I had a go at making my own laundry powder a few weeks ago. I am not going to lie, it definitely did the job initially and I was really happy with the price! At the same time I also had doTERRA’s On Guard Laundry liquid detergent in my house. I was alternating between the 2 products. Then after a few weeks I actually thought the liquid detergent was doing a much better job on my clothes.
Now, before I start here the disclaimer is yes I do sell doTERRA, but I want you to know there are HEAPS of low-tox laundry products on the market (I’ve used tri nature before and also LOVE it). The purpose of this post is just to share with you what I’ve discovered about making your own laundry powder and why I don’t think it works very well long term…
What I noticed using a DIY washing powder:
- There was a small amount of residue in machine after the cycle
- Initially the clothes were fine, but after a few washes I thought they felt slightly slimy
- It didn’t remove the stains/marks as well as I had expected
- I re-washed a few clothes
So…. me being me I started reading of course! I was thinking WHY wouldn’t it be working as well as I hoped…?
This is what I discovered >>
There are many recipes out there but they normally contain soap and water softeners (like borax or washing soda).
DIY laundry soap contain the wrong type of cleaning agent (soaps instead of detergent-type surfactants). The fact is that over time soap will build up, trap bacteria and make your clothes grey. You would have to use an enormous amount of soap to actually get your clothes clean enough. Basically I was just using water softeners. I wanted my clothes to be clean, free from bacteria and stripped of any build-up.
So instead of going back to the supermarket laundry powder I started to learn that you can still be low-tox and natural, but you will need to find a product with detergent-type surfactants.
What are these? A surfactant is an ingredient with a molecule structure that decreases water tension, and is partly hydrophilic (water-soluble) and lipophilic (fat-soluble), meaning it attaches itself to dirt, but also to the water used to clean, allowing the dirt to be washed away (clearly I got this from google info!). Soap does not do this, as it needs a lot more help in the rinsing-away department.
Like I said earlier that’s why I went back to using the doTERRA washing liquid because it contains surfactants, enzymes, and stabilizers from sustainable natural-based sources. It’s low surfactant/enzyme aroma allows full aromatic potential of doTERRA On Guard essential oil blend. In other words, it’s EXCELLENT on your clothes and smells good (no artificial fragrances!).
Again, you don’t HAVE to use doTERRA. Buying laundry detergent from a responsible company that makes an effort to create a safer, more natural product is a good thing. Do a bit of googling and and research for yourself. I am not a scientist so I am not at all an expert! I’m just trying to do some research and make my own responsible choices and share with you along the way.
If you’re not quite ready to switch your washing liquid/detergent to a more natural product then watch this video where I show you why I am using a detergent without fillers. Fillers are cheap, granular ‘bulking’ agents which manufacturers use to make it appear like you’re getting more laundry powder. They have no effect on the product’s cleaning ability therefore you’re basically paying for nothing. Fillers also don’t dissolve in your wash, leaving tiny, skin-irritating particles in your clothes next to your skin and potentially causing allergies. They are also full of fragrance that can affect your mood. >>
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If you’d like to make over your entire cleaning cupboard check out this post. Need some more info on WHY you should reduce your chemical load then make sure you watch STINK! Movie on Netflix tonight.