Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Home Made Washing Powder

In light of my recent post on our financial status (post HERE and last weeks task HERE) and my commitment to setting one money saving or organising post per week, I decided that it was time to start making our own washing powder.
It is something that I have been thinking about for some time, probably ever since my sister made a big batch a few years ago. Washing powder was never really a financial issue to us when I owned my salon, as the salon paid for all of it, as I was doing the towels etc, however now that we are a one income family , and have 4 children , who create a fair bit of laundry, its a perfect solution to such an expense.
On average , we would do at LEAST a load a day, more often 2 loads, so in a week we would do about 10 loads of washing , if not more.
Towels, sheets, whites, blacks, colours, hubby's work clothes , cleaning cloths etc. And many loads of each. You get my drift?!

Upon searching the wonderful web, I managed to find quite a few recipes for Washing powder , and they were all a little bit different. The main things I was interested in were; whether it would be safe for a front loader machine, and whether it would be strong enough to remove grease and dirt from my husbands work clothes and mild enough on our childrens delicate skin.
I found some posts with recipes HERE and HERE and decided to combine a few to make my own.
It is probably not as cost effective as most of the others, but I know that it is going to clean our clothes well, and still maintain the colours, looks etc, and it sure beats spending over $6 a week on powder or $35 when it comes on special (super rarely) for a bulk pack.

You will need;
Something large to store your powder in - My tin is from Target, but some time ago but these are available in a lot of different stores and are reasonably priced!
A wooden spoon for mixing
A cheese grater


2 kg Washing Soda
1kg Nappy powder ( I used a cheaper version of Nappisan called Nappy Active)
1.5kg Borax
4 cups Lux Flakes
1 Bar Sard Soap (grated)

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, tub or bucket and stir until thoroughly combined.
Pour into your storage tubs

Using 1-2 tablespoons is recommended, we will be using just one.

Voila!! Easy peasy and so economical!!
- Now, I have used a Nappy whitening powder in our recipe , as I want it to clean well. We have 4 young children , who are hard on their clothes and I like them to come up nice.
-I also decided to add both the grated Sard soap and the Lux flakes, even though most recipes only used one or the other. Lux is fantastic for softening clothing and very gentle on young skin and Sard is great for stains and marks.
- You may want to/should really , wear a face mask for this. The powders can get up your nose a bit, which really cant be good!
- This isn't really the most natural of washing powders,but it works, sorry my bad!
- To buy all the ingredients in our town and shops, I had to go to an IGA for the Borax and Washing Soda
-If you use your machine water as grey water, eliminate the Borax so it is safer for your garden.

Washing Soda x 2 @ $3.51 ea = $7.02
Nappy Active = $4.80
Borax x 1.5 @ $4.89 = $7.33
Lux Flakes x 2/3 box @ $6.98 = $4.65
Sard Bar = $2.56
TOTAL = $26.36

So our total tub has cost us a little over $26 to make.
But how long will it last I hear you ask?
I measured out our tub, and with using the tin scoop that comes with the tub, we made 66 scoops.
I think that a tablespoon would roughly be about half a scoop , if not less , so really with these calculations we should be able to stretch it out further.

Half a scoop = 132 washes
132 washes in our home is about 13 weeks, so a little over 3 months
$26 for over 3 months worth of washing powder is pretty good going, I think!
$26 for 132 washes = a bit over 19c a wash!!

I am pretty stoked with our powder. We have been using it for quite a few days now. Our clothes feel really soft (probably more so than before), they smell beautiful and I have a sense of achievement which is probably more important than anything.
Next on the list is making my own Dish washing tablets, so I will let you now how that goes!!

Why not try and make some yourself?
I'd love to hear how you go!


  1. Oh neato!! might have to try this after our huge tub is gone!

  2. I buy the GIANT Omo on super special (I agree, it comes up so rarely) and stash them in my laundry, just decanting a small amount at a time into a large jar. At this point I have a years worth at least so I won't be making my own laundry powder any time soon. But can I just say it's sooo nice to see a recipe/tutorial like this using Australian products? I was never sure if this was something I could make because the instructions always seem to rely on American brands/names/products

  3. Liz, I know you said you needed to get the grease out of you husbands clothes...this mixture is working well for that? I often have to scrub hubby's clothes and soak them and wash them and they still dont come clean. Would love if this worked great on those types of things and I could cut out some of the time it takes :)

  4. Good on you....homemade dishwasher tablets never knew you could...look forward to seeing your post on them


Thankyou for taking the time to read and more importantly comment on my blog. They are all so appreciated! Liz x