Eco friendly, MCS* friendly (& cheap!) washing “tabs”.

(*Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)

washing tabs

You will need:

Two or three bars of “vegetable oil based” soap – I used Palmolive olive oil soap, £1 for a pack of three, or thereabouts
Essential oils if you have a scent you want, but not essential as the soap will give a delicate scent.
Washing Soda Crystals – about a third of a 1kg bag (about £1 per bag)
A good sized (three pint or more) pan
1.5 pint jug
metal spoon, (or a wooden one specifically for this job)
A grater
A flexible plastic tub or a silicone baking pan
Storage container

Get your pan, and a silicone or metal spoon – if you use a wooden one, don’t use it for food again afterwards, as it will leech out soap and ruin your food!

Grate all your soap. Put a pint and a half of boiling water (from the kettle into the pan to save time and electricity), and put it on high enough a heat to keep it very hot, but don’t boil it.

Add a little of the grated soap at a time, sprinkle it on the top of the water so it doesn’t clump back up again, and gently stir it in. Do this until all your soap is dissolved into the water. This may take a little while. You can now turn off the heat under your pan.

Get yourself a jug, and put the soda crystals in, and make it up to a pint and a half – stir well. It likely won’t all dissolve just yet, but give it a good stir and pour it into your hot soap “soup”.

It should be a little thicker now than it was. Add your essential oils now if you are using them, and mix well.

While it’s still hot, pour or ladle out a layer into your baking pan, about half an inch thick. You don’t have to be exact. If it’s winter, you can place this outside or on a windowsill to cool quickly. When it’s set – you can test this by tipping the pan or pushing up the bottom – use a plastic knife to cut it into rectangles about the size of a dishwasher tab, no bigger. Or if you don’t have a plastic knife you can tip the whole thing out onto a chopping board and use a normal knife – just don’t use a normal knife on your silicone bakeware!

Just repeat this process until you have “set” and chopped up all your mix into chunks.

Stick these in a container or old ice cream tub, and use one of those little drawstring string bags, so for each load, put one or two chunks in, depending on the level of dirt on your washing. You don’t need to use fabric softener either, your clothing will come out soft without it.

I have been using these for months now. Give them a go – your health and your planet will thank you!


3 thoughts on “Eco friendly, MCS* friendly (& cheap!) washing “tabs”.

  1. I’ve just realised what may have been the problem today….it was meant to be a third of a bag of soda crystals…so I used two thirds today (what was remaining from the first batch) Oh dear! Plus I dumped the crystals into the pan without dissolving them first…I remember now I used two pints in the soap melting stage last time and then dissolved the crystals in the third pint.

    Ah well it’s all a learning curve lol. I hope this batch wash ok with them having double the soda in? What do you reckon Louise?

  2. Thank you for this recipe. I made some about three weeks ago and they turned out wonderfully. I wanted to wait and use them before I came back and commented about it. I’ve just done another batch today and learned a couple of things in the process.

    The first batch I used 3 pints of water, grated two bars of pure fragrance free vegetable soap (£1 for four bars at tesco) and on a low heat dissolved the soap. It has a tendency to clump and take a wee while before you end up with the gloopy thick water. Then I added half a bag of the soda crystals. I had intended on it being a washing liquid hence the extra water but as soon as I began pouring it in the bottle I realised it was setting very quickly and hastily I grabbed some containers to pour it in to make cubes.

    They set incredibly quickly and like I said earlier they’ve last just under three weeks saving me almost £20 in washing powder!!!

    So today…full of confidence because it worked so well last time. I used the same ratio but at one stage I got a bit distracted and managed to boil the liquid for a few seconds. I also thought it seemed a bit thick so added another half a pint of water. So I started to pour it into my containers to set but realised quickly I didn’t have enough containers so whilst I rooted around for more I put the gloop back on a low heat as there was a whole load stuck to the jug I was using that had set on the glass…so I ‘melted’ it again and poured it into the extra containers.

    Either the boiling it, or the extra water or the re’melting’ it caused a problem because when I cut it into cubes there was a very watery residue on them all…the last lot of containers the worst…so I had to drain that off. But the cubes are still pretty firm but with a wet coating.

    As to the way they wash…BRILLIANT! I notice my clothes are softer as if I’ve put a fabric softener in…there’s no fragrence which is good! I did ruin my good pressure cooker pan though but I’m not bothered about that…it’s now my soap cube pan!

    Much appreciate having learned to do this. It’ll be saving us over £25 a month in powder…I’m well chuffed.

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