Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mounting My Soapbox on Spaceship Earth

It seems slightly comical in practice, but one of the reasons I've pursued this homesteading lifestyle is to simplify my life. I want to be in a position to not need to rely quite so much on this money-based economy and trend back towards a life where we know our neighbors' names and trade our skills with one another.
In doing so, I've been trying to think of simple things I can do myself rather than paying out my hard won cash. We started small back in the apartment with baking our own bread, which eventually morphed into growing our own tomatoes, to wanting our own chickens and goats to making my own laundry detergent. Now I'm taking it one step further. I'm going to start making all my cleaners in house, except dishwasher soap (can't find a recipe!), as they run out.
We already do laundry soap and fabric softener, but nearly everything else is being replaced by a few essential oils, lemon juice, vinegar and the magical, mystical Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Liquid Castile Soap, which is a gift straight from the heavens. If you haven't tried this stuff, you really ought to. So far we've successfully used it as a dish soap, hand soap and body soap. I've also been experimenting with it as a shampoo and, although you need to condition afterward, it seems to do that pretty well too. The stuff is pretty darn amazing, contains no SLS, and I'm pretty excited at the potential of getting rid of all the yucky chemicals under my sink. How great would it be to only have one package to dispose of instead of many? One thing to buy instead of five or six? And I get the ability to customize how it smells on a whim? Score!
Dr. Bronner's isn't paying me for this, but they are a pretty special progressive company you might like to learn about. Their policies towards the earth and their products are admiriable, as are the benefits they offer their employees, which makes them great people to add as teammates in my quest for eco-friendly and simple living. Check out their website to learn about their history, or you could try a bottle and read the million words printed on the outside too.
So today marks the beginning of a six month experiment to replace each and every cleaning agent in my house with an earth-friendly septic-safe alternative, right down to the toothpaste, without breaking the bank. Stay tuned along the way for updates on our progress and if you have a dishwasher soap recipe that works, please share!


  1. Hi, just saw this post, and thought I would share this...have been using a variation with Borax, baking soda and lemonade packets!! (For the citric acid) Have broken down and used Lemi Shine to get rid of the AWFUL white film. White vinegar in the rinse aid and you're good to go.

    Be warned, clean the machine thoroughly BEFORE switching over or you will end up with a greasy film all over your dishware as the residue from the commercial detergents mix and get yucky!

    Check this site:

    Best of Luck!

  2. Very cool recipe! Thanks so much! :)