Category Archives: Cleaning

Cheapskate laundry liquid

The average cost for laundry detergent is three quid. Even though I prefer using eco stuff it’s a lot of money to spend when you’re making each penny stretch to screaming point. I love you, Ecover, but something had to give. It’s not you, it’s me.

So now my weekly wash can smell of rosemary one month, lavender the next and possibly ylang ylang a while later, because within less than twenty minutes I can throw together a home-made laundry liquid that is safe for the environment, cleans my clothes and leaves them smelling nice. All you need is a bar of natural soap, a bag of washing soda, hot water and a container for the final fabulous product. You also need a cheese grater, a large bowl and a wooden spoon. Or any spoon. A fork, maybe.

OK. Grate half the bar of soap finely into the bowl and add a litre of boiling water. Stir until all the soap has dissolved, then add a a cup of washing soda. It will go all cloudy; just keep stirring until you stop hearing that sugary sound at the bottom of the bowl. It should be very smooth. Let the liquid cool down, at which point you’ll see that it starts to thicken up. Now add whichever essential oil you fancy, and as many drops as suits your nose. Give it another good stir, then decant into the container. I used a jam funnel but you could also use a large jug. Then just stick the lid on and shove it under the sink.

It’s just me at home so I only need a couple of weekly washes for clothes, bed linen and towels, and half a cup in each wash is fine for me. Experiment to see what works for you. Adjust the quantities to suit yourself too; you might like more grated soap or no essential oils.

Cost? A bar of soap is maybe £0.60p. A 1 Kg bag of washing soda is a quid. Factor in the fuel needed to heat the water and you’re getting over a litre of laundry liquid for less than £0.75p or thereabouts. I’d call that a scorching win.