The practicality of homemade household cleaners on any farm makes perfect sense. As an aspiring homesteader, I have to get decisive about what we buy and what we make. For a while now, I have been purchasing 7th Generation dish detergent and dish soap for its nontoxic qualities and environmentally friendly ingredients.
But it comes at a higher cost than the sulfate laden store brand. (Initially, of course. We all know that the cost is paid long-term for putting those chemicals all over our eating utensils).
And this week, we ran out of dishwasher soap. Not a good week for the Sell household to run out of anything. We are between end of the month bills and investing a lot of up-front purchases for the farm this year; in other words, broke!
So I'm thinking to myself as the dishes began to pile up ... there must be a way to make this stuff at home. Homesteaders of the past had founts of knowledge passed on to them by mothers and grandmothers, uncles and fathers. But in our generation, our predecessors (God bless them) had been taught that buying things was much better and easier than making anything in home. So this fount of generational wisdom is now merely a trickle.
This is why having internet at my fingertips helps me on a daily basis. The collective knowledge has pooled online and I only have to do a quick search to see if what I want to do is possible.
Homemade dishwasher detergent is possible!
All it takes is two very key ingredients that we happened to have on hand: Washing soda and Borax.
These boxes were found in our local grocery store. I have to imagine they are in yours as well, since our small town grocery is no Walmart Superstore.
It's a simple one:one ratio.
1 cup Super Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
Mix together 2 tablespoons per load. Close door and wait. Upon completion, inspect dishes and be in awe. You did it!
And we have enough for probably two weeks of dishwashing. (We do a load at least once a day).
But wait, there's more! A couple years ago, I got interested in making a lot of my own cleaners. I gleaned advice from a couple magazines and put together a PDF of homemade cleaners. To put into perspective, I haven't purchased cleaner (except the dish stuff) since I found these recipes. Everything in our house gets cleaned exceptionally well with these recipes! And adding the essential oils is ESSENTIAL! For one, it's fun to play with making your own scents, but it helps cover the strong vinegar smell that goes along with some of the cleaners.
My favorite essential oil to use? Grapefruit. Andy's? Lemongrass.
Click on the links below to open each page of my little booklet.
Recipe for homemade cleaner for wood and leather.
Recipe for homemade cleaner for your bathtub and toilet.
Homemade cleaners for all-purpose cleaner and windows.
Homemade cleaner recipes for the oven and dishes.
Recipe for homemade laundry detergent booster.
Thanks for reading and I hope this really helps you in your home cleaning endeavors.
Oh, one more thing. Shortly after I began using the all-purpose spray, a 10-month-old Elly grabbed the bottle of cleaner that was sitting far too low on the table. Before Andy could react, she had turned it to her face and squeezed the trigger! She got a face full of cleaner, even in her opened eyes. She was surprised and a little annoyed to be so wet, but otherwise fine.
Can you imagine if that had been a bottle of Fantastic?! In her opened eyes? We would have rushed her to the ER. As it was, we learned a lesson about how far she can reach, and a blessing in the fact that we had just switched over from chemical cleaners.
Just a little food for thought.