Over the past few years, my husband and I have avidly been trying to look for areas in our home where we could cut costs by doing things ourselves and giving up convenience purchases. We’ve also noticed that the extra effort pays off, in that we’ve been able to cut out a lot of chemicals and other harmful substances. This past week I finally convinced my husband to take the plunge into homemade laundry detergent. He was skeptical since it was a powdered detergent, and also worried that it wouldn’t be able to cut through the dirt and grime of our four, very active boys. The results; however, were remarkable. Clean, clean clothes, including underwear, and soiled towels! This recipe only costs about 5 cents per load as compared to about 20 cents with store bought detergents I’ve purchased at sale prices. Even better, this is entirely HE washer safe! All that’s required to be HE safe, is a detergent that’s low-suds. Think about it…they use less water so it makes complete sense that they would need a low suds detergent. It’s nothing else. Don’t get caught in the same trap we were initially, and continue to pay the ridiculous prices for ‘special’ detergent. It’s just another gimmick to get you, the consumer, to spend more money.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
- 1 bar fels naptha, or zote
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- Grate your bar of laundry soap (fels naptha or zote) as finely as possible.
- Put grated soap into a storage container. Add in borax and washing soda.
- Stir until evenly combined, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 tbsp per load of laundry. 2 tbsp for heavily soiled loads.
How many others remember Nickelodeon, both their TV shows and their products, vividly from their childhood? Gak was one of my favorites. I vividly remember the ‘fart’ noises it made when squished, and the way my parents cringed at the thought. It stretched, it squished, it oozed. Remembering all the fun I had had as a child, I really enjoy bringing some of these toys back for my own kids to play with and enjoy today. Being a mother to 4 boys, I knew I couldn’t go wrong with any toy, or substance, that emits any noise slightly resembling flatulence. I found this recipe from Lil Luna. My boys, young and old, literally spent hours playing with the stretchy, gooey gelatinous substance. Even my teenager traded the iPod in for some good old-fashioned hands on fun with something ‘yuck’. I’m especially fond of any toys, activities, or crafts that get all four playing together. They actually cooperated, shared, and just got to enjoy each other’s company. Our first batch was yellow, but yours can be any color your heart desires. Mix and match your food coloring. Experiment, but most of all have fun!
- 2, 4 oz, bottles of Elmer’s Glue
- 1 tsp borax
- food coloring
- Empty both bottles of glue into a bowl.
- Fill bottles with warm water, recap, shake, and then empty into the bowl.
- Add a few drops of food coloring. Stir and set aside.
- To another bowl, add 1/2 cup of warm water. Add in the borax and stir until dissolved.
- Pour the borax mixture into the glue bowl.
- Begin by stirring with a spoon. Once it becomes super stringy, begin mixing and squishing by hand. It should be pretty gelatinous by this point.
- Let the kids play with it for a few minutes and it will become the perfect gooey consistency.
Even better, when you’re done, your Gak can be stored for play at a later date.
In my effort to cut costs everywhere I can, and to be as all natural as possible on our families budget, I decided to stop buying store bought dish detergent and see if I could replicate it for minimal cost and still get great results. This at home, all natural version is only 3 ingredients, which I keep on hand and only takes a few minutes to whip up. Using equal parts of the two main ingredients, I can make as much or as little as I need. My favorite part, each load only costs pennies! My dishes even seem to be cleaner than when I previously used a store bought detergent. A cheap way to achieve sparkling results? Yes, please!
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
- washing soda
- lemon flavored kool aid packet (optional)
- Mix equal parts borax and washing soda together. Make sure it’s equal parts.
- If using, add in kool aid packet.
- Stir until all ingredients are evenly combined.
- Transfer detergent into a storage container.
- Use 2 tbsp per load.
The kool aid packet is just for scent purposes, and without it the detergent will still clean just as well.
I couldn’t ask for, and haven’t found, an easier all-natural recipe for dish detergent and for only pennies per load!
*For best results, rinse dishes thoroughly before loading them into the dishwasher. This isn’t an issue for me since my husband is a stickler about rinsing dishes pre-wash. Also, to avoid an streaks try using a rinse aid. If needed, I use plain white distilled vinegar as an all natural rinse aid.