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Ever since I was a little girl I have adored the smells that drift out of a launderette. Although these are now not as common as they used to be I still love it when I walk past one in a city.
It’s the combination of that clean fresh scent along with the softeners that somehow comfort and reassure. Despite using copious amounts of softener at home I could never mirror the launderette aroma.
The launch of wash powders with added softener, in a range of fragrances made me believe I may finally have the answer. However although these smelled ok they didn’t evoke those memories of safety and harmony.
Then I read about making your own wash powder, I gave it a go, as always adding a twist and hey presto, I now have aromatherapy laundry every single day.
The big brands boast fragrances such as lavender and chamomile or lotus and orange blossom, but just like room fragrances this is all they are. They are smells that obviously add a pleasant aroma but they don’t give the aromatherapy benefits that pure essential oils do.
For instance, there’s no denying that the scent of lavender is heavenly, but the benefits of using an essential oil are legion. Lavender oil:
Relieves tension and stress
Promotes natural sleep
Keeps insects away
The fragrance alone can’t do all this.
How to Make Your Own Wash Powder
I made the wash powder the following way:
1 bar of vegetable oil soap (shops on brands are fine)
1 box of soda crystals
Essential Oil of choice
Grate the soap into about 1 pint of water in a large pan and add 250 grams of soda crystals. Bring to the boil then add as much essential oil as you wish.
It will be stodgy and not like wash powder at all. Store in a big jar and use half a cup for one full load. You’ll find it cleans better and gives your clothes a smell that lasts for a long time.
I love using lavender oil for bedding, lemon oil for daytime wear and orange oil for pyjamas. You can mix it up according to your favourite scents.
How to Make Your Own Fabric Softener
Some people also make homemade fabric softener, this is simply a mix of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar or lemon juice. It makes quite a froth, so don’t be concerned, as it leaves clothes super soft.
Along with the aromatherapy benefits, this method costs pennies compared to buying wash powder from the supermarket.