This tutorial was generously shared with us by Kristi at Life Soap Simple. Kristi owns her own handmade soap business and publishes a lovely blog by the same name. This week, Kristi is sharing a recipe for making Laundry Powder Soap. Next week, we'll feature the second part of this tutorial, a recipe for handmade fabric softener and dryer sheets. Thank you, Kristi, for sharing your tutorials with us!
Natural Laundry Care Tutorial, Part 1: Laundry Powder
Making your own laundry powder from items readily found in your local supermarket is easy, cost effective, and better for you and the environment. Here’s what you need to make a 2 pound batch of laundry powder, enough for over 100 loads of laundry!
- Box grater
- Large bowl
- Food Processor (optional)
- Dust Mask
- 1 pound Cold Process Soap (Many soap makers offer soap chunks or pre-grated soap, or you can make your own.)
- 8 ounces Borax
- 8 ounces Washing Soda
- 1 teaspoon Essential Oil* (optional)
Using the smallest size shred on the box grater, shred the soap into a large mixing bowl. Next, measure the powdered ingredients by weight and add them to the mixing bowl. Wearing gloves, mix the powders by hand until they are thoroughly blended. I also recommend wearing a dust mask, as the mixing process can generate a lot of excess dust. If you like, you can add up to 1 teaspoon of essential oil to the mixture.
*Essential Oil should not be used on or around babies and small children. Research any essential oil you plan to include in your laundry soap beforehand, as some essential oils can aggravate certain medical conditions. Individuals who are pregnant, have high blood pressure, suffer from seizures or other medical conditions should proceed with extra care.
- Choosing Your Cold Process Soap The cold process soap you use for this recipe should not be superfatted. The extra oils can create a film in your washing machine, and potentially leave oil spots on your clothing.
- Handling Essential Oils When using essential oils you should always wear gloves as they are highly concentrated. They should not be used on skin in their undiluted state.
- Scent Suggestions I really love lavender, but in the winter months I lean toward tea tree oil or eucalyptus instead. Citrus oils like orange and lime are also excellent choices.
- Using a Food Processor I suggest running your powder mix through a food processor to get it as fine as possible.This helps combine the ingredients and also dissolves better in your washing machine.
Usage & Packaging
- In wash water add 1 tablespoon of Laundry Powder per regular load, or 2 tablespoons of laundry powder for heavy or large loads.
- A batch this size should yield enough Laundry Powder for more than one hundred loads of laundry!
- Handmade laundry soap does not create foam and bubbles like commercial detergents. This makes it perfect for HE machines.
- Because Laundry Powder is made with natural ingredients, it is safe for baby clothes too!*
- Store Laundry Powder in an airtight container, away from high heat or humidity.