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Windermere Weekend

A free and natural alternative to washing powder

Every now and then, my skin gets a bit itchy / sensitive. I think it's caused by the chemicals in my laundry powder. I tend to use a non-biological powder, but my skin is still sensitive to them from time to time.

I'd heard about some potential alternatives. Someone said about vinegar - apparently it doesn't smell on your clothes after. I have a flatmate that uses an 'Ecozone' ball that apparently does 250 washes with some beads/beans in - read more here if you like.

I'd also heard about ivy soap. And seeing as pretty much every tree and wall in the UK has I've growing up it, I thought I'd give it a shot.

Step 1:

I went outside (headtorch on, it was dark) and gathered around 100-120 English Ivy leaves, with a bag and a pair of scissors from the garden. It took me five minutes to collect enough leaves.

Step 2:

I chopped the leaves up a little with a knife and chopping board, then put them into a large pan with 2 litres of water (you could half this recipe if you didn't have a pan big enough).

Step 3:

I simmered the chopped up leaves for around 20-30 minutes, then turned the hob off and left the leaves in the water overnight.

Step 4:

The next day, I used a ladle to get the liquid (but not the leaves) from the pan, put and this the liquid into a measuring jug so that I could easily pour it into some reusable (and reused) bottles.

I ended up with two and a bit bottles, so around 1.25 litres of the soap.

I have been putting around 150ml in the drawer where I usually put the washing powder before each wash, so this should last me around 8 washes. I've also replaced my fabric softner with the 'Ecover' brand. Hopefully my clothes will stay fresh and clean, my skin will be less irritated and I will feel a little happier about using some natural products straight from the garden rather than continuing to add to Proctor & Gamble's >$80billion of sales per year.

If you decide to try it for yourself, let me know over on social media:

Other Resources:

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