I have been making my own soap, laundry powder, and other cleaning products out of all-natural ingredients for many years. I do this for several reasons. Firstly, I have family members who have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, an ever-increasing problem in today’s toxic world. Secondly, I care about our environment and do not want to do any more damage while I am here than I have to. Thirdly, making your own is far cheaper than buying expensive cleaners in the supermarket.
I recently received an e-mail from one of our valued Green Living Australia customs, and I asked her permission to share her information with you. So here we go:
Borax is a naturally derived mineral that is phosphate free. It has been used for around 4000 years and is a disinfectant, fantastic stain remover, and deodorizer. You can use it to clean your toilet, for example, by itself, or add equal parts of borax and bicarb. Sprinkle the powder and allow it to sit, as you would your normal cleaner, and then scrub with your toilet brush, then flush. It is safe for septic systems. It is toxic to dogs and humans if consumed, so I’d keep it out of the reach of little hands, not unlike washing soda or soap. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
I have two laundry recipes – one for powder and the other for liquid.
Laundry Powder Tools:
- Sealed containers
- Measuring cups (keep a set just for this kind of thing, and do not use your food ones!!!)
- 1 Tablespoon to keep in the laundry
- 2 cups velvet soap (grated)
- 1 cup washing soda (powder, not crystal)
- 1 cup Borax
Method: 1. Mix well. Store in an airtight container. Use two tablespoons per full load (you can adjust the recipe as to the hardness of your water). You can add bicarb soda if you like.
Washing liquid (a few more steps and a bit more time)
Laundry Liquid Tools:
- Old containers with lids ( I re-use washed-out juice containers)
- A large bucket
- Large saucepan (heat-proof bowl/ container only for this kind of use to go inside your saucepan the effect of double boiler)
- A stick blender ( I have one only for this kind of stuff; I do not use it for cooking; afterwards, you can get 1 for about $15 at your local supermarket)
- 1 and 1/3 bars of velvet soap (finely grated; you could use lux flakes, but I like to save my money
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- Melt the grated soap in 6 cups of water in a double boiler (a pot with water and then a heatproof container inside)
- Once your flakes are melted, add your borax and washing soda. Stir until it thickens and remove from the heat.
- Put 4 cups of hot tap water into your bucket; now add your mixture; stir, stir, stir. Add a further 28 cups of hot tap water 🙂 Now you can add essential oils if you like ( I like to add eucalyptus as it makes your clothes smell great). Leave overnight.
- OK, it’s about 12-18 hrs, and it looks like thick sludge; yay. Now get your stick blender and blend blend blend…
- Put them into your empty bottles, put their lids on, and store them where convenient.
Remember to shake your bottle each time before use (it is quite normal for some of the water to settle to the bottom). Use 1/4 cup per normal load and 1/2 cup for heavily soiled. Vinegar is a great fabric softener. You can use 1/4 of a cup in your rinse cycle if you like (and no, your clothes don’t smell like vinegar). These washing powder and liquids are good for high-efficiency machines (Front loaders) and top loaders, as they are low in suds. They are so inexpensive to make, with your initial outlay being about $7.50. This should keep a family of 5 going for a long while. Remember, borax is an inbuilt stain remover, but you will get stubborn stains that must be soaked overnight or need some good old velvet soap and a little old elbow grease.
- Two cups bicarb
- Four tablespoons of arrowroot powder
- Four tablespoons of borax
- 20-30 drops of your choice of essential oils
- Mix dry ingredients in a glass jar ( I re-use old food jars washed and boiled), add the essential oils of your choice, stir or shake and allow to sit for 24 hrs with the lid on (allows the sent to disperse). It’s your choice whether you put your mix in a shaker jar so it spreads evenly. Test a patch on your carpet first, preferably out of site. I have a red carpet and have never had discolouration yet!
- Sprinkle on the carpet. Leave for 20 mins and vacuum off. The result is a great, clean-smelling carpet!!!
Nothing is better than knowing your kids are growing up in a healthy environment without all the chemicals.
*Recipes courtesy of Alicia Hart, Geelong, Victoria.
I hope that you enjoyed this post. I hope that you will join me in thanking Alicia for taking the time to share.
As always, live well.