I've been trying for a couple years now to make all our own cleaning products. I've succeeded fairly well with cold process hand & body soaps.
Clean, Naturally: Recipes for Body, Home, and Spirit by Sandy Maine is a great start for basic soap making. And of course vinegar, baking soda and borax works for most household cleaning. Add a little Dr. Bronner's (we like peppermint, though tea tree sounds great too) when you want a liquid cleaner for floors or toilets.
I am now making our own laundry soap and it's a bit complicated so it may not be for everyone. But a friend asked me how I do it and I thought I'd share it here.
First, I make a batch of cold process soap. This is the hardest part. I have a tutorial called 4 Steps to Making Homemade Soap to get you started. You could also watch my video tutorial How to Make Simple Soap.
Once I make that Simple Soap I mix it with borax and washing soda. Voila. Laundry soap.
- 4 lbs of lard or vegetable shortening
- 28 oz water
- 8.5 oz of lye
When the soap is ready (takes about a month to cure) I grate most of it in the food processor, saving some for basic cleaning bars.
- 12 cups washing soda, not the same as baking soda
- 8 cups borax
- 6 cups grated Simple Soap
I use cold water wash and rinse. For an extra large laundry load I use 1/2 cup of laundry mix
plus a squirt (very technical measurement) of Sal Suds (stopped using Sal Suds and just use my own soap now). Because the Laundry Mix doesn't dissolve well in cold water I whisk the 1/2 cup with 1 cup or so of hot water to help it dissolve before I add it to the washing machine.
For stains I scrub and lather a bar of Simple Soap into the stain, or soak in a concentrated solution of water and Laundry Mix. I'll be honest, our clothes get stained and all the scrubbing in the world doesn't take some of them out, oh well.
I make my own dishwasher soap as well. That recipe another time, if there's any interest. I did make my own, now we hand wash our dishes.
More FIMBY make-your-own recipes:
Recipes from Other Blogs: