Recipes for a healthy home

Recipes for a healthy home

In her new book, Wendyl Nissen shares her recipes for fresh, clean laundry without the harsh chemicals that can be in commercial products. 


Natural Laundry liquid

This mixture is easy and fast to make. It will keep you going for ages and it works just as well in cold as in hot water. For the budget version use Sunlight soap - you’re still doing less harm to the environment than using commercial cleaners - but for a really nice version use Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap. For a pleasant fragrance add lavender or use eucalyptus oil, which is great for washing woollens. 

You will need
+  ½ bar or 60 g Castile or vegetable based or Sunlight soap, grated
+  1.5 litres water 
+  ½ cup washing soda 
+  ¼ cup borax 
+ 6 litres hot water
+  20 drops lavender or eucalyptus 
+ essential oil (optional) 

Place the soap in a saucepan with the first quantity of water and heat on low until the soap is dissolved. Stir in the washing soda and borax. Stir for a few minutes until thickened, then remove from heat. (If you’re using Castile or vegetable-based soap it will not thicken straight away, but don’t worry, it will thicken overnight in the bottles). 

Pour one litre of hot water into a bucket. Add the soap mixture and mix well. Add another five litres of hot water and mix well. If using, stir in the essential oil. Pour into old milk bottles or other containers and set aside for 24 hours or until the mixture thickens. 

Fabric fragrance 
If you’re not so fussy about having soft clothes but want a nice smell, then put about 10 drops of any essential oil into the fabric softener receptacle in your washing machine with enough white vinegar to fill it. 

Or make up this rinse:
+  1 cup baking soda 
+  1 cup white vinegar 
+  2 cups water 
+  1 tsp lemon oil 
+  1 tsp eucalyptus oil 

Mix together and store in a bottle. 

Add 1 cup to the final rinse of your wash cycle. 

Washing soda soak

I never wear new clothes without giving them a soak first to get rid of any formaldehyde or chemicals that may have been used in their preparation. This is also a handy stain remover.

You will need
+  Water
+  ½ cup washing soda

Simply soak the garments in water and washing soda overnight (the soak setting on the washing machine is good for this). This also works well if clothing has a funny smell from pesticides or anything else that may have been added.


Lemon and sunshine stain remover

For spot stain removal. 

You will need
+  Lemon juice 
+  Salt 

Squeeze lemon juice onto the stain and then rub in some salt. Place the item on some grass in direct sunlight for as long as you can, then wash as normal. Your stain should have gone - if not, repeat until it does. and set aside for 24 hours or until the mixture thickens.

People are surprised to hear I clean my house with not much more than baking soda and vinegar.

This is an edited extract from The Natural Home: Tips, Ideas and Recipes for a Sustainable Life by Wendyl Nissen. Published by Allen & Unwin.

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