Marseille soap, or Savon de Marseille, is a traditional hard soap, made from vegetable oils, that has been produced around Marseille, France, for about 600 years. Authentic Marseille soap is a 100% natural product and, by definition, must be based on 72% vegetable oils, such as olive oil, without any colouring or artificial additives. It is biodegradable, is not tested on animals and doesn't contain parabens, preservatives, or other petrochemicals present in industrial soaps.
Marseille soap is an excellent stain remover. Used in the form of flakes it is a natural washing powder that is gentle on delicate fabrics (linen, wool, silk and baby clothes) and it helps avoid allergies and irritations.
I prefer working in grams because it is more accurate than ml/tbs/oz.
To make your laundry liquid detergent, you need:
HOW TO PREPARE
Boil the water and put the soap flakes and the sodium carbonate in a large container. Then add the hot water to the mixture and constantly mix it with an electric (or manual) whisk until all the soap is completely dissolved.
Add to your mixture the washing-up liquid and the Sodium Citrate and stir well until smooth. Wait for the liquid to cool down, then transfer into a container or glass bottle.
Sometimes the laundry detergent could solidify and become a little bit like a gel. You can use it anyway or add more water to make it less thick.
HOW TO USE
Put 10 ml of your detergent for 1 kg of laundry into a dosing ball directly into the drum of the washing machine.
Add around 15 g of the sodium percarbonate, the friendly bleach (more info here), into the pre-wash or bleach detergent compartment of the drawer only if you are washing white with temperatures over 40°C.
This detergent is suitable for washing in temperatures of 30°- 90°C for all kinds of fabrics except WOOL and SILK. In fact, this formula contains sodium carbonate which, being highly alkaline, could be too aggressive for these fabrics.
If you want to make a soap that works for delicate fabrics, you just need to omit the sodium carbonate, repeat the same process above and ...voilà ... job done! ;)
ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS
Sodium carbonate - Na2CO3 - is also known as washing soda, soda ash, soda crystals and soda Solvay.
It is a laundry booster, and it can also be used to scrub and to remove grease or oil stains.
In this case, it very useful because it acts as a preservative for the solution we made.
Sodium citrate - Na3C6H5O7 - is a very important ingredient that acts as a filter in our DIY laundry detergent, filtering all the calcium and magnesium ions found in tap water. In this way, acting as a water softener, it allows the detergent to work more effectively.
Washing-up liquid is really important for making our recipes as it will help us to clean perfectly and to achieve effective results.
This detergent is unscented, but if you want to add an extra lovely fragrance to your laundry, have a look at this recipe how to make laundry perfume.
Recipe for laundry softener here.