How to: Make Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap

Posted on Jul 08, 2010 in - Food & Recipes

Source: Cordite Country

Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap

Hayden’s Note:

I’ve seen several different recipes for powdered soap.  One in particular struck my fancy as it called for placing a bar of Ivory or Irish Spring soap in the microwave for 2 minutes.  It will greatly expand into a very puffy looking object.  After you take it out, it can then be easily crumbled into a very, very fine powder and help with achieving a quality, uniform powdered detergent when mixed with the other items in the recipe!

1 cup Vinegar (white)
1 cup Baking Soda
1 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup liquid castile soap

  • Mix well and store in sealed container.
  • I find it easiest to pour the liquid soap into the bowl first, stirred in the washing soda, then baking soda, then added the vinegar in small batches at a time (the recipe foams up at first). The mixture is a thick paste at first that will break down into a heavy powdered detergent, just keep stirring. There may be some hard lumps, try to break them down when stirring (it really helps to make sure the baking soda isn’t clumpy when first adding). I used 1/2 cup per full load with great results.

You can add between 10 to 15 drops of essential oil (per 2 gallons) to your homemade laundry detergent.

Washing soda is a highly alkaline chemical compound which can be used to remove stubborn stains from laundry. It also has numerous uses around the house, and it is used in a range of industrial applications as well. Washing soda should not be confused with washing powder, which is a powdered soap used as a detergent; it is also not the same thing as baking soda, although the two compounds are closely related.

In laundry, washing soda accomplishes several things. The high alkalinity of washing soda helps it act as a solvent to remove a range of stains, and unlike bleach, washing soda does not usually stain. It is also used in detergent mixtures to treat hard water; the washing soda binds to the minerals which make water hard, allowing detergent to foam properly so that clothing will come out clean, without any residue. Sodium carbonate is also used by some textile artists, since it helps dyes adhere to fabric, resulting in deeper penetration and a longer lasting color.

Around the house, washing soda can be used to de-scale things like coffee machines and bathroom tiles which may accumulate mineral deposits as a result of exposure to hard water. It can also be used to strip floors of wax so that they can be refinished, and for other touch cleaning jobs like scrubbing the stove. However, you should wear gloves when cleaning with washing soda, because it is very caustic and it can cause severe skin damage.

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