I have spent weeks and weeks researching this topic to create my own recipe. You would think this is quite simple but there is a bit you need to know. Everything is explained below.
Before I go on, if you have a favorite brand of powder and are absolutely in love with it, making your own will be a big leap. The consistency is different, the smell is different and its less sudsy. The store bought ones are a lot more powerful but that is because they use powerful chemicals such as bleach. I have experimented using this powder on baby clothes, kids clothes and a load of dirty tea towels and fabric place mats. It worked well. They dont smell as nice as my perfumed store bought liquid but I can deal with that as I’m saving money and using less chemicals.
This is for front and top loaders. Less powder is used for a front loader or alternatively make the powder using half a block of soap rather than a full and follow the directions below the recipe. For our American likers, everything I’ve read is telling me this is safe for HE machines as well. Please check with your machine handbook however.
I am still on the fence with Borax after reading what was possibly hundreds of articles and would like to do some more research into it. This is my borax free version of washing powder. If you have sensitive skin this is something that may help. My research tells me that borax is often the ingredient in store bought powders/liquids that can cause irritation. Some research also says that borax containing powders shouldn’t be used for infants. With a 14 week old I don’t want to take the chance until I research it some more so borax free it is for the moment.
Mine has a few extra ingredients than a lot of other recipes out there. This means that the price per load is slightly more expensive but my opinion is I’d rather spend that little bit extra for extra cleaning power and get a better result.
Please do a test wash on an old item of clothing to be sure it doesn’t affect your clothing. For dedicates, woolens and silks I recommend using a powder or liquid specifically designed for them.
My lovely friend Nikalene, from the amazing group Skinnymixers, did some testing of my powder on a beetroot stained top and delicate dress. The stains had been there for 3 days due to traveling and once home washed them in my powder with cold water cycle and saw these results. Even I was surprised how well they removed a three day old stain.
Click to enlarge:
- Sunlight/Velvet soap: $0.85
- Washing soda: $0.87
- Bi carb soda: $0.85
- Salt: $0.11
- Citric acid: $1.17
- Lemon essential oil: $0.40
Total = $4.25 for what I have estimated to be 20-30 loads. That is just $0.21 a load!!!
* Each store will vary slightly in price as will each brand. Buying these ingredients in bulk will lower the price dramatically. Have a look at your local health food or bulk buying store.
- Soap: cleans, guts down grease and is a stain remover.
- Washing soda: is a water softener, whitens clothes and is a stain remover.
- Bi carb soda: is a stain remover, whitens, deodorises and is a substitute for borax.
- Salt: salt is added for scrubbing power as well as a natural disinfectant. It also helps prevent mould.
- Citric acid: cleans, breaks down grease and is a water softener.
- Essential oil: adds a scent to your clothes but also has disinfecting properties.
- Its recommended you wear gloves when handling washing soda. Remember to put it out of reach of children and pets when finished with it.
- If your loads aren’t cleaning try slightly more powder.
- If you want to use Borax you can use it in place of the bi carb soda.
- Citric acid and washing soda can work against each other so the rule of thumb is 1 cup of washing soda to 1/4 cup of citric acid. Remember this if you start tweaking the recipe.
- You can grate a bar of sard soap and add to the mix too if desired. Do not get excited and add any more than one bar as it will make your powder far too soapy and will not be good for you machine.
- 1 bar of sunlight or velvet soap, cubed
- 1 cup of washing soda
- 1 cup bi carb soda
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1/4 cup of citric acid
- 20-30 drops of essential oil, optional
- Place soap into bowl.
- Blitz slowly up to speed 9 until very fine. Approximately 20 secs. Scrape down.
- Note: You want this to be a super fine dust so that it dissolves easily in cold water. If you are a warm/hot washer it wont mater if its slightly coarser.
- Place everything into the bowl.
- Blitz on speed 6 for 30 seconds.
- You just want to break down the ingredients slightly and ensure they are well combined especially the essential oil.
- Store in an airtight container.
- For a front loader use 2 tablespoons of powder, top loader I use 4 tablespoons. This may vary depending on how hard your water is and size of machine.