Following on from last week’s laundry post, specifically about keeping your whites white, I am today going to share the laundry liquid recipe I use. It is super easy and relatively quick to make, uses ingredients I have on hand for making other things, and costs next to nothing!
Rhonda lists three ingredients in her laundry liquid; grated soap, washing soda, and borax. I only use two, plus water: Lux Flakes, and Washing Soda. Lux Flakes I use also in soap-making, while the Washing Soda is used in my all-purpose cleaner which I will share with you next week. Both of these ingredients you can find in the cleaning aisle of your supermarket, but you might have to look on the top or the bottom shelves 😉
So the recipe is:
- 1 cup soap – grated or flaked (I used Lux Flakes),
- ½ cup washing soda (the powder not the crystals)
- ½ cup borax
I leave out the Borax as we use the grey water on our garden.
Add all the ingredients to 1 1/2 litres of water in a large pot, and heat until everything has dissolved. See, easy!Now I deviate slightly from Rhonda’s instructions. She says to pour it into another large container which holds at least 10 litres, then top up with water.
Instead, I divide this mixture evenly between my storage bottles, then top up with water and give a good shake. The soap mixture thickens as it cools, so you need to do this step quite quickly. It’s easy to pour it in if you use a funnel, and while it is still hot! I use empty plastic juice or milk bottles, generally 2 litre size, as it saves putting some of our empties into landfill, very easy to replace if needed, and easy to handle. Just make sure to leave some space at the top of your bottles, so you can shake them up before use. The mixture will separate, so this is an important step.
At this point you can add a fragrance if you like. You could add Eucalyptus or Tea Tree oils, perhaps lavender or citrus fragrances. A small bottle of cheap fragrant oil from the discount shop would be sufficient, or some people have added scented fabric softener. If you grated your own soap instead of using Lux Flakes, you could chose a scented soap. Personally, I love the beautiful smell of no added scent – just fresh air and sunshine!
Now that I have been using this laundry liquid for long enough to know that it does work, I should probably upgrade to something a little prettier!
Mop up any spills with a cloth, then throw that in your machine. It will probably have enough soap on it to clean a load.
To use, I put a good slurp into the detergent dispenser of my front-loader washing machine. I’ve written 1/2 cup on my bottles for some reason, Rhonda recommends 1/4 cup. I think my slurp is closer to 1/4 cup. I also add a splash of vinegar to the fabric conditioner spot in my machine. And no, your clothes aren’t left with any vinegar-y smell to them 😉
People commented on Rhonda’s blog that their whites didn’t stay white, usually because they’ve left out the Borax. She suggests adding something like Napisan to your wash. As I said in my last laundry post, our whites are soaked in a Napisan equivalent prior to washing and we don’t have that problem. There are a number of interesting comments on Rhonda’s blog, and she has also included a full break-down of the cost of making this liquid, so I do recommend reading it.
It is also recommended that you use a commercial laundry liquid/powder occasionally. On the Lux Flakes box there is a caution: “Continuous use of Lux Flakes in an automatic washing machine is not recommended…To reduce the chance of soap build up, we recommend that a laundry powder or liquid is used in a hot water cycle every 10-12 washes.”
So there you have it – 10 litres of homemade laundry liquid for under $2! Even the up-front cost of buying the 2 ingredients I used was only around $10, which is still very cheap compared to the cost of commercial laundry products.
Will you give it a go? Let me know how it works for you!
* Linking up with A Tray of Bliss