Sunday, 19 August 2012

Homemade washing powder

I really should have put this post up a couple of Wednesdays ago as the number of people who have asked me for the recipe since i tipped it on Superscrimpers is HUGE! so I'm sorry for leaving it a week and a half but here goes......

Now then, now then, this is a REALLY great and cost effective alternative to regular washing powders, not only does it cut out unnecessary chemicals found in regular detergents, but when also used in conjunction with an energy efficient appliance, makes for a more ecologically sound alternative.

Leading Bold lavender washing powder is £3.75 kg Mine just near a quid 50 for the same and personally i think its better, AND leaves you feeling rather smug too!

What you need:


1 100% vegetable oil unscented soap I get mine from Waitrose for (£1.66 for 4 bars)
250 mls worth Washing Soda Crystals
Essential Oil
A large pan


What you do:
Using a large pan with about 1 pint of water and bring to the boil.
Whilst the water is being brought to the boil, completely grate the bar of soap add this to the boiled water
 You must make sure that all the soap has been completely dissolved before taking off the heat.
Add 250 mls (made up to around 1 pint with water) of the washing soda crystals and around 20 drops of your chosen essential oil.
Bere in mind that lavender essential oil has been linked to hormone disruption in young boys and possibly pregnant women. (I never knew this before SuperScrimpers…no wonder my boys are crazy….i was mad on the stuff before i knew!) so i use lemon oil.

This will be more gloppy then powdery..so dont worry...

I would love to hear how you get on.....please see my post on homemade fabric softener too...UTTER SMUGGNESS FOR ALL!

TTFN x x x


47 comments:

  1. Hello, I don't know what I am doing wrong but the detergent always ends up being liquid and go hard only at the bottom once I store it for future use , what am i doing wrong?

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    1. Hey Elodie, your not going wrong....firstly if it stays liquid in the pan you need to take it off the heat, it WILL be like gloop, not like powder (infact im not sure why we call it powder!) if you still find its very liquidy pop a sprinkle more of soda crystals in...also keep it in a sealed tuppawear pot or clip top (like i do) and everytime you use it give it a stir or shake around. Hope that helps! x x

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  2. does it matter what soap you use? i.e. could you use a bar or 'Simple' soap

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    1. Hiya Corey.

      Im sure you can get the same result using simple BUT you dont want to be blocking up your washing machine! I sugest you use Waitrose 100% vegatable oil soap...its £1.67 for 4 bars (thats for jars of washing gloop!!)

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  3. Hello , thank you for your reply , I think I have used the wrong soap as i had some lumps left in the washing machine but it worked really well , I am impressed with the results , thank you for sharing this with us :)

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    1. Heya

      You need to make sure your soap is 100% veg oil soap..it has a lower melting point and is better for your machine yada yada yada... i get mine from Waitrose for £1.67 for 4 bars.
      Glad you had great results!
      x

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  4. Hello , i am unable to find a vegetable soap , i havent got a waitrose or a tesco near by , the closest thing that I have found is soap flakes and simple soap bar ? Do you think this would be ok with putting the stuff in a net bag whilst washing ?

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    1. Hi Elodie
      Hummmm...I personally wouldn't use anything other then a veg oil soap bar, maybe try online? I'm sure saying this it would be totally fine BUT I don't want to be responsible for busting your washing machine...you could even get a friend to post you a bar 2nd class, this will still be heaps cheaper and halo worthier then shop buying!
      Let me know how you get on x x

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  5. Hi how much do you use in the washer once you have made it? im trying to figure out how long a batch would last?

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  6. Hiya!
    I use a lid from a small tin of hairspray so I'd say it's about 3-4 tablespoons....hope that helps x

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  7. Hi
    Wanting to try this but all the essential oils I have found so far are quite expensive. Do you know of any for under a fiver or would it be possible to use a few drops of those scented oils that are used for making your room smell nice? Hope that makes sense haha.

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    1. dont use room oils!!! i get mine from Boots for £4.95 x

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    2. I found Lavender oil in Savers for around £2 and I'm sure they're all over eBay as well. Trying this 'recipe' later this week! :)

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  8. Hi claire,
    my washing powder mixture solidified when cooled and now it is back to being a bar of soap. i have followed everything u said but it didnt work out. anything i can with it now? or have i just wasted the products and it w#has to be thrown in a bin?
    paula

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  9. Hi Paulina,

    Mine went the same and I still use it, it works fine.

    Hope you haven't thrown it out!

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  10. You can buy Tea tree oil and lavender oil from Wilkinson for £1 each. They sell the same thing in Body shop for £4. Total rip off just go to wilkinsons.

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  11. Thanks for this recipe. I made a batch yesterday and it worked perfectly. I used 100g of soap flakes as I couldn't find the pure vegetable soap in Wilkinsons (where I was) and I know they are ok for use in a washing machine (£1.20 from the washing powder aisle). The texture is perfect - easy to scoop without being sloppy. I estimate I'll get a month's worth of washing from my (grubby)family of four for £2.10!

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    1. That's brilliant! well done you! glad i could help x x

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  12. Hi Claire! Is it possible just to combine all the dry ingredients and pop it in detergent tray? Or is there a reason for "cooking" it up? Thanks! :)

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    1. Hi Claire

      I wouldn't, it may seem the easy way but it wouldn't distribute around the machine evenly so you wouldn't get a great result x

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    2. I make my own dry powder from oliva(from Holland and Barret) soap(it doesnt leave the residue in the machine that the waitrose soap does) 2 cups of washing soda and 2 cups baking soda,it works great

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  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Hi Gizzy

      I'm not sure why your comment got deleted but you where saying it wasn't working for you when "cooking", you need to make sure your soap is 100% veg oil, the less vegetable oil in the soap the harder it will be to get it mixed in with all of the other ingredients.

      good luck with it, I hope your get a great result in the end x x x

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  14. Hey, are you able to use this for baby and childrens clothes I so wanna try this but not sure if its ok for kiddies xx

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    1. Hiya

      I use it for my children's clothes and have never had any issues. I actually found it better then shop purchased products as my youngest has very sensitive skin and if he goes any where near shop own brand bio it brings him out in a rash.

      Claire x

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  15. Hi Claire, many thanks for this, is this soap from sainsbury's the same? If so, it's slightly cheaper than waitrose (I couldn't get the waitrose one). I made some earlier and it seems to be quite solid in places, is this normal? How much would you recommend to use?

    Thanks for the advice!

    Becky

    http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/groceries/index.jsp?bmUID=1368825190690

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    1. Hiya Keesa

      That's great if you have found it cheaper! Your officially a superscrimper! :0)
      I use 125g (the whole bar) and grate it, you should let it hang around on the heat until all of the soap has dissolved (although im sure a little lump here and there wont hurt) maybe try finely grating the soap... it will be a good work out but worth it!
      Also just double check that you are using 100% veg oil, any other ingredient will stop it melting quite so well... Good luck and let me know how you get on x

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  17. Hi,

    I have made two batches of this and not having much luck, used 100% Olive Oil soap (125g bar) from Holland & Barrett as the sales lady told me it was the same thing as veg oil soap (realise probably not now!?!), it initially seperated (hard at the top, oil at the bottom, I kept mixing it up and it went like a very thick (almost hard) jelly type consistancy, when used in the washing machine (I put into the drawer, is this right?), none of it dissolved, there was as much left as I had put in. So, after reading the replies to this, I saw that someone had used soap flakes from Wilko's (I have found 100% vegetable oil soap flakes online, but works out cheaper to buy in bulk due to high postage costs, so wanted to try it out before taking such a big leap!). I made a batch with this last night and it has gone to being like a giant bar of soap (slightly softer/easier to 'scoop'), I have used it this morning, in the drawer of the machine, and again, it hasn't dissolved either, so I have just put another load on, but added it to the drum this time to see if that helps....what am I doing wrong? I usually wash clothes at 30 or 40 degrees, is this too low?? Am I mixing the soda crystals wrong?? I REALLY want this to work as I love the idea of making my own for my family (as well as saving on the pennies, we do on average 15 loads a week, so go through a lot of powder/softener). I have made your recipe for softener, not used it yet as using up the old stuff first....fingers crossed I have made that better!! Please help!! xx

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    1. Hi Jo
      I really feel for you, it's horrible when all your hard work doesn't pay off, but you are nearly there
      Ok, so you need to use veg oil soap, olive oil soap has a higher melting point so always stick to veg oil soap or flakes
      You need to put the gooey mixture strait into the drum of the machine, I use a hair spray lid and fill it with 2 big table spoon scoops, roughly to the top of a medium size hair spray lid.
      Let me know how you get on
      X

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    2. Thanks Claire, I have been using the second batch I made straight in the drum and has worked a treat!! YAY! I have also used the fabric conditioner and that has worked well too, so pleased, my other half is very impressed (thank you!), also, I have discovered that my first batch (with Olive Oil soap) is an absolute fantastic pre soak, gets rid of baby food stains, blood, general food stains with very little effort, no rubbing or scrubbing required, this is going to save me a FORTUNE!!

      Thanks again Claire :o)
      Jo
      xxx

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    3. Your very welcome Jo, it's lovely to hear good feed back!

      Great tip with the Pre soak too!

      X x

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  18. I found this too, so I mix it up with boiling water and put it in the machine with the clothes. This helps soften the soap and it works really well. The first time I tried, like you it stayed in a lump. So mix and mash with hot water. :)

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    1. Thanks for your advise Becky

      Lumps are good as long as all the ingredients are combined them gloppy or lumpy is totally fine
      X

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  19. My husband has accumulated umpteen bars of soap from various travels around the world, mainly Palmolive and Lux. I have no idea whether they are classed as "vegetable" or not, but they are not paraffin-based. Sodium palmate seems to be the main ingredient. But my aim is to use the dratted stuff up, as we both hate bar soap in the bathroom.

    So I gave your recipe a go, and made up a batch today. What I've ended up with is a jar of what looks like curdled cake mixture - small, wet pieces of soft but fairly solid soap.

    The instructions don't say at what point to take the pan off the heat, or whether to add hot or cold water to the soda crystals. I used cold water with the soda, and took it off the heat when I added the mixture. That was when it "curdled". Should I have heated it all up again after the soda went in? Or used hot water in with the soda? Or is it the soap I used? I'm not buying yet more soap!

    Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hiya

      Curdled gloopy cake mix is perfect, it will look pretty yuk but does the job!

      You take it off the heat after the soap has melted, it doesn't really matter wether you take it off or not though.

      Regarding your choice of soap always recommend using only veg oil soap as 1 its nice and pure next to your skin and 2 it has a low melting point so will melt away even at low temp, but if it has worked for you then great! Just make sure you keep an eye on your machine, you don't want to bust it!

      If i ever state in any of my recipes use water, i mean regular good old tap water, cold, cool, tepid, however it comes out, if its important to have a certain temp ect ill say

      much love

      x x

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    2. Thank you so much for responding!

      I ended up reheating the soap so that it all melted again properly and was all smooth. But once it cooled, I now have a beautiful jar of lovely scented solid soap, not as solid as the original bar, but solid enough. I just did a 40* wash with some, and added some white vinegar into the fabric conditioner drawer. The clothes have come out clean and fresh with no soap on them, but the machine seals were full of hard lumps of soap. Wrong soap, definitely. :-( But I don't want to waste it unless I absolutely have to.

      I was thinking of melting it again, and diluting it so that it is more gloopy and will melt in the wash. Do you think there is any mileage in that, or do you have any better ideas?

      Thanks in advance!

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    3. I did end up adding more water to the mixture so that I ended up with two jars containing about 1 3/4 pints each.

      I have been scraping about one third of a mug of my soft-soap concoction into a mug, adding up to half the mugful with boiling water, then putting in the microwave for 20 seconds and stirring until there are no lumps. I pour that into the bottom of the machine, add the clothes, add a third of a cup of white vinegar to the fabric conditioner drawer, and start the machine. Everything comes out clean and fresh smelling, no soap lumps, no fabric conditioner required. Once a month I run the machine empty on the highest temperature with a cup of white vinegar in the soap drawer, to clear out any soap scum. So far, so good.

      I'm just making my second batch (basil and white thyme oils this time - mmm!) so the first batch lasted 3 months. I'll probably get 2 or 3 more batches out of my £1.40 bag of washing soda. Very happy.

      Thank you Claire!

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    4. Basil and White Thyme sounds amazing! I may have to copy! x

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  20. I made this but it solidified when cooled, I had to mulch it up with a spoon. It feels like soft soap. And doesn't pour I have to spoon it. Can you advise what I can do. I can only think there is not enough water. I used a pint for the soap, I used pure veg soap from waitrose. Then I put soda crystals in jug up to 250ml mark and poured water on top of crystals til it got to a pint. Is this right?

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  21. Struggling to find a true vegetable oil soap - can anyone recommend a brand I can look for?

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  22. Hi claire I'm very new to this world of being frugal and to be honest have never thought about making my own laundry goop but I'm giving it a go can you please elaborate on washing soda crystals I have never heard of them can I get them from most super markets or do I need to order on line thanks for your tips I'm looking forward to starting a much less waist flu life style xx

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  23. Wondering if melt and pour soap base would work? Had a go with co op soap that had basically the same ingredients as the waitrose one but it didn't want to melt, even though I boiled the daylights out of it, just stayed in waxy chunks! ��

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  25. i make my own washing detergent, the recipe is nearly the same as yours, but i use cidal soap and also borax, made in a big bucket, goes gloopy, then you put into whatever containers you have, it costs less than £2.50 for 10 gallons. Washes just as good as the commercial powders. I just use the cheap lemon essence from the supermarket, and it smells so nice.

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  26. Hi Claire, I LOVE your tips on Superscrimpers. I keep hearing you and various other people on there talk about essential oils. Where's the best place to get these for both quality and cost effectiveness, please? Never used them before....

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  27. Ive been using Dove soap to make mine,for the past couple of years, without issues.When the engineer came to fix a fault, he remarked how clean the pipes were, and asked if I use Calgon regularly :)

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