Zero Waste Laundry Detergent
Making your own laundry powder is a great way of reducing waste. It also saves money and you know exactly what is in the ingredients which you can keep non toxic and safe for you and the environment.
I use 2 ingredients here. Washing soda and Castile soap.
These two ingredients are perfectly adequate at getting clothes clean and the washing soda is great to use in hard water.
I make my own washing soda as it is hard to get in Ireland and is always packaged in plastic.
Turn baking soda into washing soda
Baking soda is alkaline, with a ph level of 8/9 and washing soda is very alkaline, with a ph level of 11.
Baking soda and washing soda have similarities.
Baking soda is NaHCO3 (1 sodium, 1 hydrogen, 1 carbon and 3 oxygen molecules)
When baking soda is heated to very high temperatures it converts to washing soda Na2CO3 (2 sodium, 1 carbon and 3 oxygen molecules)
Washing soda is a great cleaner and water softener. It is also caustic and an irritant due to its alkalinity so is not edible and should not be inhaled.
Pre heat your oven to 475f/240c (I found a lower heat did not turn the baking soda into washing soda) The granules need to reach a temperature of 400f so check how good your oven is. Mine is old and so it needed to be at a higher temperature.
Place 2 cups baking soda on a baking tray (one that you don't use for cooking is ideal) If this is not possible just make sure to place down some baking paper or clean your dish thoroughly after use.
When the oven is at the required heat. Cook the baking soda for 1 HOUR, mixing half way through to make sure all the granules get the heat.
You will know it has changed as it will be more grainy and greyish in colour compared to baking soda and it won't clump together.
While you are waiting, you can grate the Castile soap into a jar.
All that is left to do is carefully mix the two ingredients together. I do this outside on a calm day as the washing soda is irritating to the skin and lungs. If you are mixing it indoors just be very careful and do it really slowly and use gloves or a wooden spoon.
That's the powder ready for washing. I use 2 tbsp in the drawer part of the washing machine. I add vinegar into the fabric softener section and wash the clothes at 40c. Never add vinegar to washing soda as the acid of the vinegar will neutralise the washing soda and make it ineffective.
Drying outside will give a lovely fresh smell to the clothes and is also free.
That's all there is to it. Simple, low waste, non toxic and economical.
Thanks for reading. Here's the video if you fancy a watch...