Thursday, January 19, 2012

Home Made Cleaning Concoctions

Of course my entire house is clean, all chores complete, my home-made-everything-from-scratch dinner is almost done, classical music is playing, and my children are sitting quietly and politely, playing with only educational toys. So I decide it's time for another little project to help round out my day.

So I dig out the ingredients I purchased last week to make my second batch of home made laundry soap (the first one I made as a demonstration for a "save money, naturally" class I presented to some ladies for a PWOC retreat up in Alaska).

Finely grate a 4.5 ounce bar of soap --many recipes call for Fels Naptha. I used Dr. Bronner's Lavender
Add this to
1 Cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1 Cup of 20-Mule Team Borax

Mix until blended evenly. Jar it up, and use 1 Tablespoon per load of laundry. Safe for HE machines.

I've done a couple of loads, and think it's worth the few minutes (and the bit of flesh from my thumb) it took to grate the soap. I paid less than $10 for all the supplies (the Dr. Bronner's soap was a bit spendy at $5), and it will last for months.

I'm more excited about the bathroom scrub recipe my friend Samantha shared with me. And I want you to be excited about it, as well.  I'm sitting down the hall from my freshly scrubbed master shower stall, and I am almost giddy about how good it smells. And I'm just as geeked about the fact that this is a scrub I can use in my boys' tub and know the ingredients within won't burn their bums.

Here's what you need:
1 Cup Baking Soda
1 Cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1 Cup Liquid Castile Soap (I used peppermint)
60 drops Tea Tree Oil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Blend in more Castile soap, a teaspoon at a time, until you have a spreadable paste. transfer ingredients to an airtight container.

To use: wet down a sponge or nylon scrubber, scoop a bit out of the container with your scrubber, and scrub away.  So far I've used it in the shower pan and the sink.  Tomorrow the boys tub will get a proper scrub down.

Aren't they cute?

The bathroom scrub in the photo needs a bit more liquid castile soap. But you get the idea, I'm sure.

Try these!  They're fun, cheap, and so much better for your body, brain, and the environment than the rainbow-tinted chemical slurries being sold at the grocery store. And think of the heavy plastic jugs you won't have to lug in from the grocery store when it's time to make more!

P.S. If you know me, you know my house will never be all the way clean, the chores will forever be in-progress, my children often stay in their pajamas until after lunch, a completely from-scratch meal rarely makes an appearance at my table, and "polite"is a loose term.  I'm pretty happy when no one's screaming.


  1. I just love you Gloria! Thanks for this info. I will have to make these sometime. I have lately been making my own bath stuff. Salts, milk baths, bath bombs etc. You might check out my blog sometime. I need to post more regularly but I am enjoying it.

    1. Hi Citigal! I had no idea you had a blog. Now I get to see your beautiful face again! Hooray! and I love you, too!

  2. I buy the cheapest laundry detergent I can get from Costco and let me tell you, it SMELLS like chemicals and I hate it! However, I just do not like spending so much money on the other stuff. I cannot wait to try this. I've been thinking about doing it for a long time, but now you've inspired me! I will need to wait until my current bucket gets lower (or maybe I could send it to work with Sean!). I'm still debating on the tub scrub, I tend to scrub out tubs with just hot water.

  3. You'll love this laundry soap, then. My clothes come out smelling like absolutely nothing. So I might not use the fancy bar next time. It will be even cheaper. The tubs, I understand. I usually just use water, or a mild solution of Basic H (which deserves it's own blog entry). But sometimes I feel I need a bit of abrasion. And I hate using Soft Scrub. It burns my nostril hairs! I've been in my house 11 months, and it's time for a real scrub. A word of warning: I was a bit invigorated by the peppermint essential oil. Don't try this before going to bed (especially YOU)!