Week 10 - 52 weeks without the supermarket

Laundry detergent for one year - $10

These simple ingredients will make enough laundry detergent to last a long time. Of course this depends on family size and frequency of washing. And it couldn't be simpler to make ! You'll need to collect some containers to store this. 2 litre plastic vinegar bottles are ideal. This recipe makes about 10 litres of liquid.

You'll need (as pictured) - Pure Soap Flakes, Washing Soda (sometimes known as Electric Soda) and Borax. Yes - that's it - only 3 ingredients ! You can also add a few drops of a favourite scent of essential oil. I usually add a few drops of pure lavender oil.

Place a cupful of the soap flakes into a saucepan and mix with 1.5 litres of water. Stir over heat until dissolved. Add half a cup of Borax and half a cup of Washing Soda to the mixture. This will become very thick as it heats. This thick mixture forms the "base" of the detergent.

Pour this mixture into a 10 litre bucket. Fill the bucket with tap water and stir well. Some of the mixture will separate, but this will not affect the end result. At this stage, I add a few drops of a favourite essential oil - usually lavender, geranium or eucalyptus.

Decant the mixture into containers and store. Do not fill containers right to the top. Leave some room to shake the detergent prior to using. Use approximately half a cup per load of washing.

*Some years back, I noticed myself always sneezing in the detergent aisle of the supermarket. I started to wonder about all the perfumes and synthetic ingredients in commercial detergents. I made a lot of soap, candles, various cleaners and detergents with my great aunts in the country, as a young child. So I decided to give it a crack - it couldn't be easier, or cheaper !