According to the German society for nature conversation “NABU”, today we produce 400 million tons of plastic every year and more than 75 percent of sea waste is plastic. Most products of daily use contain plastic ingredients, which in the end all too often do not find their way back to professional waste management facilities and ending up in the environment. Enough reasons to avoid plastic in our everyday life and live zero waste.

Have you ever thought of making your own liquid detergent – no? Then have a look at the tutorial below. It will introduce you to cheap and easy way to avoid a big share of your daily plastic use.

What do you need?

You can find all of these ingredients in your local drugstore or even better at a local store where you can buy your shopping unpacked.

  • 20g curd soap
  • 20g bile soap
  • 3l of water
  • 4 tablespoons of washing soda (it is also called/ chemical compound sodium carbonate)
  • 4 tablespoons of citric acid
  • 5 drops of essential oils – You can choose the smell you personally prefer.

Work materials

  • Empty bottle or an old detergent dispenser
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Grater
  • Kettle
  • Hand blender

First Step

First of all, grate the curd soap and the bile soap with the grater. If you use a knife, shred the soap a bit more cautious to avoid any injuries.

Grated soap. (Photo: Hanna Pralle)

Second Step

Now put 2 liters of water in the pot and add the shredded soaps plus the washing soda. Afterwards take the whisk and scramble everything. Then the mixture has to boil up briefly. When everything is hydrolyzed your liquid detergent is nearly done.

Tip: Use a big pot for boiling. Sometimes the mixture is foaming while you briefly boil it. With a big pot, you won’t have a flooded area in your kitchen.

Third Step

Now the soap mixture has to cool down for about two hours until it is jelly-like. If you like, you could add some of the third liter of water. It depends on how thick you would like the detergent to be. When adding some more water, use the hand blender to mix everything. For a pleasant smell you can drop some of your favorite essential oil and also add the citric acid. For the essential oil I choose Lavender. 

liquid detergent
Adding the essential oil for a good smell. (Photo: Hanna Pralle)

Fourth Step

The last step is to decant your liquid detergent into a bottle or your detergent dispenser. Be aware of that the mixture will go a bit lumpy which is normal. Just shake it before using your self-made detergent the first time.

Tip: Let mixture cool down completely before adding the rest of the water and decanting it. Otherwise you will have a big lump in a bottle.

Now you got an insight on living zero waste and how easy it is to avoid plastic by making your first homemade liquid detergent.

Check out our zero waste articles for more inspiration!