M.I.Y (make it yourself )

5 Jun 2007

I made this little fella to go with the little cap for the bub next door. We still haven't met her as their house has been taken over by workmen and she has gone to visit her gran.

I thought I would share my laundry detergent recipe with you as long as you promise not to look too closely at my wash house. It's pretty grotty.. Basically it probably needs to be torn down and rebuilt but that is unlikely. It's much nicer in the summer because it is full of sunshine. Anyway enough of apologising for my falling down house.

When we first bought our home and had our first baby, interest rates were very high (about 18%). We had very little money as we were living on my part time wage and Stephen's even smaller casual job earnings.Stephen was a full time student at the time. We had to economise as much as possible and one thing we did was to make our own laundry detergent.

I started making it again a couple of months ago because even though I used the mildest kindest product I could find several family members were developing skin rashes. I don't know about you but if I spend longer than about 1 minute in the laundry product aisle of the supermarket I start to sneeze. I also can't bear smelling washing detergent in clothes, it doesn't smell clean and fresh to me no matter what the ads say, it just smells.I'm sure most of that stuff is toxic.


1 bar of soap such as velvet soap

1 1/2 cups washing soda ( lectric soda)

1 cup borax

Lots of water

4 x 2 litre bottles

I use an old pot I bought at the charity shop, I fill it with 3l of water and over a moderate heat grate the cake of soap in to it and stir until dissolved. I take it off the heat and add the washing soda and borax and stir until dissolves. Then I add another 2l of hot water and stir to combine.

I divide this evenly between the 2l bottles and top them up with warm water. I put the lids on and turn the bottles over a few times to mix thoroughly.

It goes nice and gloopy and does tend to separate a little as it cools but you just shake it up again before you attempt to pour it into the washing machine.

I have a front loading machine and I use about 1/2 cup for a normal wash. I haven't tried it with cricket whites and I had to wash the extremely muddy footie gear twice so I think you would probably need to rub some laundry soap on the stains first.

I found a good tip the other day for getting the grime off shirt collars, paint a little cheap shampoo on the collar before you wash it. It actually worked so I now keep some shampoo in the wash house.

Well, enough of Jenny's handy laundry hints.

Now some Medlar pictures for Natalie. Yes, they are now dropping and I have to work out what to do with them as none of us except my mum enjoys eating them.

7 Responses to “M.I.Y (make it yourself )”

  1. Neat! I used to make my own laundry detergent as well but somewhere along the way I stopped. Maybe I should try again?

  2. My Grandmother used both wahing soda and borax in her washing.

  3. Might have to try that!! both of my kids react to the harsh laundry powders.....thanks!!

  4. I bought some laundry detergent the other day, the first time in 2 years that I've bought any, I'm not sure why I bought it but it's smelling out the laundry and the hall way and I haven't even opened it yet. I've found that as I've reduced my use of manufactured chemical products I've become really sensitive to smelly things now and can't stand them.

    cheers Lenny

  5. I switched back to soap nuts about three months ago now (I had been using a "gentle" "normal" washing powder for a few months) as my kid's eczema was getting worse and worse. The soap nuts are cheap and very gentle. I used to make my own washing powder using a recipe just like yours, but I kept it as a powder, it worked really well. I don't make it now probably due to laziness!

    Thank you for the picture of your medlars. It's made my morning! He, he, he.

  6. Hello Jenny, I've just discovered your blog via ALS. I love your photos and currently have your red jumpers as my wallpaper. I hope you don't mind. : )

  7. I've been making homemade laundry soap as well as a variation for delicates. Only a bit time consuming, and it smells nice and is a lot cheaper. I just wonder how much longer the local supermarket chain is going to carry Fels Naptha bar soap.

    I also make a laundry rinse (I think I got it from Sew Green?) of white vinegar and essential oil. It does .. not.. smell.. like..vinegar. At all.

    and finally, if the bear pattern is for sale I would gladly pay for a copy....


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.