Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blah, blah, blah.... and some laundry room fun

First, I feel like I owe some kind of explanation. This blog has been sorely neglected lately, and although I know many of you haven't noticed one bit, I know that some Grandmas probably have noticed! I feel like I've been on a whirlwind adventure (against my will) since Christmas, at least. Maybe even since the holiday rush before Christmas. First it's holiday busy, then it's winter doldrums and sick kids, next it's morning sickness, and now it's "spring's not quite here" doldrums and everybody's sick.

On that subject, I hereby declare that this has been our sickest winter yet (since adding kiddos to the mix), and I'm really struggling to keep a content spirit in the midst of it. I know that these present afflictions are for our good and growth in godliness, but currently, I am mostly growing in grumpiness! And it's pretty ridiculous too, because the girls don't seem to mind their coughs and fevers much at all. And really, Eric is no complainer. But, me? The head cold is driving me a little batty! God is making us depend on Him, and nothing else... no home remedies, no ammount of nutritious cooking, no super foods, or healthy habits. If all these things (which I am constantly attempting) met the mark, I suppose I would be full of pride and self reliance, which would lead me far from my Father's throne. So, here I come to the throne... kicking and screaming... wanting a good night's sleep and to put the thermometer away for the season. Lord, help me!

So, does that explain why I haven't been blogging lately? I've been busy, and when I haven't been busy I've been indulging in self-pity over minor ailments. What a woman!

Let's move on to some fun stuff!

Last week, I ran out of the Trader Joe's powdered laundry detergent that I've been using for the past two months. For over a year now, I've been on some kind of quest to find the right marriage of affordability/effectiveness/environmentally friendly/allergen free in my laundry detergent, trying many different brands. As I perused the scores of lesser known laundry soaps and detergents available on-line, I learned a little about the ingredients that go into these cleaners. And after lots of Internet browsing, I discovered a little known allergen: detergent. Apparently, in days gone by (like, 50 yrs. ago) detergent was unheard of, and soap was used. Now days, detergent is all we know, but according to some people (this is not conclusive research, folks) detergents can be very irritating to the skin, and even cause asthma. So, now I am embarking on a mission to make my own, detergent free laundry soap.

I found this recipe many months ago, but didn't give it a try because I wanted to use up the various detergents I had been trying. Now that I took the plunge and did it, I will never go back! I am happy, happy, happy about the cost (about a penny per load!), about the ease of making it (15 min.), and utterly happy about how clean our clothes are.

Shameless Personal Testimony: A few days ago, Eva had a bloody nose in bed, and before I figured out what was happening, there was blood ALL OVER her white and floral sheets, white down comforter, lavender pajamas, and pillow. I admit to throwing in a scoop of oxi-clean with each load, but the combination of cold water + oxi-clean + homemade laundry soap COMPLETELY removed the blood. That is better than I can say for any of the other detergents I've tried lately!

So, here's the scoop (pun intended:): Grate 1/3 of a bar of old fashioned "Fels Naptha" soap into 6 c. warm water until it dissolves.
Add 1/2 c. each Borax and Washing Soda and dissolve, add 4 c. hot water.Combine the soap/borax/washing soda with 1 gallon + 6 c. water in a bucket (mine is a 2 gallon bucket), then let it sit for 24 hours until it gels. You use 1/2 c. of watery-jelly soap per load.

So easy! This is also the recipe that the Duggar family uses (18 kids!), only they make it in much bigger batches.

I have to add this caveat, I am not absolutely certain that this is the ultimate in natural, allergen free laundry soap. But it's a lot better than most, especially for the cost. By the way, all the ingredients were easily found at my local grocery store.

Give it a try, and tell me what you think!


Erin said...

I like! But, there has got to be a better way to store it. If I make my own, I'm not hauling an open pail of laundry detergent around the apartment complex.
ps- isn't this why the Bible says rejoice in our trials and be very glad?
love you, my humble-enough-to-admit-it-online sister.

Ryan Patenaude said...

You may not believe me, but I have been intending on writing a post about laundry detergent... a penny per load!? This seems impossible. We just committed the next 6 years to 11 cents per load. We like it--and it is easy to store.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Becca. I am with you on trying to make a chemical free home and laundry detergent and dryer sheets are notorious toxins. I also want to go scent free so this is great. Let me know if you have any other cleaning agent recipes! My only trick is vinegar in the rinse water to combat winter static clinge. Becky Wetterling