After making a natural coconut body shampoo, I had to keep exploring alternatives to normal everyday, store bought chemically-infused soaps and liquids. No matter where you look online, for laundry liquid, the recipe is basically the same…washing soda, with anything you wish to add yourself.
I have learned that the only difference between Baking Soda and Washing Soda is carbon dioxide and water. Heating baking soda at around 200C for 40-60 minutes remove all moisture and carbon dioxide from the powder, leaving fine soda crystals, or washing soda.
So that’s what I did, only I did it on the stove just so I could see it action the first time. Not much to see to be honest. Next time I’ll stick it in the oven for an hour.
- 3 cups boiling water
- 2/3 cup home made washing soda, as previously made. You can use store bought soda but I couldn’t find any.
- 1/2 cup of liquid castile soap
- 3 tbsp of baking soda.
- 20 drops of Tea Tree oil
- 20 drops of Lemon essential oil
- Place the washing soda into a bowl and add 2 cups of boiling water. Stir until the soda is full dissolved.
- Add baking soda, 1 tablespoon at a time and stir in. When the liquid cools, it will become a paste like substance.
- Place into a blender to get a smooth consistency.
- Pour liquid into glass containers. I used a couple of Capt. Morgan spiced rum bottles. Makes approx. 800mls of laundry liquid
- Add essential oils when liquid cools. Shake vigorously.
- Use 1/3 cup per wash cycle.
Note: When the liquid cools, the solids will separate from the liquids. Ensure you shake the bottle well before use.
Tip: Add a few extra drops of tea tree oil into the final rinse cycle for added freshness
When you’re cooking the baking soda, ensure you have adequate ventilation as the fine dust it produces is toxic as well as the carbon dioxide gases emitted during the process. Always wear suitable protection, in this case gloves.
Trials & Results
As I publish, I have my first batch in the washing machine. It’s only some towels and bath mat but should be interesting to see how they turn out.
1/3 cup is approximately 80mls, so I should get around 10 washes per recipe. I’m keeping a wash diary, similar to my poo diary when I made my compost toilet to see how long this recipe lasts.
This is my washing machine during the first test cycle. As you can see, there are plenty of suds. My laundry is now dry and I have fresh, clean towels again.
- Castile soap £1.20
- Bicarbonate of Soda £0.99 for 200g
- Total £2.19 or £2.73/L
- Cost per wash – £0.20
Store bought comparison
- Fairy Non bio washing gel. 24 washes, 888Ml £5.50
- Cost per wash – £0.23
I’m ecstatic by the results. This product is 100% natural and chemical-free and does exactly the same job as store bought detergents but without the harsh chemicals. Unlike the dozens of other products on the market which harm aquatic life, mine is totally safe for use on the canal eco-system.