Do you ever look at the list of ingredients in the cleaners you use around the house? From laundry detergent to all-purpose cleaners, it seems there are a lot of chemicals your family could stand to do without. In addition, you can save lots of money by making your own cleaners using items you probably already have around the house. There may be a few ingredients you’ll need to purchase, but the price you pay for those items will still be far cheaper than what you would spend on ready-made cleaners and detergents.
I have been looking for a recipe for homemade laundry detergent for quite a while and most of them have the same key ingredients. Only one of those ingredients made me raise my eyebrows—Borax. Like many people, I was confusing borax with boric acid. “Crunchy Betty” did a very thorough job of explaining the difference so people can make an educated decision about whether borax is an appropriate ingredient for their own laundry detergent, as well as other cleaners. According to the Material Safety Data Sheet, Borax carries a health hazard of 1, which is minimal. Of course, Borax should not be ingested, but I don’t plan to eat my laundry detergent or cleaners. And when it comes to my children, I will simply keep this out of their reach, as I do with all of my cleaners. That said, following is the recipe I use for making laundry detergent (it costs approximately $8 to make and it’s the same recipe used by the Duggar Family from TV’s 19 Kids and Counting):
Liquid Laundry Detergent for Front or Top Load Machines
– 4 Cups hot tap water
– 1 Fels-Naptha Soap Bar
– 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
– ½ Cup Borax
– Grate bar of soap and add to a saucepan with the 4 cups of hot water
– Stir constantly over medium-low heat until the soap dissolves and is melted
– Fill a 5 gallon bucket halfway with hot tap water
– Add the melted soap, washing soda and borax to the 5 gallon bucket
– Stir will until all of the powder is dissolved
– Fill the bucket to the top with more hot water and stir it
– Cover the bucket and let it sit overnight to thicken
– Stir and then fill a used, clean laundry soap dispenser halfway with soap and then fill the rest of the way with water.
– Shake before each use.
– You can also add 10-15 drops of essential oil per every 2 gallons to add a scent.
Makes 10 gallons
Top Load Machines: Use 5/8 cup per load (approximately 180 loads)
Front Load Machines: Use ¼ cup per load (approximately 640 loads)
All-purpose household cleaners are also very handy to have around the house. As many people know, two great items for cleaning are vinegar and baking soda. I tend to mix baking soda with water to make a paste and I spread it on the grease-stained parts of my stovetop. After it sits for a little while, I scrub the stovetop and am amazed by how clean it comes. I have yet to find anything non-abrasive that cleans my stovetop better. Of course, this is not something you would pre-mix and store in a container.
If you’re looking for a true all-purpose cleaner sans all the chemicals, then here is a recipe you may like:
1 cup of hot water
1 teaspoon of Borax
½ teaspoon of washing soda
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
– Combine all of the ingredients in a spray bottle that’s ready to be recycled and shake it up and start cleaning. (Yes, it’s really that easy!)
So get cleaning and know your family is a little better off thanks to fewer chemicals and more money left in your wallet.