Soap 101

Everyhing Soap A-Z

Cucumber Soap June 24, 2009

“Slice of Summer” (Cucumber Soap)/©Camille Pratt

15 ounces Canola Oil
30 ounces Coconut Oil
27 ounces Olive Oil
21 ounces Palm Oil
5 ounces Shea Butter

13.75 ounces of lye
20 ounces of rain water

16 ounces of pureed cucumber (peels ‘n all!)

Mix lye and water. Cool to 90°.
Pureed cukes (this will be approx. 2-3 large cukes).
Heat oils to 90°.

Mix lye solution and oils, blend well, add pureed cukes.
Bring to light trace, add fragrance of your choice (I used Sweetcakes
Econocuke – at a 1% usage rate).
Bring to heavy trace.
Pour in mold.
Leave it alone. :)

Notes: Even in very hard water it has lots of lather, very creamy and is very
soothing to skin. Uncolored, it is a very lovely pale ivory, slightly
translucent. No GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) needed.  If you chose to modify
this recipe by subbing other oils or butters, it will not be remotely the same
unbelievably wonderful soap.


Furniture Polish June 23, 2009

Dust to Dust Furniture Polish

from Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan

This is as effective as any store-bought spray and cost only 30 cents a bottle.


A clean 16 ounce trigger spray bottle

2 teaspoon olive oil ( vegetable oil)

Essential oil of lemon, tea tree or lavender

1/4 cup white distilled vinegar

Hot water (enough to fill bottle)


Mix 20 drops of essential oil, olive oil, and vinegar with hot water in bottle. Gently shake mixture. Ready for use. You have to shake this occasionally as you are using it for the oil separates in the water.

**It’s a good idea to label your bottle as “cleaner”


Floor Cleaner

Citrus Floor Cleaner


1 gallon hot water

2 tablespoons liquid soap

15 drops orange essential oil

8 drops lemon essential oil or 1/4 cup lemon juice


Mix together and get to work!


Basic Sink Cleanser

Basic Sink Cleanser

An all-natural scrubbing powder for your sink, tub, and shower.


1/4 cup baking powder

1/2 cup vinegar


Mix together and use on sponge. Rinse well.


Alice’s Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

I’m too tired to do the math for all of these cleaners, but I assure you the costs are much less than their commercial counterparts. The natural products are just as good and just as powerful on your house, but save money in your pocketbook. Here are some other great recipes to try. These are all found here

Alice’s Wonder Spray – All Purpose Cleaner

Recommended by the Women’s Resource Cancer Center.

From Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan.


A clean 32 ounce trigger spray bottle

2 teaspoon borax

4 tablespoon vinegar

1/2 cup home soap or Dr. Bronners

Essential oil of lemon, tea tree or lavender

Hot water (enough to fill bottle)


Fill bottle 1/4 full with hot water then add borax. Shake to completely dissolve borax. Next add vinegar, home soap, and 20-25 drops essential oil. Fill the rest of the bottle with hot water. Gently shake mixture. Ready for use.

**It’s a good idea to clearly label your bottle as “cleaner”


Another Money-Saving Homemade Soap June 21, 2009

Another great way to save money is to make your own dishwashing powder. It uses supplies on the same list from my previous post “Soap & Frugality.”

Here is what you will need for dishwashing detergent:

-Washing Soda


-Distilled Vinegar

This recipe is really simple.

Add 1 tablespoon of of washing soda to the dispenser.

Add 1 tablespoon of borax to the dispenser.
Now for the water spots: Pour distilled white vinegar in the dispenser for a clear rinse gel.

Want to know what the cost is?

About 4 cents per load.


Soap & Frugality June 20, 2009

An excellent way to save some green (cash) is to use natural cleaners. The average store cleaner costs around $5.00 and needs to be replenished often. Laundry detergent can cost up to $20 depending on the kind and size. The larger sizes might last a month for an average family of four.

SO lets say you buy just the basic cleaners. A multipurpose cleaner, a floor cleaner, and something for the sinks and tubs. Say you clean a few times a week and replenish your cleaners twice a month. Say the big box of laundry soap lasts you a month and costs you $10.00 Your cleaning supplies including the laundry soap (notice I didn’t add softener or dryer sheets) or any of the other large gamut of cleaning supplies available) is costing you $50.00 per month.

Now let’s compare that with natural cleaners. Say you go to the store and buy the following ingredients:

76 oz (4 lbs 12 oz) borax @ $4.69/ $0.06 per oz

32 oz (2 lbs) baking soda @ $1.49/ $0.04 per oz

1 gal vinegar @ $3.99

8.5 fl oz. olive oil @ $2.80

1 gal distilled water @ $1.05


Total: $14.02 plus tax

SO you’ve already saved some money because you spent about $10.00 less than you normally would buying commercial cleaners from the store. But here is where the real savings come in….

Powdered Laundry Soap

Grate 1 bar plain white soap (76 cents if you’re using ivory)

2 cups (16 oz) baking soda or 1 cup super washing soda (both made by arm & hammer)

1 cup (8 oz) borax

Pour all ingredients into a container and put the lid on, shake very very well. Use immediately. 1 teaspoon per load for normal loads or 2 teaspoons per load for extra soiled loads. For a normal four person family, this will least approximately 4-6 months.


Borax: $0.48

Soda: $0.64

Soap: $0.76


Total: $1.88 for 4-6 months of laundry soap

Comparison: $40.00 for 4 months of laundry soap.

SAVINGS: $38.12!!! per four months or $114.36 per year



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