Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

Whether you’re looking to pinch pennies or just to find an interesting activity that your great grandmother probably enjoyed, you should discover the wonders of making your own laundry and dish washing soap! It’s really quite easy and the savings are just amazing! The ingredients can be found in the laundry section of the supermarket or are available on line. Take a step back in time and see how it was done “way back when”.

Homemade Dish Washing Soap

2 cups Borax
2 cups Baking Soda
4 Packs of Lemonade Kool-Aid (powder packs without sugar)
1 cup cheap dish washing powder

Mix all together and store in an airtight container.
Place about 2 Tbsp. of bleach in the dispenser.  Add about 2 Tbsp. of the powder mixture with the bleach.
For the rinse place vinegar instead of Finish or other rinses.

Benefits: One recipe makes enough for many more washes than store-bought dish washing soap. The cost is significantly less and I find that it’s better at cutting through grease than the average store brand.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap (old fashioned bar soap found in laundry section of the supermarket. Substitute 1 whole bar Ivory soap if desired.)
½ cup washing soda (Not baking soda! Washing soda is in laundry section or available on line at Arm and Hammer is the best brand.)

½ cup Borax Powder (Best brand is 20 Mule Team and comes in a 76 oz. box. Should be near washing soda or available on line.)

Small Bucket (about 2 gallon size)

Grate the soap and put in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat until soap is melted. Add washing soda and borax. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups HOT water into the bucket. Add soap mixture and stir. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups room temperature water and stir. (*) Let mixture set for 24 hours. It will gel. Store in covered bucket of pour into containers. The finished soap will be like egg drop soup; partially gelled. It is low sudsing but cleans well without suds! It is HE compatible.

*If you wish to add scent, add 1 oz. essential oil (such as Orange or Eucalyptus)

Use ½ cup per load of laundry.

Benefits: MUCH less expensive than store brands. The cost is about 1cent per load! Each batch makes about 2 gallons (64 half cup portions). Compare that to the price of what you use now!

Another benefit is that you can scent it to suit your own tastes. I prefer Eucalyptus because the scent is soothing, especially on my sheets!

Finally, somehow the act of making my own detergents is somehow therapeutic! I find it fulfilling, like making a batch of homemade chicken soup! I feel I’m doing something special for my family and saving money for more important things.

Would I have done this when I was working full time, absolutely not! But now that I’m home with time on my hands, I really enjoy being Martha Stewart, Suzie Homemaker, Mrs. Cleaver, and Ma Ingalls all rolled into one!  (And you have to be 40 something to know who all those women are!)


  1. People should all learn to do this so when Armageddon comes, they can still have clean clothes!