I decided a little while ago that I wanted to try and make my own washing powder. The main reasons are three-fold: to know what ingredients are in it since I’ve developed mild chemical sensitivity, to know that the ingredients used are biodegradable and therefore are not damaging to the environment, and to have a cheaper, yet equally effective, washing powder.
I decided to try this one that I found on the Dri-Pak website. Dri-Pak sell traditional and natural cleaning products that are biodegradable, sustainable and do not harm the environment.
For their laundry powder they use the following ingredients:
- 500g Soda Crystals (washing soda)
- 500g *Borax Substitute
- 2 tbls **Soap Flakes
Simply put in a tight sealed container that you wish to store it in, and give a vigorous shake to mix it together. Use the same amount in the wash as you would with a commercial powder – you may even find you can use a bit less. I’ve already done one wash with this and it definitely seems to have done the job. I had a few blood spots on one of the garments, that the commercial washing powder never got rid of, and they have gone.
I also have been using white vinegar (distilled vinegar) in place of a fabric conditioner. Not only does it soften the washing, it also removes any residue left from the washing cycle (and no chip shop smell). A bonus for using these cleaning products is that they also help keep your washing machine free from limescale, as long as you use a higher temperature for the wash – so two jobs done in one!
Economically, I’ve worked out that it costs about the same as the lower priced commercial powders at approximately 20p per wash.
*As the EU have reclassified Borax, it is no longer available as a cleaning product in the UK and other EU countries. As such, Dri-Pak have a Borax substitute which is gentler than Soda Crystals (washing soda) and stronger that Bicarbonate of Soda.
**Dri-Pak no longer make soap flakes, but other substitutes, like Marseille soap flakes, can be bought online. Alternatively, buy a bar of plain soap and grate it.