Monday, July 26, 2010

Washing Powder

I've never been a big fan of cooking or being in the kitchen. I was the tomboy that would be outside with the men in my family. I left the cooking to my mom and sister. Lately, I'm finding myself more interested in what the kitchen has to offer but in a unique way. I recently stumbled upon a magazine that suits my interests quite well. There are edible recipes in this magazine; however, I am more interested in the non-edible recipes--homemade soaps. I found the recipe for an alternative to laundry detergent and pre-wash stain spray. Making this washing powder helped bide my time while I was waiting patiently to order my CP (cold process) soap supplies.

For the stain spray:
1/2 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. baking soda
3 c. water
Add to spray bottle. Shake before each use.

Here's the recipe for Simple Washing Powder (
*this makes enough for 4 people for an entire year!

16 c. baking soda
12 c. Borax
8 c. grated castile/glycerin soap (fyi: 2 cups grated castile = 1 bar)
3 T. essential oil (lavender, lemon, grapefruit)

Combine baking soda, borax and soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with wire wisk.
Use 1/8 cup per load.

So, how much are you saving? Please Note: I split the recipe in half.
Here's the breakdown:
  • Kirk's Castile Soap. $3.49 per 3-bar pack. Finding Kirk's was fun. It was at the VERY bottom of the hand soap/facial soap isle next to the Lava soap. You will need (4 bars) 2 packs.
  • Borax. $3.99
  • Baking or Washing Soda. $2.79 (x2, although you will have a lot left over, but one just isn't enough)
  • Here's the expense: Essential Oils...I had to buy two bottles at $7.50 each!
3.49x2 (Castile soap)
2.79x2 (Baking soda)
3.99 (Borax)
15.00 (Lavender Essential Oil)
Total: $28.06 for an entire year of detergent for a family of two!
Think about it. How much do you spend on laundry detergent? And if you buy the all natural kind---wow, it can get really pricey.

I've been using it for a few weeks now. I was actually really excited to do the laundry. It felt good to be using something I made that saves money and is not harmful to people or the earth. Simple pleasures, I guess. I will admit that I miss the wonderful smell of Tide and the strong scent it emits. However, I think I'll get used to it. Besides, I have a new recipe for natural dryer sheets and I'm going to use lots of lavender in it! I'll post the recipe for this asap.

Now I just need to make an awesome label...

Upcoming Recipes:
Lavender Dryer Sheets
Homemade Dishwashing Detergent
Lavender Honey
French Milled Soap in a variety of scents including lavender!
...I have a thing for lavender if you haven't noticed :)


  1. This is amazing! I can't wait for the dryer sheet recipe; those things cost a fortune and really don't ever smell as good as I want them to.

    In regard to the "washing powder," do you think it would be possible to double the essential oil to make it smell better without adversely affecting clothes?

    Also, do you have a suggestion for a website to buy essential oils?

  2. I'm glad you're excited too! I think you could add more oil. It's not going to effect how the clothes are washed. However, my plan is to just use the oil for the dryer sheets.

    I have found a few websites. I have ordered from
    However, I recently found an awesome site to buy in bulk which is going to be great for soap making. It's
    Third, I'd recommend an all organic site, Mountain Rose Herbs. You can even request a catalog from them.

    Thanks for taking the time to post a comment!

  3. I am going to try this. I might keep some tide still for my husbands smelly work clothes and use this for sheets and such! Great idea I'll let you know if it works out.

  4. Do these products work well? Do your clothes get as clean as with commercial detergent?

  5. I think the detergent works great. It doesn't smell like Tide (which I love), but I am overall happy with it. I'm not sure about sweaty clothes yet, but I did wash an old quilt that had been sitting in a dingy room for years and it no longer has that "old" musty smell anymore, so that's a good sign!