Sunday, July 31, 2011


Recently our dryer decided it was too good for our clothes.  Seeing how finances are extremely tight right now, we're constantly looking for ways to save money, and being a little more Earth friendly certainly can't hurt... we didn't repair or replace it.  Yep, no dryer here!  Instead we've been hanging our laundry indoors (fortunate enough to have a large laundry room).  Why not outside?  Well, my laundry room is on the second floor and I'm all set with hoofing basket after basket up and down the narrow back staircase (wet laundry is heavy!).  And... I don't do bugs... at all... no way... no how...  Seeing pictures like this:

totally ruined outdoor laundry lines for me.  This picture was taken by a friend of  mine on Ravelry.  She hung her laundry outside only to have a nasty little earwig defile each and ever bit!  She ended up scraping the eggs off, but after rewashing everything, some stains remained.  No Thank You!

eye rolling shudder

Anyway... so I've been hanging our laundry... yay me.  Big deal, I know.  But, I've discovered that this actually keeps me honest and more efficient about it all.  Maybe it's because it takes longer to do a complete load, or because more work goes into, or simply because I can't do another load until the first one is folded and put away.  No more pulling the clothes out of the dryer and dumping them onto the futon... sitting there until we just paw through the pile looking for something to wear.  What ever the case may be, it works!  And, I kind of enjoy it.  Yes the skritchy towels leave a bit to be desired, but it's all in how you look at it.  They're not skritchy, they're exfoliating!

Insert the excessively-cheerful-and-encouraging-smile-with-a-double-thumbs-up here.

Besides, we reuse our bath towels (Why not?  They were used once to dry a CLEAN body... just hang them on the back of the bathroom door for the next shower... saving even more money!) and the second use finds them much more soft.  Our jeans soften up after about twenty minutes of wear.  I no longer have to worry about shrinking... well... anything!  Yep, there's a positive to everything!  

I think my teeth hurt from excessive sweetness...

I also made my first batch of Laundry Detergent.  Sooooooo much cheaper than the made for you name brand stuff at the store... and holy crap it works better too!  Seriously!  Example?  Proof?  Fine...  A few weeks ago the kids and I spent the afternoon tie-dying some T-shirts with Kool-Aid.  Seeing how I didn't have a dryer to heat set the dye, I ironed each shirt once it was dry... front and back... and washed them separately with a bit of vinegar before letting them dry again in the sun. They were very cool looking... yep I said were.  Behold, the fruits of our labor:

Kool Aid Tie Dyed Cami

I washed them with the new laundry soap.  No bleach, no oxy-clean, just the new soap.  Magic Soap?  Nope, just four simple ingredients...  

1 bar of Dial Basics Hypoallergenic Soap (grated) 
1/2 C Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 C 20 Mule Team Borax
enough water to make 10 quarts  

I dissolved/melted the first three ingredients in 2-3 quarts of water in a large pot on the stove over med-high heat.  Then I divided that evenly between 10 1 quart mason jars.  I topped off each jar with water, leaving a little head room.  The mixture will separate so there needs to be room to shake.  It will be clumpy and goopy and slimey... a regular science project!  After the fact I added a non essential fifth ingredient... a few drops of lemon essential oil.  I love the smell of lemons, and truthfully, lemon has a lot of natural cleaning qualities all it own.  Viola!  The only bit of color left is the bow.  Needless to say while I was amazed and thrilled at how well the soap worked, the kids were um... not.  Promises of Sharpie Markers and a revisit to the T-shirts made them happy.  =)  

Hooray for enjoying laundry!  Yippee for more efficient laundry!  Yee-haw for less expensive laundry!

Going to do laundry now... Happy Sunday! 

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