Thursday, 29 March 2012

Homemade Washing Powder - The Beginning

This year I am all about homemade and money saving. So after reading an article on making your own laundry detergent, so I decided to give it a go.

You only need three ingredients:
2 cups of borax
2 cups of washing soda
2 bars of soap

So I went about it, we had washing soda and soap but no borax. I discovered that borax is no longer sold in the UK for health reasons but we can get a borax substitute so that was all I needed to obtain.

It is just a case of grating the soap and mixing it well with the borax and soda, then away you go.

I was a bit sceptical as apparently you only need one tablespoon per load but I gave it a try on my whites wash.

I took a photo of a farm baby dirty sock ( no one dirties socks like a farm baby!) for a before comparison. And the one for the after! Which you will see below. I was amazingly surprised! I also did our bed linen which is all white and it turned out fabulous.

I washed on 40o on my machines Eco wash and used no softener, which I usually do but I wanted to see what the powder alone did. I used the recommended 1 tablespoon amount, which looked quite silly in the drawer compared to the usual heap I seem to add.

I did some maths for costing purposes.

Usual powder -
Surf at £14 for 90 washes = 15.6p per wash

Homemade Powder -
Borax Substitute at £3.94
Soda Crystals at £0.90 for 1 kg. I used 600g so that is a cost of £0.54.
Soap Bars at £0.85. I used Imperial Leather soap as it is what we had.
Total = £5.33 for 55 washes = 0.10p per wash

So a definite saving there. I think next time I would use a cheaper soap, by using a supermarket own brand I could bring that cost down to £0.20 (ish) so that could make a cost of £0.09 per wash. I didn't factor in the fact that it appears that fabric softener doesn't seem to be needed, as I haven't tried this on clothes yet ( other than my test socks!) so I may find I still need it but I do have another recipe for homemade softener too! Another time I think.

I am also happier with the space saving too, my homemade stuff fits into a tiny space compared to the huge washing powder box.

 The before sock.

 The after sock


  1. Well it certainly seems to work well...I take it you added nothing but your powder to the machine...I think I would have been adding lots of stain remover to try and get those stains out of those socks.

    I'm interested to know how well it works on grass stains, blood and pen as these are the ones I struggle to remove sometimes.

  2. Always wanted to try making my own so will keep an eye out for the borax substitute


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