Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe


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This homemade laundry detergent recipe uses just a handful of natural ingredients and is suitable for front loading and HE washing machines. Learn how to make your own liquid laundry detergent at home for a fraction of the price of store-bought detergents! #homemadelaundrydetergent #liquidlaundrydetergent #laundrydetergentforhewashingmachinesThe safety and efficacy of homemade laundry detergent is a very hotly debated topic. In fact, it’s up there with things like canning safety, and possibly religion and politics as well!

Many people claim that homemade laundry detergents are either bad for your clothes, bad for your washing machine, or both. I’ve read many articles that claim homemade laundry soaps and detergents either don’t work (ie. leave clothes looking and smelling dirty), have discoloured people’s clothes (leaving whites yellow and colours looking dull),  or left soap residue in the fibres of clothes.  Some say it even ruined their washing machines, specifically front loaders and HE washing machines.

Not to mention the many online sources that claim that if your washing machine goes on the fritz during your warranty period and you’ve been using homemade laundry detergent, your warranty will be void.

On top of all of that, borax -a common ingredient used in homemade laundry detergent- has been called into question for safety reasons, as it can be toxic and even deadly if ingested or used indicated on skin.

😱 No wonder making your own laundry detergent is such a controversial topic!

However, I’ve been making and using homemade laundry detergent for about 2½ years now and not only have I never had a problem with the recipe that I use, our clothes are as clean as ever, our brand new (as of three years ago) Electrolux-brand HE front loader washing machine still runs perfectly well and has no built up soap residue (although we do a vinegar rinse once every 50 loads or so… when our fancy washing machine reminds us that it’s time;).

Since we started making our own, we’ve easily saved a few hundred dollars on store-bought laundry detergent, which is honestly the biggest reason why we make our own at home.

I will say, most other recipes I’ve read call for grated bar soap, and this can definitely be a culprit for soap residue, so I’m thinking that the fact that I use liquid Castile soap in my recipe makes a big difference. I’ll talk more about ingredients in a minute, but keep that in mind… Do not substitute grated bar soap for liquid Castile soap, or liquid dish soap for that matter! You will not get the same results and I definitely wouldn’t use either of those ingredients in my own washing machine.

That being said, I’m going to share my recipe with you today, but as a disclaimer I will say you would be wise to check your warranty and do additional research if you’re worried at all about using homemade detergent in your machine. I can only share that this has worked perfectly well for us, and that we have never had a problem with this particular recipe.

I’ll tell you the exact recipe we use and the exact amount we add to each load, and I can say with certainty that we have never had a load come out of the washing machine smelling or looking dirty, and have never had a problem with soap residue gumming up our washing machine (or clothes). But I cannot be held responsible for any adverse results you may experience, just to be clear.

I’m just sharing what works for me and my family, and homemade laundry detergent is something I’ve been asked about multiple times over the years, so I figured now is as good a time as any to share my recipe and experience with you!

 

Related: Spring Cleaning Recipes With Essential Oils

 

How much does it cost to make your own laundry detergent at home?

I wish I was one of those Type-A women who kept meticulous track of everything in her budget and that I had an exact cost per load to share with you, but alas, I am not that woman! What I can say is that I used to use a brand of all-natural detergent called Nellie’s All-Natural, which cost somewhere between $20 and $30 a box for powdered detergent which was meant to last for 60 loads, and I usually had to purchase around 3 or 4 boxes of this detergent per year, which means I spent between $60 to $90 per year on laundry detergent. Keep in mind that I’m also Canadian, so this was in CAD.

When I switched to making my own laundry detergent, I spent about $60 on all of the ingredients up front, but those ingredients have now lasted us about 2½ years, and we still have some ingredients leftover. This works out to around $25 per year (a savings of $35 to $65 per year based on what I was spending before).

Not bad if you ask me! But again, this may also depend on where you live, your currency and how much the ingredients cost in your area (if purchasing them locally).

Regardless, homemade laundry detergent will save you money one way or another.

 

This homemade laundry detergent recipe uses just a handful of natural ingredients and is suitable for front loading and HE washing machines. Learn how to make your own liquid laundry detergent at home for a fraction of the price of store-bought detergents! #homemadelaundrydetergent #liquidlaundrydetergent #laundrydetergentforhewashingmachines

Is homemade laundry detergent all-natural?

Another reason why I prefer to make my own laundry detergent is because I’ve been on a years-long mission to eliminate synthetic fragrances and chemicals from our home. Store-bought detergents often contain an array of harmful synthetic chemicals including sulfates, synthetic surfactants, phenols and petroleum distillates to name a few. Not to the mention synthetic fragrances that are in most conventional laundry detergents. Those store-bought detergents that smell like “lavender,” “fresh cotton” or a “tropical sunset” are full of synthetic chemicals that stay in your clothes and can cause irritation. I’ve used detergents before where the smell was so strong that it gave me headaches. This concoction of chemicals can be absorbed by your skin as well. For this reason, I switched to an all-natural detergent a number of years ago, but like I said, it still easily cost me between $60 to $90 per year just to clean our clothes. So I decided to start making my own for a fraction of the price and haven’t bought laundry detergent since!

The homemade laundry detergent recipe below uses all natural ingredients, all of which are safe when handled and diluted correctly.

 

This homemade laundry detergent recipe uses just a handful of natural ingredients and is suitable for front loading and HE washing machines. Learn how to make your own liquid laundry detergent at home for a fraction of the price of store-bought detergents! #homemadelaundrydetergent #liquidlaundrydetergent #laundrydetergentforhewashingmachines

Ingredients in homemade laundry detergent

Different recipes for homemade laundry detergent call for different ingredients. Some of them call for grating a bar of soap. Some of them call for borax while others omit it, and some I’ve seen even call for using Dawn dish detergent (which I wouldn’t recommend due to the crazy amount of suds this can produce –and leak out of your machine– as well as the soap residue it can leave behind).

I also don’t recommend using grated bar soap as this can also leave behind lots of soapy residue, both in the fibres of your clothes and in your washing machine.

Instead, I use Dr. Bronner’s liquid Castile soap, and I’ve never had a problem with soapy residue. 

I also use Arm & Hammer brand washing soda, which is similar to baking soda, but has a slightly different chemical makeup which is much more alkaline than baking soda. Washing soda is an 11 on the PH scale whereas baking soda is an 8. The high alkalinity of washing soda makes it a more effective stain remover than baking soda, which is an essential component of a good laundry detergent.

And finally, I do use borax in my laundry detergent, which I’ll touch on in more detail in just a moment.

Borax is also a very alkaline substance (around 9.5 to 10 on the PH scale). Once again, this is what makes borax an effective stain remover, just like washing soda. But this high alkalinity means that even though both of these ingredients are natural, they must be handled with caution and you should avoid touching them with bare skin. This is very similar to using lye in homemade soap: There’s nothing inherently dangerous about making homemade soap or using lye (which is even higher in alkalinity at about 14 on the PH scale), but if handled with bare hands, it can irritate or even burn skin.

Personally we don’t use gloves when making our homemade laundry detergent, but if you want to play it safe then gloves couldn’t hurt.

Otherwise, I do like to add some essential oils to my laundry detergent for a nice scent, but this part is totally optional. Sometimes I omit the oils and just add a few drops of essential oils to my wool dryer balls to add a little fresh scent to my clothing in the dryer.

 

What is borax?

Borax is a natural boron compound that is mined from mineral deposits that (from the research I’ve done) were left behind from hot springs in places like Death Valley. In fact, according to popular borax brand 20 Mule Team Borax, “U.S. Borax traces its roots to California’s Death Valley, where borate deposits were discovered in 1872. The first 20 mule team hauled borax a sweeping 165 miles through Death Valley in 1883.”

According to the Death Valley Natural History Association website, “borax belongs to a group of boron minerals called borates resembling quartz crystals, fibrous cotton balls or earthy white powders. They originated in hot springs or vapors associated with the outpouring of volcanic rocks such as the colorful formations of Artists Drive. Seeping groundwater formed glassy borate veins in the extinct lake beds of Furnace Creek and has moved soluble borates to modern salt flats such as the floor of Death Valley. There, evaporation has left a mixed white crust of salt, borax, and alkalies.”

While borax is a natural substance, it can be dangerous if ingested and can cause skin rashes, eye irritation, nausea and, if ingested, it can even cause death! But then again, so can bleach.

Borax has also been used as an effective detergent in laundry rooms across North America for decades. The first box I got was from my grandma who used to use it to do her laundry. While it must absolutely be handled with care and caution and kept out of reach of children (we keep ours high up on top of our standing freezer by our washing machine), borax is perfectly safe to use diluted in homemade laundry detergent. 

So, now that we’ve got all of those disclaimers and cautionary tales out of the way, let’s move on to the recipe.

 

This homemade laundry detergent recipe uses just a handful of natural ingredients and is suitable for front loading and HE washing machines. Learn how to make your own liquid laundry detergent at home for a fraction of the price of store-bought detergents! #homemadelaundrydetergent #liquidlaundrydetergent #laundrydetergentforhewashingmachines

How to make your own liquid laundry detergent

To make your own liquid laundry detergent, start by bringing 8 cups of water to a boil.

While your water is boiling, add one cup of borax and one cup of washing soda to a large jug or bucket. I find that a gallon jar is just a little bit too small for this recipe, so if possible use something a little bit larger. We use an old 5 litre vinegar jug and just mix everything in there.

Once you’ve added the borax and washing soda, add one cup of liquid Castile soap, then add 8 cups of boiling water and mix it well to dissolve all the ingredients. (If using a jug, I find it’s useful to use a tea towel or oven mitts to hold the jug and shake it up as the boiling water will make it quite hot).

When it’s well mixed and the ingredients have fully dissolved, add another 8 cups of cold water and mix again.

At this point, you can add some essential oils if you like. I like to use either lavender or Plant Therapy’s Deodorizing Blend. I know moms people who suggest lemon essential oil, but I don’t risk using lemon oil as it has the potential to stain your clothes. Plant Therapy also has their own set of laundry blends if you wanna mix it up!

 

This homemade laundry detergent recipe uses just a handful of natural ingredients and is suitable for front loading and HE washing machines. Learn how to make your own liquid laundry detergent at home for a fraction of the price of store-bought detergents! #homemadelaundrydetergent #liquidlaundrydetergent #laundrydetergentforhewashingmachines

If using essential oils, I like to add about 50 drops and then mix all of the ingredients together one more time.

Let your laundry detergent sit until it cools to room temperature. It will likely start to congeal to a thick white consistency.

To use, add about ¼ cup of laundry detergent to each load. We have a pre-measured ¼ cup scoop that we use to measure out our detergent, although in all honesty, I’ve been free pouring for about the past 6 months or so.

Do be careful not to add too much though as I’ve read that this can cause the issue of soapy residue!

 

How I dry my clothes

As a self-proclaimed “homesteader,” I feel like I’m expected to line dry my laundry and love the feel of crisp cotton on my skin, but in all honesty, I don’t. I might start line drying our laundry someday, but I’ll still probably throw it in to the dryer for a quick refresh to soften it up. that being said, I don’t like using dryer sheets for the same reasons I don’t like using conventional laundry detergent: They’re expensive, full of synthetic chemicals and can be harmful to our own health and to the environment.

But I also hate static cling, so I opt for using wool dryer balls instead.

This homemade laundry detergent recipe uses just a handful of natural ingredients and is suitable for front loading and HE washing machines. Learn how to make your own liquid laundry detergent at home for a fraction of the price of store-bought detergents! #homemadelaundrydetergent #liquidlaundrydetergent #laundrydetergentforhewashingmachines

I’ve been using dryer balls for longer than I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for, and they work just as well as dryer sheets but are 100% natural and can be reused over and over again.

Personally, I like to add a few drops of essential oils to my dryer balls before I toss them in with our laundry. HOWEVER, a reader recently informed me that adding essential oils to dryer balls has been linked to dryer fires as the oils can hit their flashpoint in a hot dryer and ignite! So I would definitely caution against this. The dryer balls on their own, however, are definitely worth the small investment up front as they will last for a very long time.

And that’s all you need for your natural homemade laundry routine!

Tell me, what does your laundry care routine look like? Do you line dry your clothes or do you prefer the dryer? Let me know in the comments below:)

 

This homemade laundry detergent recipe uses just a handful of natural ingredients and is suitable for front loading and HE washing machines. Learn how to make your own liquid laundry detergent at home for a fraction of the price of store-bought detergents! #homemadelaundrydetergent #liquidlaundrydetergent #laundrydetergentforhewashingmachines

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

Yield: 1 GALLON plus a bit more

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. While your water is boiling, add one cup of borax and one cup of washing soda to a large jug or bucket. Mix well.
  2. Add one cup of liquid Castile soap, then add the 8 cups of boiling water and mix it well to dissolve all the ingredients.
  3. Once it’s well mixed and the ingredients have fully dissolved, add another 8 cups of cold water and mix again.
  4. At this point, you can add some essential oils if you like. If using essential oils, I like to add about 50 drops and then mix all of the ingredients together one more time.

  5. Let your laundry detergent sit until it cools to room temperature. Depending on the temperature, it may remain liquid or it may congeal to a thick white consistency.
 To use, add about ¼ cup of laundry detergent to each load.

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

69 Comments

  1. Shay

    I’d like to double or triple batch this. I was wondering if you have done this before and if so, would you basically add the same amount of each ingredient per 16 cups of water? Or would I need to reduce the amount of some of the ingredients if that makes sense?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Shay,
      I haven’t doubled the batch myself as this makes enough to last several months, but in theory it should work just fine. I would double or triple all of the ingredients (same as you would with a recipe_ and see how it goes. No promises but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Best of luck and let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  2. Susan Mendoza

    I did my first load with this recipe. My whites look really dingy after and I did a second rinse. Did I do something wrong when I made it?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Susan,
      So sorry you’ve had this issue. I haven’t had a problem before unless clothes were really stained or dirty (I usually do a pre-soak if they’re quite bad). If you followed the recipe I can’t see what you would have done wrong. It’s possible that if you’re used to using a standard store-bought detergent that the clothes aren’t quite as bright white as you’re used to. But they shouldn’t be dingy.

      Reply
  3. Virginie

    Good recipe, thank you.
    About the toxicity of borax, you might want to read the following article. Borax can be taken as a health supplement! I had no idea either.

    Reply
  4. Jenny

    I made the recipe (in a hurry late at night) and I forgot the cold water step. Now it’s a hard substance in my bucket. Is there any way so salvage it now? I’d hate to waste all those ingredients!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Jenny,
      I would maybe try adding some hot water to soften it up and then let it cool down. Maybe start with half the amount of water but make it boiling, then add the remaining cold water once it’s dissolved and let cool. That’s what I would try. Let me know how it works out!

      Reply
  5. Ashton

    I live this recipe and plant therapy oils! So far the laundry detergent has been cleaning my clothes but after a couple of days in the bucket/container and it’s chunky like gel. I have shaken and stirred. I used the recipe to the T. Is there anything I can do or anything I did wrong?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Ashton,
      It doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong. The consistency changes are normal. Ours also tends to gel. I just shake before each use to make sure it’s well combined as sometimes it likes to separate and it still works great and cleans our clothes well:)

      Reply
      • Ashton

        Thank you. I have a new washer and it seems to dissolve and not leave any build up.
        I shake and stir. Mine is pretty chunky and not really liquified underneath. I am loving the chemical free and enjoy your blog. Thank you.

        Reply
  6. Gloria

    Hi Anna, do you have a recipe for fabric softener for an HE washing machine?!?!

    Reply
    • Ashley Constance

      Hi Gloria – sorry, not at this time!

      Reply
    • Ashton P.

      I just made this yesterday. Already did a load and it was great. Was not worried about the thickness or bubbles after it was shook. Today it kinda looked chunky. Mixed it again and touched it and it was more like a gel I felt like would liquify. I have a HE too loader so it washes pretty well. Should still be ok if it’s chunking even after shaking right? It smells great. I actually got Castile soap that’s lavender sent. Plant Therapy oils are so nice!!! I plan on making more household cleaning products with it. Thank you for this recipe.

      Reply
  7. Rose

    Hi there, I am new to this and I fear I have done something wrong, I just made this liquid and once cooled I did a load of washing but it has come out with undissolved mixture on it. Can I re-boil the entire mixture to try dissolve it better or will I have to start again? Thank you

    Reply
    • Jamie Pearson

      Hi Rose,
      If you are ending up with residue on your clothes you may just be using too much. Also, if you are adding the detergent directly into the tub of your machine rather than a soap dispenser, you may want to try putting it in the machine first and then putting your laundry in on top.

      Reply
      • Rose

        Thank you I will try adding less. I have a front loader so put liquid into the dispenser. I also had particles stuck in the rubber ring. I will see how I go using less next time. Would it be ok to re boil the mixture again incase I haven’t dissolved it properly the first time?

        Reply
        • Jamie Pearson

          Hi Rose,
          Anna would not recommend reboiling the finished product, but you could try adding a bit more boiling water and giving it a good shake before you do another load. If this still doesn’t work then you may have to start from scratch.

          Reply
        • Deb

          you can still put the detergent (homemade or otherwise) into the drum of the front-load machine. they just make the pour-in drawer because it’s convenient. just measure out the soap, lumpy or not, into a cup and pour it directly into the drum, then stick your clothes in shut the door and start washing

          Reply
  8. Breanna

    Hi there! Thank you for all of your details. Do you put the detergent in the container in the washer as normal, or do you put it right in the washer?

    Reply
    • Jamie Pearson

      Hi Breanna,

      Anna puts the detergent in the container but you could try it directly in the washer if that is your preference. I would suggest putting it in first and then putting the clothes in on top.

      Reply
      • Lee

        I just made this and mine came out watery and I followed the directions to a tee. Is it supposed to be? Most laundry soaps I’ve used are a little thicker.

        Reply
        • Anna Sakawsky

          Hi Lee,
          It usually tends to thicken up as it cools. I actually noticed my latest batch was more watery than usual too so it could be the warmer temperatures as we head into summer. But typically it does thicken up and is not as liquidy. Either way it will still work fine. Just give it a good shake before using.

          Reply
    • Saidah

      Greetings, thank you for the recipe, I am looking forward to trying it! I’m wondering if adding vinegar in the final or separate/extra rinse would have an adverse effect on the laundry? Does anyone know? I believe that castille and vinegar are not good combinations together. Although the soap should be rinsed away, there maybe traces remaining.

      Reply
      • Jamie Pearson

        Hi Saidah,
        The issue with mixing Castile soap and vinegar is that they render each other ineffective, and the Castile will separate and become oily.
        Anna does not use vinegar with her laundry, but she will add it to a machine cleaning cycle every 40 or 50 loads.

        Reply
        • Saidah

          Thank you.

          Reply
  9. Lindsey

    How can I adapt the recipe so that it stays liquid consistency?

    Reply
    • Jamie Pearson

      Hi Lindsay,

      A varied consistency tends to be the nature of the recipe. It is affected by temperature and will stay more liquid if you keep it warm.

      Reply
  10. Leena D.

    Hi there, I made this laundry soap today. Before it even was cooled completely it separated. Liquid on the bottom and thick and foamy on the top. What went wrong? Can I still use it in a front load washer?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Leena,
      It’s very common for it to separate, especially as it’s cooling. Just give it a good shake before you use it and it should be fine:)

      Reply
    • Cynthia Sicola

      How long does it take to gel? Mines at room temp but it’s still liquid.

      Reply
      • Jamie Pearson

        Hi Cynthia,

        The consistency of the laundry soap can range from quite liquid to fairly solid, but neither state will effect the performance. We recommend that you just give it a shake before each use.

        Reply
  11. Joice

    Can this detergent be used to wash laundry by hand?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Joice,
      I would be cautious using this detergent to wash clothes by hand as it contains Borax and Borax can irritate skin if it comes in direct contact. That being said, I have used it to wash clothes by hand before and I’ve been fine. You might want to wear gloves (ie. dish washing gloves) just in case.

      Reply
  12. Celeste

    What could I use instead of the soap?

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Hi Celeste,
      In this recipe you have to have some kind of soap for it to clean properly. Anna uses this brand of soap because it has no synthetics in it and is gentle while being effective. If you do not have this brand available to you, then perhaps you can use another similar soap for this particular recipe? Anna prefers the liquid over the solid type as it seems to reduce any residue left behind – as she has experienced.
      We can not guarantee, if you do choose to substitute the soap, that your results will be exactly the same as Anna’s (because we haven’t tried any other substitutions for this ingredient) but you are welcome to try something else. We would love to know how it works for you, if you do. 🙂

      Reply
      • Angela

        Good morning. Did I read somewhere that this was only good for front loader washing machines? I have a top loader.
        Does that matter?
        Thanks!

        Reply
        • Anna Sakawsky

          Hi Angela,
          This is good for all washing machines. I just specified that it’s good for front loaders as many homemade detergents aren’t so great for front loading machines but it should work just fine with a top loader too:)

          Reply
  13. michael zandri

    hi Anna….sounds great and can’t wait to get started on my first batch.

    Do you have a recipe for an All Purpose Cleaner that be be put into a spray bottle?

    Thanks,

    Reply
  14. Mary Johnson

    Love this recipe. I have been making my own laundry detergent for over a year. Your recipe is so much simpler than the one I had. I did have trouble when I mixed the borax, washing soda and castle soap it made a hard ball; so I added the borax and washing soda first and then add the castle soap to the water. It desolved fast. In the store laundry isle they now have scent booster to add to the wash, I used that instead of essential oils and it is much cheaper.

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      That sounds great, Mary.
      I’m glad you like our simple and easy recipe. Adding a scent booster to suit your needs is a great idea. We use the essential oils as it reduces the amount of chemicals in the product but I like that you have made adjustments that make you happy with the end product. It is a personal choice to add whatever type of scent you like, if you even add a scent at all.
      Here’s to some happy laundry!

      Reply
  15. amber

    Can you use this on a cold water washing cycle?

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Yes, Amber.
      This detergent can be used just like any other liquid detergent you would purchase at the store.

      Reply
  16. Diane

    I made this recipe and my detergent separated. It’s thick and white on top and clear and thin on the bottom.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      That’s normal. Just give it a good shake before you use it:)

      Reply
  17. Iris Hetrick

    Can you use a flavored Castile soap like the citrus blend? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Hi Iris,
      Yes, you can use a scented Castile soap. You may then find that you will not need or want to use the optional essential oil.
      However, if you do add more scent, remember to coordinate your essential oil with the scent of the soap (citrus with citrus, floral with floral,….etc).
      Enjoy! 🙂

      Reply
  18. Jennifer Caldera

    Do you store in plastic? There’s no concern of any of the ingredients breaking down the material?

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Hi Jennifer,
      When I asked Anna about that she said: “You can if you like. I’ve stored in both glass and plastic. I currently store it in an old vinegar jug, so it’s plastic but also food safe. I’ve stored it in an old laundry detergent jug before too and a bleach jug would work. Other detergents are stored in these jugs and I’m not eating detergent so I’m not too worried about storing in these types of plastic jugs.”
      I hope that helps. 🙂

      Reply
      • Allyson Thomas

        Can I substitute the Borax for Oxi Clean free?

        Reply
        • Tish Painter

          Hi Allyson,
          Chemically, borax and Oxi-Clean work the same way. That being said, we have not tried to use it in this recipe.
          Anna’s goal with this particular recipe is to remove unnecessary chemicals and plastics from the environment as well be economical and do a good job cleaning. Oxi-Clean contains polymer which is a term often used to refer to plastic.
          But, as it works almost exactly the same way as borax, you are welcome to try it for yourself. We cannot guarantee that it will work exactly the same as what Anna describes here, but we would love to hear how it works for you if you choose to try it.

          Reply
  19. Eden

    Thanks for the recipe! Is the 1cup of the Castile soap diluted or undiluted?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Eden,
      The Castile soap is undiluted. (It’s diluted after you mix it with the rest of the ingredients:)

      Reply
      • Eden

        Thanks! <3

        Reply
        • Lexi

          Is this safe for babies clothes?

          Reply
          • Tish Painter

            I would think so Lexi. I know that Anna started making this recipe when her daughter was 2 years old and had no problems.
            Perhaps, if you are hesitant, you could test it on one piece of clothing and see if your baby has any kind of a reaction before washing all of his/her clothes.
            I would love to know what you think and how it works for you.

  20. Ursula Marin

    How do you use the laundry detergent if it congeals into a gel? My detergent congealed, but left a lot of water at the bottom? Should I mix it, or should I just use the gel mixture that floated to the top?

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Ursula,
      That’s totally normal. Ours congeals all the time. I just shake the jug and it liquifies enough for me to pour some out. But you could also transfer it to a container with an opening big enough for you to scoop it out if that’s easier.

      Reply
      • Meg Burton

        Do you use this with a septic system?

        Reply
        • Anna Sakawsky

          Yes, we’re on septic.

          Reply
  21. Kristen

    I followed your recipe for detergent, but mine is runny and not thickening up at all? What did I do wrong?

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Hi Kristen,
      If you followed the recipe then you did nothing wrong. At the end Anna says that it may remain liquid or it may get thick as it cools which is mainly due to your room temperature or climate. It does not have any impact on the effectiveness of the product. Many store bought products are also liquid and have the advantage of being easy to measure out the amount you desire. 🙂
      I hope this helps.

      Reply
  22. Kelly

    I rarely hang clothes on the line to dry. I’m not sure if it’s because I truly don’t have the time or just because I’m too lazy. I wish I could get excited about it, but the dryer is just so fast and convenient sitting right there next to the washer just begging for those wet clothes to dry and give it a purpose in life. I just can’t say no.

    Reply
  23. Sabrina

    Hi! Just been reading and I’m going to give this a go, I do have one question tho. The recipe, how much detergent does it make? Thank you for clarifying, Sabrina

    Reply
    • Tish Painter

      Hi Sabrina,
      Anna said that the recipe makes a little more than a gallon so she uses a 5 liter jug she found which works fine. If you don’t have one that large, you can mix it all in a larger container and pour into two smaller jugs for ease of use.

      Reply
  24. Tim L

    Like the Farmer said . Does anything ever go right ? Heard the guy say that on a farming show as I just came in the house from working on the broke down combine and getting ready to work on the broke down grain truck . I know the feeling .

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Tim,
      I have a feeling you’re responding to the email I sent out where I talked about crying in my coffee over my gardening struggles this year. You’re so right! If it’s not one thing it’s another. But we keep going anyway because this homesteading lifestyle is worth it. Thanks for the comment and the support! I assure you that at least this laundry detergent recipe has never failed me 😉

      Reply
    • Melissa marcou

      As for the dryer balls that seems good and all, but several years ago I recall a woman sharing her recipes and saying she used an old wash rag just damp it and soap the living day lights out of it and through it it in the dryer. Well why not. I like it it’s just my clothes and I’m a woman I can pick Ann choose so I went to the local health barn and had a bottle of Jasmine and secrets mixed and well you know. It was costly. But worth it. Missy marcou

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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'Tis the season! And if you didn't start planning as soon as Christmas was over last year, you may be feeling the pressures of the holidays right about now. Between ever-soaring prices and the mental load of keeping track of it all, this magical time of year, can sometimes feel, not so magical. ⁣

But don't worry, not only do I have some tips to get you through this season without majorly breaking the bank, but also a free budget planner to make next year a success. ⁣

A few things to keep in mind as you're planning your holiday festivities... there are so many fun things you can do for free, or for the cost of a small charitable donation around this time of year. ⁣

A few of our favorites include: ⁣
⛸ going ice skating or tobogganing⁣
🎅🏼 going to visit Santa⁣
🎄 driving around to look at Christmas lights⁣
☃ building a snowman⁣

For more tips on creating a frugal Christmas or to grab my free printable budget planner, visit the link in my bio or: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/10-ways-to-have-a-frugal-christmas/ for some great tips on how to have a frugal Christmas.⁣

What other ways are you saving money this season, or even better refocusing on spending the holidays at home? Let me know below!
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As homesteaders, winter offers us a reprieve from the busy seasons; A time to rest, relax and recharge until next spring. But after a while, we can become restless and cabin fever can start to set in.

Folks like us tend to like to stay productive, even while living slow, intentional lives. We like to feel like we accomplished something every day, whether that means tackling a new project, learning a new skill, preparing a new recipe or simply reading and acquiring some new information that will serve us down the road.

Winter presents us with the perfect opportunity to do all of the above, because as much as there may be snow on the ground and we may feel as if our hands are tied as far as certain outdoor activities we like to partake in the rest of the year, our time is suddenly freed up to focus on all sorts of different things that we often don’t have time for during the spring, summer and fall months.

In the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, we’re highlighting some of the ways that we can keep entertained and productive and continue learning and adding new skills to our repertoire during the winter months while still taking time to slow down from our usual pace and celebrate all that we’ve achieved over the past year.

In this issue, you’ll find:
🧶 Projects & ideas to help you keep busy and stay productive this season
🐓 Chicken boredom busters to keep your flock healthy and happy all winter
🍄A deep dive into edible and medicinal mushrooms, including how to grow them, forage them and use them to optimize your health
🍽 Levelled up recipe ideas to make a mushroom lover out of just about anyone
🎁 45 holiday gift ideas you can make at home for next to nothing
❄️ And more:)

But the best part is that if you subscribe by the end of December you’ll also get a FREE one-year subscription to gift to someone else.

To subscribe or check out a sneak preview of the winter issue, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

Or message me with the word “Subscribe” and I’ll send you the direct link.

As homesteaders, we spend the better part of our year preparing for winter. Now that it’s here, how will you spend it??
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Another winter is upon us, and it finally offers us a reprieve from the busy seasons of hard work⁣
that begin in the spring and end in the fall. It’s⁣
a much needed time of rest for those of us who⁣
live according to the rhythms of nature, and⁣
in truth it’s a much needed time of rest for all⁣
human beings, whether they spend their days⁣
at home working the land or in the city working⁣
in a cubicle. ⁣

On the other hand, slowing down and⁣
settling in can lose its lustre after a while.⁣
Cabin fever can start to set in by January or⁣
February and we may find ourselves restlessly⁣
waiting for spring.⁣

But there is a happy medium that we can⁣
find between boredom and busy-ness that, in⁣
many ways, only winter can offer us. Because⁣
even though our gardens may be lying dormant⁣
and the trees may be bare and the hens may⁣
not be laying and the wild critters may all be hibernating, there is still life and activity all⁣
around us, even in the depths of winter.⁣

In my latest issue of Modern Homesteading⁣
Magazine, we’re highlighting some of the ways⁣
that we can keep entertained and productive⁣
and continue learning and adding new skills to⁣
our repertoire during the winter months while⁣
still taking time to slow down from our usual⁣
pace and celebrate all that we’ve achieved over⁣
the past year.⁣

And the best part is, until the end of December, all new subscribers to the magazine also get a FREE one-year subscription to gift to someone else, which makes a great holiday gift! ⁣

Click the link in my bio to subscribe or visit: https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/
...

43 3

I don't know about where you're from, but around here the Christmas decorations have been on store shelves since August and the first carton of eggnog I saw at the grocery store was in September! ⁣

I'm all for celebrating the season, but I think it loses something when it becomes Christmas all year long (or at least when it spans 2 or even 3 seasons!)⁣

I like waiting until December to decorate and put on Christmas tunes, and I definitely won't take my first sip of eggnog until the advent calendar comes out!⁣

That being said, when it is time for Christmas, I enjoy savouring every bit of the holiday season, and that means that when it comes to eggnog, store-bought just won't do. Instead, I whip up my own homemade eggnog, which is way tastier in my opinion, and has less added and unnecessary ingredients, thickeners, etc. It's just eggs, sugar, milk and cream, some liquor if you choose, and a little nutmeg and a cinnamon stick to garnish!⁣

It's also super quick and easy to make yourself.⁣

Grab the full recipe via the ink in my bio @anna.sakawsky or visit https://thehouseandhomestead.com/old-fashioned-homemade-eggnog-recipe/ ⁣

Do you like to start celebrating Christmas as early as possible or do you prefer to wait until December like me?⁣

Let me know in the comments 👇
...

42 9

What’s in your bug out bag??

Yesterday I was in my Stories sharing a bit about emergency preparedness and what I’m doing to get prepared for whatever the future holds.

I also asked YOU what emergency skills or supplies you recommend having in your back pocket “just in case,” and one of the responses I got was to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go.

This got me thinking it was high time to pull out my bug out bag and go through it because it’s been a couple years since I last did so. I decided to share it with you here and show you what I keep packed and ready to go and go through what needs updating and what I’m missing.

If the concept of a bug out bag is new to you, have a watch through this video and check out this article on 15 Emergency Preparedness Items You Need to Have Packed and Ready to Go: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-emergency-preparedness-items-you-need-packed-ready-to-go/

Also, if getting more prepared for anything and everything from a power outage to a natural disaster to a medical emergency to a man made disaster like a war or a cyber attack is a goal of yours, be sure to check out the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, which is packed with great advice on emergency preparedness for any situation. (Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com)

I’d also love to hear from you!

Do you keep a bug out bag packed?

What do you keep in it?

What types of emergency situations are you preparing for in your area?

Let me know in the comments 👇

#emergencypreparedness #preparedness #prepping #bugoutbag
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50 8

Do you have what you need on hand to take care of yourself and your family in the event of a worst case scenario?

With everything going on in the world these days, we’re getting more and more serious about equipping ourselves with the tools, supplies and skills needed to handle emergency situations if the need arises.

Between growing nuclear tensions, the ongoing threat of pandemics, cyber attacks and a looming energy crisis, medical staff and supply shortages, and general “everyday” medical, financial and other miscellaneous emergencies, we’d all be wise to be prepared BEFORE the next emergency happens.

One of our neighbours passed away very suddenly last week (just 50 years old 😔) and it reminded me of just how quickly things can go sideways. As far as we know he suffered a heart attack, and while his wife did everything she could to save him, by the time the ambulance arrived it was too late. It was a wake up call for me, that not only do we need to be prepared with supplies on hand, but with knowledge and skills too. I’m definitely looking into booking a refresher First Aid course and highly recommend everyone reading this do the same if this is a skill you need to brush up on!

This is all part of being more self-reliant, and these skills are becoming more and more important in the world these days.

My hubby @ryan.sakawsky covered many emergency scenarios and how to prepare for them in detail in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you can subscribe and read the latest issue via the link in my bio, or by visiting https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/

I’d also love to hear from you! What are you doing to prepare and/or what skills and resources would you recommend that everyone acquire now before it’s too late?

Comment below 👇
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32 3

If you feel like your garden struggled more than usual this year, or that many of your homesteading efforts were in vain, you’re not alone.

In fact, I heard from more people than ever before this year who were struggling with their gardens; With extreme or unpredictable weather; With pest problems that seemed worse than usual; With all manner of things that seemed to be conspiring against them and their efforts to grow food.

The fact is, gardening and homesteading comes with an inevitable amount of failure every year, and some years are going to be worse than others.

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, Mike Fitzgerald of @omnivore.culture gets vulnerable and shares his own homesteading struggles, and the insights he gained from a rough year in the garden.

“I held in my heart an overwhelming level of optimism for the 2022 growing season… I couldn’t have been more wrong and could not have possibly prepared for what awaited me in the upcoming months that paved the way into summer,” he begins.

To read the full story, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe or log in and read the latest issue 🍁

(Quote in the reel by Mike Fitzgerald, “Rolling With the Punches,” Modern Homesteading Magazine | Issue 29 | Fall 2022).

#homesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #selfreliance #gardenersofinstagram #humanswhogrowfood #modernhomesteading
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The world is changing faster than ever.

We’ve barely had time to adapt to the “new normal” and still things are continuing to shift, change, and in some cases spiral more each day.

From rising inflation and persistent supply chain issues, to a looming recession and food shortages that are expected to get worse after a very tough farming year, to a war on European soil and the threat of cyber attacks and (God forbid) a nuclear attack, to the future of digital IDs and increasingly pervasive government control over every aspect of our lives, it’s no wonder more people are looking for ways to escape the matrix and “opt out” of the system.

I consider myself an optimistic realist: I hope for the best and I live fully and freely in the moment, but I prepare for the future accordingly based on what I can see unfolding in our world. And honestly, I find this “sweet spot” to be incredibly empowering.

This is why I do what I do and why I share it with you on a regular basis; I WANT TO EMPOWER YOU TOO!

That’s why I created The Society of Self-Reliance: A private membership that connects you with the resources, support and community you need to reclaim your independence and become more self-reliant in every aspect of your life.

From growing and preserving your own food to crafting and using herbal medicine to life skills like how to manage it all and stay calm in stressful situations, how to prepare for emergency situations and much more, if you’re ready to learn invaluable skills that will help you take control of your family’s food security, health and wellbeing, time, finances, and ultimately over your own future, The Society of Self-Reliance was created for you!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be reopening the Society doors for a limited time starting next week, and wanted to give you the heads up NOW so that you can get on the waitlist and make sure you don’t miss out when enrollment opens.

To learn more or get on the waitlist, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society

#homesteading #selfreliance #livefreeordie
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171 5

It’s October, and that means pumpkin spice season is officially here 🎃

This year, instead of spending $5 or more on a PSL loaded with questionable artificial ingredients, why not make your own pumpkin spice syrup at home with REAL PUMPKIN and all-natural ingredients!

All you need is some puréed pumpkin (I make mine with fresh pumpkins, but you can use canned), some brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, allspice and ginger, a splash of vanilla extract and some water.

Bring everything to a boil and then simmer and reduce. Strain into a bottle or Mason jar and store in the fridge for up to a week or so.

Add a tablespoon or 2 of this syrup to your coffee or homemade latte for a better quality, better tasting PSL for a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay at a coffee shop.

You can also add this syrup to homemade kombucha, or drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, French toast or even ice cream!

Grab the full recipe via the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-pumpkin-spice-syrup/

#pumpkinspice #psl #homemadetastesbetter #falldrinks
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129 7

Do you dream of escaping the rat race and starting a homestead far from the chaos of the modern world?

It’s no surprise that in this day and age, more and more people are ready to leave it all behind and move to a property in the country where they can grow their own food, live a simpler life and become more self-sufficient and less dependent on “the system.” But as romantic as it sounds, it’s definitely easier said than done.

In the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, I sat down with Ann Accetta-Scott of @afarmgirlinthemaking to talk all about what people need to know about buying and selling a homestead property.

Ann and her husband Justin recently moved from their two-acre homestead outside of Seattle, Washington to a 40-acre homestead in rural Tennessee. Ann and I sat down to talk about the realities of buying and selling a homestead, moving across the country to pursue your homesteading dream, what to look for when you’re searching for your next property, pitfalls to avoid (if you can!), and what you can do if you’re not ready or in a position to make your move just yet.

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first homestead or trying to sell an existing homestead and upgrade to a bigger property, Ann had some great insights to share that can save you time, stress and money when you’re ready to make your move.

Check out the full interview in the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine: link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe, login to the library (if you’re already a subscriber) or view a sample of the current issue!

#modernhomesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #escapethematrix #selfsufficiency #selfreliance #selfsufficientliving
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This is why people don’t trust our medical system!!!

I very rarely go on a rant about current events but this has me feeling really fired up…

My husband and I each got an Amber Alert on our phones the other night along with millions of other British Columbians, informing us of a child abduction in Vancouver. It made the suspect sound like a dangerous kidnapper and said “do not approach. Call 911.”

As it turns out, it was the mother of the child (a 3-year-old boy), who had refused medical treatment without getting a second opinion and follow up blood tests, so the Ministry of Child and Family Services was called, she was arrested and her son was taken from her and was administered medical treatment in the hospital without consent and without a guardian present.

There’s a lot more to this story than I’m able to share in this video or this caption, so I’ll post some links below where you can hear directly from the mom what happened, and check out other IG accounts that have been in direct contact with her and the father. But the point is this was a GROSS misuse of our Amber Alert system, a GROSS abuse of power (turns out the boy wasn’t sick in the end anyway), and has now traumatized this family for life.

Doctors are not gods and as mothers we do not co-parent with the government!!!

This hits close to home for me because I too have been through the medical system and had my concerns dismissed, was misdiagnosed and given wrong information, and was treated with obvious contempt when I got a second opinion.

In this day and age of rampant medical coercion and the erosion of bodily autonomy over our own bodies and over those of our children, this story highlights the dangers of the very slippery slope we’re on.

As parents who only have the best interests of our children at heart, this could happen to any one of us. We can’t let this be normalized. Remember “first they came for (fill in the blank), and I said nothing. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Check out my stories for the full video that the mom, Wiloh made explaining the details of what happened or check out the comments for links to learn more & support this family.
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I’ve hesitated about posting this reel over and over because I know I’ll probably get backlash, hate and vitriol from some people in return. But I wouldn’t be being true to myself if I didn’t speak the truth that’s on my heart and mind…

If you haven’t noticed, there are currently thousands of Canadians sharing their stories and using the hashtag #trudeaumustgo on their social media posts right now in response to the divisive rhetoric and actions of our prime minister over the past few months. But our media has downplayed the issue and has attributed most of the hashtags to “bot” accounts and foreigners trying to influence our politics.

In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

I used to consider myself a lifelong leftist and have supported the liberal government and Trudeau over the years, but after what I’ve witnessed over the past few months; After how he has spoken about Canadians who have made a different medical choice or who have protested mandates (which have done nothing to stop the spread of you-know-what anyway); After the hate and division that has trickled down from the top and infiltrated our communities, I can no longer stand silently by.

While I am 💉, a few months ago when I voiced my support for those who stood up against mandates and against the division being pushed on us by our leadership, I suddenly found myself among what our prime minister called the “small fringe minority” of citizens with “unacceptable views.”

I lost followers, friends and even a couple family members. I was told I’d been “radicalized,” although my views have never changed.

So today I’m adding my voice to the chorus of real, everyday Canadians who are taking a stand against tyranny and division in this country. As the saying goes, if we do not stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. I stand for freedom & autonomy, and against division & tyranny.

#trudeaumustgo

(Special thanks to fellow 🇨🇦 homesteader @meggarlandd for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this:)
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