Homemade liquid laundry detergents

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There are many recipies and formulas for soaps and laundry products that can be made at home. Are there any for making plain ole' liquid diswashing detergent?

-- Ken in Maine (kenjan@nh.adelphia.net), November 13, 2001


The common liquid dishwashing detergent you buy is made from petroleum products, so if you want a less-toxic alternative, you can use homemade soap (either swish the bar under the faucet or mix half grated soap half hot water to make a liquid to squirt).

You can also dilute products like Dr. Bronner's liquid soaps (in health food stores and some grocery stores). I think 7th Generation also makes a dish liquid, and there are many others to choose from in health food stores.

Another alternative is simply to use less of the regular stuff if you're trying to save money. Detergents are truly better than soap in that regard--you don't need to use as much. Hot water and action (either elbow grease or the dishwasher) is what really cleans dishes (remember when camping how you were always better off just washing dishes with hot water because it was harder to rinse properly?).

And, hand dishwashing liquid is a lot less toxic than many of the other detergents people use, like laundry detergent. Just a thought

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), November 13, 2001.

I'm glad you started this thread (apologies to Mitch because this probably was discussed in the archives) because I am about to put in a quasi grey water system in our home. I don't live anywhere near a health food/green store and would like to make my own soap/dish/clothes soap that would be nontoxic to my garden and pond.

Sometimes people have different definitions as to what is toxic. I note your mention that "less is more" where toxicity is concerned.

I look forward to the responses.

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), November 13, 2001.

I've been trying to reduce my use of the typical commercial "soap" products after reading about all the toxic chemicals in them. I've gotten shampoo and conditioner that I'm really happy with (and I have difficult hair) from AbundantEarth.com. They have lots of other household products too, I've just tried the personal care stuff. I wasn't able to find pure soap products other than Dr. Bronner's in the local health food stores. Even the suposedly healthy stuff you have to check the labels.

-- Susan (smtroxel@socket.net), November 13, 2001.

My Nanny had this wire cage with a long handle that held a cake of Sunlight Pure Soap. She would agitate that in her dish pan of hot water and use that for washing the dishes. couldn't that work as well as homemade soap without the hassle of making homemade soap? One cake would last a long time too. I wonder if my mom still has that soap holder thingy.....

-- Alison in N.S. (aproteau@istar.ca), November 14, 2001.

I have not tried this yet but it dawned on me last night that the all-natural laundry detergent that I posted above might also work for washing dishes. You'd probably only need to use a spoonful. My only question is if the borax would be hard on the hands. But since you would be using such a small amount it might not matter. I'll let you know after my husband does a load! (heehee)

-- Bren (wayoutfarm@skybest.com), November 14, 2001.

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