Monday, April 19, 2010

Laundry Days and a Recipe

Well, you all know me, I'm always trying something new out. If you've followed my blog for any length of time you will have read my attempts at homemade dishwasher soap and laundry detergents. My last attempt at a homemade laundry soap didn't turn out well. I felt like the grated soap didn't dissolve in the wash and just left a soap scum on my clothes. So I sort of gave up. But then I ran out of laundry soap. I had a box of Borax, Washing Soda and a bar of Fels Naptha, so... I tried a new recipe. One that is liquid. And I love it. It works well. I've been using it now for several weeks and the clothes are all nicely cleaned. Smell really nice and are soft. I'll post the recipe below.
The other thing I've been experimenting with is fabric softners or something to make the clothes smell yummy when they come out of the dryer. I tried making some lavender sachets and putting them in the dryer. It worked for a while, but not too long. I tried Dryer Balls-I didn't find them to do much of anything except to make lots of noise and they clunked around in the dryer. My latest try has been a relative success. I bought a bottle of inexpensive fabric softner. Poured a bit into a small bucket with a lid and then dilluted it with a bunch of water. I put two washclothes into the mixture and let them soak. Now, when I am ready to dry my clothes, I simply get a soaked washcloth out of the mixture, wring it out and toss it into the dryer. My clothes smell wonderful!
Lastly I've been trying my hand at doing laundry on a daily basis rather than twice a week. Every Monday and Thursday I'd be doing laundry laundry laundry and it was so tiring! I have developed sort of a system now. I have baskets for each of the kids rooms and one for my room for dirty clothes. Each morning the kids bring me their dirt clothes baskets and their trash can and I get mine from my room. It works really well. I do a load a day. Sometimes two.

Here’s the recipe for the laundry soap:
1/2 cup Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer, NOT Baking Soda)
1/2 cup Borax (20 Mule Team)
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap (Zote is good, too.) (grated)

• In a large pot, heat 3 pints of water. Add the grated bar soap and stir until melted.
Then add the washing soda and borax. Stir until powder is dissolved, then remove from heat.
• In a 2 gallon clean pail, pour 1 quart of hot water and add the heated soap mixture.
Top pail with cold water and stir well.
• Let it sit, covered, for 24 hours before use.
• Use 1/2 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel, somewhat).
• The 2-gallons will do appx. 64 loads of wash. Here are some hints:

Soap will be lumpy, goopy and gel-like. This is normal. Just give it a good stir before each and every use. Make sure soap is covered with a lid when not in use. You could also pour the homemade soap in old (and cleaned) laundry detergent bottles and shake well before each use.

For scented detergent, you can add between 10 to 15 drops of essential oil (per 2 gallons) to your homemade laundry detergent. Add once the soap has cooled to room temperature. Stir well and cover.
Essential oil ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

Enjoy! Happy laundry days!


  1. I use ivory soap and put my in old laundry soap containers while the soap is still warm. Putting the soap in small containers helps prevent lumps after shaking it.

  2. Yeah, once we move, I'm going to start doing laundry every day (well, about 5 days a week, unless I need to do diapers on Sunday, which would make 6 days). We'll have a laundry chute, and I'm going to send the clothes down it every night, then in the morning before breakfast run down, sort those clothes from the day before, and start the first load. I think I'll only need to do 1-2 loads a day this way.

    The well on the place we're buying doesn't produce a lot, so I'll need to space things like laundry out. Also, if and when I get pregnant again, it will be nice not to have to make multiple trips down the stairs to the laundry room in one day just to get it all done!

  3. a laundry chute sounds nice, Lisa!
    It def. is nice to space it out. I do 1-2 loads a day, 5 days a week. it helps! it's not so overwhelming