1. Laundry Detergent
There are loads (laundry pun!) of variations on homemade laundry detergents, most of which use a combination of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, Fels Naptha, and Borax. Some recipes call for the use of baking soda or oxygenated bleach as well, but as this post from House Logic shows, the basic three-ingredient formula works the best.
To make it, start by bringing four cups of water to a boil in a large pot. While the water is coming up to a boil, grate the bar of Fels Naptha; use a box grater or pulverize the soap in a food processor or blender. When the water is boiling, stir the grated soap in a handful at a time, stirring to dissolve. Once all the soap has melted, allow the mixture to cool and then mix it with the remaining ingredients along with three gallons of water.
2. Dryer Balls
Reusable dryer balls are a great alternative to landfill-cluttering dryer sheets, and are particularly recommended for use with gym gear and filled items like comforters and parkas. Fabrics that have Lycra, such as yoga pants and sports bras, shouldn’t be exposed to fabric softeners, which will leave a coating that will trap in odors. When it comes to laundering comforters and puffers, the dryer balls help to fluff and evenly distribute the stuffing, post-washing.
The easiest way to DIY a set of dryer balls involves upcycling an old pair of sweat socks and two tennis balls. No real skills are required: Pop a tennis ball into a sock and tie off the ends. Voila! Dryer balls. If you do have skills that you’d like to employ, check out the instructions from [link href=’http://www.diynatural.com/how-to-make-wool-dryer-balls/’ link_updater_label=’external’ target=’_blank’]DIY Natural on how to make wool dryer balls using yarn and old pantyhose.
3. Tub Scrub
Getting a tub sparkling clean is as easy as slicing a lemon — literally! A favorite method for people who prefer their cleaning products to be all natural is to cut a lemon or grapefruit in half, sprinkle the flesh of the fruit liberally with kosher salt and use it to scrub a dirty bathtub.
Another popular tub scrub, like this one from Martha Stewart, combines a cup of baking soda with a teaspoon of liquid soap, like Dr. Bronner’s, a few drops of an antibacterial essential oil like tea tree or lavender and just enough water to form a thick paste that can be used with a sponge or scrub brush.
4. All-Purpose Spray
DIY all-purpose spray is a great gateway drug for those looking to develop a homemade cleaning products habit. At its most basic, a solution of white vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to 3 or 4 parts water) makes for a fantastic all-purpose cleaner. Just remember not to use it on natural stone, which shouldn’t be cleaned with acidic products. If you want to step up your game, try Everyday Roots’ formula, which includes a few drops of essential oil to add a lovely scent.
5. Linen Spray
Linen spray is an easy way to add a little luxury into your life: It’s not terribly expensive, and it gives bedding a crisp look and fresh scent in between washings. Apartment Therapy offers a recipe for homemade linen spray that combines essential oil with distilled water and vodka. Yup! You read that right, vodka! But buyer beware: Essential oils can be pricey, and you may find that buying a commercial linen spray is cheaper than doing it yourself.
6. Rust Remover
Rust stains are dastardly to get out, and unfortunately most off-the-shelf rust removers are full of harsh chemicals. Fortunately, gentler ingredients like Borax and lemon juice can be combined to make an excellent rust removing product. [link href=’http://www.hearts.com/ecolife/natural-recipes-rust-remover/’ link_updater_label=’external’ target=’_blank’]Hearts.com has the instructions, which are to combine equal parts Borax and lemon juice and use it as a paste, as well as a number of alternative recipes you can check out.