As outlined in my recent post, How to make cheap cleaning products for 15 cents, I’ve started to make my own cleaning products as part of my quest to be frugal to reduce debt and increase savings.
Not only are home-made cleaning products cheaper, but I can make them as naturally as I want. This saves me money, reduces my exposure to toxic chemicals, and reduces my environmental impact.
After having success with my home made all-purpose spray, I thought I’d give washing powder a go.
I have sensitive skin, so I have always had to be careful with what washing powder and soaps I use. Usually, this has meant buying washing powders with less chemical fillers that are marked as “sensitive skin” or “eco-friendly”.
However, the downfall to these powder types is cost. I’ve often found myself needing to spend about twice to three times as much for my skin friendly washing powder in comparison with conventional washing powders.
Given that regular clothes washing is an essential sanitary requirement when you live in hot climates, I can’t really just stop washing my clothes properly to cut costs. So, I thought I would have a go at making my own skin friendly washing powder to see how it compares, both in terms of cost and effectiveness, to store bought “sensitive skin” and “eco-friendly” powders I’ve used.
After undertaking some research on suitable chemicals for washing clothes, I decided to go with a combination of bi-carb soda (odour neutraliser), washing soda (softener to help dirt lift from clothes), soap flakes (the detergent/cleaner) and essential oils (to give clothes a nice, fresh smell).
I’ve made a few batches of my own washing powder now and am happy with the results. The combination of bi-carb soda, washing soda and soap works really well for me.
One batch makes just over 1 kilo, at a cost of around $3. I find that I only need to use 2 teaspoons for most loads and 3 teaspoons for dirty loads (note: I haven’t tested it on heavily soiled laundry such as nappies, etc). As a result, my 1 kilo batch lasts anywhere between 79-119 loads of washing and equates to 2.5-3.8 cents per washing load.
If you’re interested in making your own washing powder, check out my recipe below.
Homemade washing powder
- 1 cup of bi carb soda.
- 1 cup of washing soda.
- 1 cup of castile or other natural, fragrance-free soap flakes.
- 10 ml of eucalyptus oil (lemon or lavender oil are other good options if you don’t like eucalyptus).
- Combine bi-carb soda and washing soda in large bowl.
- Add soap flakes. If flakes not available, grate one large bar of soap directly into bowl.
- Add 10 ml of chosen essential oil.
- Mix well to combine all ingredients.
- Transfer to a container with lid and you’re all done!