For many years I have been making my own soaps, laundry powder and other cleaning products out of all natural ingredients. I do this for several reasons. Firstly, I have family members who have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, 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, it is far cheaper to make your own than it is to buy expensive cleaners available in the supermarket.
I recently received an e-mail from one of our valued Green Living Australia customs and asked for her permission to share her information with you. So here we go:
Borax is a naturally derived mineral which is phosphate free. It has been used for around 4000 years and is a disinfectant and also a fantastic stain remover and deodorizer. You can use it to clean your toilet for example, by itself or add equal parts 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. Off course 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 Table spoon 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 2 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 a double boiler (a pot with water and then a heat proof container inside preferably glass) now that your flakes are melted add your borax and washing soda stir it will thicken remove from 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 over night.
- OK it’s about 12-18 hrs and it looks like thick sludge yay 🙂 now get your stick blender and blend blend blend…
- Put it into your empty bottles, put there lids on and store them where it’s 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 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 need to be soaked overnight or need some good old velvet soap and a little old elbow grease.
- 2 cups bicarb
- 4 tablespoons of arrowroot powder
- 4 tablespoons of borax
- 20-30 drops of your choice of essential oils
- Mix dry ingredients in glass jar ( I re-use old food jars washed and boiled) add your essential oils of your choice stir or shake and allow to sit for 24 hrs with lid on (allows the sent to disperse). It’s your personal choice as to 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 red carpet and have never had discoloration yet!
- Sprinkle on carpet. Leave for 20 mins and vacuum off. The result is great clean smelling carpet!!! Keep in mind if you want to change the sent completely, you need to clean you jars or you won’t get the sent you want.
IMPORTANT: I can’t express enough please have a separate set of equipment such as soap making tools. Do not use the same equipment as you do for food! I hope these can be of use to you and others. My cleaning cupboard consist of velvet soap, borax, washing soda, bicarb soda, vinegar, citric acid, vegetable glycerine, herbs and therapeutic grade essential oils, scourers cloths, and spray bottles. I have natural recipes for dishwasher powder, dish liquid, floor cleaner etc.
There is nothing 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 have not changed a thing and left it just as it came from Alicia. I hope that you will join me in thanking Alicia for taking the time to share.