I have begun making our own natural homemade laundry powder! You might be wondering why on earth I would want to add yet another 'chore' to an already busy life right?! Well there's a couple of reasons behind it which I'm going to share in this blog post, plus my recipe if you want to have a go making your own homemade natural laundry powder!
I’ve always been a bit of a label reader, interested about what's in the stuff I'm buying; from ingredients in food products to what garments are made of. But recently I've really opened my eyes to what we’re bringing into our home and our diets on a day-to-day basis. Knowledge is power and I've been soaking up documentaries, books and web articles on the topic. From processed foods to the chemicals in our cleaning products - there are so many things in supermarket products that I can’t even pronounce and have no actual idea what they are!
Here's the ingredient list for a supermarket shelf brand of laundry powder: 5% to 15% Anionic surfactants, Oxygen-based bleaching agents; < 5% -Enzymes, Nonionic surfactants, Optical brighteners, Perfume, Phosphonates, Polycarboxylates, Soap, Zeolites, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Eugenol, Limonene.
Now just from my own limited research and knowledge I know that synthetic perfumes, phosphates, optical brighteners and some surfactants are hazardous to our health and are common causes of skin irritation. Making our own laundry powder allows me to know exactly what is being used to wash the clothes and linen that touch our skin every day. And skin is the largest organ of our body so I think that's important.
Another reason for the switch to homemade laundry powder is that we’re consciously trying to minimise in our household how much single-use plastics we’re consuming. We don’t tend to think about all the products we buy like laundry detergent or fabric softener when we discuss the world's plastic issue. The first thing that comes to mind is plastic bags and water bottles, but all our cleaning products tend to come in plastic containers these days that are just thrown out when they’re finished to make room for a fresh one.
And I've worked out that making my own homemade natural laundry powder is going to cost about 40c per load. Which is on par with the eco-brand laundry detergent we were using.
Since deciding to have a go at making my own homemade natural laundry powder, I've done a fair bit of research into laundry powders, different recipes, what ingredients do what and the logistics of using homemade laundry powder in our washing machine. I'm not going to go into great detail about each of the ingredients or the pros and cons of homemade laundry powder because Google can provide a wealth of information on all of this. But here's the recipe for my Homemade Natural Laundry Powder below if you're interested. It's blended from a number of recipes, I researched & tweaked quantities etc all with the aim of producing a safe, cost effective laundry powder.
YOU WILL NEED:
HOW TO MAKE:
Grating the soap is the intensive part, but all up it only took me 10 minutes to make a batch of laundry powder which is going to last me about 40 washes. And you could easily make double the mixture in one batch - my food processor was nowhere near full.
Wondering where to buy the ingredients?
Some articles online suggest using an old food processor to make your laundry powder in, but I figured everything I put in it is natural & non-toxic so a good clean with hot, soapy water afterwards had me more than happy to use it the very next day for baking. I probably wouldn't put borax or washing soda (if you're going to use this instead) in the food processor - only because they are a bit more harsh than baking soda etc. I added my borax powder in once I had the mixture in my laundry container. Washing soda is a little more tricky as it typically comes in marble-sized crystals which will need ground down. But yet I've still read plenty of people online putting washing soda in their food processor. It just depends what you're comfortable with. There's a plethora of natural homemade laundry powder recipes out there to choose from. I'll keep you updated as I continue to use my recipe & let you know how it goes!
Lastly, did you know you can add white vinegar to your washing machine's fabric softener dispenser as a cheaper, safer alternative to store bought fabric softeners?? I tried this just this weekend on my towels and I can attest that it works well! And it doesn't make your towels smell like vinegar I promise. They come out fresh smelling and soft.
If you have any questions leave me a comment! x