Monday, May 4, 2009


We have recently changed several things about the way we do laundry. For starters, when we moved into our house, we noticed that it was taking several complete cycles to completely dry our clothes. My husband began doing some investigating and discovered that our dryer vents through the roof which makes any dryer incredibly inefficient. Unfortunately, that is not something we can change in the near future because it would involve fairly significant structural changes. Until then we have started trying to hang our laundry on a clothesline whenever possible (Sometimes we get so much rain that it is not really practical for a week!) It has worked out really well because it was taking the dryer so long to dry our clothes that sometimes they would start to smell so we are glad to not have to deal with that anymore!

I also decided recently to try making my own laundry detergent. First I heat 7 cups of water on the stove and melt .5 oz of grated soap in it. Then I pour the mixture into my container, add 4 Tablespoons of baking soda and 1 Tablespoon of borax, and shake well. So far so good!

I also made some other changes recently to the products that I keep in the laundry room. On the left is my bucket of clothespins for hanging laundry up to dry. Next I have a pink container that I use for my homemade laundry detergent. On the right I have two old gatorade containers of borax and baking soda. Both of these are ingredients in my homemade laundry detergent, but I frequently use them for other purposes. I usually put a couple tablespoons of borax in the bucket I soak cloth diapers in to act as a booster. I also will add a little baking soda to my wash cycle if the clothes are especially stinky. (or if they accidentally got left in the washer for too long!) In the front left is my mixture of 1 part fabric softener and 2 parts water with a sponge cut in half. I found this recipe online. It works pretty well when I can't hang the clothes out to dry due to inclemate weather. I squeeze excess liquid out of both and throw them in the dryer. Finally, there is the bottle of bleach. Bleach was not a standard laundry product for me until my daughter was born. I try to avoid using it because it breaks down elastic, but it is nice to be able to get the inevitable stains out of clothing so it can be worn again by later children! More on treating stains later!

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