Green Spring Clean

I am READY for spring! I want my windows open all day and night. I wanna see flowers and SUN! I want my house clean ...any volunteers? ;) I am excited to try out a few homemade green cleaners though. That makes it a bit less painful.

I posted a few months ago about a laundry detergent I planned to try out. I thought that now would be a great time to repost it and a few other homemade cleaning solutions as I prepare to Spring Clean the house this year.

I have never been so excited to run out of laundry detergent OR to do laundry before in my life! :)

In my quest of being an even bigger cheapskate and wanting to try to go a bit "greener" I decided to make my own laundry soap. Although I am in love with Gain and obsessed with OxyClean, I really like to save money. It really wasn't difficult to find the ingredients and I live in a small town.

Ignore the castille soap and the Ivory and mentally add baking soda to this pic... :)

The recipe I used:
3 cups Borax
2 cups baking soda
2 cups washing soda
2 cups grated bar soap

Mix it all together and store in a sealed tub. I used the Gain box I just emptied. Not exactly "sealed" but it gets the job done.

This recipe is actually the original one cut into fourths. I didn't want to make such a huge batch on my first go 'round. Since then, I make enough to fill my Gain box at once. Just multiply the above recipe by 4.

You only use 1/8 cup per load. That is only 4 tablespoons! And it is CHEAP to make. One source I saw said that it can be as cheap as $1.11 for 110 LOADS!
Doesn't it look like food with cheese on top?
This was before I poured it into the Gain box and mixed it up.

Grating the soap wasn't exactly fun, but it wasn't difficult. I could probably have cut it into chunks and put it into my food processor, but Mom didn't answer her phone and I didn't want to do it without asking her first. (She's used to answering the phone to a "Mom, can I..." or "Mom, how do I...." But, I think it is usually more like "Mom, will you....." :))

We have a front load HE washing machine that we bought in April, so I was a little weary. However, all my research says that the most important thing for HE machines is low sud and that's what this is.

I was also afraid that it wouldn't have a "clean" smell. (see above mention of  my love for Gain) But, it smells good and isn't overpowering. It is when you make it, but that fades.

We've been using this for 3 or 4 months and love it. I won't ever buy detergent again! It even gets Dustin's dirty, grimy clothes clean.

This is even easier than the laundry soap. I have two recipes.....

Recipe 1:
1 cup Borax
1 cup washing soda

Recipe 2:
1 cup Borax
1 cup baking soda

Since I have all three ingredients, I made a combo. I only used 1/2 cup Borax, 1/2 cup washing soda, and threw in some baking soda for good measure.

I mixed it up, put the lid on it, and shook it up. My Borax is getting a little clumpy, so I mixed it all up with a fork so I could sift through it and mash the clumps. I store it in a canning jar with a screw on lid. It is perfect.

I won't "wash my dishes before I wash my dishes". But, I do give them a quick rinse to get the majority of the food off of them.

**My mom tried this and her water was too hard for it to work. One solution is to add vinegar in the rinse aid compartment. That still didn't work well enough for her, though. You might want to make a small batch to test it out first if you know you have hard water.**

I also have been using a great Dawn/vinegar/water recipe to clean EVERYTHING. It works really well! I clean the bathroom and kitchen both with this stuff. One of our friends told me it kills ants pretty well too! :)

Lemme know how they work for you. And, if you come across any other green cleaning recipes, send them my way. I still need to test out a toilet bowl cleaner and a window cleaner that I haven't made yet :) I have also tried out a homemade natural drain cleaner that I need to add... it worked GREAT! The 9 year old in me loved it!

For more great ideas, check out


  1. So does the hard water thing go for just the dish detergent, or is it also for the clothes detergent? We have very hard water, so I wonder if I could make either...

  2. Have you tried adding any essential oils for fragrance? I've making the liquid version of homemade laundry soap off and on for about 6 years for our front loading washing machine. Do you add your powder to the dispenser or just throw it in with the load itself? I've noticed powdered doesn't work well in our dispenser so henceforth the reason we went w/ liquid.

    For pretty much all of my childhood Mom made her own window cleaner but it does contain ammonia. If interested I can pass on the recipe. I make it up on occasion because it is a good grease cutter. I've been told tea tree oil is not only a good grease cutter but disinfectant as well. (I was given some but am not sure if I will buy it again as it is pretty expensive...but it lasts a lonnnngggggg time!)

    Thank you so very much for the kind comments! Oddly enough I love moving but the unpacking gets me each time.

    I hope you have a wonderful vacation!! Enjoy yourselves!

  3. It did kill ants!! Unfortunately they came back and we had to find an alternative that was a little less green and a lot more poisonous to ants. It still works great as a bathroom/kitchen cleaner though! I made my second batch a little stronger on the vinegar but mainly just because I like the smell. It works the same really.

  4. I love making my own laundry soap! I am doing a spring extravaganza and would love it if you could guest post on my blog...let me know
    Thanks for linking up to check me out saturdays

  5. absolutely clever! great post! I dropped in from Blue Cricket. Hope to see you back at my place soon! until later...

  6. I have a front-load washer. Can you use powdered detergent in those? I hate spending so much money on detergent!! I will be trying the dishwasher detergent recipe though! Thanks for sharing these!

  7. Seems like a fantastic money saver! Would love to try making homemade laundry detergent one day. You could definitely link this (or some of your other ideas) to the linky on my blog!

  8. I make homemade laundry detergent too. Some people say that it can leave your whites dingy. Do you? I haven't had that problem because I usually put a scoop of oxygen bleach in with my laundry detergent.

  9. we do have hard water and I was thinking since i make my own laundry detergent why couldn't i make dishwater detergent as well. thanks for answering my questions and I'll have to try a small batch since i have all the ingredients already.


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