Nov 24, 2009
Above is my tutorial on how to make your own homemade laundry detergent. For a few bucks you can have a huge bucket of homemade laundry detergent. It does save money – also takes time to make it – but the real reason I do it is the utter satisfaction in helping to save the planet in a small way – also it really does clean your clothes well and by adding your own essential oils you can make your clothes smell the way you want – lemon fresh – eucalyptus clean – lavender lovely – oh the possibilities.
Nathan left a comment here the other day – and when I visited his blog this morning I found a great tutorial on how to make this exact laundry detergent recipe – so head over there for a more pictorial tutorial.
When I first found this recipe – (on youtube I think) – I had heard of borax, but never used it as a regular household ingredient – what is it though? It is a naturally occurring alkaline mineral called ‘sodium borate’ and has been used for over 4000 years in various capacities. It has many household uses: a natural laundry booster (add spoonful to your wash to help whiten whites), multipurpose cleaner (dissolve in water and add a drop of lemon essence for a great spray cleaner and excellent for deodorising and cleaning the fridge), stain remover (make a paste with warm water for a pre-wash stain remover), soaker (used as a pre-wash soaker for nappies/diapers – removes odors and makes washing easier), deodoriser (sprinkle in your garbage bin, on smelly carpet or use a paste on urine soaked mattresses) – or pour a little down smelly sink drains – leave for a bit before vacuuming or rinsing to remove odors), fungicide, preservative, insecticide, herbicide and disinfectant.
The great thing about borax is that although quite refined now – it is still a natural compound with no toxic fumes and is safe for the environment (although too much is never a good thing – and is a good insecticide too), however it should not be ingested and can irritate the skin – so use with common sense.
The other main ingredient in this laundry detergent is Washing soda – this is different from Bi-carb/baking soda – although baking soda is also an excellent natural cleanser. Washing soda sodium carbonate sometimes also known as soda ash – it has a high alkaline chemical component and while it is relatively harmless to the environment – it can cause skin irritation and should not be ingested – wear gloves while using.
The high alkalinity helps it act as a solvent to remove stains – it is also used as a water softener, use it remove mineral deposits from your bathroom tiles and coffee machine, a paste or liquid concentrate can be used for scrubbing the stove and removing tough stains from clothing.