Tag Archives: homemade

Homemade Laundry Detergent

My family has sensitive skin, my son the worst of us all. I’m the type of person who can’t put any form of chemicals on my legs for at least a full day after shaving. This includes swimming in a pool, hot tub, lotion, get a pedicure, etc. And back when my husband and I were newlyweds he worked two jobs, one of which required his face be clean shaven. Him shaving that often shredded his poor skin. And my son had an eczema outbreak that was so bad it looked like he had hives all over his entire body. The poor baby’s first birthday pictures had his skin all red and bumpy from his chest to his knees. (Looks like my daughter has escaped the sensitivity so far!)

Because of the sensitive skin in my household we stick to detergents that have no fragrances or dyes (free & clear). I hate paying so much for name brands, yet the cheaper brands were just that: cheaper. I felt like I had to use more of the cheap soap, which lessens the numbers of loads in each container, which defeats the purpose of it being “cheap.”

Entering now, the purpose of this post: Homemade Laundry Detergent. I browsed online, hunted and hunted, and finally found this recipe I wanted to try.

Supplies Needed:

1. One box (76 oz.) Borax
2. 1 Box (55 oz.) Super Washing Soda
3. 1 box (4 lbs) Baking Soda
4. 2  (400 g) bars of Zote Soap (or 3 bars of Fels Naptha Soap) (.97 ea.)
5. 1 tub of OxyClean (I used the kind without dyes with the green lid)
6. Optional for scent: 1 container of Downy Unstoppables. I left this out. It’s about $5.

Additional Supplies/Tools:

1. One 5 gallon bucket and lid to mix this all up inside.
2. Cheese grater or grater blade as well as a multipurpose blade in a food processor.
3. Large bowl to set shredded soap aside in.
4. Airtight container to store your detergent in.
5. 2 Tablespoon scoop (or a coffee scoop. I found one for $1, or you can use the scoop from the OxyClean tub but you’ll have to keep an eye on scooping the correct amount.)


Start out by grating your Zote (or Fels Naptha). I used the medium grade, not the itty bitty, not the regular size. Once that is completed, put a couple cups of that in your food processor, add a bit of the baking soda (less than a cup or so?), then grate until its a powdery pink mixture. Continue this until you’re out of Zote then pour it all into the 5 gallon bucket or trash bag.

Add the rest of your ingredients. Snap the lid on tight (or twist the bag shut) and shake it all together. If you are using the Downy Unstoppables, do so now so they’re mixed in, too.

Fill your airtight container and leave the scoop inside. Voila! You’re done. Leave the rest of the detergent sealed up in your laundry room or garage, or give it away if you like!

To use, just add one scoop (2T) to your wash. I have a front loader and I have read you can either put it in the little tray up top or inside the drum and both work just fine. I usually put it in the drum because sometimes it gets gelled up in the dispenser tray, which eventually flushes clean but that bothers me so I just toss it in with the clothes.

My only complaint was that I do not have the grater blade for my food processor and the grating was a pain.

Otherwise, this was a fun little project! It made my kitchen smell good and with all the costs it comes to $0.10 per load! I’m seriously considering giving this in mason jars as gifts to my neighbors at Christmas but I can’t decide if that’s lame or not. Ha ha! (Edit: I totally forgot to do this. Maybe next year? Ha!)

Have you made detergent before? What variations in your “recipe” did you have?

Update: It’s now January (6 months or so since I made this) and I have yet to refill my jar on my washer. I have had zero problems whatsoever with this recipe. No weird clumps of powder or residue or discoloration on the clothes. My HE front loader has been working just fine, too. I love this stuff. To make this once a year (or less, at this rate) is fantastic to me.


Starbucks at Home – Passion Tea Lemonade

I love Starbucks’ passion tea lemonades. I craved those while pregnant with my first. I loved them even without the lemonade, too. They’re just so summery and delicious!

But, with all the hype of Starbucks’ prices going up I thought I’d share how to get the refreshing favorite of mine at home and for a fraction of the cost!

Here’s what you need:
Passion tea by Tazo – make sure it’s the blue box with the ice cubes on the front.
A can of lemonade concentrate
Large pitcher

Start by making your tea. I used one tea bag and added about 2 quarts of almost boiling water (because I’m impatient), let steep as the directions say.


Once it’s nice and dark pink I took the tea bag out and added some ice to speed up the cooling process. I didn’t use an exact amount, but I added about this much.

Obviously from that picture, it had all melted already.

Then, add your lemonade concentrate. I made sure it had somewhat thawed so I could mix it up faster. I then added a few cans of water as if I was making regular lemonade, but make sure you account the ice cubes i added earlier. This filled up my not-so-pretty pitcher to the top, making about a gallon.

Stir, pour over ice, and enjoy!


You can also use lemonade from a bottle, like Minute Maid or Simply Lemonade. The concentrate was cheaper.

And please note if you like this to taste sweeter just don’t add as much water. Taste it as you make it until you find the right flavor you’re looking for. My version isn’t very sweet so I’m going to try less water next time.

Homemade White Mocha

This morning I tried to have some coffee before both kids woke up, but that didn’t  happen. Hours later I noticed my mostly full mug of coffee was cold. No wonder I was still dragging! Today is a rare day where both kids are napping at the same time, so I decided to make myself a “fancy” cup of coffee. I wanted Starbucks, but I hate to spend so much on coffee every time I get the craving (Which, let’s be honest, is daily- almost multiple times a day). I got the idea here, it’s a copy cat white mocha that doesn’t involve an espresso machine. It’s not exactly the same but it sure hit the spot today.

You will need:

  • Strong coffee, freshly brewed
  • 2/3 C milk (The original post-er used whole but I used 1%)
  • 1/2 C white chocolate baking chips
  • Whipped cream
  • Cinnamon (garnish)
  • White chocolate shavings (garnish)

by: Babies&Birks


  1. Add milk and chocolate chips to saucepan or double boiler and heat until the chips are melted and milk is hot.
  2. While that is melting, start your coffee. (I used my Keurig)
  3. Add your melted mixture into your coffee until it reaches the top of your mug. Add whip cream.
  4. If desired, add a sprinkle of cinnamon or chocolate shavings.

Makes enough for two lattes or one large latte. And yes, I put mine in a Starbucks mug. 😉

You can always use other flavors of chocolate chips, there are all kinds out there to customize for your preferences! I’m thinking peppermint around Christmas? Caramel? Milk chocolate? Mmmm….

Heat Packs on a Warm Day?

Ah, what a beautiful day here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest! It is a gorgeous 81 degrees and I have all my windows open and shorts and a tank top on. I can’t even tell you how much I’m loving it.

After I put my kids down to nap I was unpacking a box of sewing supplies I found some fabric scraps. As I was looking through to see what I had (isn’t it funny how easy it is to forget what’s in your scrap collection?) I found some half-completed projects! And since I do not yet have a sewing table/desk/anything set up I was quite pleased to already have had the sewing completed!

If only I took pictures as I started this project almost a year ago- oh the joys of having our belongings in storage for 11 months- but what I found were fabric rectangles folded in half long ways (or if you think like me, folded “hot dog” style) so that they look like long tubes with a small 1-2 inch opening on one corner. After I flipped them inside out they measured 4inches wide by 18 inches long, but you can adjust the size for whomever you are making this gift. I had used a fat quarter or other miscellaneous fabric scraps I had on hand, just basic 100% cotton, but I’ve also used flannel and fleece in the past and I prefer the soft fuzziness of flannel just a tad more.

To finish this project all you need to do is funnel some rice into the fabric tube and either hand-stitch or carefully use your machine to sew shut the opening. I measured the amount of rice I poured inside by touch. It ended up being approximately two cups of white rice. I like my heat packs a little heavier and fuller, but that choice is up to you! Due to my lack-of-sewing-machine-set-up I opted to hand stitch it shut.

Voila! You’re done! You can either toss this rice bag into the freezer or nuke it in the microwave and you have a hot- or cold- pack!

Here’s some other ways you can customize your heat packs:

  • Fabric- Cotton, flannel, fleece, etc. 
  • Shape- Long and narrow (like I did),  curved to fit shoulders, a shorter and fatter rectangle, smaller (2x2in.) squares for pockets, heart shapes, circles, etc. Also, you can sew addition lines across the bag after you’ve added some of your filler to keep the filling dispersed evenly and it won’t pile up on the ends and be lop-sided.
  • Different fillers- beans, rice, flax seeds, lentils, etc.
  • Scented- Add dried lavender or other herbs to add some aroma therapy scents. 
  • More…? If you have any other things you’ve tried to make your heat packs let me know!

Here’s a link to another tutorial with great photos to help you through, and she even suggested adding loose leaf tea for their scent.

As I grow my blog I will improve my tutorials with photos and more specific instructions, so bear with me!

Thank you for stopping by!