Sunday, May 22, 2011


I have been working on this for many years. Trying to rid my house of toxic and in turn dangerous cleaners.  It is hard to not reach for the Cascade, Oxi Clean, and Tilex because they work so well and with minimal effort. The problem is they are ridiculously toxic and poisonous and since I have a kid in the house it is a double no-no!!! Just because these items are in the store and available for purchase does not mean that they are safe. The long-term impact on your health and the health of the environment should supersede the convenience of these products. 
The beauty of what I am about to share with you is that along with being super easy, much better for you and the world around you, it is CHEAP!!!!! I don’t know about you but for a while I was buying the good laundry detergent that was earth friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable, etc. Then I moved on to all of the household cleaners; toilet scrub, all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, and holy crap, it is SO expensive. At first I didn’t care, I had a new baby, I had wanted to do it anyways but geez, I can’t afford this! So I started doing some research and asking people and my friend Carmi gave me this recipe for laundry detergent and some other basic cleaners. Thanks to Carmi, I now only use these cleaners, I feel good about it, and I am saving a ton of money. I will be honest though, you will have to use a little more elbow grease than with the store bought cleaners but it is worth it. Seriously, I went to the store today and spent $24.74 on the ingredients to make everything and these things will last me the good part of the year if not longer…no joke—(you will spend a little more initially to buy your bucket and spray bottles and such, like $8 more, but the savings is unreal). Try it!
Truly the other cool thing is that with basically 5 ingredients you can clean your whole house. Some more specific cleaners call for other ingredients, most of which you will have in your pantry or medicine cabinet, but the Essential 5 will take you pretty far!

The Essential 5:
Distilled vinegar
Baking soda
Liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s)
Washing soda (laundry aisle, usually top shelf)
Essential oil

Other good things to have around:
Borax (laundry aisle, usually top shelf)
Pure Castile bar soap (like Dr. Bronner’s)
Olive oil
Vegetable glycerin (found in the pharmacy)
Kosher salt

Liquid Laundry Detergent:
1 bar Dr. Bronner’s soap
4 cups water
1 cup washing soda
½ cup Borax
Essential oil, (lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, etc.)
5 gallon bucket
Using the grater attachment in your food processor or cheese grater, grate the bar of soap. In a medium saucepan, combine the grated soap and water over medium low heat.  Stir occasionally until all of the soap is melted.  Add 2 ½ gallons of hot tap water to the 5 gallon bucket and add the melted soap, washing soda, and Borax.  Fill the bucket almost to the top with more hot tap water and stir to thoroughly combine.  Cover and allow to sit over night (it will thicken up, I keep a large spoon in the bucket to mix it up when it is time to refill my bottle).  Once the detergent has cooled add 10-15 drops of your preferred essential oil. I keep a measuring cup and funnel next to the bucket and use an old liquid laundry detergent bottle to keep in my laundry room. 

All Purpose Spray:
2 cups water
¾ cup hydrogen peroxide
½ cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon liquid castile soap
20 drops tea tree oil
Mix all of the ingredients in a 32oz. spray bottle. Use for shower, tub, counters, and bathroom floors, even toilets.

Glass Cleaner:
2 cups water
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
½ teaspoon liquid castile soap
Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle

Dish Soap:
2 cups water
2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
10 drops essential oil of your choice
Mix all ingredients together and store in a squirt bottle.

½ cup baking soda
1-2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
5 drops essential oil
Combine all ingredients into a paste.  Use on sinks and tubs.

1 gallon warm water
½ cup distilled white vinegar
Mix together and mop away!

Sprinkle toilets with baking soda then sprinkle with distilled white vinegar and allow to sit for about 30 minutes then scrub with a toilet brush.
You can also Sprinkle with baking soda then spray with all-purpose cleaner and allow to sit then scrub.

¾ cup baking soda
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ water
Combine all the ingredients to make a paste. Spread on all to oven surfaces except heat element and allow to sit over night.  Scrape off paste and wipe clean with a moist towel. Use steel wool for tough spots.

If all of this is not enough for you to love these cleaners look at their labels and look up online at all the other things you can do with them from brushing your teeth to killing ants.

Please clean responsibly.


  1. I love these "recipes". One question, though. Is the laundry detergent for hand-washing or is it suitable for washing machines?

  2. The laundry detergent is suitable for the washing machine. It makes a big batch that will probably last you for about a year.

  3. Is the dish soap for dishwashers or just for hand washing dishes in the sink?

  4. For hand washing dishes. I am still working on one for the dishwasher. It has been the most challenging!
    Happy Cleaning!

  5. As far as HE... it is fine to use in HE washers!

  6. My laundry detergent turned out like water. Can't figure out why. Should I add more of the detergent?