In recent years I have begun to explore healthier homemade versions of some of my favorite products. My families have allergies and sensitive skin so we used laundry soap that was dye free anyway. A friend told me about a laundry soap that she made and how cheap it was to make and how well it worked. Of course I was all ears at the price because we have six people to do laundry for and with times being what they are we could all use a price break. This had me exploring for other cheaper safer alternatives for my family. I have tried a a small number of of them and so far I have been really impressed. Here are a few that I have tried and found to be a blessing. Let me know what you think. The recipes above should be safe for not only baby crawling on the floor but also for our four-legged children. We have just the thing for them too. Homemade doggie treats
Homemade laundry soap
- For the bar soaps required in the recipes, you could try Fels-Naptha, Zote, Ivory, Baby shampoo for baby, or go green and use the liquid Castile. Castile soaps can be found at most heathfood stores. Heavily perfumed soaps do not work well. I use Fels-Naptha and I love it.
- Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles and usually cost about two or three dollars a box. For baby I would cut the washing soda and borax in half.
Note: Borax, although a natural mineral, can be toxic to children and pets. Please keep out of their reach.
- Some people with really hard water or well water may have to adjust the ingredients if the clothes look dingy or have a funny smell. We have hard water and I add extra borax and use apple cider vinegar in my wash. The vinegar also acts as a disinfectant and softening agent. Test and see which works best for your needs.
- You can make huge pails of this at once, or smaller quantities. Also if you can get your hands on a few empty liquid detergent bottles, they work great for storing large batches. Just make a big batch and pour in bottles, cap then use as needed–shake before use.
- I use a five gallon bucket that we bought at Lowe’s to store my extra soap and saved an empty detergent bottle that was the large Sams size. You can find five gallon buckets anywhere they sell paint. The one I use has a recycle sign and a two inside it on the bottom of the bucket to signify that it is food grade so I know it is safe for me to use for my soap.
- If you like a fresh smell to your soap you can play around with oil infused scents. Lemon and Lavender seem to be popular. Just start with a few drops and add until desired scent is reached. I do not use this myself.
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1 Soap bar
Step 1 – Grate the bar and add to a large saucepan with hot water. Stir over medium-low heat until it dissolves and is melted. This can take up to twenty minutes and sometimes there are a few pieces that just do not want to melt; do not fret this happens just move to step two.
Step 2 – Fill a 10 gallon pail half full of hot water. Add the melted mixture, Borax and Washing soda; stir well until all powder is dissolved. Top the pail up with more hot water.
Step 3 – Cover and allow soap to sit overnight. Stir and pour into used soap bottle or straight from the bucket if you like. Use 1 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).
Here are a few green recipes, Some of these I have tried and others I have not tried yet but hear from friends they are really good. The best thing about them is the price! Most of these items we keep on hand anyway.
Forget bleach – it’s not green and damages fabric fibers. Soak whites in water & lemon juice, and set in the sun before laundering.
I have also used peroxide, Lemon juice, and salt in my washer in lieu of Clorox and over time it removes the build-up of bleach and whitens without the yellowing. My mother taught me this tip. J Thanks mom!
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Boil together until sugar is dissolved. Let cool, and then dip fabrics that need to be starched.
Green Dishwasher Tips
Use vinegar in your rinse aid dispenser instead of the more expensive, less ecological rinse agents sold in stores!
Pot & Pan Soak
Vinegar to dampen
Sprinkle baking soda in your pots and pans with stuck-on food. Pour in enough vinegar to dampen the baking soda and let it bubble. Even after the bubbling stops, let it do its work for an hour or two – overnight for stubborn, burnt-on food. The next day you should be able to simply wipe the dirt off – no hard scrubbing needed!
1/4 cup baking soda
water to dampen
Works well for a light scrub over faucets and light soil. You must rinse thoroughly, though! Baking soda can cling to surfaces.
For a more abrasive cleanser use this recipe
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
This is a great scouring cleanser for wood-block cutting boards, sinks, even stove tops. Try to keep lemons on hand and just squeeze a halved lemon onto the surface to be cleaner (you’ll get about 1-2 tablespoons of juice per lemon half). You can also use prepackaged lemon juice, but be aware that there are preservatives such as sodium benzoate, which is not healthy to eat, so isn’t really healthy to clean with, either!
All-Purpose Cleaner Recipes
1 teaspoon vegetable-oil based liquid soap
1 quart warm water
A squeeze of lemon
Combine ingredients in a small bucket or spray bottle. Apply with a sponge or rag and wipe clean.
1/8 cup washing soda
1 tablespoon vegetable-oil based liquid soap
1/4 cup vinegar
2 gallons hot water
Mix ingredients in a pail. Apply with mop or cloth and wipe clean.
Shiny Mirror Spray
1 cup vinegar
3 cups water
10 drops lavender oil
Keep a batch of this in a marked spray bottle – it’s better than commercial window cleaners when it comes to streaking. Use a cotton rag for wiping it down (paper towels often leave tiny bits of paper and paper dust behind). And think about it – vinegar is edible, water is healthful, lavender oil promotes a sense of well-being. This stuff is actually good for you!
1 cup vinegar
2 tbs Castille soap
For no-wax floors: Start with a half-bucket full of hot water and add the vinegar, washing soda, and Castille soap. Mix with mop and start slopping!
1/4 cup Murphy’s oil soap
1/4 cup vinegar
2 lemon balm tea bags
Mix together in a half-full bucket of warm water and use with clean cotton mop.
Bathroom and Shower
Shower Door Soap Scum Remover
No recipe needed here – many people use caustic cleaners or even steel wool to clean that stubborn soap scum on shower doors. But all you really need is a clean, cotton rag and a bottle of lemon oil. It cuts through that scum so easily, you don’t even need to scrub – just wipe!
Bathtub & Shower Cleaner
Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the shower floor, or into the bathtub (you may want to close the drain). Then, pour vinegar onto the baking soda and let it bubble. Don’t pour too much; you don’t want to dilute the baking soda – just wet it. Let this sit for a half hour, and then lightly scrub with a cotton rag. Rinse with water. Letting this soda/vinegar mixture sit does help to remove stubborn stains from shower floors (especially those with a rough surface).
Quick Toilet Fizz
1 – 2 denture tablets
Drop in an inexpensive denture tablet between cleanings to release debris and remove calcium deposits.
Healthy dog treats
A simple recipe for dog biscuits that can be made without meat for those that prefer veggie diets! Grated carrots can also be added to these.
- 5 cups Whole wheat flour
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 Eggs
- 10 tablespoon Vegetable oil or bacon fat
- 1 pinch Onion or garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Cold water
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil to grease pan
Makes about 40 dog biscuits
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. Mix all ingredients well. Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll them into two-inch balls. Bake biscuits at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Let them cool, then store in an airtight container.
This recipe makes great crunchy biscuit treats that keep really well.
- 1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups rice flour
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 5 tsp. chicken or beef broth
- 1 jar baby food meat (any flavour)
Combine all ingredients well. Form into a ball. Roll dough out on a floured surface. Cut out desired shapes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool. The treats should be hard and crunchy.