Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe That Is Eco Friendly, Safe And Economical

A liquid laundry detergent recipe that is Eco friendly, safe and economical is just a few short steps away. If you read my other article about why I choose to use a homemade laundry detergent, you may have been searching for laundry alternatives that don’t have all of those harsh chemicals in them already. Chances are you have been looking, but you also found that many are quite expensive to buy, or aren’t always available at the store each time you need it. My experience has been that the more popular brands of standard laundry detergent never seem to be absent from the range due to their popularity, but those that are labeled Eco friendly and safe, never seem to get replenished as quickly.

 

It’s Both Cheap And Easy!

 

This isn’t so great if you are trying to live a green lifestyle but have washing to do. With this recipe, never be caught short for laundry detergent again. For a fraction of the cost of a bottle of laundry liquid, when you buy the ingredients, there will be enough for up to 4 batches to be made. Simply replace your ingredients after 4th batch has been made and you will be able to make a new one next time you run out. Be aware that this recipe does require standing overnight, if you remember this and make it ahead of the time you will be needing to use it, you will always be prepared.

 

What You Will Need – Nothing Too Complex Here

 

liquid laundry detergent recipe

Homemade Laundry Liquid

  • A 10 litre (2.5 – 3 gallons) bucket with a lid (I use my father’s old wine making tub)
  • A measuring cup and measuring jug
  • A wooden spoon
  • Laundry soap (I found this in the laundry aisle in the supermarket, a box contains 4 cakes of soap)
  • Lectric Washing Soda (Again I found this in the aisle for laundry items)
  • warm water (you will be partially filling the bucket with this)

 

Some people have been known to use borax with this recipe, but I am still undecided about the safety of borax and so I choose to avoid it instead.

 

It Is Very Easy To Make – Takes About 10 Minutes

 

  1. Grate 1/2 to 1 whole cake of soap and put aside
  2. Put 3 litres of water into a large stock pot or saucepan and bring to boil
  3. While waiting for water to boil pour 7 litres of warm water, not too hot, into the 10 litre bucket
  4. When the water is boiled turn down the heat to a simmer
  5. Place the grated soap into the water in the pot on the stove and stir until the soap is dissolved, stirring all the time, do not allow to boil over otherwise it will be messy.
  6. Then Pour 1 cup of Lectric soda into the pot and stir until you can’t feel the grittiness anymore and it’s dissolved
  7. Take the pot off the heat and being careful not to burn or scald yourself, slowly pour the mixture into the bucket of warm water
  8. Stir with the wooden spoon
  9. Place the lid on tightly
  10. Wait 24 hours, the mixture will have cooled and turned into a gel. It’s now ready to use. Scoop 1 cup of gel and place into washing machine as per usual. Wash as normal.

What Can I Do To Make It Smell Even Fresher?

 

Add Essential Oils For Added Fragrance, liquid-laundry-detergent-recipe

Add Essential Oils For Added Fragrance

If you find you would like to add a little fragrance, you can add essential oils to the mixture. Wait an hour or so until it cools down a little, prior to it settling into a gel and then take off the lid. Stir in a few drops of essential oils.

You may have to play around with the quantities of drops of oil. Some companies, such as the one I use, have very potent oils and you would not need as much as what you might use if you bought an essential oil from a chemist, supermarket, cheap variety store, health food store or other aromatherapy standard essential oils.

 

Find A Good Company

 

My personal favourites are Lemon, Lavender, Thieves or Purification. The latter 2 are proprietary blends of the company I buy my oils from. I might suggest 5 – 10 drops of oil to begin with and work with the resulting strength of smell from there.

If you have any really strong odours in your washing, you may like to add some white vinegar to the rinse cycle of the washing machine to remove them.

 

Is This Cost Effective Like Promised?

 

The answer to this question is yes, very much so. I find that even buying a cheaper laundry detergent, I still might spend nearly $10 a week on getting the laundry done and then there is the added disadvantage that it is not helping the environment if I don’t choose wisely enough. I can buy a packet of the laundry soap for around $2.00 AUD and the Lectric soda for around $4.00. I only need 1 cup of Lectric soda, which leaves another 3 cups in the packet, and only 1 cake of soap, leaving 3 still in the packet.

$1.50 per 10 Litres

This means it only costs around $1.50 AUD to make one whole 10 litre bucket of detergent, that might last me one month. So for $6.00 I have now bought 4 months worth of laundry detergent. I’d say that’s a win win situation, win for your pocket, and win for the environment.

Are There Other Options?

 

If you are struggling with time and would find it too difficult to use this recipe and make it yourself, you might consider using the most earth friendly liquid you can find. I personally have used this company for purchasing laundry detergents that are safe, and also the company I use for my oils also produce a washing liquid. Try checking out their safe washing powders or liquids, but you will pay a bit more for it than at the store.

 

Check Out What Other Eco-Friendly Options There Are

 

There are also laundry balls, soap nuts and other options (see below for details), that are Eco friendly and available to buy online or in a store, and while they may be expensive to start with, they are well worth the investment because it works out to be cheaper in the long run.

 

I hope you enjoy making your new liquid laundry detergent recipe that is eco friendly, safe and economical. If you enjoyed reading this article please share it with others so that they too can help to save our environment and keep our planet sustainable. If you have any problems, comments or questions, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.

 

Until next time

 

Warm Regards,

Ange

Please find below some suggested products.

 

soap nuts

Soap Nuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

balls

Eco-Friendly Laundry Balls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recycle Bins At Home – Start By Getting It Right

How To Become a Self Sufficient Wiz

It All Starts With Getting It Right!

 

recycle bins at home, start by getting it right, how to recycle, recycling,

Recycling Sprite

Recycle bins at home! They are not just there for show, they have specific rules to follow. Are you wondering how to use them properly? Learn some of the more simple aspects of what you can and can’t recycle.After all, how can one live a self sufficient lifestyle if they don’t have a clue on the subject of recycling? Many of you already have a good understanding of this but there are also many people who may find some of this information somewhat as a surprise, like I did. Living a sustainable lifestyle means I have to develop the correct habits and therefore I needed to find out all I could about what rubbish goes where.

 

There’s A Bit More To It Than I First Thought

 

It really is quite important to put the right things into the correct bins, for several reasons and I must admit, I didn’t really know some of this before investigating the matter. I THOUGHT I knew, but it turns out that I didn’t. Your council may be different but our council provides us with two garbage bins for collection. One is for general rubbish, the other is for recyclable items. A third, most likely for garden rubbish, will be added soon. Most states in Australia have a colour coded system where a yellow lid represents recyclable materials, and a red or green lidded one for  general household waste. It would be helpful to separate further with other colour coded bins.

 

Do ALL Countries Need To Recycle?

 

Countries, states, towns and individuals generate enormous amounts of rubbish on a daily basis. Such rubbish consists mostly of packaging for our convenience foods and various throw away items. Yet some countries don’t have that kind of rubbish because the option of packaged items or throwaways is non-existent. Those countries wouldn’t even need to be concerned about recycling, minimising their garbage or their impact on the planet, let alone need educating on it. I would so love to go back to basics and live somewhere that problems like this don’t exist, I guess that’s what the crux of sustainable living is about.

Oh My! I’ve Been Doing It Wrong!

 

I recently found out that I have been doing it all wrong. I had the wrong information about recycling and was not aware of it. I had no idea there were some things that while seeming to be recyclable, they aren’t necessarily placed in the recycling bin. This upsets me a lot because I now know that I have hindered our recycling efforts by throwing things in the wrong bin while feeling like I was ‘helping’ the environment. I can’t go back and change it, but I can do something about it now. One, I can educate and inform other people of this mistake, and two, I can do it right starting this very moment. I also realised there is a common misconception about the little triangle on the plastic containers that has a number inside. I remember being told that this triangle meant that it was recyclable, but apparently it means no such thing. The number represents the type of plastic it is, and has nothing to do with recycling at all.

 

The following is a list of recycling can’s and can’t.

 

Items You CAN Put Into Your Recycling Bin

We Recycle, Recycle-bins-at-home

We Recycle

 

It’s rather a small list really

 

  • glass bottles and jars
  • steel cans
  • aluminium, such as foil cooking trays and soft drink cans
  • paper and newspaper
  • cardboard, greetings cards, or magazines
  • plastic containers, for example milk bottles, ice cream, yoghurt, margarine and soft drink and juice and water bottles.
  • Milk and juice cartons

 

I thought that was everything, but there is actually a very comprehensive list here to help you work out if you can recycle something or not. It tells gives you information on just about anything you can think of and whether you can recycle, or put it in a bin, or even if it’s something that can’t go into any bin. It is well worth bookmarking. If in doubt, check it out.

Items You CANNOT Put Into Your Recycling Bin

recycling of shredded paper

Shredded Paper. Which Bin Would You Have Picked?

 

Some of these items might be obvious, but some may not

 

  • furniture
  • car parts
  • foam rubber
  • clothes
  • toys
  • sharps (as in needles and syringes)
  • white goods
  • pyrex
  • crockery
  • drinking glasses
  • nappies
  • mirrors
  • window glass
  • white goods such as toasters
  • toys
  • polystyrene
  • light globes
  • plastic wraps
  • plastic bags
  • shredded paper!!!

 

Some of the above list might be already known by many, but there are definitely a couple of them that may shock you.

So What Happens At The Other End?

 

I have never really given much thought to what happens to the recycled materials once they left my premises until now, when I am trying to learn all I can about recycling the right way. Here is a list of what your waste can be recycled into:

 

  • Glass is melted down and remade into other bottles, jars Etc.
  • Steel cans can be melted down to make new steel products
  • Aluminium and foil trays often travel to different manufacturing places for recycling options and usage.
  • Cardboard and paper are recycled back into more paper
  • Milk and juice cartons produce high quality office paper when recycled
  • Newspapers can be recycled back into newspaper printable paper. Newspaper also often ends up as insulation too.
  • Plastics depending on what they are originally made from are granulated. They can become sleeping bag fillers, storm water pipes, plastic lids, plastic fencing stakes, electrical conduit, waterproof jackets, plastic poles, garden stakes, even used to hold oyster nets and so on. [Please note that the use of such plastic poles and stakes are not detrimental to the environment and replace wooden poles that may be treated and thus contaminate the soil or water they are used in]. Plastics are not recycled back as food containers due to the high risk of contamination during the sorting process. Another lesser known but rather new method of recycling plastics can be found in this article where plastics are turned into useful items like furniture, jewellery, footwear, Etc.

Some Simple Guidelines To Follow

 

Did you know these materials are actually mostly hand sorted by people and also by high tech equipment? Now would be an appropriate time to mention that if you follow a couple of simple rules you will be saving the planet so much more efficiently. If we aren’t doing the most simplest of tasks properly then the process we put into place to do it becomes null and void. In other words if we aren’t correctly recycling our waste then our efforts are literally wasted. It is very simple to just drop your recyclables into the bin and wheel it out for collection. Please be mindful of the following;

 

Recycle_bins_at_home

Recycled Waste Is Manually Dealt With

1. Rinse the recyclable items before putting them in the bin. The items are hand sorted and they should be free from contamination prior to being sent for manufacturing into other items. Crush them into smaller compact sizes.

 

2. Do not use plastic bags in a recycling bin. While plastic bags are designed to break down over time, and some supermarkets ask that you recycle plastic bags by bringing them back to the store and placing them in a special bin, they are not meant to go into a recycling bin. They break down, they are not recyclable in this way.

 

3. Plastic bottle tops can’t be sorted by hand easily so do not put them in the recycling bin. However, you can put them in the recycling bin if you fill a plastic bottle with tops (and plastic bread tags too) and put a lid on it. This will then be sent and recycled as mixed plastic.

 

4. Shredded paper, this was the mistake I was making, cannot go into the recycle bin due to impossibility to sort by hand. There are so many tiny scraps of it, that to attempt sorting would be very labour intensive and not very viable. The suggestion is to put into a garden or food garbage collection bin.

 

What About Recycling For Other Things?

 

For items such as white goods, furniture, clothing, toys or car parts, often there is a shop at the dump where you can take them to be resold. Charity organisations accept items to be dropped off and some offer a pick up service.  Car parts can be taken to an auto-wrecker where people can buy second hand parts for their cars if they are mechanically minded and prefer to fix their own cars, or sold for scrap metal.

What’s The Next Step?

 

Now that I am better educated, I hope you have learned something about recycling that perhaps you didn’t know either. There was such a lot of media exposure in the early days about what to recycle and what not to, that it may be assumed that everyone just automatically knows the ropes. I wish I had paid more attention back then so that I wouldn’t be making the mistakes I had been up until now. But the good thing is we can correct our mistakes and choose to recycle better.

 

These are not the only options for recycling so I urge you to check out some others. Start by getting it right at the first port of call, your recycle bins at home. I would love to hear about your recycling woes or tips and tricks so please leave a comment for other people to gain the knowledge too and save our planet.

 

Thank you for reading,

Ange.

 

 

Acknowledgments

Recycling Sprite image is ‘Young Free’ by Boians Cho Joo sourced from www.FreeDigitalPhotos.com

 

Resources

http://nawma.sa.gov.au/material/recycling.asp

http://recycleright.wa.gov.au/what-bin-to-use/

http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/live/waste-and-recycling/recycling