Tide Schmide. How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent!


With today’s fuel prices, the cost of lugging those big jugs of laundry detergent has skyrocketed the price of something that (in my own honest opinion) was way overpriced to begin with.  Not only are these soaps expensive, but they contain lots of synthetic surfactants and enzymes that can irritate skin and cause chemical burns. Many mainstream detergent companies such as All and Tide have developed “Free and Clear” detergents that are seemingly better for the consumer. However, you are still going to pay an astounding amount for something that is easily made in the kitchen sink.

Once I had my son, I became a  die hard advocate for cloth diapering, especially for the first year and a half of his life. He was suffering from a plethora of allergies and we didn’t know what the cause was,  so finding a detergent that is safe for my stash of diapers presented a challenge. Most commercially produced detergents cannot be used on cloth diapers because they “clean too well’, meaning the surfactants and enzymes that get your whites the whitest and your brights the brightest essentially destroy a cloth diaper in less than 3 washes.  The enzymes can linger on the diapers and lead to a nasty case of diaper rash as well. Enzymes are proteins that are added to detergents to help break down organic stains like oil, blood, grass, and the like. Unfortunately they may become reactivated when they get wet and cause painful rashes on some babies. Mine included.  Commercial detergents also contain synthetic fragrances that are oil based.  When these oils come into contact with the diaper, they coat the fabric and prevent them from absorbing. Not something you want to deal with! However, when making homemade detergents that are used for clothing, it is perfectly fine to use natural fragrance oils such as lavender, orange or lemon. These can actually be found in the baking isle in most supermarkets. Just make sure you are purchasing “natural oil” instead of the imitation, imitation or synthetic oils can leave stains on the clothes.

When it comes to homemade detergents, I have tried just about every recipe I have come across. Some work better than others, while some are easier to make than others. Nevertheless, your laundry needs will determine the type of soap you make. Powered detergent is quick to make but doesn’t last as long as a batch of liquid. The recipes listed below have proven themselves worthy enough to share.

What you will Need

There are a few inexpensive items you should have on hand in your kitchen if you plan on making homemade detergent on a regular basis. A cheese grater, small food processor (not a necessity, but WELL worth the investment) old saucepan (you won’t be able to cook food in it after making detergent) and large metal bowls or plastic buckets with lids are quite handy. For powdered detergents, I make smaller batches and store them in repurposed yogurt cups (large sized ones with lids)

If you want to invest in the food processor, Black and Decker makes one that sells for around $30.00 new. If you catch it on sale they can be even more reasonable. I have seen it on sale at Target for $22.99 on several occasions. Keep in mind though, you probably want to dedicate this item to detergent making. With that being said, yard sales are also a great place to find cheap food processors!

Detergent Making Staples: What’s in it?

There are only a few basic ingredients in homemade detergent. Soap, soda and borax.

Soap: The soap is the main ingredient in the detergent. You will need a washing soap, which sounds stupid, but it is completely different than the Irish Spring or Dial bar soap that may be in your bathroom. The most common soap is Fels Naptha, which is located in most laundry isles. It works well, but some prefer Zote or even Ivory. A fair warning though, if you use Ivory, you will need to use the whole bar. It is not as strong as the other laundry specific soaps. I don’t use any of these soaps in my detergent though. I prefer using a castile soap such as Dr. Bronner’s. They make a fragrance free bar for babies that is perfect for the cloth diaper detergent and they make a citrus and peppermint scented one that I use for clothing. Check them out here. The soaps are also available at Whole Foods.

Washing Soda: This is not to be confused with baking soda.  They are not the same thing.  Washing soda is sodium carbonate or soda ash (baking soda is sodium bicarbonate).  It is a white powder and  its purpose is to help remove dirt and odors.   The most common brand to look for is Arm & Hammer.  It can be found in the laundry isle alongside the powdered detergent. I know that is is hard to find in some areas, but now that many folks have returned to making their own detergent, many stores are stocking it on a regular basis. If your local store does not carry it, try asking them if they can order it. Most stores don’t have a problem with doing this. In fact, my local grocer didn’t start carrying it until I asked for it.  As a last resort, you can order it online, but you are going to pay a pretty penny for it by time shipping is factored in.

Borax: Borax is a naturally occurring mineral: Sodium Borate.  It is used to whiten and deodorize. The most common brand is 20 Mule Team.  It can be found in either the laundry or cleaning isle of most stores. Borax has a lot of uses around the home, so I always wait for a coupon and buy the big box. Borax is a natural pest repellent and does a bang up job cleaning lawn furniture.

The Recipes

Easy Liquid Detergent (except for the stirring!)

(this is where the large plastic bucket comes in handy)

1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap (again, if using Ivory, use the WHOLE bar)

½ cup washing soda

½ cup borax powder

10-15 drops of natural scented oil (OPTIONAL) Do not add if you are planning on using for diapers!

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.  Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.  Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.   Now add your cooling soap mixture and stir.  Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.  Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.  You use ½ cup per load. Yield: around 75 loads.

Please note: Homemade liquid detergents will not look like store bought. They will be slightly runny, almost like an egg white.

Easy Powdered Detergent

1 bar of any of the above listed soaps, finely grated

1 cup washing soda

1 cup borax

This is really, really simple. Grate the soap and add the washing soda and borax. This is where the food processor comes in handy! I usually hand grate the soap then throw everything in the food processor for 1 minute. Yield: 20-30 loads depending on how much you use. The standard load uses 3 tablespoons per load.

Can I use these detergents in my high efficiency washer?

By all means! In fact, both recipes are low sudsing. The cleaning comes from the ingredients, not the suds. High Efficiency machines are great because they use less water, but manufactures use the “HE” designation as just another advertising mechanism to try and swindle consumers into buying “special soap” that they charge even more exorbitant prices for.

Well, there you have it. A basic outline of homemade detergent. It is extremely rewarding to know that you not only saved yourself a lot of money by making your detergent at home, but you also know EXACTLY what is in the soap. All of the ingredients are pronounceable and depending on the soap you use, almost all natural or even organic. Once you have the basic recipe mastered, it is fun to add different fragrances to the detergent. I always make a batch of peppermint detergent at Christmastime. There is nothing quite like smelling like a friggin’ elf. I think my friends look forward to it year after year. Although, I recall a few raised eyebrows the first year I made it to give away as gifts. Not sure if it was because I gave them detergent and they were offended, or because I gave them peppermint detergent and they were creeped out. Regardless, detergent making is actually fun for me.

I’m lame. Don’t care.

Pork Belly Scramble


I have tried on multiple occasions to make omletes. I can’t make them. Apparently I’m just not French enough. But, I can however throw a bunch of delicious things into a skillet and add farm fresh eggs. I mean, it all tastes the same in the end…it just doesn’t look very pretty. When I could afford to go to a crossfit gym, I used to make these pork belly scrambles almost every morning, using what ingredients I had on hand. You can add whatever you want based on your dietary needs, but this scramble is packed with macros, omega 3s and can easily be used as a 21 day fix recipe.

Pork Belly Scramble

4-5 ounces pork belly. Baked or Fried until crispy.

6 eggs

1 tablespoon butter

red, green and yellow bell peppers,chopped (Stoplight peppers, for the fancypants who shop at Whole Foods)

1/2 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

Baby bella mushrooms, chopped

1oz Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese


Black pepper


Chia, flax or hemp seeds

What do do:

Start off by preparing your pork belly. I usually just fry mine up in a skillet until it is crispy. Or, you can use a broiler. But, it is hot as an armpit outside, so I am not trying to turn on my oven and crank it to 500+ degrees.

Set the prepared pork belly aside, high on the counter, away from bad ass dogs who climb onto said counters to eat your food. (oh wait, that may only be at my house)

Melt the butter in the skillet and add the peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic. Sautee 2-3 minutes.

Crack yo’ eggs into a bowl, wisk them around until the yolks are broken and you have a bowl off yellow. Yes, yellow. DESCRIPTIVE WORDS!

Add the bowl of yellow to your sauteed stuff.

If you are a culinary god, now is the time to turn this into an omelet. If you aren’t a culinary god, now is the time to add your cheese and scramble the shit out of this mixture until it is cooked.

Once it is ready, remove it from the pan, put it on a plate and sprinkle it with chia, flax or hemp seeds to get your omega 3 fix. At this point, I dump about half a bottle of Trader Joes’s Green Dragon sauce on top. You could just use salsa, or even ketchup. But I like to live dangerously.

It isn’t the prettiest meal, but it is tasty. And that folks, is all that really matters.



An Asaro Recipe and a Tale about That One Dude who Won’t Stop Commenting on the Music Played at Whole Foods.

Do you shop at Whole Foods? I’m willing to bet you do if you took a look at my blog name and kept reading. I’m just going to put it out there that Whole Foods exhausts me. Why? Because hipsters. Hipsters walking around with their ugly fruit (that they absolutely cannot live without in their power greens smoothies) in their ascots and Gap jeggings when there is a 105 degree heat index. I am going to share a story about my most recent experience at Whole Foods, because I need someone to relate. Otherwise I fear that I am just becoming a bitter and cranky old hag.

I was in the bulk food isle, and I hear some boisterous assclown roll up behind me and ask me to move “for just a sec”. Fair enough, I was probably in the way because I had two kids with me, two kids that wouldn’t stop FARTING IN THE ISLE AND BLAMING IT ON ME.

I moved, and he made it a point to make eye contact with me. Which is weird, because I usually just throw on my floppy hat and Lou Reed sunglasses and ignore people when I shop. But this dude was for real trying to start a conversation. I let down my personal space guard and let him in. He said “I really did the tunes here, it is like the only reason I shop here.” The conversation went  downhill from there. I politely rounded my 4 year old up from the raw Kale chip samples he was shoving in his pocket and told the guy “Yeah, a lot better than the music they play in Lazarus.” (wtf, Lazarus? Is it 1996?) This is why I am anti-social. And with that, my willingness to converse ceased to exist. I headed for the eggs so I could bust a move and GTFO.

Coincidentally, he was also headed for the dairy section. OF COURSE HE WAS HEADED TO THE DAIRY SECTION. And once again corners me and points out “Yeah, this is Depeche Mode. I saw them in 87. Best concert of my life.” I smile, my pre-baby, I don’t need to set a politeness example, mind was screaming “DO I CARE, BRO?”

I put my eggs in the cart and darted for the Beer Isle. It was Friday after all, and growlers are filled for only $5. He again, met me and proceeded to comment on the song that was playing “Now they are playing Nick Cave! I told you this place has the best music, they need to have a playlist on itunes or something.”

By this time I had lost my patience. A little background about me, I’m not the best yogini in the world. I’m not even close to being a good one because I am harsh sometimes, and I have no patience with human beings. It is a daily struggle. I’m not proud of it. It is something I really do try to work on everyday. Some days I excel, others…well lets just say those days are not the days where I feel the most proud. Unfortunately for Music Dude at Whole Foods, I was having a day where I was not excelling at being patient…or nice…or peaceful…you know, typical qualities that a seasoned yogini is supposed to radiate.

Enough was enough, this guy was clearly trying to show off his music knowledge, and be pompous about it. I don’t like that sort of thing. At all.  I finally look at him and say, Dude, This isn’t Nick Cave, this is “Unsatisfied” by The Replacements and the band you thought was Depeche Mode was INXS.” He was disgusted with me and went to the bread aisle and cried some patchouli scented tears. He looked like Ian (a.k.a Ray Raymond) from the movie High Fidelity. Which is ironic, because I am the female Rob Gordon.

Douchebag Music Guy at Whole Foods.



Now, if you have no clue about the movie I am referencing, bust out the Netflix and check it out. It has John Cusack in it. But first, pick up these ingredients to make your asaro. Then you will have dinner AND a movie and one hell of a way to spend a Friday Night! Just kidding, this is what I do every Friday and I am lame.

Asaro a.k.a Yam Porridge

  • 1 bunch of collard greens, wash thoroughly and chop finely
  • 1 large Yam
  •  5 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 Maggi seasoning cube
  • 3 tomatoes, a good paste tomato such as Roma works best
  • 1 White onion, diced
  • Ground crayfish, to taste (I use about 2.5 Tablespoons)
  • 1 red chili pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups hot water

Chop and prepare the peppers for use, by removing seeds, stems etc.

Peel and slice onions in quarters

Dice yams into large chunks

Add peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes to a food processor, and blend until a thick and chunky “sauce” forms.

Add sauce to a large stock pot, and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, until a slight boil is achieved.

Add 2 cups of water to separate pot and heat.

Add Maggi seasoning, chili pepper, black pepper and salt.

Add diced yams to the sauce, along with the additional 2 cups of hot water.

Simmer on medium until yams are soft.

Add collard and coconut oil.

Cover and simmer on low for an additional 20 minutes,

Viola, Asaro.


John Cusack probably likes Asaro.

Slug Sandwiches

As I am typing out this post, I am watching the most amazing thunderstorm unfold from my front porch swing. It has been so ridiculously hot over the past few weeks that I was beginning to think that rain was becoming extinct. I was about to go all Tom Selleck on my garden, but luckily mother nature took care of the watering for me…free of charge even. She is a really generous and giving lady when she wants to be. Other times, a total bitch. But, so am I. At least we have something in common.

Because of the heat we are experiencing in Kentucky right now, it seems that everyone is in a bad mood. Tempers are short and fun evenings at home quickly turn into not so fun evenings over nonsense (my 4 year old had a meltdown over the couch not being soft enough). If you have kids, you can relate. Even if you don’t want to admit it.  On these kinds of nights, no one wants to cook and ordering pizza seems like the easiest way out and the quickest way to bed. But since I still have those post baby thighs, and a wheat allergy, pizza is the last  thing I need.

Thursday is grocery day in my house, and usually by Tuesday, I really have to start being creative with my cooking in order to stay within our modest grocery budget. And by being creative, I mean working some sort of miracle in the kitchen that can pass for food and that 3 out of 4 (the oldest kid doesn’t eat anything, ever) people in the house will eat it.

Tonight I had

  • a bunch of cherry tomatoes
  • 5 plantains
  • 1 pound of bacon
  • celery
  • spinach

I ate all of the cherry tomatoes while I was using one of those websites that will try and make a meal for you out of the items you type in. Yeah, that didn’t work.

So basically, I busted out the griddle and began frying everything that could be fried, hoping I could put it on top of the spinach and call it a salad.

And I did.

And then my 4 year old made a sandwich out of the fried things, and the rest was history! He insisted that cooked plantains look like slugs, so he named his creation “Slug Sandwich”. BEST DAY BEFORE GROCERY DINNER EVER.

Slug Sandwiches

  • bacon
  • plantains
  • coconut oil
  • spinach

Fry the bacon, set aside on a paper towel to absorb grease

let griddle cool and wipe clean

add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and melt

peel and slice the plantains longways

fry the plantains until slightly brown

break bacon strips in half

add a plantain on top of one of the pieces of bacon, and add another piece of bacon to the top and press down slightly

put on some spinach. Or don’t. Super tasty either way.

viola, Slug Sandwiches.

Slug Sandwich, Yo.


This blog is a way for me to document everything I hold nearest to my heart. Family, food, exercise and of course, yoga. I am currently working toward completing my 200 hour certification through Yoga Alliance and will begin teaching a little more than part time in 2016. Yoga has (up until this point) been an extremely private practice for me, but I am putting myself out in the world and sharing my passion. Please click the link to follow, I would love to have you along on my journey!