Hello Lovely Blossoms,
So for me whenever I start talking about making a change to a more sustainable life and a chemical free home, I usually get weird stares with an expression of "okay back away from the tree hugger" vibes... For some reason people seem to think that since it is home made it can't possibly clean that well or it will never work the same...we have been conditioned to the point where we no longer believe we can make things ourselves but that it has to come from the store...But I will keep giving the benefits until the day I die or until someone can prove me wrong.
Normally when you start your washing and you notice the detergent tin is at its last... and you realise you have to make that dreaded visit to the store to buy some more... you get there and fall in long lines and reach the soap isle select your biggest bulk bag to limit future trips and then fall on your back when you have to pay an enormous amount for laundry soap, you pay because you are already there and you convince yourself the trip will not be useless...
On days like this have you ever wondered if it's possible to just make your own? it is actually so easy... and I will tell you exactly how I make mine for about half of the price. First things first, you do not need to be a chemist to create your own soap... one trip to a general baking store will do the trick.
So what is in your natural laundry soap?
1. Washing soda
At first glance I thought I needed to specifically go out and buy this but it turns out you can make this with a simple ingredient you will be using in this recipe as well. I make my washing soda by adding baking soda in the exact amount you will need in a baking pan in the oven. I place mine in a 180'c oven for around 15-20 minutes or until when you will see a change in texture. This baking soda will become significantly softer in texture and appearance than normal baking soda. By heating baking soda you create a reaction where the protons react with each other to give off water and carbon dioxide and you basically form a solid sodium carbonate that is proton free. To try and explain this I will need a lot more writing time so here is a very interesting link to the exact reaction: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/dining/15curious.html
2. Baking Soda
This is actually a Wonderfull addition to your washing even if you do not want to make your own, simply adding half a scoop to your load you will brighten your clothes, remove odours. Baking soda helps to regulate the Ph levels in your water by keeping it from being to acidic or alkaline. Here is a link with a very detailed explanation of baking soda in you laundry powder: https://www.thespruce.com/use-baking-soda-in-laundry-2145765
3. Epson Salt
Did you know the biggest contributor to skin irritation and eczema is laundry softer. Go and grab your softer bottle and look at the ingredients you will notice somewhere; fragrance, methylisothiazolinone and methylcloroisothiazolinone... these are the biggest culprits in that scratchy arm or red bumps on your leg. In walks epson salt...this is a natural softer. You can add epson salt to your normal load and your clothes will be bright and soft but absolutely no rash or scratchy feeling. If you want to know more about this follow; https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/epsom-salt-laundry-booster/
4. Essential Oils
Although there is not any laundry benefit to adding this, it sure makes your clothes smell amazing and if you want to believe it or not, essential oil smells have an effect on your mood as well. Try adding as pure as possible essential oils. You cannot always get 100% pure oils because the regulations for 100% essential oils are mostly unregulated actually, but look for a known brand of quality.
Now that you know what you will be putting in your laundry powder, here is my recipe:
1 1/2 kg of baking soda
1 1/2 kg washing soda (buy 3 kg baking soda and bake half to make your washing soda)
5 kg epson salt
30 drops lemon essential oil
30 drops orange essential oil
20 drops grapefruit essential oil
10 drops juniper berry essential oil
Bake your soda for around 20 minutes until you see the texture change. in a very large bowl (I used our cooler box to mix it all, and a plus point...since I am mixing soap I just need to add water at the end to clean it) add your baking soda and epson salts, when your washing soda is baked add it as well, add your essential oils and mix well. If you have a sensitive nose I would suggest to wear your mask to keep the dustiness out since the baked washing soda is very powdery. When you are done store your laundry powder in glass or any other container. DO NOT seal the containers airtight, they need to be able to breathe since there will be some pressure building.
All in all this cost me R13,99 per kg for the epson salt, R14,99 for the baking soda, some electricity and I already had the essentials oils... you definitely do not have to add so much essential oil, I just liked the citrus burst smell. I have managed to make 8kg of laundry powder for roughly R140,00 if you want to include the electricity and the essential oils which I still feel is one heck of a score.
We have been using home-made laundry powder for around 4 months now, I am pleased to say that we have been loving the results. It smells fresh, keeps the clothes clean and I feel like it extends the life of your clothes.
Is this something you have tried or are willing to try?
Let me know in the comments below.
Till next time, be blessed.