I love living sustainably, and being self-sufficient. I love making things and I have always dabbled at making my own household cleaners and products from leather conditioner to window cleaner. At the back of my mind, I always wanted to try making my own dishwasher powder, and laundry powder. Before Lockdown, I had invested in the ingredients needed for both, so just as we rolled into our unprecedented Lockdown Living, I rubbed my hands together and decided “Now or Never”!
Having made dishwasher powder a few weeks back, I was excited about this new project. I had found both recipes in an old Organic NZ magazine from way back 2012. The recipe was easy to follow, and I have added a few changes I made along the way.
Laundry Powder Recipe
- 1 cup washing soda (available from supermarket)
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup table salt
- 1 cup Borax (available from Hardware store or Bin Inn)
- 2 cups pure grated soap (or Lux flakes)
- 16 drops essential oil of your choice
Crush washing soda in food processor/blender and then mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Keep in airtight container. Use 1 TBspn for a top loader and 1/2 TBspn for front loader washing machine.
After mixing everything together, I discovered the grated soap was clearly visible (see above) and I decided I didn’t want soap residues on my laundry, so I banged it all back in to the food processor and gave it a little blend to properly integrate the mixture and break up any bits of soap granules.
I have been using my laundry powder for about 8 weeks now, and I am totally happy with the results. There is no problem with soap residues, and my clothes smell clean and fresh. (The original recipe added half the essential oil drops but I couldn’t detect any smell at all, so I doubled it).
The benefits to this washing powder is that there are no artificial ingredients in it that can cause any skin irritations or allergic reactions. There are no fillers (some commercial detergents include fillers to bulk out the volume, and yes, you then use much more of it). Even some “earth friendly” powders include these bulking agents, which can remain as residues on your clothes, and eventually can build up inside your washing machine. Commercial laundry powders can also include sodium laurel sulphate or foaming agents which are potential skin irritants. So if you have any allergies or skin sensitivities, do make your own and see/feel the results.
So here’s to healthy laundry! Ching Ching!