Abundant Frugal Life

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Household Recipes

Posted by Lisa

Laundry detergent


I am tired of paying $15 for laundry detergent I can make for $1.50-$2.00 for the same 75+ loads. I found, made and used this recipe.

The only con I can think of is that the clothes don’t come out heavily perfumed, and I just love the strong smell of clean laundry.  I know I can live without that at the immensely reduced cost of the detergent.

1 cup Borax (cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water)
1 cup Washing Soda (a mineral which cuts grease, removes stains, softens water)
1 bar Fels-Naptha or Ivory Soap finely grated (use cheese grater or food processor)

All items can be found at any grocery store or Walmart in the laundry isle. Just mix all ingredients well and store in a sealed container. Use 2 tablespoons per full load.  Seriously, that’s all it takes.  I had to whittle down to that to believe it.  Some people say to use only 1 tablespoon, but I just can’t bring myself to use so little.

REVIEW: After using this detergent for several months, I’ve noticed my whites are looking a little gray.  I’ve returned to my beloved Tide detergent for whites only and continue to use this recipe for all other loads.  I also do not like the smell of Fels Naptha, Zote, or Ivory.  I prefer Coast.   I now use 2 bars of Coast instead of the Fels and it gets the boy stink out.  I also prefer the liquid recipe and I use twice the suggested amount (I use 1 cup).  It’s more of a pain to store and use, but it dissolves better and I don’t see anymore of the grease looking spots on the clothes that the dry mixture left.  Here’s a Youtube link for the liquid mixture (same recipe): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fisc8gYkHZM

Doubling the amount used in the washer doesn’t bother me at all.  I’m still saving a lot of money and using less Tide!



A dear friend sent me this recipe. Remember, I live in Texas and we know what it means to sweat. I have used this recipe, and though I get plenty of deodorant for free, because of the way I shop, I will not use them. I’ll give those away or sell them in a garage sale. This recipe is BY FAR superior. Even though it is only a deodorant and not an anti-perspirant, it still works much better. I was reluctant to try it, but she made me a batch and I loved it!

1 T Baking soda
1 T Cornstarch
1 T Olive Oil
7-10 drops of Tea Tree Oil
7-10 drops of Lavender Oil

Mix the ingredients in a small dish. You will have to stir it before each use. Keep it covered. I just use two fingers to apply it. It takes a little getting used to, but one application lasts for at least 2 days. I haven’t tried it for any longer than that because I just can’t stand not showering for that long.  I mix mine in a small coffee mug and make a double batch.  I keep a spoon in there and cover it with plastic wrap.

If you try any of these recipes, please email me your reviews. I’d love to hear what you think. I’m always looking for cheaper/greener/better alternatives if they save me $$’s.

  1. Clara Said,

    I’ve been using Sal’s Suds but I want to try making up my own. You’re right — detergent is ridiculously expensive and doesn’t even get your clothes clean sometimes.

  2. EG Said,

    The best deodorant I know is a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. Use one every day wherever it smells worst. You’ll still perspire but it won’t smell. Nothing to clog pores or interfere with perfume. And no more underarm deodorant stains on your shirts.

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