There are a lot of toxin free DIY laundry liquid detergent recipes floating around and I often get asked if I have a recipe for Laundry detergent and the short answer is NO!!
I think it is important for you to understand why it is almost impossible to make a homemade detergent unless you have a degree in chemistry.
The fact is soap and detergent are completely different.
Soap is made by mixing fats or oils with an alkali base, such as lye. The fat is saponified in a chemical reaction that takes place in this process. Soap can be made quite easily at home.
A detergent, however, is made with surfactants which are created with much more complex chemical reactions than soap, at very high temperatures and processes that you would never be able to replicate in your own home.
Detergent is made by, converting hydrocarbons to alcohol, and then reacting the fatty alcohol with an ethylene oxide, etc. I do not have a degree in chemistry and I know most DIY'ers don’t, so I am pretty sure we are not going to be making homemade detergents.
There are two types of detergent:-
Synthetic detergent surfactants which are entirely artificial and not natural.
Plant-derived surfactants made from natural sources. Soap has surfactants, too, but they are oil-based and function very differently.
Surfactants are ingredients with a molecule structure that decreases water tension, and is partly water & fat-soluble, basically it attaches itself to dirt, but also to the water used to clean, allowing the dirt to be washed away.
Surfactants are actually in both soap and detergent but the difference being detergents are formulated to trap soil and suspend it in the water, which allows it to rinse cleanly and carry the dirt away along with it.
Soap does not do this, as it needs a lot more help in the rinsing-away department.
Soap is a good cleaning agent, however its effectiveness is reduced when used in hard water. Hardness in water is caused by the presence of mineral salts these mineral salts react with soap to form an insoluble precipitate known as soap film or scum.
As we know soap film does not rinse away easily. It tends to remain behind and produces visible deposits on clothing and makes fabrics feel stiff. It also attaches to the insides of bathtubs, sinks and washing machines.
Some of the "soap" is used to along with the water minerals to help form the film. This in turn reduces the amount of soap available for cleaning.
Even when clothes are washed in soft water, some hardness minerals are introduced by the soil on clothes. Soap molecules are not very versatile and cannot be adapted to today’s variety of fibres, washing temperatures and water conditions.
So the use of liquid soaps in the creation of homemade laundry liquid is also not effectively viable. And with this information it is clear the ability to create an effective homemade laundry liquid detergent is not possible!
You can get MYrecipe for an awesome NO soap or borax Laundry powder here.
What YOU can is enough
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***These statements have not been evaluated by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and The Clean Living Clinics product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
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