After trialling a friend’s batch of homemade laundry liquid in my front loader, I decided it was worth making some. I wash AT LEAST two loads per day, and I’d never really given much thought to how much I was spending on laundry liquid. Based on the brand I was using before, I was forking out $72.50 for 10L. Making it myself, 10L now costs me $3.57!
My initial hesitations were whether it would clean as well as commercial brands, and if it would be safe for use in a front loader. I can happily say yes and yes! I washed my daughter’s white dress with pen marks on it (she’s not meant to use pens, but…) I didn’t pre-treat it – I just threw it in with a regular load. It came out white, pen marks gone! I attribute this to using Sard Wonder Soap in the recipe. It’s a great stain remover. This recipe does not create a lot of suds, so it is safe to use in a front loader.
I got my recipe from Rhonda at Down to Earth. Here’s the process I used:
Homemade Laundry Liquid
1/2 bar of Sard Wonder Soap (bought from Woolworths)
1/2 bar of another soap (I used a soap I was given as a gift a few years ago)
1/2 cup of washing soda (bought from Woolworths)
1/2 cup of borax (bought from Coles)
10 Simple Steps
1. Grate soaps in a food processor. Or by hand. (If you can avoid grating by hand, do it!)
2. Put 1L of water in a saucepan on a medium heat (1L = 4cups)
3. Add soap, soda & borax.
4. Stir until dissolved.
5. Fill a big nappy bucket with 9L of water.
6. Add contents from saucepan.
7. Stir until you’re happy it’s combined.
8. Using a funnel, fill containers with the mix. Leave 3 – 4 cm gap at the top.
9. The mix will separate (don’t be alarmed, it’s normal), and you’ll need to give it a really vigorous shake before using.
10. Pour 1/4 of a cup (or about 60mls) into your washing machine dispenser.
It’s that simple!
A few notes.
Don’t leave it in the bucket overnight – it will gel up and be a pain to put in bottles. Once it’s cooled down and you’re satisfied it’s mixed thoroughly, fill your containers while the mix is in a liquid state. I used a cup measure and a funnel to fill mine up.
It’s up to you what kind of containers you use to store your laundry liquid. I have used 2L white vinegar bottles, soft drink bottles, old laundry detergent bottles – basically bits and bobs I collected in readiness for the project. The vinegar bottles are my favourite because they have a handle which make shaking really easy. I’m going to collect 6 of these all up, and use them each time I make a new batch. I’ll probably go OTT and make a cute label for them too. I’m like that…
Your containers will end up with 2 layers once left overnight. There will be a creamy white gel-like layer at the top, and a clear layer at the bottom. Give a vigorous shake before each use to recombine all ingredients. You must leave room in each container to be able to shake it up!
This laundry liquid is not overly fragrant. If your second soap was highly perfumed, maybe that would make a difference. I found that the smell of the Sard soap overpowered the other one I used. So, the laundry liquid has a light ecualyptus scent.
Using 2L or 3L bottles allows you to experiment with adding different fragrances until you stumble on a mix that you like. I have tried adding Lavender essential oil in one bottle and Eucalyptus in another. I’m uncertain how much you’d need to use to get a strong fragrance. I’ll update this down the track once I have finished experimenting.
Are the savings you can make using homemade laundry liquid worth giving it a try? Let me know how you go!