DIY Laundry Detergent

One of the goals that we made in regards to homesteading was trying to be as self-suffiient as possible.  In doing that I have started making more of our household cleaning supplies and other “consumables” from scratch or more cost effective components.

One of the first things I thought I would tackle was laundry detergent.  I have made my own detergent in the past using this recipe but I wanted to try something different as my “year” was almost up.  I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest and thought I would do a combination of the two.

I decided on simplifying the first recipe by removing the oxy-clean and the fabric softener crystals, replacing Fels-Naptha with Zote Soap, and adding one bar of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps.

All the Ingredients

All the Ingredients

  • 1 bar of Zote Soap
  • 1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap – Lavendar
  • 1 box Borax
  • 1 box Washing Soda
  • 2 cups of baking soda

The first thing I needed to do was grate the Zote and Castile Soaps.  This is the most time consuming part of the whole process.

Grating the soap Zote Soap Grated Castile Soap (I promise it's not parmesan cheese)

After the grating was done, I started mixing all the ingredients together.  I did this in stages to mix the ingredients better.  I also used a large stock pot to mix everything in. This stage is the easiest and most rewarding.  As the stock pot was filling up, I knew that we were once again simplifying our life and becoming more self-sufficient.

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By the end, the stock pot was full and I had about a year’s worth of laundry soap to show for it.  To store the detergent, I used a canister that we had sitting around.  It holds 5.0 L.

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Both recipes that I used as jumping point stated that 2 tablespoons was all that is needed per load.  I think that next time I will use a different scent of castile soap as the Zote soap does have citronella oil in it.

Front Gardens: A Work in Progress

This week has be unusually cool in our region so we thought this would be a great time to start prepping our gardening space in the front of the house.  Below is a picture of our house before we started clearing out the beds.

The front of the house before any projects had started.

The front of the house before any projects had started.

Our plan is to use the square foot gardening method. We will have gardens on either side of the covered porch and along the front of the porch as well. The first bed will be on the right side of the porch as this bed is already defined and has the most work to get ready.  We have a lot of shrubs, decorative grasses and weeds to clear out before we can get anything started.

My project was to clear out everything in the bed, leaving just the line of boxwood bushes in the back.  We are leaving these for now as they provide some protection from the afternoon sun.  The big bushes were cut down by my husband.  I started digging out the decorative grasses and pulling up the weed blocker that the weeds and grasses started growing on top of.  We are going to let the bushes dry out and the rest of the yard waste will be thrown into the compost bin.  Below are a few pictures of the progress on clearing the bed.

Pulling up the weed blocker.

Pulling up the weed blocker.

Clearing the bed and the extra bushes cut down.

Clearing the bed and the extra bushes cut down. The boxwoods are trimmed up and looking more uniform.

Here is what the front of the house looks like during the process.

Front of the house - during the clearing process.

Front of the house – during the clearing process.