I love, LOVE the show 18 kids and counting on TLC (although they have 18 kids now)—and in one of their first episodes they showed how to make your own laundry detergent and save HUGE, plus you eliminate those harmful chemicals—That’s exactly what I need, especially in this economy!

Cheap, and safe for my family.  It’s not often that the cheap stuff is also the stuff that’s good for you.  But THIS is!!!  So here’s the recipe, thank you Duggar family—God bless!


Whether you have sensitive skin or just a desire to save money on household necessities, making your own laundry detergent like the Duggar family does is a simple project that you can whip up in your own kitchen. When you make your own detergent, you leave out the chemicals that manufactures use in theirs, AND your savings will be astronomical (I know one lady who spent less than $10 for an entire year’s worth of laundry detergent because she made her own). Here’s a simple-to-follow recipe that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar use to make their own laundry soap.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need



Step One

Grate your bar of soap. (It’s easier if you use a crank grater. If you use a regular box or flat grater, watch your fingers!)

Step Two

Mix the grated soap and 3 pints of water in a sauce pan on low heat, until the soap gratings have dissolved.

Step Three

Stir in washing soda.

Step Four

Stir in Borax.

Step Five

Stir until thickened.

Step Six

Remove from heat.

Step Seven

Add 1 quart of hot water to the 2 gallon container.

Step Eight

Add the soap mixture to the container.

Step Nine

Mix well. (If your container has a wide mouth, use a stirrer. If it has a narrow mouth, put the lid on and shake it.)

Step Ten

Add more hot water to the container until it’s almost full, leaving just enough room to mix it.

Step Eleven

Mix once more.

Step Twelve

Let the mixture set for 24 hours, or until it has thickened.

Step Thirteen

Use to clean your laundry, using 1/2 cup per full load.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add a few drops of essential oil for scent, if you’d like.
  • 4 cups = 1 quart

    1 pint = 2 cups


    Okay, so I just posted some ingredients for natural cleaning supplies that you can make at home, but do you really KNOW how each might work?  Well Care2 has given us a more in-depth look at each ingredient so that we might better inform ourselves!

    Just like antibiotics, common disinfectants found in sponges and household sprays may contribute to drug resistant bacteria, according to researchers of drug resistance at Tufts New England Medical Center. Furthermore, research at the Government Accounting Office shows that many commercial disinfectants are ineffective to begin with, just like antibiotics

    Baking Soda
    A commonly available mineral full of many cleaning attributes, baking soda is made from soda ash, and is slightly alkaline (its pH is around 8.1; 7 is neutral). It neutralizes acid-based odors in water, and adsorbs odors from the air. Sprinkled on a damp sponge or cloth, baking soda can be used as a gentle non-abrasive cleanser for kitchen counter tops, sinks, bathtubs, ovens, and fiberglass. It will eliminate perspiration odors and even neutralize the smell of many chemicals if you add up to a cup per load to the laundry. It is a useful air freshener, and a fine carpet deodorizer.

    Washing Soda
    A chemical neighbor of baking soda, washing soda (sodium carbonate) is much more strongly alkaline, with a pH around 11. It releases no harmful fumes and is far safer than a commercial solvent formula, but you should wear gloves when using it because it is caustic. Washing soda cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax or lipstick, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does. Don’t use it on fiberglass, aluminum or waxed floors—unless you intend to remove the wax.

    White Vinegar and Lemon Juice
    White vinegar and lemon juice are acidic—they neutralize alkaline substances such as scale from hard water. Acids dissolve gummy buildup, eat away tarnish, and remove dirt from wood surfaces.

    Liquid Soaps and Detergent
    Liquid soaps and detergents are necessary for cutting grease, and they are not the same thing. Soap is made from fats and lye. Detergents are synthetic materials discovered and synthesized early in this century. Unlike soap, detergents are designed specifically so that they don’t react with hard water minerals and cause soap scum. If you have hard water, buy a biodegradable detergent without perfumes; if you have soft water you can use liquid soap (both are available in health food stores).

    Mold Killers and Disinfectants
    For a substance to be registered by the EPA as a disinfectant it must go through extensive and expensive tests. EPA recommends simple soap to use as a disinfectant There are many essential oils, such as lavender, clove, and tea tree oil (an excellent natural fungicide), that are very antiseptic, as is grapefruit seed extract, even though they aren’t registered as such. Use one teaspoon of essential oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle (make sure to avoid eyes). A grapefruit seed extract spray can be made by adding 20 drops of extract to a quart of water.

    Note on Vinegar:   …numerous studies to show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar—thekind you can buy in the supermarket—kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses). He noted that Heinz can’t claim on their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency. However, it seems to be common knowledge in the industry that vinegar is powerfully antibacterial. Even the CBS news show “48 Hours” had a special years ago with Heloise reporting on tests from The Good Housekeeping Institute that showed this. …Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board, and in your bathroom, and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don’t even rinse, but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.

    Caution: Make sure to keep all homemade formulas well-labeled, and out of the reach of children.

    I’m all about natural, the way God intended it—for our bodies to heal themselves.  However, we must CARE for our bodies in order for this to work.  Going along with this is using natural cleaners.  I found this great post from Care2 with instructions on how to make your own natural cleaners—and a good tip—put them in a pretty bucket—you’re more likely to use it then!

    “As an added bonus, ounce for ounce homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterpart—and that includes costly, but worthwhile essential oils, and concentrated, all-purpose detergents for homemade recipes.

    Baking soda
    Washing soda
    White distilled vinegar
    A good liquid soap or detergent
    Tea tree oil
    6 clean spray bottles
    2 glass jars

    Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit.

    Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as much as you need at a time.

    1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
    3 tablespoons vinegar
    2 cups water
    Spray bottle

    Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

    1 cup or more baking soda
    A squirt or two of liquid detergent

    Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven. If this recipe doesn’t work for you it is probably because you didn’t use enough baking soda and/or water.

    1/2 teaspoon washing soda
    A dab of liquid soap
    2 cups hot tap water

    Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

    1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
    1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
    Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.

    Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board and in your bathroom and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don’t even rinse but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.


    Tea Tree Treasure
    Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. I’ve used it successfully on a moldy ceiling from a leaking roof, on a musty bureau, a musty rug, and a moldy shower curtain. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. Note that the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.

    2 teaspoons tea tree oil
    2 cups water

    Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. Makes two cups.

    Vinegar Spray
    Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours.

    And I love this note, “Just like antibiotics, common disinfectants found in sponges and household sprays may contribute to drug resistant bacteria, according to researchers of drug resistance at Tufts New England Medical Center. Furthermore, research at the Government Accounting Office shows that many commercial disinfectants are ineffective to begin with, just like antibiotics”  Here’s to a healthy, happy life—to le dolce vita!

    Okay, so I’m in love!!!  And no, not just with my husband!  The only way I shop is when there’s a sale, and I mean a GOOD sale!  So, now I no longer have to search for the sales myself!!!  I know, I keep using exclamation marks, but I can’t help myself, I’m so excited for this freedom!!! ;D  So here she is, Deal Seeking Mom.  You can sign up to get her daily emails.  She is GREAT about explaining how things work, and she will reply back to any questions you may leave in the comments section.  Here’s a taste in what she does.  These are current deals she’s posted:

    5 Freebie Coupons to Print Before Your Next Mall Trip

    $5/$20 or $10/$30 Rite Aid Coupon, Good 2/20 and 2/21

    Print these coupons to save $5 off $20 at Rite Aid or $10 off $30 at Rite Aid!

    It’s only good Friday, February 20th, and Saturday, February 21st, so check out this week’s deals and head to your closest store!

    Lowe’s: $10 off $50 Printable Coupon, Exp. 3/2/09

    And those are just a TASTE for you!  I’m addicted!!!  Here’s to Le Dolce Vita and a little less stress!  Thank you Deal Seeking Mom!!!

    Ever feel overwhelmed with ALL you need to do—and feel you never get to the cleaning?!  I do—all the time!  So I was thankful for the book, The Queen of Clean, A Queen For All Seasons, by Linda Cobb.  My friend from my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group let me barrow it because she’s always giving such great tips out of it!  So I began looking at the book today and in the very beginning she discusses the whens and whats of cleaning—perfect for me!  I do well when I have a list of when to do what, do you?

    Well, I thought I’d share this with you for anyone who’s needing the same help.  She then goes into further detail for each month on what to do—isn’t that great?!  Well we’ll start with what to do and when, and see if I can get that much first!  So, here we go:

    Daily Duties:

    Make beds.

    Put dirty clothes in the hamper.

    Hang up clothes.

    Clean up spills.

    Wash dishes.

    Wipe counters and stovetop.

    Twice Weekly:

    Vacuum Carpets!


    Sweep hardwood floors.

    Dust hard furniture.

    Dust knickknacks.

    Do the laundry.

    Change sheets.

    Clean sinks.

    Clean showers and tubs.

    Clean the toilet.

    Clean bathroom mirrors.

    Empty trash cans, put out garbage.  (Clean the trash can if odor remains.)

    Sweep porch, patio and doormats.


    Vacuum stairs

    Dust TV/VCR/stereos, etc.


    Replace the bag on your vacuum.

    Vacuum upholstery.

    Clean makeup brushes and sponges.

    Clean hairbrushes and combs.

    Vacuum drapes.

    Clean mirrors.

    Vacuum or dust blinds and shutters.

    Dust ceiling fans.

    Dust woodwork and dust down any cobwebs.

    Wash kitchen and bathroom area rugs.

    Vacuum carpet edges.

    Check hard floors and re-wax heavy traffic areas if needed.

    Clean ou the refrigerator.

    Spot clean the kitchen cabinet fronts.

    Clean the fronts of stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.

    Check the furnace filter: change or clean if needed.

    Hose off entry mats.

    Sweep out the garage.


    Sweep or wash the walkways and driveways.

    Change or clean the furnace filter.

    Wipe off lightbulbs as you dust (be sure they are cool).

    Look over knickknacks and wash or thoroughly clean any that require more than dusting.

    Flip the cushions on chairs and sofas for even wear.

    Clean humidifiers and dehumidifiers.

    Twice a Year:

    It’s got to be done: clean the oven.

    Clean stove hood and/or exhaust fan.

    Check the contents of freezer for things that are past their freshness.  Clean freezer.

    Turn the mattresses on beds.

    Wash any plastic, vinyl or leather furniture.

    Clean scatter rugs.

    Dust books on shelves, making sure to dust shelves under the books.

    Vacuum the heat registers and cold air returns.

    Vacuum under furniture.

    Check silverware and clean if necessary.

    Replace that little box of baking soda in the refrigerator.

    Dust all the things you haven’t been able to reach all year long.

    Clean bedspreads and slipcovers.

    Clean closets as you change seasonal clothes.


    Wash blankets and comforters.

    Dust down walls.

    Wash walls (every 2 years).

    Strip any waxed floors and re-wax

    Wash all windows and screens.

    Wash or dry-clean drapery.

    Move and clean under and behind large items.

    Wash blinds.

    Clean carpet and upholstery.

    Clean any areas you have avoided all year long.

    Have the air conditioner checked and cleaned.

    Have the furnace checked and cleaned.

    Sorth through the medicine cabinet, clean it, and organize and discard old medicine.

    Clean out kitchen cupboards, wash and reorganize.

    Replace the batteries in smoke detectors and other safety devices.

    Check the batteries in flashlights.

    Clean rain gutters.

    Wash all exterior windows.

    If you have a chimney, clean it.”

    And there is your annual check list from The Queen of Clean!

    Alright, lets face it…money’s tight.  I’m out of laundry stain remover and thought, hey, I could make some, right?!  So, I went on-line to search for a good, simple recipe.  Well,  good news—I found one for you all!!!

    What do you do when the bar of soap is almost gone—annoying, isn’t it?!  Well, now you don’t have to waste it by tossing it, AND you don’t have to hold on to it just to keep from feeling guilty about wasting it.  I’ve got a solution!

    Save those small pieces, along with any small bars of soap you might have (like from a hotel) in a jar.

    When the jar is half full, add boiling water.

    Mix soap and water until soap is melted.

    Once cooled, this will create a soap jelly.

    Rub the jelly on to pretreat stains, and let it sit until you get to it.

    ANOTHER solution??  Try dish soap!  This works great when you can put it on immediately after contact, and then throw it into the basket until laundry day!  And don’t we all thank the Lord for that?!  Because who has time to wash right away?!

    STILL looking for more solutions???  Try these:

    Recipe #1

    1 cup hot water
    1/2 cup baking soda
    1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide


    • Mix ingredients then store in spray bottles. Spot treat stains then soak overnight.

    Recipe #2

    2 quarts water
    1/2 cup ammonia
    2 TBS laundry detergent


    • Mix ingredients then store in spray bottles. Spot treat stains then soak overnight.
    • Do not use with bleach.

    Hopefully these will help you save a little money and keep your clothes looking your best.  Because you deserve to live Le Dolce Vita!

    Are you like me, do you have a million things to get done, yet at the end of the day you feel you don’t have much to show for your day?  I have so much to accomplish, and although I do get things done, when my husband comes home he wouldn’t know it, nor probably does he believe it (although he’d never admit it—he’s a good man!)

    I was once again reading Simple Mom along with a few of her links to other sights referring to having a schedule.  Yes, I have a “schedule”, but I fail to write it down.  I’ve tried doing this on the computer, but with kids, I don’t find myself in front of it enough for it to be reminding me to get going.  I used to have a planner that I would organize my day by what would fit together.  Like, “okay I’ll be downstairs so I can do this, this, and this while I’m there…” so on and so forth.  I felt like I was able to maximize my tasks this way.  Maybe a should take note from my pre-baby days, along with Simple Mom and the many others out there who say I need to write it out!  Okay, so here I go…

    Take a look at Simple Mom’s “Daily Docket” example.  I liked this idea for organization rather than just having everything on a list.

    I took that idea and then made a spreadsheet of my own for the week.  This way I can look at my weekly tasks, and sometimes each day’s tasks have to get pushed to the next day (reality).  This is still new to me, but we’ll see how it goes.  Take a look

    I’m always arranging my schedule for my changing life, so I’m always looking for new ideas.  Just yesterday Simple Mom was talking about “eating the frog first”, referring to doing the job you hate the most, first.  Interesting concept, but I’m still trying to decide what I hate most—-does getting out of bed count???

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