Friday, April 20, 2012

Laundry Day

I am not very fond of doing laundry.  I hate the piles and piles of dirty clothes.  I hate folding, putting away, hanging it up, on and on.   I don't really like shopping for laundry soap, softening, stain remover. Does it never end!   

Here are some tricks I have found that help lighten the load so to speak.  I start at least 1 load of laundry everyday except Sunday.  At my house, even for just the 2 of use we still have at least 1 full-load a day.  I put the load in right after I take my shower while I am getting ready for work.  I use cold water for most loads for extra savings.  

We hang our laundry out on the line most days, except for the really cold or wet days.  We hang it inside on those days.  My husband hangs the laundry out after he wakes up in the morning.  Since he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, I have tried to find tasks that he can do so that he feels like he is contributing to our life.  Since we don't have to run the dryer as long as normal, this does help us to cut costs.  I do put the clothes in the dryer with a wet cloth and let them bounce around for a little while, about 10 minutes to soften them.  I'm not in favor of stiff towels and such.  

I use 1 cup of vinegar in each load.  The vinegar helps to soften the load and also helps take out stains.  Vinegar is also good if you have a load of sour clothes, it takes out the smell.  

We also make our own laundry detergent.  I have been using it for around 4 years.  My husband grates the bars of soap, which also helps me on time.  I have read recipes on line that say you can use other kinds of bar soaps in place of the Fels Napha.  I have tried and like the Fels Napha better.  I hadn't really ever noticed the bars at the store before, but they are in the aisle with the other laundy needs.

Here is recipe I use.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Gel

Makes 5 gallons -use about 1/2 c.

2 quarts boiling water
4 cups grated bar soap (2 bars Fels Napha)
4 cups Borax (20 Mule Team)
4 cups Super Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer)

Add grated soap to boiling water and stir until soap melts  I use a long handled whisk.
Pour soapy water into a clean 5 gallon bucket.  Add the Borax and Washing soda.
Stir well until all is dissolved.
Add 4 gallons of hot tap water.  Stir until mixed.  Again I use the whisk.
Cover bucket and let set overnight to gel. Stir well.
The directions originally said to store the detergent in empty milk jugs.  I used to do that, but the already used jugs leaked.  It was a waste and a mess.  Now I just leave it in the 5 gallon bucket and dip out what I need.

The don't consider my laundry load finished until it is folded and put away.  This I try to do every evening before bed.  I don't have this part down as well as I have the other parts, but I try not to consider the laundry room an extenstion of my closet.  At least for a moment I can say, laundry done.

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