Laundry on a Dime (and environmentally sustainable)

by | Aug 15, 2019 | Articles, General, Resources

My experience found that many of the all-natural, environmentally-sustainable laundry products were not only expensive, they didn’t clean as well as the commercial products on the market.

I took this as a challenge very similar to when I write food recipes.  So, the quest began to come up with recipes that work for me.

Laundry Detergent

I searched the internet and found many different ideas, particularly for homemade laundry detergents.  Most were for powdered detergents and contained borax and washing soda, both of which I was trying to avoid.  I avoid powdered detergents as I find that they often clog up the laundry detergent cup, so finding a liquid laundry detergent recipe that did not include borax and washing soda was my goal.

I started to think that I’d have to create my own recipe, which I was absolutely okay with doing, until what I said was going to be my one last search came up with the perfect solution, a homemade liquid laundry detergent on the website  It’s a super simple recipe with very common ingredients – hot water, baking soda, salt, unscented liquid castile soap, lavender essential oil for scent (which I found to be optional but also changing it up with lemon, rose, tea tree, orange, etc. all work wonderfully, experiment, using your own to create a scent that resonates with you), and a gallon jug.

Yup, that’s all you need. Quick and easy to make. Inexpensive to use. Does the job!


I was buying one of the most readily-available products with brand recognition.  While having a conversation with a friend where I was complaining about how expensive this product was; and although I found it to do the best job, it still was inferior oftentimes.  She exclaimed, “ Have you ever read the ingredient label?  It’s nothing more than hydrogen peroxide mixed with copious amounts of water.”  Disbelieving her, I quickly ran to my laundry room, only to find that, lo and behold, she was correct.

Back to the web I went, and again found many different recipes; but ultimately, I decided to go rouge and try something different.  I simply poured approximately ¼ cup straight up hydrogen peroxide (that I bought at my local large food store for $.89 per bottle in their first aid aisle) straight into the bleach cup.  Guess what?  Works like a charm.

Hence, if you want to keep it simple doing laundry, this is a great alternative to not only store-bought expensive non-chlorine bleach but also forsaking the numerous recipes you can find online.  One ingredient.  Doesn’t get easier than that, and I got the results I was looking for.

Fabric Softener

Again, there exists a plethora of recipes for non-toxic, sustainable recipes, many of which were quite similar to each other.  Ultimately, I was inspired by the ones I read; but came up with my own version:

  • ½ gallon Cleaning Vinegar, 20-30% (the cheapest place I found to purchase this is Home Depot online at $1.79 per gallon)
  • ½ gallon filtered water (I have a Reverse Osmosis tap on my kitchen sink, so I don’t buy this water; however, you could purchase distilled water at most any grocery store)
  • ¼ cup 91% rubbing alcohol (I purchased mine from Amazon)
  • 55-65 drops of essential oil (I personally wouldn’t use an essential oil that would conflict but rather be the same as or complement the essential oil you use in your laundry detergent. Of course, you could go scent-free; however, I have to admit that I initially tried that and the scent of vinegar came through.  So, my recommendation is that if you opt to leave out the essential oils in your other homemade laundry products, I wouldn’t omit it in your fabric softener.)

I have two glass gallon bottles that I use to make my fabric softener.  I start by dividing the gallon of cleaning vinegar into the two bottles (it comes in a plastic gallon bottle, which I recycle).  Then, one at a time, I add the following ingredients in the order that they are listed, mixing well between each addition.

Give the bottle a good shimmy-shake before each use.  I add between ¼-½ cup for each load, depending on the size of the load.

I hope you try at least one of these options.  In addition to contributing to least harm to the environment, you will be leaving some of your hard-earned money in your wallet.

This article appears in the August 2019 edition, Issue 33, of Healthy World Sedona News. If you’d like to see the full edition, you can download it here.