16 February 2011

frugal & green | homemade liquid laundry soap

I have a couple of days off work this week, and I've been doing a little purging and sorting every day. A carload of stuff went to the Goodwill, and I bagged up most of our plastic food storage containers, in favor of a new Pyrex set we invested in. Feels so good, and I can open the lazy-susan cabinet without everything falling out. Nice.

We've been trying to re-work how our house runs lately, in a couple of ways: paring down our monthly expenses (i.e., being more frugal... more on that later) and trying to green up a little more. Stuff like buying many more things in bulk than we used to, simply trying to avoid excess containers and waste.

I've also been trying my hand at using bulk supplies to make some of the products we use regularly. As I mentioned before, my nightstand has been stacked with books on natural housekeeping. So, maybe I'll share my own take on liquid laundry soap? It works really well, is super cheap to make, and I just keep refilling the sexy Method pump bottle we already had on hand. And our local co-op has a big drum of Dr Bronners, so I can refill that ingredient without waste, as well.

Anyone else doing this or have a good laundry "recipe"?

I pretty much hate doing laundry, and this stuff makes me excited to do the wash. Crazy, huh.


Liquid Laundry Soap
adapted from The Naturally Clean Home

Combine in a pump bottle:

2-1/4 c. liquid castile soap (e.g., Dr Bronner's--what can't you use this stuff for?).
   --> I used about 2/3 unscented, 1/3 lavender
1/4 c. distilled vinegar
1 T. vegetable glycerine
3/4 c. water

We don't like very smelly laundry products (we usually go free/clear, but my version is very light on scent), so we don't add any additional essential oils. But you could: Start with unscented castile soap and add maybe 10 drops of something nice?

Give the bottle a quick shake before using, and use about 1/4 c. per load. From my Method pump bottle, I use approx. 6-10 squirts.


If you're interested, I could share some other green-home hacks like this?? Let me know!


  1. Thanks for sharing. I also use the Method pump as a refill for laundry soap only I refill it with Dr. Bronner's Suds.

    I also use vinegar in my laundry, but I put it in a downy ball. I scent my vinegar with essential oils. Whatever I think smells nice at that moment. It works great as a fabric softener. It also cuts down on lint.

  2. If you have not yet, you must check out zerowastehome.blogspot.com You probably saw this family in Sunset, but the site is very informational and right up your alley at the moment. Really has inspired me to improve on waste and organization.

  3. I made homemade laundry detergent several months ago, but the recipe was totally different. Grated soap, washing soda and borax. Though it never gelled properly, I liked it at first, but I found it didn't clean as well as I had hoped. Things started to look a little dingy after a few washings. I'll have to try this method before I give up entirely.

  4. Hey Desi: vinegar as softener -- sounds good. I've never purchased a commercial softener, but am totally amazed at what vinegar can do.

    Hi Elenor: totally! I should have mentioned Bea and her blog. Ever since the Sunset article, I've gotten way more organized about my bulk containers. All her jars are amazing :) Not to mention her whole approach. I love how chic she looks, even with a super limited (and thrifted) wardrobe.

    Hi Kim: Yes, I've seen recipes involving grated soap, which just seems like I would do it once and not again. This recipe is soooo easy, and has worked great for us -- maybe it's the vinegar?

  5. ooooooooooh! consider me inspired :)



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