Saturday, April 18, 2015

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Hi guys, time for my annual post!

...just kidding ;)

Seriously though, how has a year flown past since the last time I wrote a blog entry?!

Between running around after 4 kids and a recent house move I have been a busy little bee. Our youngest is now 15 months old and definitely keeping me on my toes!

This year I'm trying hard to cut down on our "stuff". Moving helped with that immensely but we have a lot more to go. I really want to work towards growing a lot of our own food, spending less and making more things at home.

Yesterday I was going through a box I still hadn't unpacked from our move in January and found my old home recipes book-a bunch of different recipes for household cleaners, herbal remedies and balms and salves that I had been meaning to try out and hadn't gotten around to.

Since I had just used the last of my washing powder (which was crap and always left white powder over my clean clothes) I thought I may as well give the homemade laundry detergent recipe a go!

It's seriously easy to make and yields 10 litres of laundry liquid. You only use a 1/4 cup each load, so it will last ages!

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup of grated soap (regular laundry soap)
or 1 cup of soap flakes (I used Lux, just because they were hanging around my laundry already.)

1/2 cup borax

1/2 cup washing soda (NOT bicarb soda, there is a difference!)

Optional: fragrance oil of your choice.

Get a large saucepan and add the cup of soap flakes to 1.5 litres of water. Stir over a low heat (don't boil) until the soap has dissolved.  Remove from heat.

Get a 10 litre bucket with a lid (or two 5 litre buckets like I did) and fill with 8 litres of hot water. Add the soap mixture to the hot water, along with the borax and the washing soda. Give it a good stir until it's all dissolved. At this point you can add a fragrance oil if you like.
 Pop your lid on and leave overnight to gel.

When you open it up the next day, it will have thickened up quite a lot and some of the liquid will probably have separated from the gel. Give it a really good stir to mix it all together.

That's it! Use a 1/4 cup each load.

I did a few quick sums and came up with the following:

Lux Flakes costs $7.49 for a 700g box.  85g used per batch = 90c
Lectric Soda costs $3.99 for a 1kg bag. 90g used per batch = 36c
Borax costs $4.50 for 500g. 95g used per batch = 86c

So it cost me a grand total of $2.08 to make 10 litres of laundry liquid.

Using 1/4 cup each wash I should be able to get approx 166 loads out of one batch!

By comparison, looking at Coles online, Cold Power 1L laundry liquid is $9.89- for 10 litres, that would be over $90!!
That's quite a saving, folks!

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