Laundry Matters (& Laundry Liquid Recipe)

I love folding clothes.

Yes, it is probably a personality aberration on my part (considering that I will never be the recipient of “Housewife of the Year” thanks to the distinct lack of cleaning/tidying  genes in me)

So my piles of cloth nappies (diapers) fulfil something in me which is somewhat akin to the gratification one would get from, say, eating chocolate cake… or running 20 miles… or volunteering to help starving orphans: it’s a primordial joy.

Second to the gratification of folding clothes is the satisfaction of making my own laundry liquid: we have “hard” water and on our last baby this caused endless problems with detergent build-up in nappies despite trying different brands and solutions. This time around I had been making my own for a while, and so far have had no build-up, and no problems. When I have cloths that need extra attention, I soak them in a dilute Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) solution and that works brilliantly.

A word of warning though should you decide to make your own laundry liquid: if you like heavily scented, or frankly: scented in any way, clothes, this is not for you!! I usually put in some essential oils, but there is no evidence of this when they are washed (and I continue to do this: why??!) Clothes smell clean and if they have been line-dried, deliciously fresh.

This recipe is the one the Duggar family make (dontcha just love them?!) apart from a bit of fiddling with quantities (Well, this is me we are dealing with here) So:

Laundry Liquid (detergent)

4  Cups – hot tap water
1   bar of soap: I use Dr. Bronners Pure Castille soap
1 Cup of washing soda/ sodium carbonate
1 Cup Borax

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

-Fill a 5 gallon (approx 20 litres) 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.

I have used it this dilute until now (when I re-read the Duggars original instructions and they dilute it again, half and half with water. Wow!!) Anyway: mine works a treat, although I will be seeing how it washes if I add another 50% water to the mix. 

To finish, I fill the conditioner drawer with (cheap- I buy it in 5 litre bottles) white vinegar- it softens the water and rinses clothes really well. 

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Well, I suppose I had better return to what I spent the day doing: I edit, typeset and design the quarterly newsletter for the Irish Home Education Network, and this blog post has been a welcome distraction!! I always get halfway through the newsletter (it is anything between 24-44 A4 pages), and need to divert my mind for a while. So, off I go!