Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Laundry Love

Laundry. It is never done, is it? And that is okay now. I've shifted my thinking from chores being done to being done for now. Reoccurring household tasks are managed instead of finished. The weight of never having anything finished is lessened for me. For I am certain we will continue to wear clothes & eat off of dishes. The kitchen that is all cleaned up from one meal will be quickly undone with the next.

I find that typically doing laundry twice a week works well for me. Once a week laundry was too much to complete easily and had us scrambling for matching tops and bottoms by the seventh morning. A load a day didn't work because I usually forgot it either in the washer or dryer and there wasn't always enough for a light or dark load.

To add to the fun our laundry room is the far end of the guest powder room and the only bathroom downstairs. Nice. Because doesn't everyone want visitors to see all the laundry all the time? I am thinking this layout was designed by a man. It is a narrow, long space with hardly room to turn around, especially with a laundry basket in hand.

I divided the bathroom side from the laundry side with a lace curtain hung on a tension rod. Of course, I know people peek around the curtain, but at least it is better than nothing. I decided a few years ago to try and make the space more pleasant to look at and so I hung all sorts of little things that make me smile including Scripture I need to be reminded of throughout my days. Might as well look at something nice.

A few weekends ago Sweetheart added some shelving for me which has really helped out a lot! Since the room also holds my flour mill and buckets of grain, I need to be able to use every inch of space. He widened the existing shelf and added two more for now. What a difference.

Now, I have a place to store not just my laundry things, but also my oils and some of my stuff for making lotions and balms. I love it. Having everything together was helpful the other day when I needed to make more laundry detergent.

I wrote before about making detergent. It is so easy and takes so little effort. One can hardly call it "making" detergent as it is just assembling ingredients at this point. I stopped making it in gel for a couple of reasons. One, it seemed to dry out in the bucket I used because I had no lid. Second, I was in a hurry one day and didn't want to wait for it to gel up. Poor planning on my part, but oh well.

Now, I just grate and stir. I added lavender essential oil to this huge batch and it adds a subtle, but lovely fragrance to the whole room when I wash. I made a quadruple batch that I believe will last for months.

I grated eight bars of Ivory soap to 4 cups of borax and 4 cups of washing soda. I added some lavender oil though it is not necessary. That is it. Use about a teaspoon per load and you are done. I figure this batch will last for months. (I wrote a note with the amounts and dates on it so I can keep track of how long it lasts for future reference.)

Why am I doing this? It is cheap, works great, and only has a light fragrance to it. It also doesn't contain all sorts of things that I can't even pronounce. Some one else figured out that it costs about three cents a load to use. Can't beat that! Once we get our own soaps made, I will use that in place of the Ivory.

There is a soap called Fels Naptha some people swear by, but I can't seem to find it. That said, do be aware that washing soda and baking soda are not identical. Sweetheart found this link that tells you how to make washing soda from baking soda, but I haven't tried it out myself. I wanted to pass it on though as washing soda is not always easy to find.

Now, if only the dishes just had to be done twice a week...


Bonnie said...

ooh ooh ooh! I am going to have to try making washing soda, since I can't seem to get it anywhere- THANK-YOU for that link!

mary said...

Kimberly, if there is a King Soopers near you, they stock fels naptha soap as well as another kind of washing soap. They also carry both Borax and the washing soda in their laundry aisle.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you use only a teaspoon? Hard to believe, but then I have a tendency to use too much detergent in the wash. I do use baking soda in the wash cycle and vinegar in the rinse. I'm going to try this and see how it works. Detergent is getting so expensive in the store and the bottles keep shrinking.

Raquel said...

Kimberly - thanks for this "recipe" I am going to try it, I know I can get borax and I saw washing soda the other day. I usually use Tide, but the price has nearly doubled since the economic downturn. Your boys are sure cute! Have a good one - Raquel XO

zenmasterlauren said...

oh I think this is a wonderful idea! you could package a small bit up as part of a hostess gift too ---I may have to try this!

The Bauman Family said...

Kimberly, you don't know me but I have been following your blog for a few months reading your past posts. I live in Rifle CO not to far from your former Denver :)I have gotten very excited to start making some of these things and was fixing to go the store to buy supplies for your laundry soap (previous) when I found this updated post.... so this is a dry soap right? and you really only need 1 teaspoon??? And one more question... does anyone prefer naptha soap over ivory?

Kimberly said...

It is dry and I do use just a teaspoon. I am still using ivory, but will use homemade once we've got that down. I have never tried the FN simply bc the stores near me didn't sell it.

Hannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hannah said...

I was so pleased to find this recipe for home-made laundry powder. I am always looking for cruelty-free, eco-friendly cleaning products. I made a batch two weeks ago, following your instructions to the letter. I'd like to share my experiences. I quickly discovered that 1tsp was nowhere near enough to get my clothes properly clean. I am now using 1 tbsp, and my things are still not as clean as I would like (and I don't have super-high standards!). This powder has trouble removing even simple stains, and my clothes are dull. I have a pile building up of things that will need soaking to get properly clean. I am disappointed, and will use what I've made then find another solution.


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