Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Laundry anyone?

Laundry is the bane of my existence. Ok, that might be a little dramatic, but seriously, I spend more time on our wardrobes than I care to admit on a blog. With 5 people (one who is Addilyn who goes through at least 2 outfits a day) 2 kittens and 2 dogs (yes, I know they don't wear clothing, but they do get it dirty) laundry take a bit of my time.

I try to be "green". This isn't a political statement, it is the same respect and care issue that every thing else is. God gave me a home and children which I do my best to care for, He has also in trusted us with the care of the earth He created as our home. I will teach my children to do there best to care for everything God has given them.

This brings me to the actual act of doing laundry and being a good steward of the other thing God has put in my trust, money. I wash on cold, unless it is a load of whites and then I use warm. Much of the energy cost in doing laundry is heating the water and clothing will last longer if not always washed on hot. I use my clothing line. This is also better for the life of the clothes and cuts energy and cost. And my kids like to help and it makes my whites really bright. Now, I am making my own laundry soap. Notice I didn't say detergent, and here is why:

-Detergent is a petroleum based product, soap is natural
-Sensitive skin. Detergents (like Tide or even Free and Clear) come with all kinds of extra chemicals and fragrance. My soap doesn't so it doesn't cause reactions. Eczema anyone?
-Detergents can build up in your clothing, soap is clean washing
- Less waste, no big boxes and no factory making my soap.
- Ok, my big reason is it is soooo much cheaper and when you do a couple of loads a day, this matters.

You want to try it, I know you do. It is easy. It works well. It's "green". Come on. Everyone is doing it. Ok, maybe not everyone. Maybe only your slightly nutty, crunchy friend Gretchen who does odd things like making her own yogurt and cloth diapering her children. Here is the recipe for those brave enough.

1/2 bar of grated soap (Ivory or Fels Naptha)
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda (not baking soda)

I found all my ingredients at King Soopers. All you have to use is 1 T. per load or 2 T. if a really big load thats really dirty. You can also add a scoop of Oxy clean. Go to Arm and Hammer's web site and print a $1 off coupon. This doesn't make bubbles so it works for your front loader. The only reason detergent bubbles is because they put additives in it to make suds because we for some reason believe we need bubbles to make things clean.

What about stain fighting and clothes softening? Use a drop or two of Original Dawn on stains, you will be amazed. It is great on those random grease spots. Throw a little white vinegar in your Downy ball for cloth softener. No, you won't smell like pickles. The sent drys out. Has your family been sick lately? Disinfect everything with a 10 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract in your vinegar, it is stronger than bleach when it comes to antiviral and antibacterial.

Go, be green, feel good about your laundry. Ok, maybe not "good", who really feel good about laundry?!


Denise said...

I feel good about laundry; I love doing laundry. I even loved it when all the boys were little. I know, weird; Aunt Darlene and I think it's an Italian thing. I'm gonna try the laundry soap.

Erin Rosfeld said...

I've been making our laundry soap for a couple years now. It's great! I also use wool dryer balls to help make my clothes soft. :)
I haven't tried the Grapefruit seed extract, but will now.
I have used Zote soap too and was pleased (it smells a little more like citronella). And I totally scored this last week when we were back in Kansas. They had the Fels Naptha soap on sale for $0.25 a bar. I bought all they had. :)

Honeycutt Family said...

I have to admit that I kind of like doing laundry too (not the folding so much, though). I will claim that it is because I am Italian, like Denise! :)

I just might try making my own soap....thanks for the recipe!

Denise said...

Yep, we knew it was an Italian thing...passed on for generations in the DNA but I think only to the women and that's where our family starts lacking.

McHam Family said...

You are a total rock star.