Saturday, April 28, 2012

Laundry Day

Saturday is traditionally Laundry Day around here.  Despite my best efforts to remember to try to keep it up during the week, I almost never do.  So I get up, drink my coffee and begin my routine.  I sort everything into piles in the hall and just keep a steady stream of washing, drying, folding, and putting away.  We're talking a minimum of 8 loads.  Usually more like 10.

I noticed something today about our clothes.  I separate the girls clothes from our clothes because I need to get them washed and put away before they go to bed, so there was a big pile of adult clothes at the very end of the hall.  It was almost entirely navy, gray, and denim.  I really need to branch out and get more color in at least my wardrobe.  Honestly.  It was almost depressing.

Anyway, I tried a couple new things today that I thought were worth sharing, so here you go...

I've made my own laundry soap off and on for a couple of  years.  Since I am bad about not thinking ahead, I sometimes run out of the homemade stuff and it takes a day or so to set up, so I end up buying some.  I hadn't made any in a while because I was just tired of messing with the bucket.  I had run across a pin for a concentrated recipe and decided to give it a whirl.

(I wish my laundry cabinet was so lovely and neat)

I halved the recipe, because I only had one bar of soap and figured it would just be a trial run anyway.  You only use a little more than 3 cups of water for a half batch, compared to a huge bucket full. 

In case you don't go check it out, here's the synopsis (for the half batch):  1 bar of Fels Naptha melted into 3 cups of water, add 1 cup each of washing soda and Borax.  Pour into two quart containers.  Let them sit overnight, dump it in the blender, whip it up and put back into the containers.  Use about 1 Tbsp per load.

I almost didn't blend mine, because I had shaken it a few times before it really set up, so it wasn't separated or anything.  I'm glad I did, simply because it is just so fluffy and that makes me happy.  I know, that's silly.  But it's not like there's much to enjoy about laundry and if fluffy soap makes me happy, it's worth the effort.

I used it all day.  The first load, I forgot fabric softener, so there wasn't that added scent when I pulled the clothes out.  They smelled really fresh though.  Then I had my load of socks and undies.  I hate washing the girls socks... I don't know what they get into, but they just are filthy.  I wash them with bleach usually, but didn't today.  I swear that they were brighter and cleaner looking with just this laundry soap than they were last week with commercial soap and bleach.  No lie.  I was impressed.

And these two quarts will last me months.  They don't take up any more space than a small bottle of Purex and will last much, much longer.  I already had the washing soda and Borax on hand, and the soap was $1.  You can't beat that with a stick.

My second tip is this:

I cleaned my washer.

My husband is a mechanic.  So, his uniforms are usually disgusting.  He refuses to use the cleaning service at work (he says they don't get them clean and they take too long) so it all goes in my washer.  It makes the washer really nasty.  Like I'm not going to show you a before picture, it was so gross.

Sidenote:  If you happen to wonder how the new soap did on his disgusting uniforms, I have to admit that I use extra stuff for his uniforms... Purple Power, to be exact.  (Per my husband's request and, yes, I was concerned about if it would hurt the washer or the uniforms, but it doesn't seem to)  They seem to be as clean as usual.  I might try it without the Purple Power, just to see... since it did so well on the socks.  Another sidenote:  there is a Pin going around about a no-grate laundry soap that uses dish soap.... he specifically requested I not use it again on his uniforms... it doesn't clean as well.  Just so you know.

Back to cleaning the washer.... I finished my laundry up earlier than usual, despite having visitors today (yay for human interaction outside of work or family!), so I decided I had to do it.  I followed the directions and I'm kind of shocked at how much better it looks.  Now that I know how to do it properly, I'll keep on top of it better. It recommends that you should clean it twice a year, but with the uniform washing going on here, it will most likely need to be done more often.

So there you go, things to made my Laundry Day a little better =)  Now if I could just figure out where to find some mid-size hangers for my kids' clothes.  The baby ones are too small and the adult ones are too big....

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