If there is one thing I know, it is laundry.
Back in 1998 when I lived alone I would tromp down the 3 flights of stairs (ugh) in my apartment building where I lived alone with my 2 loads of laundry and dutifully wash and dry them in the basement machines. And I complained about that chore. Because laundry sucks. I did this chore every 2 weeks.
I. Did. Two. Loads. Every. Fourteen. Days. And. Bitched. About. It.
Ever just wanna go back in time to your past self and smack her/him in the back of the noggin?
Fast forward seventeen years later. Seven kids in. One in cloth diapers with cloth wipes. Another in cloth diapers at night. One that wets the bed. We use Family Cloth instead of toilet paper. Cloth “hankies” as my Gram calls them, instead of tissues, rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins,…..Six boys who wrestle in grass, ride bikes through puddles, play soccer in mud and simply demolish clothes, and a baby girl who is a master at grass-staining the knees of all of her pants and tights. My 1 load a week has become 3-5 loads per day. Yes. I am serious. All of you who complain about your 3-5 per week…shut your dirty mouths. My life is laundry. I never see the end. My machines are going all day long. Let’s shoot low, below reality, and say I “only” do three loads per day. In one year, my washer and dryer have done almost 2,000 loads. On top of that, is folding and put away time. the older boys do their own but that still leaves 4 kids, two adults, plus linens, towels, diapers, etc.. I put in approximately 3.5 hours per week simply folding and putting it all where it goes. That’s 182 hours a year folding clean clothes and putting that shit away. That’s 7.5 DAYS of my year every single year folding clothes and putting away. OVER A WEEK OF MY LIFE.
So, my point here is twofold, clearly. (twofold….hehehe..pun intended? mayhaps.) Anyhoozle: 1) If you ever plan on having 7 babies and being environmentally and health conscious and using cloth products for everything, join a damn nudist colony. It’ll save you a whole ton of time and money, and 2) I know a thing or two about doing laundry. Lame? Maybe But maybe I can pass on a little wisdom to you. Say, ……a detergent recipe?
This is the detergent recipe I have used for the past 4 years. And I SWEAR by it. It gets clothes flawlessly clean without any residue left over and no harsh chemicals. For more info on the most common ingredients and risk factors of prolonged exposure in most commercially sold clothing detergents you can check out this link:
My recipe is safe even for sensitive skin and infant clothing/diapers.
And cost wise: it costs $17.50 to make enough to wash 512 small/average sized loads or 256 large/heavily-soiled loads. That averages out to about 3 cents per load. In comparison, here is rundown of the lowest prices of some of the most popular powdered detergents and how many loads they wash per box:
- Cheer-$10.97-80 small loads
- Tide-$17.97-102 small loads
- Gain-$19.47-150 small loads
- Sun-$9.97-177 small loads
- Oxi-Clean-$10.84-92 small loads
So, as you can see, the homemade stuff is better for the environment, better fr you an your loved ones, and much nicer to your wallet.
Homemade Laundry Detergent (Powdered)
2 boxes of washing soda (55 oz. each)
1 small box baking soda (16 oz.)
1 bar Fels Naptha, grated (it’s a soft bar soap and grates very easily.)
1 box borax (76 oz.)
All you have to do is mix all of the ingredients together. Voila! And all you need to do is use 1 Tablespoon per load. (2 for large loads) So, if you do 1 large load daily, you can expect this stuff to last you about 8 1/2 months. Not too shabby for less than $20! Don’t expect lots of suds nor a strong perfumey scent. It simply CLEANS. If you prefer, you can add about 10 drops of tea tree oil and 15 drops of your favorite essential oil. (I use lavender. )
So, there is my laundry wisdom, imparted on you mere mortals of the laundry universe. Take, make, wash, and enjoy. 🙂