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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Laundry on the line & detergent recipe

Our dryer died a few weeks ago.  Thankfully, my sister had one just sitting around that we could have for free, but we had to wait for 2 weeks until we were going down for a visit.  In the meantime, I couldn't bear having that much laundry piling up.  I did tell the day care to stop using cloth (she really didn't mind that) because I did not want dirty diapers piling up.  I would have to hang the laundry on the line outside (the basement is too damp).  Since it was late November, it was cold with potential for rain or snow, so I could only do laundry on days that it would be dry.  As much as I didn't mind using the line in the summer, maybe even enjoying having clothes on the line, I didn't want to be required to use it, especially in the cold.  It just so happened that it was late, dark and cold when I noticed that the dryer died but I wanted dry clothes so I was hanging laundry in the dark that evening.  I think it was the highlight of my day the day we got the dryer set up and I had warm, soft clothes.  I know it's not very green, but I do love that dryer.  I like to put laundry on the line when it's an option, but in summer.   

Since I was seeming to spend too much time of laundry already, I figured I'd spend some more time on it.  I'd planned on making our own detergent as an experiment when our detergent ran out.  It happened to run out during this time so I went back to the research I'd already done on making detergent.  I originally planned on making it with water and putting it in a big bucket, but then I figured it'd just be easier to make it dry and I can experiment with a smaller batch.  I grated one bar of Ivory soap, put in one cup of Borax, and added one cup of washing soda.  Put it in a container that has a lid, mix it all together and that's it.  I added a few drops of orange essential oil because I like the smell, but it doesn't transfer to your clothes, which is my preference anyway (if you want the smell to transfer to your clothes, then you wouldn't use essential oil but a fragrance oil).  I use about 2 tbsp per load and it seems to work rather well.  You could use Fels Naptha soap (grated) instead of the Ivory soap, but I use the Fels Naptha just for rubbing directly on soiled spots.

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