Friday, 13 May 2016

How to Make Natural Laundry Powder - save money, reduce waste and chemicals in the home.

Making your own laundry powder is a quick and easy way to save money, to get rid of unwanted chemicals in the home, reduce packaging waste, and know what's in your products - and still effectively wash clothes. It literally takes minutes and costs just a few cents per wash.

Grate natural fair trade and organic soap - this one is peppermint castile soap and it smells amazing.

I am also so delighted that I don't need to walk down the smelly aisle anymore searching high and low for the eco-options. I really have to hold my breath.

This is the absolutely most simplest recipe I could find that is also suitable for greywater systems like mine. I discovered that a lot of homemade recipes contain borax - which can accumulate in the soil if, like ours, the greywater outlet is in a fixed location.

Even though I have typically used a liquid, I chose to make a laundry powder rather than the liquid for a couple of reasons - it is simpler and it does not require borax (liquids do).

After just a few moments of buzzing the ingredients together in the food processor, it is ready.


SUPER SIMPLE NATURAL LAUNDRY POWDER RECIPE

Ingredients


  • 1 bar of castille soap or coconut soap (organic and fair trade vegetable oil-based soaps)
  • 2 cups washing soda (Sodium carbonate - it easily removes dirt and greasy stains from clothes)

Method

  • Finely grate soap.
  • Mix together in food processor with washing soda until fine powder (cover top with tea towel if needed so that powder does not escape).
  • Transfer into an airtight container.
With my water, I find 3 tbspns for a full load just fine (I have a 5kg washer).

Extra tips

  • I like to add a capful of eucalyptus oil in with the wash - anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, kills dust mites, and makes washing smell really fresh
  • It is useful to add half a cup of vinegar in rinse cycle to balance pH, soften clothes and help get rid of soap residues.



23 comments:

  1. I make washing liquid perfectly successfully without borax - it isn't necessary.

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    1. Thanks. That's great to hear. Can you share your recipe? I read that it was unstable without it, but I guess if you're making relatively small batches there's no worries with that anyhow.

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  2. Hi Morag,
    Could I ask the brand of soap you use, I have been using sard wonder soap in my laundry liquid but I would love to give this one a go.
    Have a great weekend,
    Fi

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    1. I used Dr Bonners with this one - organic and fair trade. I love the peppermint essence of this particular one. I also use a good organic fair trade coconut soap from the Maleny food coop too.

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  3. I use dr bronners liquid castile soap works and there is a fantastic rave on the label

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  4. Helen, Washing Liquid - howso? Recipe please. Thx, Kay.

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  5. Thanks Morag, have a splendid Sunday.

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  6. I use half the amount of prescribed washing powder, add 1 tsp carb.soda for the wash..7kg washing machine. Add Half cup vinegar to rinsing water. Results:beautiful

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  7. I think I will make this my next project. I have hesitated previously about making my own because I wasn't sure about borax. Now I won't have to use it. Meg:) p.s. I love Dr Bronner's green tea soap and peppermint too!

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  8. hi I like this idea, but am cautious about using my food processor for non food stuff.
    am i being blinkered? or do you have two food processor bowls?
    hope you can advise Rachel

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    1. I have a little food processor I keep just for this type of thing. Best to keep separate!

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  9. Worth remembering that sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate (carb soda) are mined products. So is calcium carbonate. There are much less environmentally damaging alternatives. For example, soap nuts.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Meg - just last week I sent off for a bulk order of fair trade Soap Nuts that I will offer around my community.

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    2. horse chestnut works super. Break+ soak them for a while then strain it and you get a nice liquid pure natural. Don´t know if it grows at your place..?

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    3. It doesn't grow here, but it's great to know. Thanks! Looking for others too.

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  10. Hi Morag what are soap nuts and where can I get them?Also where can I get a hold of Dr Bronners products? I live in Tassie and have not heard of or seen either products down here

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    1. Soap Nuts are available from lots of places - I liked the affordable and socially responsible New Intl offer (www.newint.com.au/shop) but google yourself to see what else you can find. From the Newint page:

      "Soapnuts ( Sapindus mukorossi ) are an environmentally friendly, sustainably produced, bio-degradable and compostable alternative to commercial laundry detergents. Grown wild in India, for centuries these soap nuts (sometimes called soapberries) have been used for many purposes, from laundry to cleaning jewellery and treating contaminated soil. They are most widely recognised as being an effective and environmentally friendly natural detergent, but can be used for a wide variety of other uses."

      My local food coop stocks Dr Bonner's - actually an American product. I like them for their ethics. They are certified fair trade and use organic oils. Their pure-castile bar soaps are good for washing body, face & hair. Take a look at their range on http://www.drbronner.com.au/ - you can buy online or find a local outlet.

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    2. Have you seen soapnut trees for sale? It seems they might be grown easily in your climate. My mom gave me a bag of them and I LOVE the way they wash the clothes and leave them soft... then the used up nuts go in the compost. Great! If only every household could just have a tree growing in their yard for this!

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    3. I understand that they grow really well in India. I haven't got one here yet - but would love one. Not sure they would fruit here though - perhaps in the tropics. I'm keen to find a local alternative. Does anyone know about this?

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  11. Do you know if your soap handles diaper laundry?

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  12. Hi Morag, have just recently stumbled across your youtube videos and site. I have only cold water to use for my washing, would this homemade soap be ok to use with cold water? Thanks from New Zealand.

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