Cleaning on a Nickel or Less!

Moving out to Hawaii, I knew that we were going to embark into a higher cost of living and some things we weren’t going to be able to get around.  I am fine with that.  There are markets galore and Costco and the internet have proven to be a lifesaver for everyday discounted items.   However,  as you may have read from some of my other posts, there are some things that I really dislike spending money on and one of them is cleaning products.  Luckily, my friends over at Natural Mommas were able to help me take care of that!

I started to make my own laundry detergent just before we moved to Hawaii and was so happy about this easy DIY even then!  It’s super easy to make and in my opinion, it works just as well as Tide.  To all my fellow linewives, yes, it works well on their filthy clothes and it’s F.R. clothing friendly :) Oh, did I mention it ends up only costing $0.01 per load?! When you do the math, Tide will cost you $0.28 per load and for the average sized family that does 9 loads of laundry a week,  that’s a savings of $126.36 per year…ON LAUNDRY DETERGENT! When I first read those figures that were on Natural Mommas post, I was hooked.

To make it, all you need are a few ingredients, some empty jugs or containers and a 5 gallon bucket. Everything you can buy in the laundry section at your local store or online.  I’ll admit, I had a hard time at first finding the Washing Soda (because I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart unless I have to), so I had to look around. In Ca, I ended up going to Wal-Mart (boo) but here in Hawaii I found it in Costco.  They sell it at many general stores too, just not at Target etc.

  • 1/2 bar of your favorite bar soap. *you can buy the laundry bar soap that they sell, but body soap works just fine.
  • 1/2 cup of Borax Powder
  • 1/2 cup Washing Soda
  1. You want to shred the soap into a sauce pot using a cheese grater.
  2. Then add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts.
  3. Add your washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved.
  4. Pour 4 cups of HOT water into your 5 gallon bucket
  5. Add in your soap mixture and stir well.
  6. Add in one gallon PLUS 4 cups (20 cups total) of HOT water and stir.
  7. Using a funnel, pour into your desired containers.  We use milk jugs.
  8. Let the mixture sit for roughly 24 hrs to gel.
  9. After 12 hours, if it’s still not gelled, give it a stir (or a shake!).  If it doesn’t gel, that’s ok, it’ll still work just the same :)
  10. .  You’re ready to wash your clothes!

Shake before use and dispense 1/2 cup per load.  Natural Mommas said that she will use Oxi-clean in addition if need be, but I have yet to have to use any extra “laundry helpers” :)

Next, was dishwasher soap.  I haven’t had a dishwasher since 2009 and for some reason, I had a hard time justifying spending what I thought to be a lot of money on soap.  Natural Mommas to the rescue again!  This time, I really didn’t have to buy much because I already had most of the ingredients from my laundry detergent and based on Natural Mommas figures, it will only cost me roughly $0.05 per load.

To make this you will need:

  • 2 unsweetened lemonade packets (kool-aid)
  • 1 cup of Borax
  • 1 cup of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup of table salt
  1. Combine all ingredients, mix well and store in a container
  2. Use 1 tablespoon per load.

Natural Mommas has a ton of other DIY cleaning recipes that I can’t wait to make, use and save money with! You should totally check out her site by clicking here.  Also, check out my DIY, natural beauty remedies by clicking here.




Cleaning on a Nickel or Less! — 4 Comments

  1. I use pretty much the same recipe but I add baking soda to it because we have such hard water. Also use white vinegar instead of fabric softener. Works great even on nasty lineman clothes.

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