Clothes washing has come along so far since the days of doing it by hand with a washboard and mangle and for that I am forever grateful, but looking at the pile of empty plastic bottles which inevitably will end up in landfill my conscience was well and truly punctured, not just pricked. I have toyed with the idea of making my own washing powder for a number of years but have never got round to actually doing it, but it has been increasingly been playing on my mind.
Since we have given up running our B&B this has given us more time to spend with the family, and this means getting out and about more. I was luckily enough to have already done a course down at River Cottage HQ and have been raving about it for the last few years. So this past May bank Holiday I took my husband and two children to the River Cottage Spring Fair where the children discovered pottery and how to build a shelter, my husband discovered that actually to was quite nice sitting down and not rushing around and I discovered the amazing Rebecca Sullivan and her book The Art of the Natural Home. Sadly we weren’t in time to see her demonstration but I bought the book and have opened up a wonderful array of homemade natural products ranging from food to cleaning products. It also helps that we did go to the same college although many years apart. Delighted to find a recipe for washing powder Amazon was the next stop for the ingredients.
How to …..
- 100-150g bar of soap (castile or Dr. Bronner’s)
- 250g borax, I used Borax substitute
- 250g washing soda crystals
- 5 drops of lemon or orange essential oil, I used rosemary as that is what I had but lemon acts as a degreaser and bleaching agent
Chop the soap into small pieces and put in a blender/food processor along with the other ingredients and blend until smooth. The amount suggested to use is 1-3 tablespoons.
I would like to say that on googling there are a myriad of washing powder recipes for you to choose one, this was just the one I liked.
We have been using the powder for a while and 98% of the time is her been really pleased with it. There has been some residue left when I did a woolly wash so will probably use liquid for that, maybe I can make my own, and there was one heavily stained load that I again used the shop bought liquid. My son has reactions to a lot of the shop bought washing powders and liquids and has had no reaction to this whatsoever. So this is a keeper.
Next week: watermint vodka