Sunday, January 3, 2010

Green cleaning ~ homemade laundry soap

For a couple of years I have been focussing on what we bring in to our home - organic whole foods for instance.

But a whole 'nother side to green living is what leaves our home. Recycling is a religion in this home and is composting.

But what goes out our home down the drain is another area that needs to be addressed. For a year we have only used biodegradable products commonly known here as Golden Products.

I also switched from laundry soap to the Biowash Ball. It is great, a bit pricey to start out with as I have a 10 kg washer which needed two balls but over the 3 - 4 yrs that we will use it, it will save us money.

What if you cannot afford either Golden Products or a Biowash Ball? Basic green cleaning recipes are easy and cheap to make. Vinegar, Bicarb and a couple of other simple ingredients make the basic for most of them.

Here's how to make your own laundry soap:

1 large bar or pure soap (Sunlight soap for SA folks or Fels Naptha for the USA folks)
1 cup of washing soda
1 cup of borax
Airtight container

Grate your soap.

Mix it all together and use 2 scoops per full load. I use 3 in my big machine when I don't want to use my Ball.


Sonja said...

Wendy,I know you mentioned that you have a book on bees,so I hope you can maybe give me advice on this one! We planted a lot of butterfly flowers and schrubs over time to attrack some butterflies and bees to our garden. But the bees took over now and we have a very large nest in our garden now. They are really aggressive when someone goes near there.My husband wants to kill them and I dont want him to, I want to remove them savely or make them go in peace,if you know what I mean! I really care too much for them to just kill them as bees are in danger already. Do you have any advice?? We can't keep them here because the nest is really big and they already attacked us once and took over the living room!

Wendy said...

Hi Sonja

I suggest that you contact the Honeybee Foundation and ask their advice, I really can't offer any advice.

A friend of mine's hubby has just moved a hive from a piece of unused farm machinery into a proper hive and they have such delicious honey.

I know there are two types of bees one being the African Bee which is extremely agressive and needs a trained beekeeper to attend to their hives.

Sorry I can't help more! :-(

Sonja said...

I didn't know we had a Honeybee foundation in South Africa! That's good news!! I will definitely try to found them. We definitely have the killer bees, they are very aggresive! Thank you! You did help me!

Jill said...

Thanks so much for posting this information with pictures! I have just received several recipes for laundry soap, both wet and dry. I'm beginning to think it's time for me to take the plunge and make it!


Michelle Matthews said...

Hi Wendy
Please let us know how the Bioball works for you. I'm interested in getting one, but not entirely sure it will work?
Thanks for a great blog!

SAmom said...

Hi there, I use this recipe (without the sunlight soap) in my dishwasher. Where can one buy Borax and baking soda in larger quantities than in P&P, as it gets very expensive?

Marcell Pietersen said...

Hi Wendy,
Would you recommend this recipe for cloth nappies as well?

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Hi Marcell

I am past the baby stage but I do not see why you cannot use it after they have been rinsed and sterilised.

Do a test batch and see if you are happy with the results.

Mandy Rapson said...

Hi Wendy,

Would you rate using sunlight bar soap as an economical move or a personal health move? I am trying to use as many products that are good for the human body, though the economical factor is a must!

Also, what is your experience with the biowash ball? Worth it or not? I would spend the money if it addresses both the health and the wealth needs.