Easy Cleaning and Laundry Solutions

by Daisy

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If you are looking for the laundry detergent recipe, it’s right here. This post is about all the other green substitutions you can make in under a minute.

Color Safe Bleach: 1 part Hydrogen Peroxide, 1 part water–Use like store-bought

Fabric Softener: Pure vinegar. I use this with my homemade detergent. I don’t know which is doing it, but I don’t need dryer sheets at all anymore. Everything is soft and fluffy.

Spray Starch: I had a complicated recipe for this, but really, 2 tsp of corn starch in a big spray bottle of water is FINE. Shake before use. If you get flakes, don’t be discouraged. Pour half out and refill with water. Flakes are about amount, not quality. Also, I’ve heard that this stuff can go rancid, but I’ve never had that happen. If you are concerned, add a few drops of tea tree oil or just keep it in the fridge, but really, it’s so easy that you could mix it up every time.

All Purpose Cleaner/Disinfectant: 1 part vinegar, 1 part water in a spray bottle.

Veggie Wash: A few TBSP of vinegar in a big bowl of water. Allow produce to sit in it for a few minutes. Rinse. (If you wanna be grossed out, wash it your usual way first and then do this. Scary sediment.)

Dishwasher Rinse Solution: Vinegar in the rinse compartment.

Unfortunately, at this point in the process, I have yet to find a satisfactory dishwasher detergent. All of the homemade recipes leave a white film on my plastics no matter how little I use. And, since the usual ingredients are poisonous, that is totally uncool. However, you can CUT the amount of detergent you use (saving money and phosphates) by cutting store bought detergent with baking soda. 1/2 and 1/2 is fine.

Tags: , , , , , all purpose cleaner, veggie wash,

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane McManus June 11, 2009 at 3:59 am

I came looking for a dishwashing detergent.
I like the idea of at least being able to cut the stuff in half.

Are there any liquid soaps that you think would work?


ivorysoap76 June 12, 2009 at 11:58 am

You came looking for the unicorn. HA! I have yet to find anything that works. People who cut it in half use baking soda, in my experience. The closest I’ve come to a liquid that MAY work in there is my liquid laundry detergent. I’ve tried many combinations, but the one thing that all dishwasher detergents have is something called ‘liquid glass’ or ‘water glass’. It’s an anti-corrosive, but I think it has to DO something with the rinsing because it’s the only ingredient I haven’t tried. EVERYTHING else leaves a white film on the plastics.

zenman June 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm

When using Pure vinegar as a laundry softener, just how much do you use?

ivorysoap76 June 19, 2009 at 6:38 am

@zenman–Just 1/2 cup!

nancy July 7, 2009 at 11:17 am

have you found a good, environmentally friendly grill cleaner? I’m trying to “save” the frogs and butterflies and therefore don’t want to spray a bunch of chemicals in my yard tring to clean a “new-to-me” grill. Thanks!!

Elaine July 9, 2009 at 1:29 pm

What kind of vinegar do you use?

Elaine July 9, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Can you use the homeade detergent and vinegar for softener in a High Efficiency washer? How much?

Ivory Soap July 10, 2009 at 7:34 pm

@Elaine–Absolutely. I don’t know how much, though. My friend with one says if was a couple of Tablespoons?

Ivory Soap July 10, 2009 at 7:35 pm

@Elaine–plain ole white

Ivory Soap July 14, 2009 at 8:49 am

@Nancy–I don’t have a grill yet! Isn’t that sad? Tell me about what it needs to do and what the surface is like. Is it non-stick?

Adica July 28, 2009 at 7:28 pm

I may have a solution to your dishwashing-soap-leaving-white-film problem. I read what you wrote about the homemade stuff leaving a white film, so I’ve been kind of nervous about making my own because I don’t want to make stuff that I’m not going to be able to use. Because of this, I’ve been looking around the internet for various recipes, and all of them have mentioned the white film problem for some people. However, I found one site (http://dld123.com/q&a/index.php?cid=58) that mentions that one of the problems is related to water temperature. It says to make sure your water temperature in your dishwasher is at least 120 degrees F (or 145 degrees F, according to another poster), and this should prevent the white film I hope this helps! (And let me know if you try it and it works. : ) )

lorrwill August 1, 2009 at 10:52 pm

A vegetable based liquid soap and baking soda/bicarb mixed into a frosting like consistency is an old ‘soft scrub’ recipe that would probably work really well with a good grill brush on the grill.

Ivory Soap August 6, 2009 at 8:25 am


Camien's Grandma August 13, 2009 at 5:01 am

Plain ‘ole white vinegar is a petroleum distillate. I don’t like to pay for anything making the oil barons richer. I use apple cider vinegar for everything – much kinder for skin and Mother Earth.

Nicole September 2, 2009 at 9:36 am

Nancy – try a paste of Borax & water with a good stiff brush.

Tanya November 16, 2009 at 3:16 pm

I wanted to share a recipe I like to use for automatic dishwasher detergent:
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1-2 drops lemon extract

This works really well. If you begin to have film problems, (I did when I lived in Cali.) add some vinegar in the Jet dry dispenser or the rinse water in the bottom during the rinse cycle. It also works great for stubborn stuck on stuff or phantom spills in the living room. I also use this as a scouring powder. Works great in the kitchen and bathroom. Keep plenty of this stuff mixed, I just now successfully removed permanant ink off my linoleum floor. (A certain 3-year-old monster just exploded a pen!)

mom-&-RN October 5, 2010 at 11:24 am

I believe the water temp does have something to do with the film. I noticed during a recent bout of sickness that when I used my “green” dishwasher soap on High heat in the dishwasher, I did not get the film I normally see. Cool thing is if you wash with high heat and rinse you can skip the dry because super hot dishes dry quickly when exposed to air. Now if I can just remember to open the dishwasher immediatly after the last rinse. Still working on that!!

Gale December 17, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I too have used the borax, baking soda and lemon or apple cider vinegar ACV, and have turned off my heating element in the dishwasher. I have to dry plastics(which is very few) but all the glasses, plates, bowls and anything else the glass is dry from the water being so hot.

Amber November 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Does vinegar work with a softener ball, like a downy ball, I do my laundry an a campus laundry center and they have no washers with dispensers and I always forget to add softener!

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