Washing powder is used to clean clothes. It works in exactly the same way as soap.
WHAT YOU NEED
You will need to following things:
- A bowl and spoon (or mortar and pestle if you have one)
- A bottle or jar to store your washing powder
You will need the following ingredients:
- 2 or 3 bars of hand soap
- Washing soda – if you cannot buy washing soda you can make your own from baking soda
- (Baking soda if you’re making your own washing soda)
- Lemon essential oil (optional)
MAKING YOUR OWN WASHING SODA
Baking soda is the chemical sodium bicarbonate. It has the symbol NaHCO3. Washing soda is the chemical sodium carbonate. It has the symbol Na2CO3. At high temperatures baking soda becomes washing soda by a chemical reaction.
2NaHCO3 + heat -> Na2CO3 + H2O + CO2
To make this reaction happen you need to heat the baking powder to 200oC. It will then “decompose” into washing soda. The reagent of this reaction is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). The products are sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), water (H2O) and carbon dioxide gas (CO2).
- Fill a tray or pan with baking soda. It should be about ½ inch thick.
- Heat on a stove or fire or if possible in an oven. It should heat for 1 hour.
- Stir the powder 2 or 3 times.
- You will know it’s ready when it looks different.
WARNING: Washing soda is a very strong base. It is caustic and corrosive which means it might burn your skin. Wear gloves when using washing soda. Do not breathe in the dust!
HOW TO MAKE WASHING POWDER
- Make your own washing soda from baking soda if you need to.
- Cut up your bars of soap as small as you can.
- Using your spoon and bowl grind the cut up soap until it looks like a powder. This will be easier if the soap is very hard and cool.
- Mix equal part of ground soap and washing soda together.
- Store your washing powder in a bottle or jar.
Your washing powder can be used to wash clothes. It shouldn’t be used without gloves because it can hurt your skin.