Eco tip: do your own laundry with ivy!

Everyone knows ivy, this sometimes invasive creeper that dresses up our homes and our trees! But did you know that it is possible to make natural laundry detergent? Indeed, the ivy with the botanical name Hedera helix contains in its leaves a substance called “saponin” (from the Latin sapo which means soap), and which is a natural antibacterial detergent, perfect for doing your own laundry!

Ivy Detergent: Economical and Ecological!

Ivy is a very good alternative to conventional chemical detergent. Thanks to this very easy to find plant you can wash your clothes in a natural and ecological way and save money! These leaves contain between 5 and 8% saponin and it is this substance with a foaming and detergent action that makes it a detergent. It is therefore this substance that we try to extract from the leaves of the ivy to make laundry.

The recipe for ivy detergent, step by step:

Ingredients: 100 grams of ivy leaves, 1 liter of water and a few drops of essential oils (optional). Utensils: Gloves, bottle, chisel, old saucepan, wooden spatula, slotted spoon, funnel and cloth

1. Pick 100 g of ivy leaves (by hand or with scissors). Be sure to wear gloves as the sheet contains allergenic substances that can irritate your skin.

2. Run the leaves under running water to remove impurities (insects, dust, etc.) and cut the ivy leaves into small pieces.

3. Then put the leaves in a pan with 1 liter of water. Bring to a boil (stirring occasionally) and cook for another 15 minutes (this time over low heat).

5. Remove from heat and let the decoction macerate for about 24 hours. This maceration time allows the saponin to separate from the leaves and mix with the water.

6. At the end of these 24 hours, remove the leaves from the pan with a slotted spoon. Squeeze the leaves by hand. You will notice that this action creates foam.

7. Get your funnel, a piece of cloth and your container. Insert the substance into the funnel to filter out impurities and pour the preparation into the bottle. Now your detergent is ready to use!

Usage Tips: You can add a few drops of essential oils to perfume your bedding. Shake the bottle before use. One glass is enough for one wash. The preparation has a shelf life of about 3 weeks without preservatives.

I hope this recipe has reconciled you with this wild plant that is despised and too often mistakenly considered “weeds”! And you, have you ever tried the ivy detergent, don’t hesitate to leave a comment to tell us about it.