I only recently started changing things and the way we live. I still buy prepackaged foods, milk that’s one sale instead of the organic milk and cleaning products that just do a GOOD job. I always thought it was just easier to buy what I needed at the store, the lemony smell has got to mean my counters and floors are clean right? RIGHT?! Here’s the deal... do you have any idea how cheap it is to make your own multi-purpose cleaner, dishwasher soap and laundry detergent? And guess what... they do a better job. AND it’s safer for you and your family. No lie people.
First things, first. Don’t throw away everything you have in your cabinet. Use up what you have and then make the transition. The first thing I tried was homemade laundry soap. I’ve been using it for months now and it works like a charm. I have a husband who can get VERY dirty in the yard and 3 year old who looks like Pig Pen when she comes home from school. I have yet to use a spot treatment or anything other than my homemade laundry soap and every spec of dirt comes out perfectly clean. I use to buy the liquid soap but since making my own I just do the powdered version, mostly because there’s a few extra steps for the liquid one and I’m lazy. And yes, you can use this in your HE machines! Just use 1 tbsp instead of 2 tbsp. Here’s the recipe I follow (from the Duggar Family, these people seriously have it all figured out!)
Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax
• Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered-ish. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons.
Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)
*Do NOT use Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent—It must be sodium carbonate!! I found this at my local Meijer grocery store.
Laundry Balls instead of Dryer Sheets
So once I ran out of dryer sheets I found the next best thing... laundry balls! They have cut down on the drying time (ie my electric bill) AND I will never have to buy a box of dryer sheets again. Yes, dryer sheets are cheap but over time it adds up AND you don’t have all the chemicals to worry about anymore (if you have a delicate skinned family like mine). I bought my balls from CleanSypria. You can read through her FAQs and I totally stand by these things, they are smidge pricey up front but again you only buy once and done, these things are for life.
Next up, floor cleaner. Mix equal parts water and vinegar. Done. Disgustingly easy, right? Speaking of disgusting, I hate the smell of vinegar BUT the smell does fade quickly and ultimately disappears however you can add a drop or two of your favorite scented oil to the mix, don’t go nuts though you don’t want an oil slick on the floor.
For your favorite multi purpose cleaner... see the floor cleaner recipe above. Yeah, see where I’m going with this? CHEAP BABY CHEAP!! You can get all kinds of nutty and look up recipes online for fancier recipes including borax, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, etc. You can even use this very basic recipe for carpet stains. Like, oh, I don’t know cat barf? My cat is the barfing king and never does he find the hardwood to do his deed. We recently had our carpets cleaned and the guy told me to never use the commercial products, too much soap and chemicals he says... just use water and vinegar OR straight up club soda to get the stain out. Brilliant!
Dishwasher Soap and Rinse Agent
Ok and last one... homemade dishwasher soap, am I a plethora of information or WHAT?! This is a new one for me, I made my first batch last week and lemme tell ya easiest thing EVER. You will use two ingredients from the laundry detergent and salt that you can use in cooking. The citric acid I found at a local grocery store but you can also find it on Amazon. I bought a 1lb bottle for $12.
1 cup Borax
1 cup Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup kosher salt
For the rinse agent just use straight up vinegar. You can’t smell the vinegar when it’s all said and done. All the ingredients are in powder form but after sitting for a while it starts to harden a bit and that’s because of the citric acid. Just scrape some off the top, all you need is a rounded tablespoon for one load.
NOTE: The dishwasher detergent does get rock hard, the citric acid causes that. So to avoid this, I use those silica packets found in everything (shoe boxes and things). I put those in the tupperware with the powdered mixture. It helps so you don't need a chisel and sledgehammer.
I hope that you can find something in this post that will urge you to make a small change in your lives to cut out all the unnecessary garbage/chemicals. It seems like it’s just easier to go to the store and buy the stuff and maybe it is but really these recipes took me about 2 minutes to make. I had to figure out where to get the ingredients but now that I know how easy they are to find and how easy the stuff is to make, I’m not going back.