This recipe makes powdered laundry detergent that can be used in any washing machine for not-gentle fabrics like cotton and synthetics. Here’s how to make it:
1 cup baking soda
1 cup washing soda
1 cup of soap flakes (about a 5.5-oz (155 g) bar of soap)
½ cup borax
Container with a lid
1. If you’re using a bar of soap, grate the soap on a regular cheese grater into soap flakes.
2. If you don’t have washing soda, you can make it by heating baking soda at 400°F (200°C) for 30 minutes. Wear rubber gloves when touching washing soda, as it can irritate the skin.
3. Combine and mix all the ingredients in a resealable container. Store sealed tightly away from the kids. Use between 2 tablespoons and ½ cup of homemade detergent per load.
Dryer balls are a great way to prevent static and make wet laundry dry faster. Even though you can purchase dryer balls at the supermarket, you can also make your own from wool yarn scraps or fabric strips. It’s important to use natural wool because it removes static from clothes much better. A homemade dryer ball like this will last you for years.
A ball of wool yarn or strips of fabric
Pantyhose or a sock you don’t need
A large pan
1. Shape the wool into a tennis ball-sized ball, around 7 cm (2 ½ inches) in diameter.
2. Place the ball into the pantyhose or sock and tie with string. You can place several balls into the pantyhose, just make sure to divide them with string.
3. Dunk the ball into a pan with water, and bring the water to a boil. Then immediately remove the pan from the heat, but let the ball soak in the water until the water is cool. In this time, the ball will shrink let out any excess color.
4. Take out the balls from the water and squeeze out any excess water. Put the ball in the dryer on high heat.
5. Once dry, cut the string and take out the ball from the sock. At this point, the balls should look fluffy but dense.
6. Repeat the process to increase the ball size to around 3 ½ inches (9 cm) in diameter, and you’re done!
Let’s be clear - laundry fragrance is optional. Nevertheless, it’s very pleasant to sleep in freshly washed sheets. So we decided to share this recipe of a simple and customizable laundry fragrance too.
1 cup Epsom salt
A mix of essential oils of your choosing
1. Simply add roughly 10-15 drops of the essential oils of your choosing to 1 cup of Epsom salt, mix well, and seal in a container.
2. Add about ¼ cup of fragranced salt to the laundry along with the detergent. The fragrance should be added directly to the washing machine drum.
Laundry detergent pods are super easy to use and efficient. They are also more cost-effective, especially if you’re making your own pods. Follow these instructions to make laundry pods at home.
½ cup soap flakes
1 ½ cups washing soda
3 tbsp hydrogen 3.5-percent peroxide
2 tbsp Epsom salt
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
Ice cube tray
1. Grate the soap if you’re using a bar, then combine and mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Mix in the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. The resulting mixture should be moldable and should look like wet sand.
3. Pack the mixture into the ice cube tray. Alternatively, shape pods by using 1 tablespoon of the mixture and place them on a lined cookie sheet. This recipe should yield about 24 pods, which is about 24 loads.
4. Let the pods set and dry out completely for about a day, and then pop them out of the tray and store them in a sealed container.
Harsh detergents and enzymatic cleaners can damage the fragile natural fibers of such fabrics as wool and silk. For this reason, dedicated gentle detergents are sold for these fabrics. If you don’t own many woolen or silk articles of clothing, buying such a detergent may be wasteful, so it’s much better to make your own gentle detergent at home. To learn more about different fabrics and how to care for them, read our article How to Launder and Care For 9 Common Fabrics.
2 cups boiling water
2 cups soap flakes (or 2 bars of soap)
½ cup alcohol
1. If using soap bars, grate the soap flakes, and then melt them by placing the soap flakes in a bowl of boiling water and whisking vigorously until completely dissolved.
2. Finally, pour in the alcohol, and combine well.
3. Let the mixture set in a resealable container overnight. It should look like a gel detergent.
4. You can use this detergent directly on stains, or dissolve a small amount of it in lukewarm water to wash the entire garment.
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