Friday, December 12, 2008

Homemade Cleaners

I thought I would take the opportunity to post here the recipes for homemade cleaners I have been using around the house. I started looking into this about a year ago. The first thing I made was laundry soap. I liked the results and feel good about saving money and using something more environmentally friendly. It doesn't take too much time to make and it works great. This recipe is for a double batch since we are a family of five and always have laundry going.

Laundry Soap

1 Bar Fels Naptha, grated
1 Cup Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate)
1 Cup Borax
20 drops essential oil (optional)- My favorite so far is lemon.
For mixing and storing I use an old kitty litter bucket w/lid that I washed out. It's purrfect for the amount I make. If you plan to make a smaller batch you can use a bucket for mixing and maybe store in rinsed laundry jugs or milk jugs...use your imagination.

Put grated soap in a sauce pan with 10 cups of water and heat until soap is melted. Add the washing soda and Borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Put 10 cups HOT water in a bucket. Add soap and stir. Now add 2 gallons plus 10 cups water and essential oil then stir. Let stand 24 hours. Mixture will turn to a gel that resembles egg drop soup. Use 1/2 cup per load.
I store the unused soap in the bucket. I use a Pampered Chef quick stir pitcher to store the soap we use daily. It's handy because the soap should be stirred or shaken before use.

I use about 1/4 cup white vinegar in the rinse cycle instead of fabric softener. It helps rinse out any soap that may remain and is better for your clothes than the fabric softener. This is good to use even if you use store bought laundry soap.

Sometimes during the dry winter months I add 1/4 dryer sheet per load to cut down on static. I'm still searching for a non fabric softener method to the static issue.