If you are starting with a non-toxic lifestyle and you would like to start washing with natural detergent, you probably read that soap flakes are the best and cleanest option for you and for the environment. If you have not tried it yet, it might seem a bit more complicated than washing with conventional detergent, but in fact it is very easy to do! In this article, we will show you step by step how to wash your laundry with soap flakes.
Step 1: Sort your laundry by color and material
Sorting by color is probably natural to you already. For material sorting, it is important to put wool, silk and microfibers aside and materials like cotton, linen or synthetic fibers and their blends on the other side. It is because we use soap flakes for all material, but wool and silk need acidic pH (similar to our hair), so we do not use soap flakes to wash them, but treat them with a special detergent designed for wool & silk, like the one from Sonett.
Step 2: Load the washing machine
Load the washing machine with the sorted clothes. Soap flakes need a bit of space for mechanical work, so keep in mind not to fill in completely to the fullest for the best washing efficacy.
Step 3: Add soap flakes directly to the drum of a washing machine
Pour the soap flakes directly into the washing machine drum on the clothes. Depending on the degree of pollution and hardness of the water, put 1-2 Tablespoons (15-30g) of soap flakes per 4-5kg of laundry. For many soap flakes brands you have to use washing soda to support their efficacy. If you need to wash at 30°C, we recommend first dissolving the flakes in warm water and then using them as a washing gel. This method is ideal for washing delicate laundry too.
Due to their composition, Alchymistky soap flakes have excellent washing ability and can be used even at lower temperatures. Advantage of washing with Alchymistky is that they contain a softening component, sodium citrate, which can handle even hard water. Sodium citrate is considerably gentler than soda, which must be added to ordinary laundry soaps to soften the water. If you suffer from eczema, then definitely prefer washing without soda.
For me personally it takes 2 Tablespoons of Alchymistky soap flakes, because I have the 8kg load washing machine and also a small toddler (so there are usually stains on his clothes). I usually wash at 40°C.
Step 4: Clothes disinfection and bleaching
For bleaching of clothes we normally use sodium percarbonate. In addition to bleaching, percarbonate has also a disinfecting effect, thanks to the released oxygen. Basic sodium percarbonate works best from 60°C, which works mainly for the bedding or towels, but if you would like to use it for clothes that need lower temperatures, it is usually advised to use “activator”, so called TAED. From a non-toxic point of view TAED is considered a compromise and we do not recommend it. But you can use percarbonate for washing from lower temperatures without adding anything to it, because it starts working with lower temperatures already, decomposing in 40°C already, just at a slower pace, so it is wise to choose longer washing program.
We recommend adding 1 Tablespoon (15g) of Perlos - high quality sodium percarbonate, to light-colored laundry and, in the case of hard water, 1 teaspoon (5g), also to colored and dark clothes. For removing stains pour sodium percarbonate directly on wet stains, leave to act for several hours, or overnight and wash. It is suitable for white and light clothes.
In my household, we use a “Perlos overnight bath”. Dissolve 2 Tablespoons of Perlos in 5 liters of warm water - around 45-50°C and add your selected laundry (it should be all in water) to brighten the white clothes or remove stains occasionally. Leave it overnight and put it in the drum for washing in the morning. This works well for the T-shirts of our toddler with food stains, or stains in the armpit area from natural deodorants.
Step 5: Fabric softener
In non-toxic washing we never use conventional fabric softener. Instead, we use citric acid or white vinegar, basic ingredients that serve as multi-purpose cleaners in your home. Pour 1 teaspoon of citric acid directly into the compartment for softener in your washing machine, you do not even need to dissolve it in water. Never pour vinegar or citric acid solution with soapy detergent directly into the washing machine drum (use the fabric softener compartment), otherwise the soap will precipitate back into oils, and the washing will be degraded.
We have great experience with and recommend using Citros from Alchymistky which is a high (food) quality citric acid.
Step 6: Adding natural fragrance to the laundry
Using pure essential oils is the solution. You can choose the scent you like (for landry the most commonly used are lavender, lemon or eucalyptus) and pour a few drops of essential oil directly to the softener compartment of your washing machine.
I normally choose lavender for bedding and towels, and lemon for clothes - pouring 8-10 drops directly to the softener department with Citros.
Now you are ready for an ecological and clean laundry washing!
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