First up I gathered my supplies (which I'm ashamed to say had been sitting in the laundry for some months now!). The only item that needed to be purchased was borax which I found in the cleaning aisle of Coles supermarket.
The recipe looked fairly straightforward and not too time consuming. I had even saved up enough empty milk cartons to hold the liquid cleaner...
(For complete recipe and instructions, see bottom of page)
Below are the soap flakes being added to the water in a pot...
...which are then stirred over a low heat until the soap flakes are dissolved.
Washing soda and borax are then measured out...
...and added to the dissolved soapy water. It is stirred until it thickens and then removed from the heat.
Here it is being poured into a regular household bucket (9 litres).
And below, after being topped up with tap water and stirred thoroughly.
It is then ladled through a funnel into the empty milk bottles...
...leaving a couple of inches free at the top so the liquid can be shaken before use. This is necessary as apparently the solution separates upon sitting. My solution was a little on the lumpy side which I think could be rectified next time by stirring more thoroughly while the mixture was heating, perhaps adding warm water to the heated soap solution? (instead of say, trying to take sequential blog photos!)
|Homemade laundry liquid, total time: 20 minutes approx. Yield: 9 litres|
I've never been so eager to do a load of washing! I had a small load of whites and a small load of darks and tried both with the new liquid. About half a cup for our greedy top loader was put in. I would estimate using 3/4 to 1 cup for a full load. It performed no better and virtually no worse than my current Aldi brand of powder. The only noticeable disappointment was that some of my white socks that had been worn while doing gardening jobs still were a bit grubby...perhaps they needed a soak? Or a scoop of oxy-napiwash in the machine as a booster or Sard's soap instead of lux flakes? Either way, I'm quite satisfied with today's results although I think a more informed decision will be made over several months.
I could probably see myself adding a portion of eucalyptus oil to the odd wash too. After bringing in the two loads of laundry and folding them, my thoughts are that I will be happy to keep trying the liquid. Everything except the grubby socks came out just like it had been washed with my previous powder, with the up-side being that there was none of that nasty 'fragrance' smell and the icky feeling on my hands after folding (do you experience this?). This is a HUGE plus for me! The clothes smelled clean and of nothing else except fresh air and sunshine!. Can detergent companies find a way to capture this smell without having to resort to frightening chemicals? I don't think so.
I'm really looking forward to having my family and myself wear clothes that haven't been treated in cripes knows what just to get clean and I'll be interested to see if it improves my daughter's and my sensitive skin (which homemade soap has already made a positive impact on).
|Whites in the sun and darks in the shade|
What are your experiences with homemade laundry soap?