I encourage you to try to prepare your own detergent. It’s a simple way to save money and the most important thing is that you offer your to family a healthy alternative to commercial detergents.
For babies’ clothes, I recommended not to use any perfume. However, if you are used with scented detergents, you can choose the essential oil of lavender. Other options of natural scents that last on the clothes are: peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, citronella, thyme (I would have never thought how good it smells on clothes the latter). There are some essential oils which are likely to stain your clothes: cinnamon, cloves, vetiver.
The ingredients that I’m going to enumerate are simple and at hand, and can be found in most of the detergents on the market, be it the conventional, chemical suffocated ones or the less accessible ecological detergents.
- Powder detergent
I find this recipe practical, fast and easy to prepare. You’ll need:
- 250 g sodium percarbonate
- 250 g laundry soda (calcinated – Na2CO3)
- 250 g sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3)
- 250 g laundry soap finely grated
- Optional: 10- 15 ml of essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until you get an homogenous mixture. Add about 30 grams for a wash cycle. For very dirty clothes, stained or very hard water, add a greater amount (between 60-70 grams). In a program of 40 minutes at 40 degrees Celsius, the grated soap dissolves very well. You don’t need to use any other products for your washing machine.
- store the detergent in a casserole with a lid or a jar tightly closed. The calcined soda and the sodium percarbonate have an hygroscopic effect (attracts moisture from the air).
- Use protective gloves
This detergent is effective, natural and easy to prepare. Recommended especially for babies, and people with sensitive or atopic skin.
- Liquid detergent
- 7 l water (or decoction of soap nuts)
- 100 g laundry soap
- 250 g sodium bicarbonate
- 10 ml grapefruit seed oil (not essential oil, but vegetable oil)
- Optional: 10 ml essential oil
In a metal bowl put the grated soap and water enough to cover it (about 500-700 ml). Stir over low heat until it is completely dissolved. In a larger container add about 3 liters of hot water, and mix it with the dissolved soap. Finally add the baking soda. Make sure the detergent is completely homogenized. Don’t forget about the grapefruit oil. It acts as a natural preservative.
Use half a cup of liquid detergent for one washing cycle. For dirtier laundry, you can add an entire cup.