One of the things we manged to tick off our list during those inbetweeny days after Christmas and before New Year was to make up large batches of our cleaning supplies. We've been making our own for a couple of years now and couldn't be happier with the results. We save a lot (seriously loads) of money, we eliminate harmful chemicals in our home, we're sure of what exactly we're sloshing around, and we get to pretend we're scientists mixing up potions.... ahem.
I've honed my recipe's over the last couple of years and here's a few of my current favourites.
This is my recipe, which began with Soule Mama's but has been refined for my hard water, budget and scent preference.
3 cups vegetable soap flakes, instead of grating bars of Dr Bronners or olive oil soap. Soap flakes are much cheaper and easier.
2 cups borax
2 cups soda crystals
2 cups of bicarbonate of soda
30 or 40 drops of lemon essential oil which has antibacterial properties and smells lovely (just drop it on the surface of the powder and mix it in) I've also used tea tree, peppermint and grapefruit oil too.
Mix together with a spoon then funnel into your container. You might have to wiggle the container to get it to squeeze in.
This is exactly enough to fill our 1000ml Ecover bottles (see image above)
We add a small capful (see image above) which is about a table spoon,to each wash. This will last ages- approx 30 washes.
Vinegar with 30 drops of lemon oil.
I add a small capful (see image above) to each wash. This will also last ages approx 15-20 washes.
Dishwasher rinse aid
Vinegar with 30 drops of lemon oil
(we haven't yet cracked a dishwasher powder recipe so for now we use Ecover tablets)
Floor cleaner concentrate
I put the following In a 1 litre bottle:
1/2 cup borax
2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup of Dr Bronners liquid castille soap (I'm currently looking for a cheaper liquid castille soap, do you know of one?) EDIT: Summer Naturals now stocks its own brand liquid castille soap.
Essential oil of choice
Then I top it up with warm water to help it dissolve. A kebab skewer can be useful to mix it if the powder has settled to the bottom. I give it a good shake then glug approx half a cup in the bottom of a bucket then fill with very hot water.
I buy all of my home made cleaning supplies from the wonderful Summer Naturals web shop, which sells bulk quantities of essential oil, vinegar, borax, bicarb and lots more besides, at very reasonable prices. Its honestly one of my favourite shops!
If you've been thinking about making your own but haven't yet, I strongly encourage you to give it a try (a good new years resolution?), and if you already do I'd love to hear your experiences below; what are your favourite recipe's? Have you cracked a good dishwasher powder? Know of a cheaper liquid castille soaps? Any disasters?!
*My kit, clockwise from left: A range of essential oils, Dr Bronners liquid castille soap, a grater for the soap bars, cheap vodka (a great antiseptic for surface sprays), Borax in a jar as it goes hard otherwise, White vinegar, Soda crystals, Bicarbonate of soda in a jar, recycled Ecover containers for our washing powder and fabric conditioner, a glass bottle for our floor cleaner, a spray bottle for our surface cleaner, a large bowl for mixing powders, a spoon, a plastic funnel, bars of olive oil soap, cup measures and a steel kebab skewer (for helping to get powder lumps through the funnel, and for stirring up powders that have settled at the bottom of their jars!)