WHAT ARE SOAP FLAKES?
Soap flakes are just grated bars of soap. They are basically shredded soap to make it easier to dissolve in water.
I was first introduced to the idea of soap flakes when I started my non-toxic journey. I have been using and then making my homemade laundry soap for the past five years. After a while, I realised that I was not completely satisfied by the outcome, especially when there were stubborn stains, like wine or food (we use lots of napkins, kitchen towels and tablecloths at home). Just think that commercial detergent formulations are complex, reflecting the diverse demands of the application and the highly competitive consumer market.
Anyway making your DIY laundry detergent is very easy, inexpensive and effective. You can save money and rid your home of toxic chemical cleaners. This recipe is to get the best result and get rid of all the stubborn stains! 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 liquid - Laundry sequestrant - 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 10ml of your detergent for 1kg of laundry into a dosing ball directly into the drum of the washing machine.
Add around 15g 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.