Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wash Day Woes

Oh my, it is easy to get busy, and think that “I can Blog tomorrow”, and before you know it, days have gone by, and you realize that if you don’t “just do it”, you will not get back to it, and another project started will fall by the wayside, unfinished. It is the same way with resolutions, or life changing determinations that we make, whether as we start a new year or a new chapter in our life.

Our brutal weather seems to have dissipated, at least for the time being, and the frozen pipes that kept me from the chore of laundry have thawed, only to reveal that my old washer has given up the ghost, and we were off to find its replacement.

After weighing our options, a little wheeling and dealing, and diligently looking at energy and water efficiency levels, we arrived at the choice of a front loading machine without all of the fancy bells and whistles which kept it within budget.

So now a good reason to clean out the laundry room, as it will be delivered on Saturday, so I can check off another “to do” on my get organized list, by completing the laundry room task out of necessity.

Have you every watched the TLC show, “19 Kids and Counting?” a lovely family named the Duggars, out of Arkansas share how they live their lives with a family brood of 19 children! They have no debt, and have a wonderful philosophy, don’t buy new, buy used and save the difference……………..I am trying that as my new shopping mantra, maybe not on everything, but on many things.

On a past episode they shared that they make their own laundry soap, so I’m am searching out their formula and shall give it a try. I just hate paying so much for laundry soap filled with chemicals I can’t even pronounce that I know hurt the environment, and in containers that are mostly not recycled. So I shall attempt my hand at soap making, and will share the recipe and results in a future blog!

If you happen upon my blog, and you like what you read, please share with a friend, and as always, feel free to leave your comments.

‘til tomorrow, Stormy


  1. What a lovely blog, here I am with my cup 'o tea with a good friend, you :)

    Homemade fabric softener

    Buy liquid fabric softener such as Downy - I just bought the Walmart brand in a cardboard refill carton.

    Pour about 1/2 cup in a plastic container (I used a 48 oz quick trip cup)

    Add water to fill the cup 3/4 of the way full & stir it up.
    Add 3 or 4 clean cellulose sponges - if they are large, cut them in half.
    When you get ready to put clothes in the dryer, Squeeze one of the sponges lightly (leave some liquid in it) and toss it in the dryer with your clothes.
    It's a re-usable dryer sheet, and works better than the regular dryer sheets you can buy. When you take clothes out of the dryer, toss the sponge back in your fabric softener cup.

    One jug of fabric softener will last a LONG time when used this way.

    Homemade dry laundry soap

    The fels naphta is around $2 and the washing soda slightly more.
    Look for the washing soda across the aisle from the laundry detergent. It is made by Arm & Hammer.

    I have a dry recipe that I use so I don't have to mess with the liquid.

    1 bar fels naphta
    1 cup washing soda
    1 cup borax

    Process the fels naphta in the food processor 'til powdered then add other ingredients. Use 1 Tbsp. per load. You could also add Oxy Clean, but it would increase your cost.

    Liquid laundry soap

    > Here is the recipe I use. If you can't find fels naptha soap, you
    can use a bar of ivory soap, but fels cleans better.
    > Another homemade laundry detergent

    > one bar of Fels Naptha grated into small amount of water and melted.

    > Two cups of Washing Soda, put into a five gallon bucket.

    > One cup of Borax, add to the bucket.
    > Pour melted Fels Naptha into the bucket.

    > Add hot water to the bucket upto two inches away from the top. This
    is so that when you stir the soap it won't slosh out of the bucket.
    > I have the bucket in the bathtub and then I don't have a mess.
    > Let this sit over night, stiring it thruout the day occasionally
    (when you think about it) and it is ready to use.
    > It will turn to a gel, just stir it up and use.

    > This always works with my hard water. I have been using this recipe
    for over five years now.I don't have to use any fabric softener
    either to soften my clothes and I am very picky about the softness of
    my clothes.

    > Good luck to any one who trys it.

    > I use one cup of the soap per load, for extra muddy clothes I use a
    little more.

  2. Thank you for your lovely words and for sharing your great wash day recipes! Hope you stop in again soon..................Stormy

  3. This is the recipe I use, it's Mrs. Duggar's $2/40 loads Laundry Soap & Softener Recipe;

    I watched the episode when the Duggar girls made laundry soap, and if you have watched the Duggar's show on TLC, you will notice that all the kid's clothes, especially the boys, are really clean and seriously those boys know how to play and get dirty!

    Michelle uses Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. She recommends that you don't use heavily perfumed soaps. They buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost: approximately $2.

    Homemade liquid laundry soap

    4 cups hot tap water
    1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
    1 cup washing soda
    ½ cup Borax

    Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

    Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

    Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (It will gel.) I SAVED MINE THAT HAD THE BUTTON DISPENSER AND IT'S OWN MEASURING CUP, IT SITS ON THE SHELF ABOVE MY WASHER.

    Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per two gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

    Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons. Top-load machine: 5/8 cup per load (approximately 180 loads). Front-load machine: ¼ cup per load (approx. 640 loads).

    If you prefer powder soap, here's her recipe for that:

    Powdered laundry detergent

    1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
    1 cup washing soda
    ½ cup Borax

    Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use one tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons. Yields: three cups detergent (approximately 40 loads).

    Inexpensive fabric softener recipes

    Recipe No. 1: Add one cup white vinegar to rinse cycle. Works great. Removes residue and odors. Also helps to keep washing machine and hoses fresh and clean too.

    Recipe No. 2:
    1 container of name-brand fabric softener
    4 inexpensive sponges, cut in half

    Pour a whole container of softener into a five-gallon bucket. Fill empty softener container with water twice (two parts water to one part softener). Add sponges to softener/water mixture. When ready to use, wring out extra mixture from one sponge and add to the dryer as you would a dryer sheet.

    I love this one for several reasons: one it works really well, and you don't have those used dryer sheets to throw away, less trash is always a good thing!

    So start your New Year as frugal and resourceful farmgirl.....make your own laundry soaps!