29 June 2011

Housewifery Wednesday: Laundry Edition

Laundry is something that I'm kind of obsessive about - but I can kind of justify it.

Let me begin by saying:

1. I do laundry MULTIPLE times a week, which may seem ridiculous since it's only me & Boyfriend.

2. I've been on prednisone since Thanksgiving-ish and I've gained a lot of weight and - TMI! - gotten sweatier. Sooo attractive.

Pleasant, right? So here is my justification for obsessive laundering: since I'm fatter than usual, there are limited outfits that I'm willing to wear 'cause I'm too cheap/vain to buy Prednisone Made Me Fat Clothes. And since I'm sweatier than usual, these choice pieces of clothing must be laundered more frequently.

MOVING ON.. I've been having some Laundry Issues lately - detergent stains (which of course only happen on favorite fancy clothes) - which is a Major Problem, since I have a restricted wardrobe. I switched from bright a$$ blue Tide to a clear detergent, but am STILL finding those annoying blue spots (while we're on the subject, do YOU know why detergent is blue?), so I have begun to explore non-detergent options of laundering.

I found a number of homemade detergent options, but most of them result in what has been referred to as a "gelatinous slime," and I'm not really into that. So when I found this recipe on DIY Natural, I was sold. It has the same basic ingredients as the others - shaved soap, borax, and washing soda - but where the other recipes ask you to boil everything together with some water, thus producing the slime/gel, the DIY Natural recipes only asks you politely to mix them into a neat powder. How easy can it get!?

I had to try it. If only for you, my dedicated and loyal audience of Kristen and Stacy. Also for my clothes' sake.

The recipe is very straightforward and not all that pretty to look at, so I didn't take pictures, but I have some advice:
  1. If you use a box grater, like me, use the smallest side. I used the second smallest side and my ingredients did not mix as well.
  2. BE CAREFUL while grating! I managed to grate myself only once but dang. It's not fun.
  3. If you're using a hard soap (like Fels-Naptha), don't worry about grating the  e n t i r e  thing - I saved the last nubbin to use as a pre-treater.
  4. If your soap is scented, be sure that you like the scent. My laundry now smells wonderfully clean thanks to the Fels-Naptha, but I can only imagine my misery if I'd gone with something like Irish Spring.
I've been using ~1 tablespoon per load of laundry and that seems to work out nicely. Because my soap shavings are bigger than they should be, I try to stir my detergent up before I measure it out, just to make sure that I get a good combination of soap, borax, and washing soda. It's a very simple recipe and MUCH cheaper than buying the liquid stuff at the grocery store!

What kind of detergent do you use? Any laundry tips or advice?


  1. I use Method HE Free + Clear unscented uncoloured detergent, and I've never had the detergent stains problems with it. My FAVORITE detergent was this Tide stuff that smells like white lilacs (because I'm somebody's grandmother, apparently) but they don't make it for high efficiency machines, the jerks.

  2. I honestly never had a detergent stain problem till I moved.. maybe it's the washing machine?? idk! I love Method though.. yummm.

  3. i meant to comment on this the other day, but my comment was eaten. i would love to make my own detergent - and now i know who to turn to for advice. :)

    - rach

  4. I'm such a dedicated reader that I'm just now getting to this post. :( But hey, better late than never. Thanks for the shout-out!