Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Making Your Own Laundry Soap and Dishwasher Detergent

I had lots of inquiries about how to make the laundry soap.  I got my original recipe for it from my friend Maryjane at
This is the only way that I have made it, and I love it.  But now there are several variations of this on Pinterest and out in Blogland. You can google it and find several different ways.  Including making liquid laundry detergent.  
Here is what you will need.
  Here are the amounts of each that you will need. 
I used my Cuisinart to shred the bars of Zote.  It sure goes fast that way!
You are going to need a couple of BIG bowls to make this!
I love that pink!  Open up your boxes of powders and pour them into something very large.  I used a plastic washtub for this.  It makes mixing this large batch of soap much easier!
I like to take a large spoon and crumble up any lumps in the powder, if there are any.  Mix that and then add the shredded Zote.
Give it a good mix and then pour into your containers.
You can see that it makes a bunch.  I use about 1/4 cup per load.  Alter it according to the level of clothing, and cleaning needed.  The recipe says 1 to 2 T per load, but I think I probably use a bit more.  I only wash full loads too.  You can also add a few drops of essential oils to make your detergent a little more scented.  I added a few drops of Linen essential oil to mine.
After that, I made a large batch of dishwasher detergent.  I found this recipe on Pinterest.  Here is what you will need.

Here it is written out for you.
Mix all ingredients, then put into containers. 
I put mine in the antique Ball jar, and attached a cute scoop.  I saved the dry creamer containers from Christmas when I made homemade hot chocolate mixes.  This works great to put the detergent into too, since it has a pouring spout.  I wanted to make some for my son Drew who just moved into an apartment.  In this photo is also a bottle of Linen scented essential oil.   I added a few drops to my laundry soap for more fragrance.  I purchased all ingredients at my local Walmart.  To make all of that laundry soap, it cost $11.65.  It will last for months.
To make the dishwasher detergent it cost $5.86, and I have half a box left over of each.  The sugar free lemonade drink mix was the store brand and cost .12 per packet.  It gives it a nice lemony scent.  You can use white vinegar in the rinse dispenser of your dishwasher for a streak free load of dishes.  And you can also use it in your rinse cycle of your washer instead of fabric softener.  However, I love the fragrance of fabric softener, so I will stick with that.  Geeps is going to put up a clothesline for me out back this weekend to line dry our clothes on sunny days.
I also cook and make my own dog food for our Wheatie, Ducey.  He has terrible allergies!  We have tried everything from prescription food, to injections, to steroids in his food.  To expensive shampoos, and sprays, and so on and so on.  NOTHING has worked.  And we have spent HUNDREDS trying!  We did some research and decided to try this homemade remedy for sensitive skin doggin's.  I buy hamburger meat in bulk. I cook it, and freeze in in increments for one week at a time.  I cook rice, hard boil eggs, shells and all are minced finely to go into the food, and steamed spinach.  Then I put a Tablespoon of canned pumpkin on top.  He gets a half cup in the morning and 1 1/2 cups at night.  He seems to be better on this than on anything else we have tried.  Sheesh, the things we do for love!   Believe me, I would much rather scoop out a couple cups of kibble and call it a day.  But since this helps, I do it. 
As I said, our son Drew has moved into an apartment, and I am walking past his empty room every day.  A little tug at my heart.  But I am happy he is in his own place too.  It is time.  I cleaned the carpet in there, and now I am wondering what to do with this room?
Geeps kind of wants to make it into an office.  Put the desktop computer in there, and file cabinet and such.  I am scouring Craig's List for a desk.  
But with the one wall mirrored like that, I am thinking a little gym maybe.  We could do our yoga, nordic track.  I wish we could figure out how to get the treadmill in there, but we have tried and nearly taken out a few doorways trying.  I am wondering if it can be disassembled to get in, and then reassembled?  Greg just rolls his eyes!  Drew is coming this weekend to take the dresser.  Even though he doesn't really have room in his bedroom, he think he will use it in the living room and put his telly on it.  So then the room will be empty.   Sniff-Sniff.
He didn't take that telly.  That was a gift to us when we married from Greg's parents, 33 years ago.  It still works, but it is on it's way out.  My Mom gave Drew a telly she wasn't using.  Every time I walk past this shelf, I stop to look at what is on it.  I get a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.  This is a picture of Drew with my Dad.  Drew was about 4. 
And a couple of signed baseballs from a good friend of ours who played for the Expos and Dodgers.  One signed just by Tim, and one by all of the Dodgers.   Next to those, a photo of Drew playing his first paid gig at a local coffee house.  He was only about 18 here.
Then a framed photo of the Twin Towers in NYC.  Drew had written a poem in grammar school following that terrible day.  My dear friend Ally lives just across the Hudson River in New Jersey, and happened to have been there on a ferry a couple of days before the attack on 911 and took this fabulous photo.  After I shared the poem with her that Drew had written, she had put it into this beautiful frame, along with the photo and Drew's poem, done in a patriotic theme and gave it to us as a gift.   I treasure it.
And lastly, sitting there among some old hardback books on that shelf, is a photo I found a long time ago while looking through some things, and put it up there for him to see.  It is a picture of Greg giving him some snuggles when Drew was about 15 mo. old.  I have always loved this picture.  You can see the love Greg has for him, and how tickled Drew was at that moment.
And so, we are empty nesters once again.  It is odd.  But as we have with each time one of the kids has left to embark on their own lives, and spread their wings to fly, we adjust.  Me and Geeps. 
Thanks for visiting tonight!
XO  Kris


Whosyergurl said...

It takes a little getting used to, but I think once you are used to it, being empty nesters is great! You can have beer and popcorn for dinner or wine and cheese and crackers! You are such a wonderful cook, I know you would never do that, but you could if you wanted to! It is like the commercial where they sniff, sniff as the kid drives away and then it is like WHOO HOO! xo, Cheryl

Lauri said...

thanks for sharing the soap recipes. I have seen these on Pinterest but I appreciate a recommendation from someone I trust. Must Try!

Having the kiddos leave home is bittersweet, isn't it?!

by Teresa said...

Kris, wow, your homemade soaps are so cool! One thing to be proud of is that your son wanted to make his own way. Too many kids will stay living with mom and dad wayyyyyyyyy after they should have left. So, you should be proud of him. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Genn said...

this post put a tear or two in my eyes!
that photo of drew and papa sure is priceless!!!!! and after staring at it for a long moment, i realized that matthew is also in that picture leaning into papa's arms.
i also love that photo of baby schmoops with dad! always have loved that shot!!!
a gym in his room is a great idea!! let's do yoga!
and thanks for sharing the soap recipes!

evss said...

Good post. I use Eco Friendly Dishwasher Powder sometime. This product will not damage septic systems and is fully biodegradable. Thanks for sharing.

Holly said...

Oh, where to start? I make my own laundry soap too but I use Fels Naptha soap. I'm going to try your dish soap. I'm strating to get used to the empty nester thing. It's strange though. I'm sure it helps that you have little ones at your house quite often. Hope Noah is feeling better today.

Jill said...

This is the first recipe I've seen for dishwasher soap homemade. I buy from shaklee right now, but I think I will need to try this in mine! We have terrible hard water here and I usually rewash our dishes after they go through!

I literally am sitting here with tears reading your post of your son moving out and the wonderful photos. The twin towers really got me too. My girls are still young but I still feel the days flying by so quickly. I don't think i'd make a very good empty nester :-( LOL Now I need to get busy on my scrapbooks! :-)

Have a great day!


The Garden Bell - Kate said...

What a fun project to make your own soap. I thought the Kool-aid was kind of wild. Off to find your Bean Soup Recipe, I think we need some for the weekend. Love the pic in the closet. Toodles, Kate

Karen Bates said...

Wonderful story about your son...hard to see them go but we love it that they are adults and can make their own way in the world. I can see why you are so proud.

Never was able to find Zote up here. I use Castile Soap. Never tried the dish washing soap but I do use a vinegar rinse.

Val said...

Homemade Soap Is a brilliant idea and one I have to try.

Kerri said...

Little lump in my throat over gets me everytime when someone talks about their children leaving home. I'm sure you are happy for Drew and this next phase of his life...still, so hard I'm sure to see the empty room. You better get on fixing it up ASAP! Thanks so much for the laundry soap and dishwasher recipe. I can't wait to give it a try!!

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, I loved everything about this post; in fact I'm emailing your link to my girls for their soap making. Loved hearing about the guest room too-when we had a nordic track, it was easy to disassemble. An empty room should be fun to fill. Sending hugs your way.

deb said...

frankly...I ADORE the empty I would get that room fixed the way you want it before someone decided to move back home!!!!!
I used to make my dogs food, she has diabetes, until I found one that worked for her, a diabetic prescription Science diet...I made it with chicken and rice and vegies...SO glad I dont have to do that anymore!!!! Its a lot of work but you are right, we love our babies!!!!!

Pam said...

Hi Kris - my son is moving out again next week! This is the third time he has moved out. The first time was to a dorm at college, then home, then out again with friends, then home this last time for about a year and a half now. It takes a while, but then it is WOO HOO! You just get used to them being out and they come back home!! I think I am going to turn his room into a gym/craft room. So you and I can cry together for awhile and then we can party together! Love that you are going green - good for you! What nice memories you have in those pics.
Have a great weekend!

Deb~in~Denver said...

Loved this post. The empty nest takes some getting used to....then they move back home! I'm sure you'll miss Drew but you may see him more often than when he lived at home. You have some wonderful memories/treasures here!

I'm going to make all of the soaps in the next week or so, thanks for sharing!

Jann Olson said...

Hi Kris, hubby and I found it a bit hard to be empty nesters at first. Now, it suits me just dandy. lol! Sure do love it when they come to visit. Must admit I've grown fond of the quiet time. My cousin gave me a recipe for detergent, but I have never made it yet. I'll have to compare it to yours. Sound pretty similar if I remember right. Love the pretty pink. It looks so cute in your jar. I have a jar with a chalkboared label I bought at T.J's. Found it on the pet isle. I think it was meant for doggie biscuits. I've use it for treats and bird seed. Kind of fun!

Cathy said...

Oh boy, it's a tough adjustment when children leave home. Some days I would give anything if they were still at home, and other days I'm happy they have their own lives. The soap recipes are very interesting, Kris. It makes a lot of sense to make these products at home where we can control what goes into them. Nice post.

Sy and Shaunna said...

over christmas break my girlfriend taught me how to make my own laundry soap, because my boys and hubby are allergic to everything. i've been doing it ever since, saves us a ton of money {with 3 rowdy boys} and i feel like little suzie homemaker ;)

Lynne said...

Hi Kris! I've been making laundry soap like yours for a couple of months now and I really like it. I will have to try your dishwasher soap recipe next. Thanks for sharing!

Kris said...

It has been windy here too. Always such a mess to clean after the winds. I love your garland of crochet squares! And your spring scarf is beautiful!!!