Turning The Tide

We made our own laundry soap.  It has 20 mules in it.  Tea tree oil.  It works great.  Cost per load: .01

We’ve already stopped using many common household cleaners, as vinegar, baking soda and warm water seems to clean damn near everything.  If I can get my small engines around here to run on tap water….

EDITED TO ADD THIS FOR MY JEALOUS READERS:  Teh recipe for Coyote Creek Homemade Laundry Goop.

Water, borax, washing soda, Ivory soap.  Mix well.  (Just kidding)

Get a large bucket, set it aside.

Now, grate an entire bar of Ivory soap (or 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha) and place in saucepan.  Add 5-6 cups of water, heat until the soap melts.  Dissolve 1 cup washing soda (available from kroger) and 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax (you can use 10 mule team, but your clothes will only get half as clean) into your soap/water mixture.  Remove from heat.

Go get your large bucket (2-5 gallon) and put in about a half gallon of water, add your goopy mixture and stir.  Add 1 3/4 gallon of water and stir again.

Go do something for around 24 hours, let it gel.  (it doesn’t really “gel” uniformly), it kinda looks gross, and doesn’t produce suds when you wash in it, but let not your heart be troubled, it WILL clean your clothes, and there are no phosphates from this.  We added tea tree oil for scent but you can use almost any essential or non-essential oil.  Those of you that enjoy musicals and home decor may add lavender. (about 1 oz)

It works great, saves money, and cuts back on plastic containers.  This appeals to me.  I’ll be along to sniff y’all in short order.  Be ready.



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14 responses to “Turning The Tide

  1. I’ve washed my wood floors with vinegar and water for years. They look wonderful.

    Best thing is if you buy the generic brand of Vinegar at Kroger it’s waaaay cheap.

    Vinegar and water is also good for cleaning grout in the shower. I pretty much use it for everything.

    What do you use baking soda for?

  2. Even Claudia shares her recipes, Mack. What’s yours?

  3. democommie


    And when you’re through using it for cleaning, it makes a delightful soup base!

  4. The Missus

    Share the complete recipe, please.

  5. nm

    Missus, check your e-mail. Mack, share the recipe. The rest of you, do whatever you figure my bidding would be.

  6. Beale, I use baking soda when i need grit. (sinks, drains, etc. I also brush teeth with it.)

  7. I’m covered in baking soda paste at the moment, because I’m also covered in mosquito bites.

  8. The Missus

    I made insecticidal soap with Fels Naptha and garlic, works great on aphids. I recently started using white vinegar in place of rinse aid in my dishwasher, it works fine.

  9. Oh, and my mom just made a bunch of hand soap. Maybe y’all could trade. 🙂

  10. I like this. If I ever have a working washer and dryer again I’m definitely going to implement this. Don’t ever take your blog down.

  11. (PS And yeah, storebought detergent is freakin’ expensive now – $8 for a regular size bottle? Come on. Bleh.)

  12. I made insecticidal soap with Fels Naptha and garlic, works great on aphids.

    Great idea. I found a recipe online somewhere that was quite effective, I believe it called for dishwashing liquid and something else … vinegar I think!

    I just buy Safer’s now though, but I should find that recipe again and make my own.

  13. And, since the main ingredient of most detergents is soap, this mixture will probably also work for dishwashing liquid.

    I read insecticidal soap as soap I might use to keep insects off and thought the garlic would give Mack a real treat when he cam sniffing around.

  14. democommie


    Jeezums, that IS my soup base. Nah, just kiddin’. Whatever happened to that guy who used to be on PBS with all the homemade lawn and garden chemicals. Wait, I know he’s in Gitmo ‘cuz he was making questionable purchases at the local hardware store!

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