We covered DIY washing powder in a previous blog but here is a recipe for a gel-like detergent using the same ingredients. You need more space to store this but it dissolves like a dream so there’s no chance of white spotty residue. I was expecting a gel but mine came out like frothy custard instead – laundry mousse! I think the trick here is to mix, mix and then mix some more, using a stick blender.
What you need:
- ½ bar of natural soap, grated (Fels Naptha, Dr Bronners, Castille soap, Sunlight soap (S.A.) or homemade soap)
- ½ cup washing soda (aka sodium carbonate or soda ash)
- ½ cup borax * or baking soda (bicarb)
- Large pot
What you do:
- Add 1 ½ litres of water to soap
- Heat gently whilst stirring until the soap melts
- Use a stick blender to make sure soap is completely mixed in
- Remove from the heat, stir in borax and washing soda, blend
- Pour 1 litre of hot water into bucket
- Dump contents of pot into the bucket and blend again
- Finally, stir in another 5 litres of water and blend once more
- Let it rest for a full day and it will gel into mousse
Use ½ cup of laundry mousse per load of washing.
*Quite a few people seem to get their knickers in a knot about borax, calling it a questionable and possibly toxic ingredient. It isn’t either of these. All borax is naturally mined from dried out salt lakes and it is a mineral that is no more toxic than table salt.
Tip: leave unwrapped soap on a sunny window sill for a day or two to harden in advance or freeze it. This makes it easier to process.