He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

03 November 2010

How We Live Clean: Laundry

At the moment, our laundry regime hasn't changed too much since we started switching over our cleaning supplies to more healthy/eco friendly options. I know, shame on me! My reason: I found too many good deals before the switch and am still trying to use them up. Darn that Costco! However...  we are finally starting to see the bottom of the barrel and have a few recipes lined up to use/try. 

The one thing that HAS changed is that we no longer use dryer sheets. I grew up using them but never loved the cost of them and noticed that they sometimes left waxy residue on my clothes. I have always loved the smell that they have too. So fresh! But the reality is, the scents in dryer sheets are natural, they're manufactured which means chemicals, which means that stuff is touching my kids' skin all day {from clothes to towels to sheets and blankets}! 
Our solution? White distilled vinegar. I put 1/2-3/4 cup into the fabric softener cup in my top-loading washer with each load and that is all. Our clothes are never crunchy, the underarms of Hub's t-shirts no longer yellow or get hard {the shirts that were hard and crunchy from his antipersperant softened from their rock-like state}, we don't deal with static in our loads AND if I take too long to get back to my laundry, the vinegar fights off the mildew so I don't have to rewash the whole load. I really love this stuff. 

Now, lots of people ask me about the smell and yes, the washer does smell like vinegar when I switch the load to the dryer, but once dry, the smell is gone completely. And no, I've been out in the rain, have gotten very wet, and have NOT noticed a vinegar smell. 

Moving on. 
Laundry detergent is next. A friend told me about this recipe. I have all the ingredients and as soon as my huge tubs-o-detergent are used up from Costco I will be moving on to this. I've heard great things from lots of people. I will soon know the name of all the ingredients in my wash AND it costs pennies per load. {The recipe below is for liquid detergent. There is also a powder version on their link.}

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- front or top load machine
4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar {or any pure soap bar}
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super 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 5 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. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 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 (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

 *Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online  Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent 

Want More Direction?
YouTube has a video straight from the Duggar's home on how they make it but you can find several different videos by searching "homemade laundry soap".
This is another video I've looked at a few times with much more specific instructions.

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