Monday, October 21, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I started making my own laundry detergent when we decided to try cloth diapering the girls. Cloth diapers require "special" (read "expensive"),  detergent. I started seeing where other parents were just making their own. So, I gave it a try and turns out, it's great detergent for ALL our clothes and can be made at a fraction of the price I was paying for name brand detergent (even after coupons)!

Here is the recipe I found & love on How Does She:
  • 1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle
  • 1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle
  • 1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle
  • 2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle (You can also use Fels Naptha)
  • 1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle

    Some people add:
  • 4 Bottles of Scentsy Washer Whiffs- found online or through a Scentsy Representative

  • OR
  • 2 Bottles of Purex Crystals Fabric Enhancer- Found in the detergent aisle

    *I do NOT add these. My preference is to have zero fragrances in our detergent. Fragrance = Chemicals in my opinion. We are not totally chemical free in our household, but I figure where the babies are concerned, the less, the better!
    1. Open all  powders and pour into a large tub. You can see my tub in the background. Alternating layers of the powders is the easiest way to mix. Then stir with a big wooden spoon.
    2. Use a cheese grater or food processor to grate the bars of laundry soap. Once grated set outside in the sun for a day to let it dry out. This helps it to not clump once mixed in with the powders. It also helps with dissolving in the washer.
    This is a huge mixing bowl although it doesn't seem like it in the picture! I have used Fels Naptha in the past and like it, but it was not in stock this week, so I'm giving Zote a try. Not sure the Hersband is going to appreciate the pink, but I think it's pretty!
    So this is how much you have once all mixed. I keep1/3 without the grated soap because cloth diapers can't be washed with soap. (long, boring does end in stripping...but not the kind you were wishing for!)
    We use 2-3 tablespoons per load in our front loading HE washer. I marked a spot on the scoop to help. I throw the clothes in, then toss the detergent right on top of the clothes and whaa-laa! Cheap, great, homemade laundry detergent cleaned clothes!
    So you are probably wondering:
    How cheap? About $20-$25 (depending on coupons)
    How many loads will this amount wash? Not sure on the exact number of loads but our last batch lasted us right at 10 months for our family of 5. Remember, you are only using about 2 tablespoons.
    How clean? Well, it cleans all our clothes, everyday, nice work & play clothes just as well as it cleans the girls' poopy diapers & Hersband's work clothes with rubber/carbon black on them from her manufacturing job.  

    Thursday, October 10, 2013

    Back to the Future

    Writing prompt for this week: There's a DeLorian in your driveway and you can use it to travel through time. Where do you go and why?

    This was an easy answer for me. I've already considered this idea too many times in the past 6 years. It’s not a matter of which point in time to travel, it’s the task that is the focus. I would go back to the early 1990’s, it would be a day in December when we were out of school for holiday break. These two weeks out of each year were a time when my mother had focus on nothing else but family. She was always a good listener, but she was the best listener during this time.

    In the middle of this nostalgic time, when I had her best, most focused attention I would tell her that I knew what her future held. I would first establish credibility by telling her of events to come, a timeline of tragedies and notable moments. I would give specific dates & details so that she could not question the validity of what I was about to tell her. April, 19 1995 the OKC bombing, August 31, 1997 Princess Diana dies, May 3, 1999 one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in history hits central Oklahoma, September 11, 2001….you get the picture. I would write these events on a note, in my own writing, so she later couldn’t question that she had written them in a dream.

    After establishing credibility, I would tell her of her future, her future if she didn’t stop smoking. How her first grandchild would be a girl, a girl she would adore, but wouldn’t get to see grow past Kindergarten. How my sister would give her a second grandchild, a boy who she barely knew past his 1st birthday. I would tell her that if she didn’t stop smoking, she would be diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer while I was 6 months pregnant with my first child and she would only know him 17 short weeks before she would pass from this world. I would add that I go on to have twin girls in 2012, and one carries her middle name, the other her smile. 

    Nana & Pumpkin 2 weeks before she passed.
    She told me once that she believed her purpose in life was to be a great teacher and a grandmother.  I will tell her that, I will tell her she did not fulfill her purpose. I will make her sad, make her cry, make her understand what is at stake, what she threw away with both hands while fumbling in the wind & cold outside so many times to smoke that cigarette. The task, not the time would be my laser focus for the trip in the DeLorian. I will make her see & feel her future and want so much more than she had, because it was always here for the taking.

    See what my other blogging friends wrote in response to this week’s prompt here.