Sunday, September 30, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

A lot of people have already posted recipes for their own homemade laundry soap, but I've made a couple of tweaks to mine, so I thought what the heck, I'll post my version. Not only will it be a simple post to get back into the swing of blogging, but maybe someone else in my family (99.9% of my followers right now are family) will want to try this for themselves as it really does work and its so inexpensive to make.

Homemade laundry soap doesn't take much time to make, and I love how I am in control of just what goes in there... mostly because I am allergic to so many different brands out there. Tired of feeling itchy all the time when trying out a new brand (or even a new scent of brands that I knew I could safely use) was annoying, and really expensive as I would then have to go back to the store to buy something else and just give those old mostly-full bottles away.

For me, I have a glass jar that I keep in my laundry room (I like the glass because it looks pretty in there with those yellow Fels Naptha curls, and I can also keep an eye on how much I have left...I purchased the jar at Target for less than $5). As its a two-gallon jar, I make this in large batches, which will last me for eons.... however, you can start small if you'd like and cut this recipe down. For those who use the laundromat, just toss this power into a ziplock baggie and away you go... light, easy to dispense and it smells amazing!

For those who have had disappointing results with powdered soaps in the past, I understand your reluctance to try this. I hated having powdery residue on my laundry after washing, and I was positive that liquid soap was my only solution.... but not anymore. This mix not only dissolves completely but it will even do so when washing in cold water cycles! The ingredients can all be found at your local WallyWorld or WinCo stores in the laundry aisle, but other stores may make you hunt around a bit.

My version:

1 box of Borax
1 box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
3 bars of Fels Naptha soap
1 small tub of OxyClean

First you'll want to get out your cheese grater and grate up the Fels Naptha.... you can do fine shreds or larger ones.... personally, I like the way the larger yellow shreds look in the jar and it makes the job go a lot faster. Now some people do not like the smell of Fels Naptha (I love it) so you can substitute a different laundry bar instead. I've heard of people also switching to Ivory, Dove or other body soaps, but I am not sure how well those will clean in the end, as Fels Naptha fights stains. Of course, now that I have added the OxyClean to the mix, maybe the Fels Naptha is no longer necessary, but, as I said before, I love how it smells, so I will keep adding it to my mix. Heck, at less than a dollar a bar its not as if I am spending a lot for something that I really like.

Pour all of your ingredients together and mix. Ta-da! You are done. I have seen some people toss the mix in one-cup increments into the blender to make a finer powder, but this is a time-waster to me...

When using, a heaping tablespoon handles normal loads and I use 2 heaping tablespoons for things like towels and bedding.

This is HE safe as it does not lather up much (note that lather does not always equal clean; even though this is not lathering up like you are used to seeing, it really is working!) I always wind up with a nice clean (not perfumed) scent from my laundry. Whites are still white and nothing so far has come out gray and dingy (and I've been using this stuff for a good 8 or 9 months now). Its definitely worth a try, and it works out to pennies a load, even with buying the name brand OxyClean rather than generic. It works great on anything urine-smelling, but I usually add a half cup of apple cider vinegar to the wash anyway when I am handling anything a cat may have had an accident on....

Oh, if you want to start small, use one cup each of Borax and Washing Soda, one bar of Fels Naptha and half a cup of OxyClean.

I have not done this personally, but a lot of people also add a few drops of whatever essential oils they enjoy to the mix.... lavender, orange... whatever floats your boat in order to have a more "scented" pile of laundry. As I mentioned before I find that following the recipe that my laundry comes out smelling clean and not perfumed as it is (with my allergies its what works for me), but any additions you want to make are completely up to you.

So remember this when you find yourself in the laundry aisle, groaning over how expensive a bottle of Tide is getting.... once you try this simple mix I don't think you'll be going back.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

From the iPod

I've been missing my brother a lot these last few weeks and, for the most part I've been strong. Its who I am.... the girl who holds her shit together so she can be there for everyone else. While I have cried and hurt during that time, its only these last few days that I have really allowed myself to let go, to stop focusing so much on the next task that needs to be done and simply looked at the tatters of my life and started pulling those pieces back together.

Jason loved Dustin Christensen, which is why I made sure we included this song for the music that played at his viewing... even with the tears it brings, it is still a favorite of mine. I want to thank you Jase for all of the beautiful music you brought into my life...

"Old House" by Dustin Christensen ... from the album "Highway Lines"

So take me home tonight

Tell me I'm all right

Tell me this picture frames got you now

You were my hand's glove

How I learned how to love

Tell me I ain't got it all figured out

Farwell my old house

Farewell my old life

Tell me I'm simpler

Alone without you now

So long my sad eyes

Don't say its goodbye

Guide when I can't see

I won't let you down

Here lies all my friends I've known

All my dreams just scatter in the air

Farewell my old house

Farewell my old life

Tell me I'm simpler

I know I am now

Lord let this hurt pass

Cos I don't know how to act

And it feels like I'm already gone from you now

So long now

Monday, September 3, 2012

Strange Dreams

I had the strangest dream last night.... but then several of my dreams lately have been fairly odder than usual. This one was especially different... you see, I spent the entire dream in one place.... and I spent it shopping for clothes!

Shopping? I hear you say.... What is so strange about shopping?

Let me tell you.....

I hate clothes shopping. I don't like crowds, so I usually avoid malls, and there are about a bajillion things I would much rather be doing than to stand in a store looking at cutesy stuff that is never in my size or, if it is, tends to be made for a gal with linebacker shoulders and comes only with plunging necklines. Here's a little sidebar to the world of fashion design.... not every girl with cleavage wants to show it off, and not ever plus size girl is as broad as a barn.

But I digress....

In this dream I walked into a shop that seemed familiar from long ago, but I know in reality I have never seen such a place.

I lingered over tiered skirt fabric that you cut to your waist size, sew a hem down one side and magically have a skirt that actually fits you. In my dream I spent hours twirling about with different fabrics pressed to my hips, imagining myself in peasant skirts made of vibrant batiks. I finally decided on one and carefully cut it to my size... glorious folds of royal purple and golden amber in a luscious swirling design (as a sidenote, I truly would have loved this skirt as I am a sucker for batiks in swirling designs).

I wandered to the cloaks, where I found a glorious red cloak that seemed made for me... until I saw the price tag and I regretfully put it back.

I walked over to the shawls and tried finding one I loved as much as that beautiful cloak, but wasn't succeeding. I tried on velvets in green and rust, silkens in rose and cream, and even beautifully crocheted pieces with fringe that nearly trailed the ground and felt like they weighed nothing....

But I couldn't stop thinking about that cloak.

Even now, awake and starting my day, I am thinking about that cloak. Red is not a color I would normally choose for myself, in fact, I have only one blouse that is that bright shade (see my profile picture in the sidebar), but I still remember how, in my dream that cloak fit like it was made just for me, and how wonderful it felt to wear it... I even remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking with amazement at just how good I looked in that color. And I know one thing...

If I knew where to find that cloak in real life, I would somehow find $1500 and I would make it mine.