On this occasion, I want to show you how to make an effective natural detergent for the laundry that is totally biodegradable.
Not only will you take care of the environment with this recipe, but you will also protect the skin of the whole family.
It goes without saying that, if you have a baby or someone with delicate skin in the family who suffers from dermatitis, this detergent (in addition to using clothes made from natural fibers of cotton, linen, etc.) can be of great help at the time to minimize this problem.
We used coconut oil when making this recipe because coconut oil-based soap produces a lot of lather and has great cleaning power. These qualities of coconut oil make it especially suitable for making our laundry soap. Also, coconut oil soap is one of the easiest soaps to make, mainly because it traces and sets quickly. On the other hand, coconut oil is relatively easy to find.
This option with coconut oil becomes a real “detergent” for the washing machine the moment we add the borax and washing soda.
Borax is a natural salt (sodium tetraborate) that has been used as a cleaning product for decades. It has many uses as it helps remove stains, mold and mildew from the home. It drives away insects like ants and cockroaches. And in commercial detergents and household cleaners it is used with great success to help whiten, neutralize odors and remove dirt. You can add that it leaves cotton clothes flawless and with more body. You will check it if you prepare our recipe for “washing butter”.
Once you dissolve the soap together with the borax and soda, your detergent will thicken and turn into a kind of butter. This is interesting because it spreads much more in the washing machine drawer than a gel detergent.
Washing soda (sodium carbonate) can be found in drugstores and related establishments as it is an enhancer of washing detergent. It’s like Finish soda (washing soda) that is used for dishwashers. It is a soda very similar to bicarbonate and could be substituted for it, but since bicarbonate is usually used in smaller amounts it can be a bit expensive to use two cups of baking soda. Therefore, if we do not have easy access to this type of laundry soda, we believe that it is easier to replace it with percarbonate, which is a fabric bleaching agent found in many drug stores.
LET’S GO WITH THE RECIPE
First we will prepare 350 grams of natural coconut oil soap, exactly enough for a complete recipe of washing butter. And we say this because, after preparing our natural coconut soap, we are going to do a second step, adding two ingredients with great washing power, to turn it into a natural laundry detergent.
225 grams of coconut oil
95 grams of water
40 grams of bleach (caustic soda)
Remember to wear eye protection and gloves to weigh and mix the water and soda.
Weigh the water and soda into temperature-resistant glass or plastic containers. Add the soda to the water (never the other way around) and stir to dissolve. Avoid breathing the fumes.
Weigh the coconut oil and heat until it melts over low heat in a stainless steel skillet. Now you can mix the bleach water with the coconut oil. Always remember to pour the oil over the bleach and not the other way around to avoid toxic fumes. Also make sure that both mixtures are at a similar temperature of between 40 and 50 degrees maximum.
We will beat the mixture until it reaches the “trace” point, that is, the consistency of the custard. Once the soap has been drawn, we will pour it into the container that we have designated for this purpose. For example, a silicone mold, a plastic mold or a recycled tetra brik … Silicone molds usually work very well when unmolding.
We only have to wait a few hours before we can do it. If the mold is made of plastic, we may have to put it in the freezer for a while to be able to unmold more easily. In this case, and since we want our coconut soap to be used as a laundry detergent, it is convenient that we do not let it harden too much so that we can easily grate it.
PART TWO: NATURAL COCONUT DETERGENT FOR LAUNDRY
We have already grated our natural soap, and now we are going to turn it into a “detergent” with great cleaning power.
The 350 grams of our 100% grated coconut oil soap
2 cups of borax
2 cups of washing soda (Na2C03)
Bring 3 liters of water to a boil and pour the grated soap over them, stirring until it dissolves completely. Now slowly add the two cups of borax and keep stirring until they dissolve. Finally, add the two cups of washing soda.
The grated soap, borax, and laundry soda have dissolved in the hot water. We will cover the pot with the lid and let the mixture rest at room temperature for approximately 48 hours until it cools down and settles completely. After the mixture has rested at room temperature for several hours, a miracle occurs. The mixture in the pot will gel.
When the mixture is completely cool and gelled, beat it with a spoon and then use a mixer to emulsify. Make sure you reach the bottom of the pot where some of the borax may have been.
Beat until mixture is the consistency of thick, creamy mayonnaise and all lumps are gone. Optionally, you can add essential oils or crushed softener tablets to improve the aroma of the laundry. If you don’t, know that the laundry has a perfectly neutral “clean” smell, as borax is, like vinegar, an effective deodorizer.
Pack and store. You will only need two to four tablespoons of this butter for each wash, depending on the size of the load and the dirtiness of your clothes. Some people like to add a little white cleaning vinegar to the rinse cycle as a softener because white vinegar, in addition to softening and eliminating odors, lengthens the life of the washing machine since it is a natural and ecological descaler.