Saturday, November 10, 2012

♥ Simply Frugal ♥

It seems like many of us these days are trying to be frugal and save money in every way we can. One of those ways has been in making homemade cleaning products. I think we may have Pinterest and blogland to thank for that.  :)

Since we’ve been using our homemade laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, and fabric softener for some time now, I thought I’d come back with an update of how it was working out for our family.

Back in January of this year, we made this recipe for laundry detergent which is also used by the Duggar family. That batch lasted until September for the four of us. That wasn’t bad at all for about $7-$8 worth of ingredients.  You can read exactly how we made it here.

I liked that recipe just fine and it cleaned our clothes well. The only down side to it was the gallons of detergent to store. It wasn’t actually a problem, just a lot of jugs taking up space. So when we ran out of detergent in September, Jason and I decided to try this recipe. This one is in powder form. It will actually end up being a little more expensive because I’m pretty sure it won’t last as long as the other one did (8 months) and this one cost about $13 worth of ingredients. It's the same ingredients in equal parts (1 cup Borax, 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, 1 bar Fels-Naptha soap........I did that x 7).  I’ll be sure and come back and let you know how long it lasts us. But what I do like about it, is that it stores very easily right here in my Rubbermaid box that usually sits on the washer or dryer.

It’s very easy to access, not messy, and can be moved from the washer to the dryer. So far, I’m really loving this one. It cleans very well also. And the scent seems a little stronger, which I like. I use 2 Tbsp if I have a full load or an especially soiled load. If it’s a really small load, I will use only 1 Tbsp.

We use two of the same ingredients that are used for the laundry detergent to make the dishwashing detergent. It’s one part Borax to one part Super Washing Soda. It takes 2 cups of each of those ingredients to fill this quart jar.  (The post where we first made this can be found here).

When washing dishes, I use 1-2 Tbsp (mostly 2 Tbsp) for each load, depending upon how full my dishwasher is. I also add vinegar to my dispenser thingie that helps keeps spots off the glasses. My sister-in-law adds a little salt to her detergent mixture too. However, I haven’t done that, and it cleans my dishes well.    Love this!

We also made the fabric softener.  You can find the recipe for it on this post.  This one softens the clothes and does well in that aspect, but I would prefer a stronger scent. For that reason, I just don’t use fabric softener that much. However, comparing prices with most store bought brands, this is a very frugal choice. If I want to use fabric softener and can’t find a way to a stronger scent, I will probably continue to use this.

And that’s my update report of how these frugal homemade detergents are working for our family. I’d love to hear from you on your frugal homemade cleaning products too!

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!  :)

♥ Tammy ♥  

**Linking up with Elaine for Sunny Simple Sunday**


Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I did the same thing and just quit adding the water portion. I have not tried the dishwasher recipe. I will though as it is so expensive. Does it leave a film. We have hard water here and that is a constant issue so I use the tablets and cut them in half.

Primitive Stars said...

Evening, that's really neat, never thought to make my own soap, looks so nice in the jar.....Thanks for the recipe, shall do......Blessings Francine.

Beth said...

Congratulations on doing this. It is always a good thing when we can save some money.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I too switched from Homemade liquid to the Homemade Powder this year, since it's just The Honey and myself.
I personally like the liquid better, because of the dust from the powder it makes me cough and sneeze. It does smell stronger though...But come to think of it, I've not used the Fels Naptha for the liquid before. I've only used Zote for the liquid. I may switch back just try it and I too think it's cheaper.

For Elaine...I have hard water and the Washing Soda should soften the water and help eliminate residual film. I don't have a dish washer; but I sometimes add a sprinkle to my dishwater and helps to keep the bubbles and gives a cleaner rinse on my dishes.


Shelley said...

I love my homemade laundry power...don't think I will ever use anything else....blessings

Danice said...

Very interesting. I admire your diligence to this frugal lifestyle. Am considering trying this myself.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Thanks for sharing this info! And enjoy your Sunday!

Roisin said...

Such good ideas. Thanks for sharing. I looked for the fabric softener recipe and couldn't find it. Would you mind listing it again or eamiling it to me? Thanks.
Rita at

Chenille Cottage said...

What a helpful post, Tammy. I'm anxious to put this one in action in my home. It's just hubby and me...but, what a savings!
Blessings on this snowy day,
Carolynn xo

Sandra said...

That's how I make my laundry detergent and it lasts for a long time, I just made another batch a few days ago, and that one had lasted me from end of May.

I do add Purex Crystals to mine as well, makes it smell really good :)

Susan in SC said...

I am going to try to make my own dish detergent using your recipe. Great blog!

Misty said...

I also make/use the liquid laundry detergent. I usually make two five gallon buckets at a time. I set one on top of the other beside of my washing machine and remove the amount from there to place in my washer :)

Allison said...

That is a lot of laundry soap. :-)

I make our laundry soap and store most of it in a old kitty litter tub and the rest in a old detergent bottle. I sometimes make a dry one and use peppermint soap, it smells wonderful. We have hard water and the dishwasher soap didn't clean our dishes and left spots.

Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl said...

I love this post! I have tried making my own detergent and will try your recipe. New fan here via Sunny Simple Life. I would love for you to come share at my Farm Girl Blog Fest:

Fresh Eggs Daily