MY DIRTY LAUNDRY
Okay folks, I may be Una Mamma Italiana, but I am NOT Susie Homemaker, nor will I ever be. But because of my oldest daughter's extremely sensitive skin and eczema, I have to be very careful with the chemicals/scents I use on her skin. I have thus found myself exploring all sorts of homemaking tricks that were used by those perfect housewives generations ago. You know, someone like this:
I'm working on it, but this is a bit more accurate for me:
Honestly - who wants to separate each kid's laundry just to save $$$ on the fancy, organic stuff? (Who wants to separate laundry period?) I, as is common in my role as the mamma, have had to take matters into my own hands and figure out a cost effective, EASY solution so as to not lose all of my hair before the age of 30.
I have to admit its kind of liberating to be able to create something on your own without needing the grocery store brands to pull you through these types of obstacles. No matter how likely premature baldness may be, having four (and a half) kiddos does not need to mean the end of all simplicity in life. In fact, just look how SIMPLE I am becoming right before your very eyes:
No, Really - give it a try, it is actually super easy, and totally worth it:
NOTE: The following recipe requires no pot, no stove, not even a wooden spoon (unless your kids aren't folding the laundry, in which case I would suggest you DO have a wooden spoon readily available. Tying one onto the strap of your mammarella apron works quite well....not that I know anything about that...
HOMEMADE LAUNDRY DETERGENT
1 bar natural soap, grated*
1 cup Washing Soda**
1 cup Borax***
Grate the soap using your food processor or hand grater. Combine with the Washing Soda and Borax and Pulse in a food processor (or blender) until a fine powder is formed. (You'll want to cover the top of your food processor with a wet kitchen towel to avoid all the dusty powder flying everywhere. Also, it is okay if the soap bits are slightly larger in the fine powder.)
Pour into a sealed container and use 2 tbsp per load. I use this for all my loads and I have an HE washer. I have heard the same dosage is fine for regular washing machines as well. This really ends up costing me less than 17 cents a load, making me the perfect, stereotypically frugal housewife.
*I use a brand without Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates or Parabens, which although very common in domestic soaps, can be carcinogens! HELLO people! You can pay a pretty penny for these "handmade" soaps or find them online in bulk. I get mine from www.SwansonVitamins.com (quite possibly one of my favorite sites! They sell all sorts of paraben-free and SLS-free baby shampoos and stuff like that. But not EVERYTHING on there is organic or completely natural so watch the ingredients carefully.
**I buy the Arm & Hammer Brand in the Laundry Detergent Aisle at the grocery store. Baking Soda is a different chemical compound entirely and will NOT achieve the same result. Although it is a good odor neutralizer if your sensitive skinned child is smelly.
*** I buy the 20 Mule Team brand from the Laundry Aisle at the Grocery store. If you have problems finding any of these at your store/walmart, check Ace Hardware.
Also, mine smells especially yummy since my soap of choice is Lavender & Wildflower, with little bits of dried lavender in the soap! I am in love with my new found Susie Homemaker-ness. Aren't you?
Next thing you know, I'll be using my homemade detergent and merely a wooden washboard - down by the Spokane river......
Okay, no. Never.