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Zero-Waste Challenge n°3: your Homemade Laundry detergent

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Third step for our zero waste challenge !  After the solid balm and the soap, let’s make our own laundry detergent with Marseille soap.

In this recipe, we are still using the 5R rules to limit our wastes. I’ve tried different recipes because we have some very sensitive skins at home. This one is my favorite homemade laundry detergent ! And you’ll be very pleased to see how cheap are the ingredients and how long they last !

The short story of Marseille soap

I use it so much I ended up asking myself “where does the Marseille soap come from ?”

Well, this soap’s origins are extremely ancient. The first Marseille soap maker was registered in 1371  under the name of Crescas Davin.

But it’s only in the XVIth and XVIIth century that the Provençale soap-makers really thrived. With local ingredients, the 7 Marseille factories took out 20 000 tons of soap.

Once again, it’s our dear Colbert who protected the recipe and the manufacturing process through an edict. The name of Marseille soap became a guarantee of quality and they are only made from Camargue soda and local Olives.

In the XXth century, there were 108 soap manufacturers registered in Marseille and 14 in Salon-de-Provence. They produced around 180 000 tons of soap. But WWII adds on the market some cheapest soap. There is still 4 traditional soap makers in Marseille and Salon-de-Provence which go on to sell his plant based soap.

Marseille Soap laundry detergent benefits

A true Marseille soap is green or white :

  • The green soap is made with olive oil, coprah and palm oil.
  • The white soap doesn’t have olive oil but peanut oil which explains its smell is softer.

This “extra pure” soap  contains 72% of 100% plant based oils and contains no artificial colours nor synthetic products. It’s ecological and biodegradable on the contrary to industrial detergent.

savon marseille
la corvette

Hypoallergenic, the Marseille soap doesn’t irritate the skin and is recommended in case of eczema because it’s allergen free, perfume free, colouring free and synthetic adjuvant free. That’s the reason why I’ve come to use the Marseille soap for everything. Washing the baby laundry with my homemade laundry detergent  is supposed to reduce the risk of allergies and skin irritations.

You can also scrub your skin or shave yourself with this soap and heal your gums using it as toothpaste…

But let’s return to the actual subject of this post : how to make our homemade laundry detergent !

Your laundry detergent ingredients

To make 5 liters of laundry detergents, we need :

recette lessive maison homemade detergent recipe
© Isabelle NG
  • 150g of Marseille soap flakes or block. I use soap chips because it’s quickest to melt. If you use a bloc, you’ll have to grate it.

  • 100g of baking soda

  • 150g of soda ash

  • a container of 5 liters (I recycle my distilled water can)

All these ingredients are basic to make your households products.

Easy to find, they are really cheap and last a long time ! (I’m using the same bag for more than a year).

How to make the laundry detergent

  • Melt the soap in 2l of hot water. Let it cool to prevent the mixture from lathering too much.
  • Then add the soda ash.
  • Add 2 liters of cold water and add the baking soda.
  • If you want to perfume your detergent, you can add some essential oils (I don’t do it, I prefer it neutral)
  • Stir the mixture until you have a homogeneous mix
  • You can add another liter to make the detergent less concentrated

Then you can pour it in your container.

How to make it in video

I’ve tried to make a tutorial to show you the different steps. That’s my first one …

The soap laundry detergent can be used as any liquid detergent. Just shake it before use to mix all the ingredients.

recette lessive maison homemade laundry detergent

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. LS

    It looks like you have an aluminium pot! Your washing soda reacts with that. I recommend dissolving your sodas in hot water in a bucket and then adding your dissolved water and soap. That way you don’t get the reaction and the sodas are well dissolved. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    1. Isabelle NG

      Oh yes, you are so right ! I’ve changed my pot and it doesn’t happen anymore ! Thanks for the tip and you’re welcome for the recipe !

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