespoon per load! Use vinegar instead of products like Jet Dry and pour into the rinse compartment of your dishwasher. Dishes come out sparkling!

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  1. Cool! You know I love making these things too. Do you find that baking soda and borax really work in the dishwasher. They didn't work for me. And only a teaspoon - wow, that's a great concentrate. I make my own but need 1/4-1/2 cup of mix. I like making my own cold process soap for the mix but castile soap too is lovely and not very expensive. I think I'd like to try your recipe.

  2. The baking soda and borax actually work better than the commercial products I used before. I also add vinegar to the Jet Dry compartment (not sure what the term is for that little spot). Maybe that's the difference...or it could be our water. Not sure what the difference is. I've never made cold press soap before, but would love to try. Would you mind sharing a recipe you think a beginner could do?

  3. I stumbled across your blog after you asked Sara a question on formspring & you mentioned you were from NC. Anyhow and somehow this was one of the first of your posts I saw. I gave the dishwasher detergent a try b/c my daughter was complaining about the strong chemical smell from Cascade. I didn't have lemon essential oil. I substituted an envelope of unsweetened lemonade Koolaid. I had some on hand. I've added it before. It acts as a bleaching agent cleaning the inside of the dishwasher. Along the vinegar rinsing aid, I have to say this 'recipe' worked great.

  4. I love her site! So glad we connected because I have really enjoyed reading your posts as well! We NC gals gotta stick together (:

    I'm glad you liked the recipe and how genius was that to add the lemonade!! So smart! That's the neat thing about making your own stuff, tweaking things leads to great solutions (:

  5. Oh my! Can this really work?? I have the worst time with hard water- my dishes always come out spotty. I would love to try this- Cascade is usually the only thing that works for me, but its very $$. Also-- Can I use the powder detergent in a HE fornt loader? I wish! I would love to make my own!


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