I stopped using commercial washing powder a number of years ago because I tend to wash my washing at 30degrees which seems to be too cold to fully dissolve some powders, leaving a whitish residue on dark items. So for years I have been using commercial non-bio laundry liquid. A friend of mine told me that she makes her own, so when I ran out of my usual, I went to the internet and found a recipe that I adapted. It works pretty well, I have washed three loads with it and it seems to do the job for a fraction of the price of commercial.
To make 4L of concentrated laundry liquid
- 100g of grated soap (I use olive oil soap avoid soaps made with palm oil as it’s production damages rain forests in the tropics) (I used the grating disc on the food processor)
- 2 L of boiling water2 L of tap water
- 2 cups washing soda (sodium carbonate) (available in cleaning aisle of supermarket) (bake baking soda at 200 degrees for 30 mins)
- 1 cup baking soda (bread soda/ sodium bicarbonate)
- 1 cup borax (optional, is a brightener) (I don’t use it)
- A few drops of essential oil (optional, I don’t use it)
In a pot melt the grated soap with 1L of boiling water, in the meantime, in a plastic bucket or stainless steel vessel (not aluminum as it reacts with washing soda), dissolve the washing soda, baking soda and borax in 1L of boiling water, use a wooden spoon to stir. Once the soap is melted and the sodas dissolved, add 2L of tap water to the soap solution in the bucket. stir it up with the wooden spoon and then use a stick blender to properly mix it and get the lumps out. Don’t worry, the two solutions will separate again, in fact, they never stay mixed. Once the mixture has cooled down, transfer it into bottles. (Washed out milk bottles will do)
To use, shake it up till homogenised, and use 25-50ml per wash depending on soilage.
Bar of soap < €1
Washing soda, 2 cups < 50c
Baking soda, 1 cup <50c
4L boiling water < 50c
Total for 4 L < €2.50