After experimenting with DIY beauty cosmetics for a couple of years already, I decided to take the plunge and try out recipes to make my own cleaning products – for the same reasons that I make my own beauty products – homemade detergents are environmentally friendly, better for your health, fun and economical. I tested a few tricks to clean surfaces with baking soda, lemon juice and white vinegar and then went on to make my own laundry detergent.
My mum has always used a laundry detergent made largely of savon de Marseille and found in many supermarkets in Belgium and I have always loved its smell (and also how effective it is, of course). Recently, I also really appreciated the fact that it is mainly composed of pure savon de Marseille and thus not chemically loaded. I have, however, never found that laundry detergent anywhere else and that is why I decided to go ahead and try making my own!
After finding a super easy recipe and trying it a first time, I modified it a little to make the soap a bit “stronger” and thicker, and thus more similar to the kind of supermarket laundry detergent that I would normally use to wash my clothes. I am very happy with the result (that is, my clean clothes) and thrilled at how easy (and cheap!) the recipe is!
So, here is what you need for three liters of laundry detergent:
– 80-90 g of Marseille soap
– 3 tablespoons of baking soda
– 3 tablespoons of white vinegar
– 3 liters of water
– Lavender essential oil (optional)
– an empty bottle of laundry detergent to store your homemade one
The savon de Marseille is not only a natural (and therefore environmentally friendly) product, it is also a very effective detergent, working equally well in hot and cold temperatures (which means you can use the detergent we are making with any programme that washing machine has to offer). The baking soda will reduce the need for a softener and will help neutralize the bad odours that could be present in your clothes. When it comes to softening your clothes, there is no need to buy one of those expensive colorful products sold in supermarkets. It is the limestone present in the water that makes your clothes feel a bit rough after the washing. Therefore, the role of a softener is to neutralize limestone and prevent it from landing on your clothes. A really easy and cheap product that does exactly that is simply white vinegar. Don’t worry, the smell of vinegar is not noticeable at all on your washed clothes. And if you want to add a specific perfume to them, you can add any of your favourite essential oils to the mix. As you probably guessed if you have followed my other recipes… I use lavender essential oil!
Now, all you need to do is grate 80 to 90 g of Marseille soap and melt it on the stove in a pan with one liter of water. Stir well. When fully melted, take the pan off the stove and add three tablespoons of baking soda and three tablespoons of white vinegar. Let it rest for an hour and then add one more liter of lukewarm water. Leave it overnight and the following day add another liter of cold water and mix well. At this point, you can also add as many drops as you want of the essential oil of your choice. Then pour the liquid into your reused bottle and that’s it!
You can now use it as you would normally use any supermarket laundry detergent. Don’t forget to shake the bottle thoroughly before pouring it into the washing machine. The soap coagulates when it is not used and becomes a bit hard. By shaking it, you allow it to come back to a liquid state.
*Notes: You should be careful with any type of essential oils during pregnancy, make sure to check the essential oils’ properties if this is the case.
My recipe is based on this one
By: Teresa Iglesias