Saturday, September 25, 2010

laundry powder


A few weeks back Maeve and I had a go at making our own Laundry Powder after being inspired by Amanda's post here. Let me just say it works a treat! I really can't stand the smell of commercial wash powders (or many man-made perfumed scents for that matter...they give me nausea and headaches), so this stuff has been a much welcomed relief for my sensitive nose/head.
We were a bit lazy and grated the soap in the food processor, which made the whole process super speedy. Maeve was a great little helper!

For those of you that live in Australia, it seems that some of the ingredients can be hard to come by so I thought I would share where I got mine:
  • The Borax was a tricky fella to track down. I couldn't find it anywhere, until I did a home shop through Woolworths online and they had it! None of my local Woolworths stocked it, but online did...go figure? I have also heard that some Bunnings stock Borax.
  • The Dr Bronners castile soap can be found at most good health or vitamin shops. If not, ask and they will probably order it in for you.
  • Washing soda. Well, this one is a rather long story. At first I couldn't find it in my local supermarket, but I did find 'soda crystals', which I had read about on a lot of forums and people said its the same thing as washing soda. Don't be fooled folks, its not! The soda crystals have water added and the washing soda is a dry powdery salt. Anyway, because the soda crystals were all I could at the time, I got them, and thought maybe I could pop them on a tray in the oven to dry them out and hence remove the water content. Turned out the soda crystals had a much higher water content than I thought, and pretty soon I had a deep tray of liquid boiling in the oven! This went on for ages, and in the end I stuck the tray on the hotplate to boil quicker. It eventually all dried out (I am talking hours later) and I was left scraping the powdered stuff out of the tray. The tray was completely trashed, and had to be binned. See the jar in the photo below? That how much washing soda powder I got from a full bag of soda crystals. Pathetic! And if that experiment wasn't torture enough, the next day I came across a bag of washing soda in a small grocery shop close by for half the price. Arrgghh... I couldn't believe it!! I will n-e-v-e-r be making my own again!
    Now, I am sure you could use the soda crystals if that's all you can come by. But if the recipe calls for 1 cup of washing soda, you may want to substitute 3-4 cups of soda crystals.
On another note, this Laundry Powder seems to work great in both top loader and front loader machines. I have a front loader and have no issues yet. It is not too sudsy at all.

{happy washing!}


willow and moo said...

Hi Naomi
Washing Soda = soda ash = sodium carbonate
You can also use soda ash. It is with the pool chemicals at Bunnings or a pool supply shop. I use it for dyeing since it's the fixative for fibre reactive dyes.

Damaris said...

woah. I love this. i'm a recipe kind of gal and this one is awesome and so useful. thanks for sharing.

Sarah G said...

I used to make my own detergent with a similar recipe. But after I had my son (and we started cloth diapering) I switched to Allen's Natural because I didn't know if I could use the detergent with cloth diapers. Anyone know if I can? It would surely save me a LOT of money!

naomi said...

Ah-ha! Thanks Sarah, that is very handy to know.
Sarah I am pretty sure you can. It works great on my cloth nappies, makes them softer. Although I haven't tested it out long term. If you follow the link in the post to Soulemama's site then check her comments section for the wash powder recipe, there is heaps of helpful feedback.

Sarah Harris said...

hey naomi, thanks! Inda and i had a great time making our powder on a rather gloomy and rainy afternoon.