Make washing powder yourself? Why should I do that, you may be asking yourself. The answer is quite simple: the chemical names in commercial washing powders often hide petroleum-based surfactants, enzymes, brighteners, fragrances and bleaching agents that are harmful to our Health harm. They have been shown to irritate the skin and cause allergies. The pollutants also end up in the environment via wastewater - in Germany, more than 630,000 tons of them are released every year through the consumption of detergents and cleaning agents by private households alone. In this article, you will now learn how to make your own washing powder naturally and plastic-free and where to get the ingredients for it. Let's go!
Here is another short Table of contents about the article:
Why make washing powder yourself?
Our grandparents washed their laundry almost exclusively with curd soap. Hard to believe, but this laundry also became clean! It may not have smelled like violets, but that's no indication of the cleanliness of the laundry either. On the contrary, these artificial fragrances are rather a kind of pollution, similar to cigarette smoke (see also Cigarette butts in the environment), only with the difference that it smells good. It is precisely these fragrances that can trigger allergies. So it is possible to make your own washing powder with a few environmentally friendly ingredients, which is well biodegradable and harmless to health.
Three ingredients to make detergent itself
In the household, it takes only a few means to get all the chemical household helpers out of the plastic packaging plastic-free to replace. Three of them are ideal to be able to make your own detergent.
Sodium bicarbonate as a detergent additive
The fine white powder Baking soda has a long history - even in Egypt, sodium bicarbonate was used for mummification, among other things. Baking soda is a real all-rounder: whether used internally, to regulate the acid-base balance, as an ingredient in deodorant or as an anti-caries agent in toothpaste. The antibacterial and deodorizing effect is particularly useful for home-made washing powder. It is particularly suitable for removing unpleasant odors, such as sweat, from clothing.
It is also excellent for softer clothing and to protect against gray haze. Its chemical name is sodium hydrogen carbonate. It is mainly produced by chemical reaction, but also occurs as a natural mineral in medicinal springs and mineral waters.
Curd soap - Ideal for cleaning clothes
Surfactants are used to remove grease from clothing. Soaps are probably the oldest surfactants. They reduce the surface tension of water and act like emulsifiers - i.e. they have a water-loving part and a part that is not soluble in water. They therefore have a particularly good cleaning effect on fats, oils and dirt particles. Curd soap can be made from animal or vegetable fats, such as olive, coconut or palm oil.
The so-called salting out, i.e. the addition of common salt, separates the soap core. The glycerine and other undesirable ingredients remain in the soap liquor and what is left is the pure, hard curd soap. It is characterized by a fatty acid content of 72-75 %, and the absence of fragrances and colorants. A pure curd soap consists of vegetable or animal fat saponified with sodium hydroxide, water and sea salt. Caution: Common curd soaps often contain the substance EDTA, which makes the skin barrier more permeable to harmful substances and is also toxic to the environment and hardly biodegradable.
In addition, soap in combination with hard water can form lime soap, which reduces the cleaning effect and causes the laundry to turn gray and hard.
Washing soda against stubborn stains
Here creates Washing soda Remedy. It has the property to soften water, so that lime soap is no longer formed. Washing soda is a real miracle cure and ideally suited as an ingredient for making washing powder yourself. It is much stronger than sodium bicarbonate and is therefore ideal for stubborn dirt stains. However, due to the stronger reaction, special care should be taken with soda, as it can irritate the eyes and should not be inhaled. Washing soda of natural origin is found in some lakes in the USA, Canada and Africa. However, washing soda is usually produced chemically nowadays.
DIY washing powder make your own set
The Berlin start-up "hello simple," for example, offers do-it-yourself kits that allow users to mix their own drugstore products quickly and easily at home, including making their own washing powder. The advantage? On the one hand, through the "do-it-yourself" experience, you really know what's in the products, and on the other hand, the recipes and ingredients are just as effective and, in addition, good for people and nature. Even with the packaging, care is taken to ensure that no plastic waste is produced that could be used as a Plastic waste in the environment ends.
The washing powder recipe
The hello simple washing powder set contains three natural ingredients:
- 300 g baking soda (You can get sodium bicarbonate here*)
- 260 g washing soda (Washing soda is available here*)
- 200 g curd soap (You can get curd soap here*)
With the help of a Kitchen grater* The curd soap is still small planed and all ingredients are mixed together. The exactly portioned ingredients incl. recipe to make washing powder yourself you get here at hello simple in the complete set*.
It is used like conventional washing powder: depending on the soiling of the laundry and the degree of hardness, 1-3 tablespoons are added directly to the detergent compartment provided. The washing powder is very economical and lasts for about 35 laundry loads. It is not suitable for animal fibers such as wool and silk due to the washing soda, as it causes the fibers to swell.
More tips & alternatives
The homemade washing powder makes the laundry smell fresh and neutral. Those who do not want to do without fabric softener, can use 5 %igen white household vinegar. This softens the laundry and is completely biodegradable. Don't worry, the laundry won't smell like vinegar afterwards either. Per wash cycle, about 30 ml can be added to the fabric softener compartment and optionally scented with 5 drops of essential oil (orange. Lavender and lemon are particularly suitable).
Especially in areas with hard water, vinegar should not be dispensed with, as it has the properties of softening water and removing lime deposits from the laundry. For white laundry, citric acid can be used as a fabric softener alternative. To do this, simply add a tablespoon to the compartment.
Now I'm going to give you a quick checklist, of things to consider when washing ecologically:
Checklist: Washing correctly
- Use of an ecological washing powder (make your own washing powder saves superfluous chemicals).
- the correct dosage depending on water hardness and degree of contamination
- Washing machine fully loaded
- Use of the 30°C- 40°C program instead of 60°C
- Waiver of prewash
- use ecological fabric softener
Make washing powder yourself? Easy, isn't it?
Making washing powder yourself is very easy, protects our skin and saves the environment a lot of chemicals. However, it is important to look carefully at the ingredients, because harmful substances, such as EDTA in curd soaps, can also be hidden here. In addition, you should ask about the degree of hardness in your living area and adjust the dosage accordingly. People often tend to overdose. However, this does not make the laundry any cleaner - but it does make it more difficult to treat the water.
PS.: In the Do It Yourself Blog you will find many more good tips on how to avoid plastic waste. For example, you'll learn how you can also use your Make toothpaste yourself simply by following your heart.