Homemade Hippie Liquid Laundry Soap


This is the laundry soap that I used before I discovered soap nuts. See all about soap nuts HERE and other ways to use them besides laundry HERE. I was at my girlfriends house the other day and she was complaining about the high cost of laundry soap and all the chemical junk that it contains. I showed her how to whip up a batch of homemade laundry soap. Her cost: $0.83 cents! This does 60-64 loads of laundry. That is one penny per load baby!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

  • 3 pints water (6 cups)
  • 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap grated (we cheated and grated it in her food processor . ha!)
  • 1/2 cup washing soda (not baking soda)
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1 Quart hot water (4 cups)
  • A 2 gallon bucket with a tight-fitting lid (we used an old coconut oil bucket, if you’re really nifty you can funnel this into an old detergent bottle and nobody will even know you’re a cheap skate!)
  • cold water to fill bucket

1. Mix Fels Naptha in a saucepan with 3 pints water, heat on low until dissolved. Stir in the washing soda and borax. Stir until thick and remove from heat.

2. In the 2 gallon bucket add 1 quart of hot water. Add soap mixture to the bucket and stir well.

3.  Now fill the bucket with cold tap water (leaving room to stir).

4. Set bucket aside for 24 hours. Uncovered. It will turn into a gel.

5. Place lid on bucket and you’re ready to wash some clothes.

Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup per load. You can stir in any essential oils that you like, if you are a fan of scented laundry.


Related Articles:

What the heck is a Soap Nut?
Soap Nuts around the House (and on your head)

Homemade Hippie Orange Cleaner

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

Homemade Hippie All-Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant

Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Hippie Windex for 0.12 cents a bottle

ALL Homemade Hippie Recipes

Homemade Hippie Orange Cleaner

This is almost too easy to post about. I feel like I should have been doing this my entire life, and somehow I got tricked into paying $4 for a spray bottle of orange cleaner. Craziness.

I have a juicer now, and I am really enjoying fresh vegetable & fruit juices. However, I now have citrus peels coming out my ears. This is just one of the many uses for them. I’ll keeping posting more ideas to get rid of them, as I find them. Unfortunately chickens don’t like citrus peels, which is what I do with the rest of the veggie pulp, and I can’t bear to throw them away! (no I’m not a hoarder, just a crazy hippie)

Homemade Orange Cleaner

  • Vinegar (just plain organic, white vinegar will do)
  • lots of citrus peels (orange, lemon, lime or a combination)

Place peels in vinegar. I cut mine small and put them right in the original vinegar bottle, because I’m crazy like that. Let this sit around for 6 weeks or so. When you remember to shake it, shake it. This releases oil from the peels and makes it more a more potent grease cutter. I shook mine a lot and vigorously and let it sit around for about 2 months. You’re going to love this and use it like crazy, so I would recommend that you start a new gallon every month or so, so you never run out. Also, writing the date on the jug/jar really helps 🙂

Strain out the citrus when you think it’s “done”. Refill an old spray bottle (because I know you’re saving those right?) I honestly don’t think I will need to make any other cleaners now. This one just takes the cake. I have cleaned my oven, stove top, kitchen counters, sink, added 1/2 cup to the mop water, and sprayed the whole bathroom. It is very excellent for dusting! The only thing it won’t work for is windows/glass or to polish faucets and such. It is also excellent added to your sink full of dishes. If you are soaking some kind of baked on nasty lasagna or something, this does the trick. We all know that vinegar is great for cleaning and is a natural disinfectant, who knew that adding a bit of citrus oil would improve it so much?

Related Posts:

Homemade Hippie All Purpose Cleanser and Disinfectant

Homemade Hippie Windex for 0.12 a bottle!

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Hippie Lip Balm

Homemade Hippie Wrinkle Cream

Homemade Hippie Mouthwash, Face Wash, Body Wash


Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

I have been experimenting with making homemade cleaning and beauty products as I run out of them. So far I have made my own dishwasher detergent, window/glass cleaner, all purpose cleanser and disinfectant, lotion, wrinkle cream, hair spray, toothpaste, mouthwash, and lip balm and now it’s time to tackle scouring powder.

I happen to be in love with a handsome mechanic. He comes home with much grease and leaves the shower and sink with nice dark rings and smudges.  I need a serious scouring powder to tackle this stuff 🙂 I have used this powder 3 times now, and I find that it works just as well as comet, and rinses off much better. I don’t feel like I’m wasting zillions of gallons of water trying to wash the comet residue down the drain….I have tried plain baking soda before, and a baking soda/vinegar mix and in my opinion this is much better.

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

1 cup Baking soda

1 cup Salt (I used kosher for extra grit)

1 cup Borax

Mix all ingredients in a container. I usually just refill the bottle/container of whatever I ran out of. Do you guys have a whole bunch of bottles and tubes that are full of homemade concoctions too? However, you can’t refill a comet container very easily, so I took a small coffee can (see saving those coffee cans isn’t weird! You really will find a use for them. You will!) and poked holes in the plastic lid. You can use a canning jar, or any old container you have been waiting to repurpose. Fill with powder, top with lid. Sprinkle and scrub to your hearts content.

I think next time I will dry some orange or lemon peels and make them into a powder. I think that would smell great and add some extra scrubbing power. Plus I have a juicer now, and I’m dying to come up with a use for all of these citrus peels.  I already made orange oil, and I love it! I’ll post that recipe for you tomorrow.


Soap Nuts Liquid Around the House (and on your head)

In case you have no idea what on earth a Soap Nut is….read this first. I have been doing laundry with soap nuts for years, and I love them. You can also make liquid soap with these versatile little buggers and use it all around the house. Soap nuts liquid is also the best shampoo I have ever used!

Soap Nut Liquid

6 cups water

12-15 soap nuts (or pieces)

Bring water to a boil. Add soap nuts and turn down to low. Simmer for 30-45 minutes. You will end up with about 4 cups of concentrated soap. You have extracted every bit of soap when the soap nut shells turn very light tan or gray. (If you are super frugal you can take the used up soap nuts and puree them. The paste is an excellent, high-powered cleanser)

Because Soap Nut Liquid is a botanical tree fruit and free of all preservatives, PABA, sulfates, lanolin, parabens,  phthlates, phosphates, formaldehyde, petro-chemicals, fragrance, dyes, alcohols, chlorine, and talc, it can be stored at room temperature for 4-5 days. Soap Nut Liquid will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. I keep mine in a small jar in the door of the fridge, and I pour the rest into an ice-cube tray and pop it in the freezer. One cube is perfect for one load of laundry, one load of dishes, or one mop of the whole floor. I also fill my small plastic shampoo bottle (an old ketchup dispenser with a tiny nozzle that I got at Walmart for .98 cents works perfect!) and keep it in the shower.

I buy my soap nuts from Naturoli, and I highly recommend them. Check out these suggestions from www.naturoli.com:

For Jewelry: Soak jewelry in soap nuts liquid for a few minutes. Use an old soft toothbrush to remove debris. Rinse with clean water and polish with a soft cloth. Soap nuts have been used as a fantastic jewelry cleaner for eons. There’s no need for harsh, toxic chemicals!

For Pets: Superb for pets! Your little loved ones will never feel and smell this fresh again! They’ll appreciate it, too! (note from Heather: this soap does not strip the natural oil from your pets fur/skin, thus reducing dander)

For Shampoo: Use soap nuts liquid to shampoo hair. Leave in for about 5 minutes.  Rinse as usual with warm water. If you prefer more suds, add a little of your favorite shampoo. We know it’s hard not to want more suds, but trust us it really is cleaning your hair. You will be amazed at the results. AND you don’t need hair conditioner, because soap nuts are a natural conditioner and anti-static.

For Dishwashers: Fill the dishwasher soap dispenser with soap nuts liquid. Wash as usual. Tip: For extra sparkle, add a half-ounce of vinegar to the rinse dispenser or during the rinse cycle.

For Hand Wash: Add about 2 tbsp of soap nuts liquid to wash water and stir, or make a tea with your soap nuts muslin bag. Simply hand wash as usual.

For Steam Cleaning Carpets: Soap nuts work exceptionally well in carpet cleaners because they are so low sudsing and odor reducing. Add about a quarter cup of soap nut liquid to hot water in the portable cleaner. Great for urine stains!

For Household Cleaning: Pour soap nuts liquid into a spray bottle. Use full strength or dilute as desired. Use for sinks, counters, floors, etc.

For Windows and Glass: Fill a spray bottle with about 8 oz of water. Add a half-ounce of soap nuts liquid and a half-ounce of vinegar. Spray and then wipe clean with dry cloth.

So what do you think? Worth a try? I had a really hard time at first, because of the lack of suds. I found it really difficult when I was hand washing dishes! We are so used to suds, that it just doesn’t feel clean enough when there aren’t bubbles!

My shampoo bottles. Because soap nuts shampoo is runny, these dispense just the right amount of soap. I keep one in the fridge and one in the shower.

 I was really sold when I started washing my hair with this liquid. My hair has never been softer. The cool part is you can wash your hair, body, face and the shower, all with the same soap. Talk about frugal. I also think this would be a great alternative to the no-poo method, because it does not strip the natural oils from your hair, and leaves it very soft and moist. Zero hair conditioner is needed! I will never have to buy shampoo again.

I pay $46.00 for a 5 lb bag of soap nuts from Naturoli. (keep in mind that ONE pound does 160 loads of laundry. That’s 0.5 cents per load of clothes) so this soap nuts shampoo costs me just under .02 cents per head wash. Not too shabby….considering I don’t have to buy conditioner anymore either.

P.S If you don’t want to hassle with boiling the soap nuts, and the fact that the liquid spoils quickly, you can grind the dry soap nuts into a powder in a coffee grinder and put the powder directly on your head, or directly into the washing machine, or use as a scouring powder etc.

What is a Soap Nut?

I discovered soap nuts several years ago and I decided to give them a try. I remember my first question was “What on earth is a soap nut?” I had never heard of such a thing, and my curiosity got the best of me.

Soap Nuts (Sapindus) are a genus of 5 to 12 species of small trees and shrubs in the Lychee family. They are native to warm, temperate climates and tropical regions. Members of the genus are known as soap berries or soap nuts because the fruit is used to make soap. The soap nuts contain a saponin which is a natural surfactant and have been used by native people for thousands of years.

So now that you know what they are, what do you do with them? Well there are hundreds of uses, but in my house I mainly use them for laundry. The process couldn’t be easier. You take 4-5 soap nuts and place them in a small, cloth bag and tie it closed. You throw this bag in the washing machine with your laundry. This replaces your normal detergent, and it is also a natural fabric softener. Wash the laundry in warm or hot water. You will really be surprised by the results. The laundry comes out perfectly clean and soft. You can reuse the same bag of soap nuts for 5 loads of laundry! I figured it out once and each load of laundry costs me .11 cents. My previous detergent was costing me .67 cents per load.

I have purchased soap nuts from 5 companies. The only company that I can recommend is Naturoli. They presort the nuts, and only send you the highest quality pieces. They also select nuts from regions that are sustainably farmed. I have called their customer service twice and they are very helpful and friendly. (i don’t make a penny if you buy from them, just a simple recommendation)

The other uses for soap nuts are vast. They can be used in the dishwasher, boiled to make a liquid soap, ground into a powdered detergent, as shampoo and much more. I like to make the liquid soap because it works great in a cold water wash. Isn’t it amazing that soap grows on trees?

This post is part of Fight Back Fridays sponsored by Food Renegade

Homemade Hippie All Purpose Household Cleanser and Disinfectant

I refill a spray bottle and use this to clean just about everything. I figured out my cost today and for a 32 oz spray bottle it cost me 0.27 cents. With the tea tree oil being the most expensive ingredient. I have also been known to spray out my kitchen sink with just plain vinegar, which is by itself a strong disinfectant.

All Purpose Disinfectant and Cleanser

2 tsp borax

1/4 cup vinegar

4 cups hot water

12 drops tea tree oil

1/4 tsp liquid soap

Mix all ingredients (except tea tree oil) in spray bottle and shake. After mixture has cooled, add tea tree oil. Shake before each use.

Related Posts:
Homemade Hippie Orange Cleaner

Homemade Hippie Dishwashing Detergent

Homemade Hippie Windex for .12 cents

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

Complete List of Homemade Hippie Recipes HERE

Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent

English: A pile of Borax based washing detergent.

Image via Wikipedia

About a year ago I acquired my very first dishwasher. I actually had to google “How to load a dishwasher” people! I am a hand washer from way back. So recently I was at the store checking out dishwasher detergent and of course reading the labels (that’s what I do) and I was not happy. The ingredients contained all sorts of surfactants and chemicals and soaps that I don’t ever use in my house. The eco-friendly dishwasher detergents were almost $5.00 for a 32 oz bottle! So for about a year I have been hand washing the dishes and using this beautiful new dishwasher as a drying rack. I had the idea to make my own dishwasher detergent, but too many other things going on to actually take the time to do it.

So finally, using ingredients that I always have around, I started playing with a recipe. It took a few tries and a few loads had to be washed by hand, but the final result is wonderful. Streak free, sparkling dishes every time. I don’t ever take the time to pre-wash the dishes before I load the dishwasher. I rinse of the worst of the gunk, and throw them in. I was also very surprised at how inexpensive this recipe is. My total cost is only 0.33 per load!

Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup Borax

1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

1/2 cup Kosher salt

1/2 Citric acid

I mix the borax, washing soda and salt in a jar and keep in under the sink. You can add the citric acid to the mixture, but the ingredients tend to react to each other and get all clumpy. My OCD doesn’t like clumps 🙂 So I keep the citric acid separate and add 1/2 Tbsp per load.scouring powder

Borax and washing soda (not baking soda) can be found in the laundry detergent aisle of most major grocery stores. Kosher salt in the spice aisle. I checked out several places to purchase citric acid and found the cheapest source was a candle supply store. They sell it to me in bulk for $3.00 per pound.

For each load of dishes I put 1 Tbsp of detergent in the soap dispenser and add 1/2 Tbsp of citric acid.

For people with soft water, you can skip the citric acid all together and make this detergent extremely inexpensive! For people with very hard water, you may need a full Tbsp of citric acid per load, or your dishes will turn out with a funny white film on them. Experiment with using the least amount of detergent possible and still get your dishes clean. You may be surprised how little it takes. Let me know what works for you!

Related Posts:

Homemade Hippie All Purpose Cleanser and Disinfectant

Homemade Hippie Windex for 0.12 cents per bottle

Homemade Hippie Bug Spray

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

Homemade Hippie Orange Cleaner

Homemade Hippie Wrinkle Cream

Homemade Hippie Hand Lotion, Body Lotion, Lip Balm


Homemade Hippie Windex for .12 cents a bottle

Homemade Windex

1/4 C Rubbing Alcohol

1/2 C White Vinegar

1 1/4 C water

If you like: a splash of blue food coloring to fake out the haters in the household 

Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake.

This couldn’t be easier! I figured out my price based on what I paid for the ingredients. I pay .06 cents for 1/2 cup of vinegar. I pay .06 cents for 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol. I don’t add food coloring. I made a 16 ounce bottle of Windex for .12 cents! And it really does work. I’ve tried many window cleaner recipes with lots of unnecessary ingredients, and this works just as well as the real thing.

Related Posts:

Homemade Hippie All Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant

Homemade Hippie Orange Cleaner

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent

A Complete List of Homemade Hippie Recipes

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