Sunday, April 7, 2013


Something you may not know about me is that I love making a home. When I can save money and/or  increase my family's health while doing it, it makes me giddy! I thought I would share some of my recent discoveries with you.

I have been making my own laundry detergent for a few years, but I made a change in my recipe that made a world of difference. I used to use whatever bar soap I could get on sale, but a friend told me to switch to Fels-Naptha. It disintegrates in the wash, completely, unlike some of the other brands I've tried. You can get everything from the same shelf, in the detergent aisle at Wal-Mart.

Laundry Detergent
12 cups Borax
8 cups Baking Soda
8 cups Washing Soda
8 bars of finely grated Fels-Naptha Bar Soap (I use my food processor)

Mix ingredients well
Use 1/8 cup of powder per full load
When I realized I was paying $1.50 for taco seasoning packets, with two tablespoons of seasoning that contained acid and sugar, I set on a path to find a mix that had a similar taste without the additives. We've been using it for several weeks, now, and Ben says he likes it better!!

Taco Seasoning
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp sea salt
While I was on the seasoning kick, I made our second most used mix - beef seasoning. I rub this into our beef before making a roast, shredded beef barbeque, and stew.
Beef Seasoning
1/4 cup Salt
1/4 cup Paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons Garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons Onion powder
1 1/4 tablespoons Red pepper
1 tablespoon White pepper
1 tablespoon Finely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dry mustard
1 teaspoon Sweet basil
1/2 teaspoon File powder
1/4 teaspoon Ground bay leaves
1/8 teaspoon Thyme

Cleaning our bathroom showers and tub are, by far, my least favorite. Someone told me the other about this magic recipe and I couldn't believe how well it worked! You can spray your shower down and come back 30-60 minutes later to wipe it clean. It worked so well, I have been using it on everything - counters, floors, sinks, tubs, and toilets. I love it!
Magic Bathroom Cleaner
Equal parts dish soap and white vinegar (use cleaning version - it's cheaper)

Let me know if you end up using any of the recipes and what you think of them!


  1. WOW!!!! Thanks for sharing:) I have a question we use the detergents that are "free" bc of skin irritants/ allergies. Does anyone in your family have this issue? Just afraid to try/ switch that it may cause issues but want to try it to save $$. THANKS!!

    1. I've only every used this recipe for both Ty and LJ, so I'm not sure whether or not they have allergies...but we haven't had a problem. I do have a friend who has a daughter with very sensitive skin and this recipe has never been a problem.

      If you lived close, I would give you a sample to try before committing to it!

    2. @ happymomof2 ... I've been using this same recipe for over a year and I have sensitive skin. It doesn't bother me, but everyone is different. It's not a huge investment and it last forever because you don't use much. If it doesn't work for you, you could put it in jars and give it for a gift ;-).
      -Mrs. T @

    3. Mrs. T makes a great point. I make one batch and it lasts a full year. I often gift it in a large mason jar. People love it!

    4. Happymomof2...My daughter has sensitive skin and I use this recipe and we do not had a problem. We husband recently added fabric softener to the wash and she broke out in a rash. We are back to just using the detergent alone, and it went away. I have been using this for two years now.

  2. Can you use the laundry detergent in HE machines?

  3. I'm definitely going to try the bathroom cleaner. And the great thing about the taco seasoning is that you probably have those ingredients at home already.

  4. I love making home made detergents.. I use the same recipe as you, however I do the liquid version, but have more recently found that it is not getting "old milk" smells out of my youngest sons shirts, and it doesnt get the perfume smell out of my clothes. have you run into this too? I am very excited about the bathroom cleaner idea too... thanks!!!


    1. Cindie,
      I have never had trouble getting my clothes clean with this recipe, but I've never made it into liquid. Maybe try the powder version and make sure you use 1/8 cup? I've been really happy with it, especially for stain removal.

    2. Cindie - I'd try making the powder (the liquid seems to be more difficult to get ''right'') and also adding a few drops of essential oil to a load, perhaps lavender. A lot of people swear by that.

      Also - add white vinegar as a ''fabric softener''. It softens the clothes and also gets rid of odors. Your clothes will not smell like vinegar! If you don't have a fabric softener dispenser built in to your machine, buy a Downy fabric softener dispenser ball (I bought mine at Target).

      Rebekah, have you tried making your own dishwasher detergent? If not, I love this recipe -- add vinegar as rinse aid and you're good to go :)

    3. ok... thanks for the advice


  5. To get smells out, add vinegar to rinse cycle. Or pour some into a downy ball and toss it in!

  6. What do you put the detergent in to store it? Any problems with clumping? It's REALLY humid here, and my washer is in the basement, so even worse. :). Also, how much does it cost to make a batch?

    1. I think it cost about $20 (it varies a little depending on the bar soap you choose). This size batch has lasted me a few weeks shy of a year each time. I made my third batch a month ago. I do 6-7 loads a week usually sometimes a few more. I store mine in a large class jar. I have not had a problem with it clumping, but it is not super humid where mine is stored.

    2. I store mine in various old Tupperware containers and glass sauce jars. I just made a batch today, as the batch I made in September was almost gone. I have an ancient washing machine and do 10-12 small loads each week. I have had some clumping, but it breaks apart very easily. It cost about $17 as all supplies were purchased at walmart!

  7. I just started making my own laundry detergent. It looks to be about the same recipe as yours only I make mine as liquid... LOVE IT! Also started making my own fabric softener... still trying to get the perfect combo of items. I am gonna try your bathroom cleaner recipe! Thanks so much!

  8. THANK YOU ALL for the responses on sensitive skin- I'm going to give it a try:)