Living a healthy lifestyle is a step by step process. Changing ingredients, habits and various products one at a time so that the lives we live are healthy, alive and filled with energy. It’s been a process of several years as our eating habits have reached the point they are now. Green smoothies and salads are a regular item on the menu, boxed food is non-existant in my pantry and my children think Mum’s cooking is ‘the best food in the world’ (I’m told this at least once every day) so obviously they think whole foods, freshly made, are a pretty good thing as well. And why wouldn’t they when they get served ice cream (frozen bananas whipped) or chocolate mouse (made with avocado, cocao nibs, etc) for breakfast on occasions.
As the next step in our healthy lifestyle journey, I’ve been thinking about other areas of our household and how the harmful ingredients can be removed from these products as well. So last week I took the plunge and tackled the laundry. I have previously been using these Soap Nuts which work well for our everyday washing. But for some reason (probably moving house and losing the little calico bags didn’t help) I stopped using them and resorted to standard, off the shelf, washing powder. Ooohhh (insert gasp of horror here). So while I’ll continue using the soap nuts as I still have half a bag full in the cupboard, I thought it would be a good idea to have a stock of washing powder to use when it’s needed. Times like when we go away, I have an extra dirty load of clothes or I get lazy and resort to old habits (as has happened recently).
There are an abundance of recipes online for homemade washing powder. And they all seem to be either the same or similar. So I set off to the shops with a very simple list of ingredients. But discovered that my small town, small grocery store doesn’t stock borax. Note: I did ask as I’m sure it would have been in a less-than-obvious place, and I could have ventured to a couple other stores locally which may stock it. But I figured that with some websites citing the dangers of that product (mostly for the garden when the waste water is used on it) and the suggestion of someone that I use bi-carb soda instead, I thought I’d try that because it seemed easiest at that point in time.
The ingredients list is:
2 cups Lux Soap Flakes
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup bi-carb soda
15 drops Lavender essential oil (just because I like the smell of lavender on my freshly washed clothes, certainly not necessary)
Mix together and use about 1 – 2 tablespoons per load
I used those ratios as a guide but multiplied it so I would use up the full packets of ingredients I had purchased. Basically just the full packets of each of those items. Simple. Yes. The ratios might not be exact but close enough. Besides I’m known for never being able to follow a recipe, I always change it in some way, just because I like to experiment. So why should washing powder be any different.
Then I enlisted the help of my little chef who is a my constant companion in the kitchen. We stirred and put into bottles and as simple as that, I have washing powder again. A variety of which I’m more than happy to use without all those harmful sounding, long names which grace the ingredients list of my last box of detergent.
And it’s really cheap. I ended up with about 2.2kg of washing powder for the grand sum of $9.35. Yes. I like value like that. Just use about a tablespoon per load or a couple spoons full if it’s really dirty and it works ‘just like the bought stuff’.
As an end note: I’ve now been using this detergent exclusively for 2 weeks and it works just fine. Next time I might try borax and compare the results but for now I’m totally happy with this bottle of powder sitting on my laundry bench.