Homemade Cleaning Supply Roundup!!

Homemade Cleaning Supply Roundup!

About a year and a half ago, I tried my hand at making my own homemade laundry detergent.  I was inspired by two things: 1) the Duggars did it and showed the cost breakdown on their show, and 2) Elena's cloth diapers were giving her a rash.

The end product didn't work on the diapers but it worked perfectly for our clothes!!!  (I buy Rockin' Green for the cloth diapers.)

The trickle-down effect of having my own ingredients for laundry detergent has been interesting.  Once I saw the success first-hand with my homemade laundry detergent, I was a little more brave in making other cleaning supplies at home.  (We really don't want to be the stinky-dirty family...especially when we already have more than 2.14 kids!!)

Homemade Laundry Detergent
- 1 bar soap, grated (Fels Naptha or Ivory)
- 2 cups Super Washing Soda
- 2 cups Borax
- Water
- 5-gallon bucket

Boil 4 cups of water on the stove.  Stir in the grated soap (about 2 cups worth) until it is melted.  When it has melted, pour the soapy mixture into the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket.  Add 2 cups of Super Washing Soda and 2 cups of Borax and stir until dissolved.  Pour in 2 gallons of water, stir, cover the bucket and let sit overnight.  The next morning, open the bucket and stir to combine the gel and water a little better.  I used a funnel system to get the gel into a milk jug and I shake it vigorously before I add about 3/4 cup to the wash!  It lasts for months and each batch costs $2.33...SOLD!!


Since I already have boxes of Borax and Super Washing Soda on hand, a 5 lb bag of Baking Soda in my bathroom upstairs for my no-poo shampoo, and enough mason jars to can food for the state of Texas, I have been exploring other homemade cleaning items!!  When I run out of anything household related, I google the ingredients for the homemade version and find that I usually have most of the ingredients on hand!

Here are the top 5 essential ingredients for making cleaning supplies at home:
- Borax
- Super Washing Soda
- Bars of soap
- Baking Soda
- Vinegar

The second homemade detergent I made was my homemade dishwashing detergent.  I was buying Ecover Dishwashing Detergent for a while but the box ran out fast and it was really pricey.

The first wash cycle with my homemade detergent was...um...well it just didn't work.  All of my dishes came out completely cloudy!  I was annoyed that I had to soak all of my dishes in the sink in hot vinegar water to remove the cloudiness.  But then I found a recipe that works!  Just by adding citric acid to the detergent gave me clear dishes (if your dishes still turn out cloudy, add more citric acid).  I have been using it for 2 months now and I have only had to make 2 batches so far!

Homemade Dishwashing Detergent
- 1 cup Super Washing Soda
- 1 cup Borax
- 1/2 cup Kosher Salt

- 1/2 cup Citric Acid (add to dishwasher separately)

Plus add White Vinegar in the rinse aid compartment.

Combine Super Washing Soda, Borax and Kosher Salt.  Put just under a tablespoon of dishwashing powder in your compartment and add a 1/4 tablespoon of citric acid to each cycle.  You don't want to combine the citric acid in your detergent because it will make the powder stick together so you have to stab it with a knife repeatedly each time to get a little to shake loose.  Just keep it separate to save your sanity.  See this website for the cost breakdown.


The other day, I ran out of liquid dish soap and immediately checked online for the ingredients for homemade soap:

Homemade Dishwashing Soap (Liquid)
- 1 1/2 cups hot water
- 1/2 cup castile soap (I ordered Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Pure Castile Citrus Orange)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Super Washing Soda
- OPTIONAL: Essential oils for scent and anti-bacterial qualities (eg: orange, lavender or eucalyptus)

Whisk all ingredients together and store in an old soap container.

It smells delicious!!  It is much more watery than store-bought dish soap, but it does the job perfectly!  It doesn't last as long since it is so watery but it is a fresh and clean alternative to the gel.  I love it.


Then I got all sorts of CARAAAZY and thought about my hand soaps in the bathroom.  I thought this one would be the most difficult.  Now I feel a little silly after finding this blogpost by Heavenly Homemaker.

Homemade Liquid Hand Soap
- 1 bar of natural soap, grated (I bought Grandpa Soap Co. Moisterizing Shea Butter with Lavender & Vanilla)
- 1 cup of water per ounce of soap (4 cups in my case)

Heat the water in a pot long enough to steam and take off the heat.  Pour in the grated bar of soap, stir and let sit for 15 minutes.  Use a hand-mixer to stir the soapy mixture, cover and let sit overnight.  It will gel nicely overnight.  Use the hand-mixer one more time in the morning and pour into a soap-dispensing jar.  If you don't have small babies in the house, you could make this really cute one from a mason jar :)

48 ounces of soap from one bar!

Keep in mind this soap doesn't lather.  You can experiment with thickness by adding more water if you want it runnier.


Homemade Kitchen/Bathroom Cleaner
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups white vinegar
- Essential oil for anti-bacterial properties and scent (I use 20 drops of orange and 20 drops of eucalyptus oil)

I have been using this mixture for a year now to clean my kitchen and bathroom.  The smell of vinegar is very different and strong but disappears within minutes.  I clean moments before guests arrive and the smell is gone by the time the countertop dries!  Check out this site for more info on the cleaning power of vinegar!  And this one for 1001 uses for Distilled Vinegar!


Homemade Stain Remover
- 2 parts water
- 1 part hydrogen peroxide
- 1 part super washing soda

Mix and store in an opaque bottle with a spray nozzle.  I recycled my old Oxi-Clean bottle (and was more than happy to throw the rest of it out.  The smell was toxic!)

I found this recipe on Wellness Mama and thought I would give it a try.  Between my ever-hungry toddler and an explosive baby, we have looooots of stained clothes!  I had a pile of baby sleepers that had been stained from non-functioning diapers and loaded them all up with this spray, let them soak for 30 minutes and washed them on a hot cycle with my homemade detergent.  Each and every stain was completely gone!!  I kind of feel like superwoman now that I have recreated Oxi-Clean (but without the disgustingly strong smell from Oxi!)

I accidentally left this bottle on its side and a lot of the contents spilled out of the top.  It also sounds like some crystals formed in the bottle so I'm hoping they don't jam the spray nozzle.  This one might take a little work to figure it out completely.  I added hot water to the bottle to melt the crystals but won't do that each time.


And last but not least - about 2 years ago, Jason and I picked up a bottle of Windex from Home Depot.  We have no idea what happened to this darn bottle!  Did we leave it at the store?  Did we leave it in the car?  It has been 2 years, and this bottle still hasn't turned up.  I refuse to spend $4.79 on another bottle.  So I made my own Windex


1/2 teaspoon dish soap
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water


Making all of these cleaning items at home with raw ingredients gives me such peace of mind 
- Peace of mind that I am not "running out" of anything since I can whip it up in a minute.  
- Peace of mind that the cleaning supplies I am using are safe, bleach-free and chemical-free for my family.
- And peace of mind that they are effective at cleaning!

I first started wondering about all the chemicals in laundry detergent when I was told to buy "special detergent" for my newborn.  Then I found out that the detergents that called themselves "Free and Clear" were not actually chemical-free.  I'm tired of false advertising, so if if I make it myself, there is no wondering what ingredients are really in a product!  Not to mention: If it isn't safe for my newborn - why would I want my husband coated in that stuff??  I want him just as safe as my newborn!

If we could afford to shell out for the really good natural soaps and detergents, I would just buy them instead of making my own.  So, if you can afford them - ENJOY!!

If not, let me know how the homemade alternatives work for you!!!!   :)


  1. So, just last week, I was at the Farmer's Market and saw a lady selling some ohh, so smelling good soap and detergent. I thought about making some (for a brief second of course!) but decided no, way much too hard.

    Then, here you are, breaking it all down for us.

    Thanks. Hope you are doing well.

  2. Try Charlie's Soap! We use it for our cloth diapers and our clothes, one tub on Amazon is about 12 bucks with subscribe and save, and it works like a champ on the diapers and our clothes! You only use a tablespoon per load. I tried Rockin' Green and Charlie's soap works better! One tub lasts our family of 5 about 2 and a half months!


  3. I am impressed. I make many of our cleaning supplies, but I went back to regular detergent and diswasher soap. Our clothes were not coming out very clean and our dishes were super cloudy (I never heard of adding citric acid).

  4. I just pinned this - amazing!

  5. Wow, it's really impressive how you're doing all these by yourself. That's the thing with success. At first you're afraid to do something new so you start out small. When it turns out to be successful, you're inspired to do something bigger.

    Larry Brannon @ LeonardBrushAndChemical.com


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