Beach Cottage DIY Laundry Powder

Mon 28th, Mar, 2011

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Howdy partners!

How ya going?

Well I have been out in light drizzly rain this morning for my walk/run by the sea…the good thing about when it rains, albeit not that often, in Australia, a lot of people stay indoors, meaning my walk this morning was pretty much to myself, save a few hardcores.  The view where I do my 350′s which incidentally today only hit about 200 was stunning…silvery grey with sparkles and a sailing boat right at the very back.   Did I have a camera with me.  Of course not.

Anyway, how’s about we talk about mixing up lotions and potions?

You like talking about that?

You know I do :-)


Remember a couple of weeks ago for Good Life Wednesday we had a lovely link to Breanna of The Cottage Grey for laundry powder and Tammi also left her recipe for me…

Well this is something I have wanted to try for myself for a long time…


so the next time I was in the supermarket I gathered up the requirements…all too easily available here, just look in the laundry aisle for the soap etc and next to the bleach for the borax.


The making of domesticities such as these is a wonderful thing…and I could put the case to you that making this is green and possibly more economical (find the recipe here) than buying it ready packaged for you…


but at the end of the day, aside from all of those, the simple mixing of a few things into a potion that smells divine is just so quietly rewarding.


I have cobbled together this concoction 3 times now…this was my second attempt you see in the photographs, the one I made with lavender and the one where I decided to grate the soap more thickly because I was bored of grating.


There is enough time in life to spend not more than a few minutes finely grating a few bars of soap…if you are going to bother with doing this in the first place, please don’t try any of my shortcuts.

Although this second attempt was ok, it still did the job, with thickly grated soap there were two problems  1.  it didn’t disperse brilliantly and 2. one of my children came in from school and seeing it in its half done form thought the soap was grated cheese and happily stuffed a load in mouth when thinking no-one was looking.  hahaha…come to think of it though this gives washing the mouth out of some little toe-rag who might happen to be in your vicinity a whole different meaning…I must keep that one up my sleeve


I won’t pretend this is totally without effort…you do have to pick up fairly unusual supplies that aren’t something that most of us will have in our cupboards, but other than that, it is really little more than, with some mildly strenuous grating, throwing things into a bowl and mixing for England…

Of course, at the end, you have the excuse to decant…the whole reason I embarked on this in the first place and especially if you like to play stylists when everyone else is out in the afternoon then even better…


…and of course there is something rather satisfying about throwing your own handmade detergent into the machine when all else around you is a whirl…


so that is it from me for today, thank you to all who took part in the BC ♥ Saturday Club, yep I have read what everyone has been up to…I don’t think I am going to have the time to get around to everyone though :-) and am getting through the emails but I do have next week’s mission ready to go and I am working on the button and all the other stuff…phew


you can find the DIY Laundry Powder Recipe Here



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28 Responses to “Beach Cottage DIY Laundry Powder”

  1. Dream Mom says:

    Gorgeous pictures, as usual! It’s fun to make our own cleaning supplies; I make my own glass cleaner and use natural disinfectants. I looked into making some cleaning supplies previously (both laundry soap and dishwasher soap and both recipes used borax) however borax isn’t entirely safe; there are reproductive issues (testes) and issues with the central nervous system. I have a child with seizures so I nixed the borax or homemade cleaning products with it. I don’t use a lot of chemicals/toxings in my home (including bleach), no plastics (bpa), aluminum or microwave in the kitchen, so I am pretty far on the end of the spectrum in terms of trying to be chemical free or toxin free, lol.

    Have you ever considered being a stylist? You’d be great at that.

  2. stephanie says:

    Hi Sarah….. I mixed up a batch of homemade laundry soap after your last post on it. I used Ivory soap because I couldn’t find Sunlight (it’s all white, so looks pretty too) …added a bottle of lavender EO as well. Put it up in a big glass jar by the laundry sink. The clothes smell so fresh & clean…..love it!

  3. m says:

    How cool! AND educational…I have never, in all my born days, heard of “washing soda”! And your shots are so gorgeous you could have been mixing manure and I’d still have been happy as a clam! ;}

    m ^..^

  4. Tammi says:

    Oh my….why have I never thought to photograph my mix before….your pics are incredible yet again…I’d actually love to hang a few of them in my laundry above all my diy cleaners :)
    So glad you had fun making and using your own powder….I too have learnt through trial and error what works best for me.

  5. marylou says:

    So much fun but I wonder as I have to use a liquid soap detergent for my front load washer…maybe I will google a recipe for that although it just won’t decanter as prettily;-(

    Your photos are stunning as always;-)

    Got a late start on Saturday’s mission and then realized the week-end passed by and I was unable to participate, BUT, I will be ready for next week for sure so please don’t count me out ((*_*))


  6. Alice says:

    Very nice, had a good chuckle when reading that someone unwittingly washed his/her mouth out lol. That would have been some odd smelling grated cheese heeheee….. Love the photos, I do intend to make this myself this weekend, I just received the glass container to put it all in the mail today – yeah!!!

    LOOOVVEEEE the photos like always :).

  7. calliope (Greece) says:

    Dear Sarah,
    since I’ve been doing this for the last 3 years I can share my 2 pence with your fellow readers:
    - if you use the homemade laundry you should also use the white vinegar as a softener. otherwise your mashine will get soap built up in no time!
    it’s great for the clothes and for your skin. Think of all the softener residue that clings on the clothes and eventually onto your body
    - can be used in front load mashines. I have one!
    - whites will eventually turn greyish but this one is easy to solve: I use real lemon juice in an extra cycle and then hang under the sun. Amazing.
    or use Oxy clean or anything like that
    - blacks will never ever fade again thanks to the vinegar
    - I use vegetable based soap and I think that the olive oil ones are the best. They do come in an already grated version!
    - my latest adaptation is: 2 cups of soda, 1 cup borax, 1 cup soap, EO. use 3 tbs per a 6 kgr load
    Hope I’ve helped!

    • sarah says:

      oooh you have helped…THANKS! will try your suggestionss..

      love your 2 pence worth lol ;-)

  8. Jackie says:

    I have made similar compounds. The one I made turned to a jell because you add hot water. You can always grate the soap with your food processor. The only draw back was that it left soap scum in the washer and didn’t rinse out of the clothes very well. This can be avoided by adding a half cup of white vinegar to the rinse water. Since the reason I did it was to avoid bringing so much plastic into the house and then sending it to the landfill, I only made one batch. It lasted forever. I figured that buying the vinegar wasn’t really keeping that much plastic out of the house.

  9. Julie says:

    I’ve been making my own laundry powder for yonkers, and the EASY PEASY way to make the sunlight soap fine enough is to put it in the food processor. This is how I do mine and you just wash it like normal when you’ve finished-it’s just sunlight soap like you’d normally use for cleaning, so it’s not harmful. Good luck!

  10. Deanne says:

    only you could make washing powder look fantastic! can you use it in a front loader?

    • sarah says:

      I am not sure, I have an aussie style top-loader (and love it)…wondering how it would go in the drawer of a front loader?

  11. Deb says:

    A friend of mine makes hers from Whoa to go in her kitchen aide. She swears by it.

  12. lg says:

    I have a front loader too and I put the powder mix directly in with the clothes, not in the drawer.

    lg xxx

  13. Lois Gibbs says:

    I hope your blog/FB issues are straightened out by now. I am on your page and sending this comment to see what happens. (By the way, with your homemade soap do you ever have problems with it not all dissolving, and then finding it on the clothes?)

  14. Susan says:

    ♥ the whole concept….. but of course

    hope your cyberspace dramas have not lead you to too many peronis….. ?XXXXXXXXXX /hugs/

  15. beachcomber says:

    sweet idea! thanks.

  16. OMG Sarah, you even make the dreary job of laundry fun and interesting. Thanks for sharing, you are such an inspiration!

  17. Sherrie says:

    Thank you for sharing this. And beautiful photography!

  18. I love making my own laundry detergent. I usually do it when things are rough financially for us because it’s so much less expensive. But it’s also good therapy…….the mixing, the fragrance, knowing your making something that helps your family with your own two hands. Gotta love it! It’s good all the way around!

  19. Teri says:

    What a funny idea for April 1st… grated soap instead of cheese!!! Hehe, kind of wicked though! Funny story but I bet your kids didn’t think so. I did make the soap too and also got lazy through the second batch. Maybe that’s why my laundry wasn’t brilliant. Beautiful photos! I hope to have my new blog in order by this next Saturday so that I may post the BC Saturday! Have a lovely day!

  20. Tricia Rose says:

    My dad was a scientist and we had to use his own-make detergent while we were growing up – we all moaned and complained like stink so I don’t think we appreciated it! Mainly I would have preferred a nice smell, but never thought to add one. Rotten little kids.

    He also had a still in the laundry, where the old copper was. Ahead of his time.

  21. Grace says:

    Thanks for the laundry tips…oh, and as a surprise this past Saturday I went to the ballet with the hubs and yes, you guessed it, rocked the ruffle (in putty, I might add!) and had a great time even with our two little monsters in tow! And I thought that all I was going to do Saturday was the laundry… ;)

  22. Shaz says:

    Nice pics. I only use “green” products too. Have you considered using the “grating” attachment on your food processor (if you have one). That could inspire you to make a bigger batch!.

  23. Liz says:

    Your pictures and site make me want to move in with you. Beautiful, and it’s laundry soap for crying out loud!

  24. Wow, what a beautiful blog you have…I’m so glad you stopped by my blog so I could find you :) Your pictures are stunning! Thanks for your sweet comment…Laurel@chippingwithcharm