Somewhat Crunchy: Home-made Washing Powder

I think using cloth nappies makes you think, not only about the amount washing detergent costs but, about the amount of chemicals you’re washing down the drain into the system AND putting next to your precious little’s bum! It made me look at my laundry pile in a whole different light and I started to think about eco-friendly ways to look after both my washing and my family. I found hundreds of washing powder recipe’s online and many other people who have obviously already “been there and done that”. It was nice to know I wasn’t alone in my quest and I immediately set to work to find the ingredients I needed for some. I used a recipe I found on Mother Earth News and have “trial 1” current running in my washing machine as I type this so I will update on how it all goes!!

I haven’t added the essential oils as being pregnant lavender can have an adverse effect but I’ll maybe add some orange essential oil if I want fragrance. As borax can be damaging to aquatic life I opted for borax substitute and used pure grated soap. I only made 75% yield of the recipe but you could cut it down as much as you needed/wanted:

Simple Washing Powder

16 cups washing soda
12 cups borax
8 cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes*
3 tablespoons lavender, lemon or grapefruit essential oil

Combine washing soda, borax and soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1⁄8 cup per load.

Yield: This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of four one year.

Read more:

Pure Grated Soap Flakes

I sat last night grating soap which sounds like a bit of an arduous task but no matter where I looked I couldn’t find soap flakes and buying them online meant waiting longer for something when I could grate my own!! It was surprisingly easy and therapeutic and I felt good knowing I had done the labour myself. I then set to work measuring all the ingredients and mixing them together, having only bought about half of the borax substitute that I needed I had to wait until today to finish it but I now have a nice big yield sitting in a box.

My Home-made Washing Powder

There are hundreds of recipes online for all sorts of eco-friendly, green cleaning products. My next stop will be white vinegar!!


6 Responses to “Somewhat Crunchy: Home-made Washing Powder”

  1. Amazing! Go you!

  2. I am totally doing this this weekend. Questions: what the hell is borax substitute and washing soda and where do i get them from, and how many bars of the castile soap will i need to grate enough? 🙂

    • I found Borax Substitute in a little country shop just down the road from me but you can buy all the ingredients online if you can’t find them!! This is what it looks like:

      Originally borax was used [and was used for years for various different home cleaning recipes but it has since been found to be dangerous to aquatic life and from the little snippets I have seen has been banned by the EU.

      The washing soda I found in Sainsburys but you can probably get it in most supermarkets, it looks like this:

      I used 4 boxes of the borax susbtitute [at £1.39 each] and 2.5 bags of the soda crystals [at £0.90 each]. I didn’t use castille soap I just used Simple as Asda had it on offer for a 2 bar pack is was only £0.55 but again from what I’ve read any pure soap would do and I’ve had no problems with it. I grated 4 bars up and it was slightly too much for the yield I made.

      If you’ve any other questions you know where I am!!!


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