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Laundry, laundry, everywhere! (Including homemade laundry detergent recipe!)

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Photo by Average Jane

If I could name one major challenge that I’ve had during my career as a wife and mother…it would be laundry. It used to rival doing dishes. But now laundry is my only despised household chore. I’m not sure why I hate it so much. But my disdain is completely evident. Piles, piles everywhere.

I came across this post that has tips to make laundry easier and simpler. So of course, I was interested. One thing that hit me was the name of this website. Simplify 101. Simplify. In my mind, simple is best. It’s just getting to the point of simplicity that’s the hard part. So, I am trying to make laundry (and other things in my house…) simpler by de-cluttering, thinning out everyone’s wardrobe, and storing items we aren’t currently using but want to keep.

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With five people in our household, we have a lot of clothes. Organizing laundry is full time job anyway, but add that on top of three kids, daily cleaning, dishes, gardening, writing, cooking, ministry…and you get prioritizing. And laundry makes the bottom of the priority list.  Unfortunately, that makes things even harder because cleaning the bedroom or even making the bed isn’t very easy when there are piles of laundry everywhere.

So, Aby, the writer of the laundry post, suggests to get started whittling down the laundry by cleaning and putting away every piece of clothing you own. Everything. She says:

Get Caught up! Yep, that’s right. Step one is a laundry fest. Get every single article of clothing and all your linens washed, folded and put way — even the hand-washables! Block out a day, a few evenings, however long it takes, and get caught up. Laundry is your mission, but you can have some fun along the way too. Fold while you watch your favorite T.V. show. Bring a portable CD player into the laundry room. Have some snacks. Read a great book between loads. Do whatever you need to do, but get caught up!

That’s the hardest step for me! She goes on to talk about the other steps- 2.) Do laundry a little more often. 3.) Make it simple. 4.)Separate as you go. I would even add one more. If you can, hang laundry outside to dry. That way, you at least get a little fresh air and sunshine!

So I will be working on step 1. Slowly. You can keep up with me by following along with my laundry/homemaking posts. And don’t be shy… share some of your worst laundry nightmares, or your biggest challenge in keeping a home and share it below.

Along the lines of laundry, I have a wonderful recipe for you! It’s our homemade laundry detergent recipe! Get excited! No more buying that expensive, watered down, chemical-laden, dyed,  laundry soap from the store. This recipe will only cost you about $10 to start and $1 per batch after that. Check out the original recipe here.

This recipe will last us about 4-5 months. Sometimes more. I think it has lasted up to 6 months before. It’s fresh smelling even if you don’t add essential oils. It is even gentle and tough enough for cloth diapers. This soap is a lifesaver. And what’s even better? My husband makes it for us!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

4  Cups – hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

– Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

So get in there, make some soap, and do some laundry! You know I will be!

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