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It's Not Magic, It's Work!

08 Mar 2020

Home made laundry soap

If your water is soft, your clothes not too dirty, then you can make your own laundry cleaner. Most of the cleaning action is caused by clothes going into an out of the water as the drum turns. This isn't enough on it's own, so people add detergents and other cleaning agents to clean their clothes. Historically people used to use soap, but detergents are cheaper and work better in hard water.

Most modern laundry detergents are about 50% water softening chemicals, then detergents, enzymes to digest proteins, optical brighteners to make your clothes look clean, bleaching agents, perfumes and fillers. Some of these ingredients can cause allergic reactions, some aren't required if your water is soft or your clothes aren't very dirty.

This recipe makes perfectly good clothes washing soap:

  • 30 g grated savon Marseille
  • 15 g sodium hydrogen carbonate (sodium bicarbonate) - buffering agent
  • 15 g sodium carbonate (washing soda or soda crystals) - water softener - optional
  • 1500 ml hot tap water
  • 15 drops essential oil - perfume - optional

Boil the water, add the grated soap and allow it to dissolve. It can take a while. When it has cooled to tepid, add the salts, and stir well. It will form a soapy foam. Add essential oil and bottle.

To use, shake back to a foam mixture. Apply directly to any dirty spots. Normal usage is 45 ml - 90 ml per load. Will work as well as any other eco-detergents. Will not work so well if the water is very hard, or the clothes are very dirty.