Friday, March 25, 2011

I am Superwoman!

(Umm...just kidding.)

Okay, I'm not Superwoman, but I've had one super productive week. I've had mass amounts of energy and I put it to good use. We've started some of the packing process for our upcoming move, so I've sorted through the stuff in the basement to make "keep" and "yard sale" piles. I went through Kate's baby clothes and pulled out the gender neutral things. Tuesday morning, I ordered five cloth diapers from Jack Be Natural. I ordered these pocket diapers and, so far so good! They came Thursday morning in a package neatly wrapped in tissue paper with ribbons tied around it. There was a personal note attached to the ribbons, thanking me for my order. As soon as I opened the large envelope it was in, I could smell something. It reminded me of a store my mom used to take me to that sold all different types of herbs and spices. I soon discovered the smell was from two sample packs of diaper laundry detergent that were made with a variety of essential oils. It smelled great!! They also included a sample disposable diaper liner. On top of the free stuff, there was a card inside with $2.95 of store credit listed on it. They give you $1 of store credit for every $15 you spend. Very cool! Their attention to detail has definitely kept me as a customer. I'll be back, for sure! The diapers are super cute. After a wash and line dry last night, Kate is in her first one today. The plan is to finish her off in cloth diapers, and then we'll be able to use these same ones for the new baby once he gets to be the right size. So far, I love them! We'll see how she does in them overnight tonight, though, and I'll post about it later.

I've also been excited to try making my own laundry detergent for a while, but I've had trouble finding one of the ingredients. With the help of a friend at church, though, I finally found the last one yesterday. It was at Ace Hardware of all places. Who would've guessed?

Anyway, after posting about making the soap last night on facebook, there was a good amount of response. I figured this would be an easier format for sharing the recipe. There are only three things you need for the type I made, though there are a variety of recipes out there for different kinds. I chose to make a powdered detergent. Next time, I might try the liquid. Back to the recipe:

Simple Laundry Soap Powder:
One bar of Fels Naptha or Ivory soap
One cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
One cup of Arm & Hammer washing soda (not the same as baking soda)

Grate the bar of soap into small pieces or cut it into smaller strips and put it through the food processor. Once done, add the borax and washing soda and mix thoroughly. The mixing process will not only help distribute the ingredients evenly, but it will also help break the soap into even smaller pieces. Some people recommend 1-2 Tbsp for a small load and 3-4 for a large load. Other says 1 Tablespoon for a normally dirty load of laundry and 2 Tbsp for a heavily soiled load. I've been using about 1 1/2 Tbsp. One batch should last between 24-48 loads, depending on the amount used. If you have particularly hard water, you may need more soap. With the six batches I made, I should be able to get between 144-288 loads of laundry for less than $8. Not too shabby for the wallet!!

The last two items you're supposed to be able to find in the laundry aisle, but no one around here other than the hardware store carried the washing soda. I bought a ten pack of Ivory soap for a little over $3, a box of 20 Mule Team Borax for around $4, and a box of washing soda for around $4. I made six batches at once, which used 6 bars of soap, pretty much the entire box of washing soda and I have probably close to two cups of Borax left. I've done two loads of laundry with it today and they smell and look clean and fresh. I can't really tell a difference between my old laundry soap and this. You can't beat that!

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