in #howto2 years ago


I love laundry. Really. I love it. I love washing dirty clothes. I love hanging clean, damp washing. I love sleeping in crispy clean sheets. I love putting on clothes that smell of sunshine.

And here's the secret. I make my own laundry gel. It's 100% natural. It's 100% organic. And the bonus? Not only is it really easy to make but it's inexpensive. My family's clothes are clean and they last longer as there is no chemical damage which store bought laundry powders cause.


Have you ever considered what are the effects of regular laundry detergents? The chemical formulas in cleaning products harm your laundry, the environment (via the escaping grey water) and gradually build up in your body through contact with your skin, your body's biggest organ!

If there's a natural alternative - I want to know about it. Make it. Apply it. So I'm going to share my little piece of sunshine with you. You will need three ingredients only. Boiling water, your natural laundry soap and essential oils. My favourite for my sunshine liquid are lemon and sweet orange. Not only does their zesty smell permeate the washing, but they have powerful antibacterial properties and break down fatty residue. Each attribute vital for a good wash.


For the laundry soap I use boerseep. This is afrikaans meaning the soap of the farmer. Perfect name, isn't it? Other countries will have different options. For me (especially as I make my own boerseep) this is the best there is. Boerseep is made by saponifying tallow with water and is readily available as laundry bars in South Africa

2 litres boiling water
1/2 cup grated boerseep (natural laundry soap bar)
Essential oils (lemon and orange OR lavender OR tea tree and rosemary)

Whisk the grated soap into the 2 litres of boiling water until dissolved. Throughout the day, until gel forms, give the liquid a good whisk (every half hour or so). This is IMPORTANT. If you neglect stirring the liquid simply because it is dissolved it will go horribly snotty - usuable but nasty. Once the liquid has become gel add the essential oils. I do it according to smell so I'm very generous with the amount.

Bottle your lovely laundry gel. Use a quarter to half cup per load - depending on how dirty the washing it. This amazing liquid really goes far. You can also rub a bit into stains or leave clothing overnight in a bucket of water with a dash of the gel to be washed as normal after a long soak. I even travel with a small amount of the grated boerseep and a tiny bottle of citrus essential oils. Then make as you need. It's really that simple!

And there you have your own sunshine laundry!


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when the kids were at home I made a five-gallon bucket of laundry soap at a time; HUGE money-saver!

I used Fels-Naptha soap to grate down, Borax and water for my recipe. at first I was amazed at how easy it was, how long that bucket of soap lasted and the incredible way it cleaned our clothes. We lived VERY rural and got quite dirty in the garden and taking care of the chickens on the property and this soap recipe never failed to clean our clothes.

Thank you for sharing @goldendawne. It helps to know what the international natural options are. I love that the natural is as good as or better than the accepted commercial variety


I can get Borax and Fells Naptha.

And I would definitely like to give this a try. Adding essential oil would be great.

It's actually from the TV show about the big family- the Duggars. Plus you need washing soda- which I find in the laundry aisle at any grocery store.

Thanks! I'm really intrigued and will have to get some supplies next time I'm in the right kind of store.

Wow, I LOVE this @buckaroo, thanks very much for introducing me to a natural way to launder! I have never heard of boerseep but will see if I can get hold of some. Upvoted, resteemed, and bookmarked too!!! :-)

My pleasure! And thank you too! I hope you come right. Let me know...

Okay, I'm ready to go.

Making my own laundry soap. Yep. Ready to give that a try.

Look at my sister been all healthy as usual, nice one sis and congrats on your best performing post yet proud of you x

Thanks for sharing! I have tried several mixtures for a homemade, natural laundry soap, but I am always dissatisfied... The borax one never worked for me for long. At first, it seemed pretty okay, but after a while, the clothes would end up dingy and smelling off.
The soap nuts also didnt quite do it.
I may have to try that african soap! It sounds promising!

Never tried the soapnuts. I've always been doubtful that they are actually potent enough - although I generally love the power of herbs

Yes, they seemed to have some saponification power, but not really enough to get clothes clean. At least, not our clothes, which are frequently drenched in sweat, all kinds of animal smells, dirt and grime galore... We need something stronger!

That's probably a general homesteading problem!!

Yes, I think so!

But I love your mentality, your work, i love Africa and Africans, they have true and peaceful minds, thats why i am following you, wanna be your friend, and please do not forget to support me follow me as i am a newbie here.

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Very keen to make this, thank you @buckaroo!

My pleasure!

Your natural products are always winners my child! Lovely laid out blog too

i love to hear about your passion for laundry :) i think these natural methods are taking off more and more and i'm happy to see that!

Hahaha! Who would've thought. When I was a child we had an old spinster neighbour who loved (and I mean LOVED) washing dishes. I thought she was touched. Now, I'm not so sure!

haha! touched with the gift! to be honest, i love vacuuming... ;)

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