52 Homesteading Skills in One Year: Project #16 and #17: Making homemade dish soap and cheap DIY laundry detergent
My life is embarrassing.
I came to this conclusion at the end of my recent doctor’s visit. It was time to put my coat back on – only the zipper was broken. Instead of fixing it, I have just been leaving it zipped at the end so I can step in and out of my coat as needed. Simple solution, right?
Well, it seemed like a good idea until I had to perform this feat in public. I tried to be ‘oh so cool and casual’ as I jumped into my coat and yanked it up over my shoulders all the while hoping my doctor could see the practicality in this time saving although tricky maneuver. Alas, I don’t think she did. I’m pretty sure she just thinks I’m weird.
Unfortunately, this week’s embarrassments don’t end there. Two days ago we had a metal roof installed on our farmhouse. Our former roof was starting to grow moss so it was definitely time.
The day before the roofers arrived a horrible thought occurred to me – they are going to be able to see into each and every one of my windows…into this mess that I call my life.
We have garbage bags on window ledges where we have begun to strip paint. We have a hole in the floor where we started to wire for a new dining room light. We have a giant pipe floating along the entrance wall because we are in the midst of fixing an improperly vented dryer.
The playroom (Who am I kidding? I really mean my whole house.) looks like a large tribe of monkeys recently took up residence and my kitchen is still in an unkitchenly state. The list goes on, but you get the picture. So why don’t I just close the blinds? Because I haven’t taken the time to put them up. Don’t worry. There aren’t any windows in the bathroom – at least not in the downstairs one.
To top it all off, this week I tried one of those night-time hair tricks where you are supposed to wake up in the morning with a ready-to-go hairstyle. Well, I woke up and that’s the only good thing I can think of to say.
My husband was concerned when he first laid eyes on my new style asking if I slept weird because my hair looked funny. Ella just started laughing while needlessly pointing out that I really needed to brush my hair.
Yes, it was one of those weeks. Thankfully I have this blog where I can at least appear to have it all together as I cross one homesteading task after another off my list. This week I made cheap DIY laundry detergent and dish soap because I cringe every time I pick up a bottle at the store and look at the price. My so-called “green” laundry detergent costs me $11 for 50 loads and one bottle of dish soap is $4.
In comparison, homemade detergent costs about $1 per 50 loads (that’s just two cents a load) and a bottle of dish soap is $1.50. I know you want to save money and use truly green soap so let’s get to it.
Cheap DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent
What you need:
6 litres of water
1/2 bar of pure castile soap, grated
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup borax
Step 1: In a large pot mix the water and grated soap over medium heat until the soap is completely dissolved.
Step 2: Add washing soda and borax and mix well.
Step 3: Use a funnel to pour the contents into your jars. Give it another stir and let sit for 24 hours. You’ll know it’s perfect when it has turned into a gel-like, goopy looking substance.
This is powerful stuff so use just 2 to 3 tbsp per load. I can’t speak for all types of detergent, but I can confidently say that this recipe works just as well as The Nature Clean brand.
Update: I now prefer to use this powdered laundry soap recipe:
I switched to a powdered laundry detergent recipe. It is not only easier to make, but I find its potency lasts longer.
What you need:
1 bag of washing soda, 2 kg (I use this brand.)
1 box of baking soda, 2 kg
3 bars Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap (lavender-scented), 5 oz. ea., grated (but any kind of bar of castile soap will work!)
1 container OxiClean Multi-Purpose Baby Stain Remover Powder, 1.36 KG
Simply mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
All-Natural Dish Soap
What you need:
4 cups water
1/4 castile bar soap, grated
1 tbsp washing soda
1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin
1 tsp citric acid
In a saucepan mix the water, soap, washing soda and citric acid over medium heat until the soap is completely dissolved.
Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vegetable glycerin.
Pour the liquid into a soap pump or similar container and allow it to sit at room temperature to thicken for several hours. Give it a final stir and start washing.
Warning: Although this dish soap is a beautiful white colour, has a great consistency and does a good job of getting my dishes clean, it does not suds up.
Maybe these new recipes will finally be the incentive I need to not only clean my laundry and dishes, but my whole, embarrassingly, messy house. Or maybe not. Well, at least I’ll be saving money.
PIN IT FOR LATER!