Wednesday, 14 December 2011

How to Make Soap Powder

I've been making our own soap powder on and off for years.  I used to make a liquid version but it requires making large amounts and our house is too tiny to store it safely with two children who can't read labels on bottles.

So now I prefer to make powdered soap.   It's easy to make and easy to store the finished product and the ingredients up high.

Simply grate one bar of pure soap into a container.  I couldn't resist buying a tin container marked as laundry powder when I saw it, but I used to just use an icecream container.

Add a cup of soda/washing crystals.......

Then a cup of borax and stir the ingredients.  Couldn't be easier, could it.

I use about 1/2 cup in my front loader.  You do need to dissolve it in hot water before pouring it into the machine.  I keep a plastic yoghurt container and spoon in my laundry for this purpose.

Now, an observation I have made along the way.  If I use a box of bought pure soap flakes, it dissolves beautifully.  With my hand grated soap mixture, the soap just softens in the hot water but doesn't dissolve.  I still choose the bar of soap though because I get four bars in a small amount of cardboard as compared to much more packaging for the soap flakes.  It is also cheaper.

One more point worth mentioning - I did once gum up my washing machine with soap gloop.  I had to pull it apart and get the gloop out of the pipes.  This can be prevented by occasionally using a hot cycle.  So if you washed sheets or similar on a hot wash every month or so, this wouldn't be a problem.  Make sure that you don't accidentally put your favourite cardigan in this cycle like I did!  I no longer have my lovely cardi!


Richard said...

Wondering if you pre-soak your dry mix in the yoghurt container, rather than use hot water just before use? Just make up a new mix with water straight after you put on your load.
We are currently using soap nuts and Sard Wonder Soap combo for the tough stuff, but might give your mix a try. Sounds good.

Linda said...

Thank Richard, How simple! Why did I not think of that? I must talk to you about the soap nuts. I've seen them advertised but don't know anyone that has used them.

Denise said...

Hi Linda, I have found a really easy way to make the soap flakes smaller so it dissolves quickly in my washing machine. I grate the soap in my food processor using the grating blade. Then I tip this out and put my cutting blade into the food processor and put the grated soap flakes back in. The soap then is more finely grated, then I put in my washing soda and borax and mix together and add an essential oil.

I run enough warm water into the machine to dissolved and fill the rest with cold.

The only challenge I have is that my husbands singlets are no longer white, they are gradually turning grey, any suggestions.

I have tried the soap nuts, they were not successful in getting out the oil/fat based stains, especially in t-shirt and cheap fabrics.

Then I turned to the home-made washing powder, more success, but I often pre-treat the stains (if I can see them) with vinegar.

Thanks for this blog I am looking forward to following you.

Have a great day

Linda said...

Hi Denise, thanks for sharing. I actually used to grate my soap in my food processor and, you're right, it worked amazingly well. That machine blew up though and I only have a little one now.

Our clothes probably aren't as white as they should be either but I don't worry about it too much. I'm with you on the soap nuts.

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