Earth Day: My Adventures with Homemade Cleaning Products

For many years, I have dabbled in making my own household products. There has been one thing I have been avoiding doing though …. Making homemade laundry soap.  Well, I finally took the plunge and I wanted to share some tips, photos, and recipes with you all!

The biggest advantage, I think, to making homemade or more natural household projects is safety. There are way too many chemicals, perfumes, dyes, and unknown ingredients in the products we typically use. Find a label on something in your home right now – there’s probably a few ingredients in there that you can’t even pronounce! I like to know what I

put on my skin, on my countertops, on my clothes, and in the air I breathe. It’s also very cost-effective to make your own products.

Take a look at the two photos below. The one on the left is a piece of fabric sitting in liquid Tide….. all of the phosphates/chemicals have sunk to the bottom, and that will be deposited into our water system. On the right, is a natural company’s alternative to traditional laundry soap… the photo speaks for itself.

(photos courtesy of Kathy Rosner)

Below is my recipe for laundry soap, and I find that it works just as well as “regular” products:

Mix all ingredients into a glass container:

3 cups Borax

2 cups Baking Soda

2 cups Washing Soda

1 bar of grated Fels Naptha Soap

In place of Fabric Softener (which is one of the most notoriously dangerous household products there are), I use ¼ cup of white distilled vinegar. It keeps your clothes soft and doesn’t leave a strange smell (I promise)!

Another simple laundry soap idea? Just use 1/4 cup liquid castile soap for each load.

If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge into homemade products, at least consider using some safer, cost effective alternatives. For more information on alternative products, contact: Kathy Rosner (


3 responses

  1. Here’s a good tip if you want to remove soap scum using baking soda (it is non abrasive). Scrub it with a damp cloth or sponge; I use an older bristle brush I use for soap scum. You can also use Borax or teh ver versatile vinegar too; but Borax can scratch. Vinegar can be applied directly, left to sit, and scrubbed down

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