Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Laundry - WORD.

She just melts my heart, makes me smile...I am so thankful -SO thankful- for her! If I'm in the kitchen, she wants to take residence on the corner of the counter and "help." It all started because she was underfoot and wanted to be held. Kind of hard to hold her and prep food. So I put her up there and gave her some measuring spoons to occupy her busy little hands. 

Now, it's just a fact. If I'm in the kitchen, she's on the counter..."helping." (Of course I do NOT leave her up there while I use the stove or slice and dice veggies, etc.)

I've been hanging out in the laundry room more than usual. And it's been one failure after another. 

I had this brilliant idea - saw it online - I'd use a drop cloth to reupholster or slip cover a piece of furniture. Only, I really wanted a gray color, not that yellow-ish color you find on drop cloths. Enter Rit DYE. I figured on something so large, I'd get the ideal color of gray with one box of black. I bought two, just in case.

I followed the directions, EXACTLY. The drop cloth came out the PERFECT shade of gray! SCORE! Except...it had a totally tie-dyed look to it. NOT so much what I was going for. So, I re-dyed it. Same thing. So, I cut off the mostly solid portion. 

I'm probably going to go on and slip that yellow chair you see above on the right (the one with the zebra pillow). I'll let you know how that goes. As for the rest of the drop cloth, it's out in the garage with our paint supplies. Bummer. I was really annoyed with myself...which made the Engineer's gracious response so much sweeter, "Jenn, it's just a drop cloth. No big deal." 

About a year ago I began trying my hand at making laundry detergent. This has been a blessing to us and we have saved A LOT of $$$. I've come across many variations on this recipe. Here's my take:

1 part borax (buy at Walmart - about $4)
1 part super washing soda (had to buy at Ace - about $4 - NOT the same as baking soda)
1 part oxiclean (I use the dollar store version)
2 parts grated bar soap (I usually use whatever we have on hand)
a few (okay, this time I used 8) drops essential oil (I'm loving lavender!)

Mix well, use 1-2 T per load...a little goes a long way!

*(because I don't have a food processor to "grate" my soap, once I've mixed it all together, I use my handheld emersion blender and mix until it's all a "powder-like" consistency.)

Now here's the deal...a friend called from Big Lots. She found the mother load of "ZOTE Pink Soap," which is taunted on the web as one of the soaps to use in homemade detergent, boasting a "fresh, clean scent." At $.90 each, I asked her to get me ten. Let me tell you about that "fresh, clean scent!" If you like moth balls, you would LOVE this soap! That's why I kept adding lavender drops - I was trying to overcome that scent, alas, to no avail. I highly recommend doing what I did before - just regular ol' bar soap (I used hotel bar soap samples). It worked great. (For the record, we will press on and finish off this ZOTE.) And truthfully, it's not that bad.

As for the efficiency of the detergent - I give it all (whether you use Zote or another bar soap) two thumbs up. (I still pre-treat stains with shout.) 

And of course, I recommend you store it in a pretty container. Maybe a little silly, but that big glass jar and the label make me smile. I love beauty in the common.


  1. I am glad you found a homemade laundry detergent that works for you! I tried the shaving soap....I don't have the patience for it! :) I am sure your laundry soap smells lovely with the lavender!

  2. Your shelves looks amazing! What a great thing to have.

    Your husband is so wonderfully laid back.

    Thanks for the birthday wishes. it was the best birthday ever!

  3. When did Baby Sister become a little girl?!!! She is absolutely darling!

    When it comes to fabric and dye and slipcovering you are fearless!

  4. LB on the counter - oh she's cute!

    Every picture I see of the library is gorgeous! Like a magazine. I want to live in there.

    Also, I've considered making my own detergent and you may have just pushed me over the edge. I'm at least glad to know of a good recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I make a similar concoction for our laundry soap. So much cheaper.

    And I cannot believe how big your little bit is getting!

  6. I make my own laundry soap also and if you ever get in a pinch: Super washing soda is the same thing as dishwasher powder (check the label)! I am going to try your recipe, I have been using the liquid but always add a scoop of oxyclean so love that this recipe has it included! I like how Fels-Naptha (bar soap) smells but my Dad picked up a bar of Kiss My Face for me to try, it is an olive oil soap.

  7. I love your blog!! I read this awhile back and it was just the push I needed to start making laundry detergent. I hadn't found a recipe with great reviews, so now I have all my stuff and am wondering what is a "part"? How much do you measure as a part? Thanks for the clarification, just wondering what ratio to use with the 2 bars of soap.

    Again, I always enjoy reading your blog, it's encouraging to me and I always relate. Thanks for the comments you leave at my place, I don't always have time to comment, but I always stop by.