Posts Tagged ‘laundry’

Check Out My Line!

I’m being featured today on a really fun blog I discovered through the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway!  The owner actually found me, and I’m glad she did, because we seem to be kindred bloggers.  The name of her blog?  Life on the (Clothes) Line.   So please head on over and check out my laundry line post (and while you’re there you can take a look at some other neat laundry line set-ups too.)   Later this week, Jeannie will be guest posting here, sharing one of her  favourite old-fashioned recipes.   (The tagline of her blog is” Old-fashioned Wisdom in a Modern Era.”  We were destined to meet, don’t you think?)

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It’s Spring!

Today is the first day of spring, and unlike other years here on the East Coast of Canada, it actually feels like spring today!  The kind of day when you can head out onto the deck in your slippers and without a coat.  I celebrated thisday of unseasonably warm weather by hanging my laundry out on the line for the first time this year – yippee!  Simple pleasures, I know, but I take great satisfaction in this weekly chore.

Today hubby asked, “wouldn’t it just be faster to throw it all in the dryer?”

True, it would be.  But then the dryer would be on all day, using electricity and filling the house with its loud hum (not to mention the annoyingly loud buzzer that goes off when the clothes are dry.)  And, because I refuse to use dryer sheets, his shirts would be full of static, and I’d be crackling and popping and giving off shocks all day as a result – delightful.

And what is it about us that makes us want to do everything faster anyway?

While I hung the laundry out today I got to bask in the sunshine, enjoy the sounds of birds chirping and our resident feline’s rumbling purr.  And I had time to just let my mind wander.  I thought about the garden and where we would plant each of the veggies this year, I mulled over a problem I am having in my classroom and came up with several possible solutions, I said a few prayers for loved ones who are sick and grieving, and I planned out the rest of my day.  I emerged from the deck with my laundry basket a calmer and less frazzled person. 

Oh…and the laundry got dried too.  Amazing!

Sometimes I wonder if our modern “conveniences,” these things that are supposed to give us more time to do “other things,” sometimes keep us from finding joy in the small moments and activities of life. 

But I didn’t say any of this to Hubby of course.  What I said to him was “Yes, but I’m saving us money.”   Which made him smile and continue on with his own activities.  (I know the way to the heart of my man – frugalness is very important to him.)

Can’t wait to sleep in those sun-dried sheets tonight!

Happy Spring!

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I guess with a blog called “Laundry on the Line” it is about time I posted about laundry. 

A few years ago I was taking a First Aid class and over lunch the instructor and I were discussing chemical intolerances.  When I mentioned that I couldn’t stand walking down the detergent/cleaner isle of the grocery store because the smell alone gave me a headache,  she mentioned that she made her own laundry soap.  I had no idea this was even possible!  (So much has changed in a few years, I make all of my own cleaners now.) 

She quickly wrote out the recipe for liquid laundry soap from memory and I have used that same recipe ever since.  There were a few times when I have come across other recipes, some liquid, some dry, and I have tried them out, but this one, for me, has always been the best.

We have really dirty clothes at our house.  Hubby regularly visits old buildings, derelect attics and flooded basements, has been known to tramp through large pipes, gather muck and dirt at construction sites and tramp through muddy forests that will one day be subdivisions.  Our house is a zone for gardening, landscaping and renovation proects. We play hard and sweat a lot.  Despite it all, our clothes come out fresh and clean.  For a fraction of the cost of store-bought detergent.  Without the headache-inducing trip through the overly-perfumed laundry isle at the grocery store.

Convinced?  Want to try it?  Here is how to make your own liquid laundry soap.

Ingredients:  You will need a bar of soap (Sunlight bar soap works really well for this, I have tried some other soaps with poor results, although I would still prefer something less scented), washing soda (not to be confused with baking soda) borax, and water.

 Tools – you need a grater, a large pot, a spoon (I wouldn’t use a wooden spoon for this unless you are going to designate it as a “soap only” spoon) a 2 gallon bucket, a funnel (you can make your own from a pop bottle), and some containers to put the finished soap in (any empty jugs will do – I use two vinegar jugs and a couple of dish detergent bottles).

Step 1 – grate 1/3 of the bar of soap

Step 2  Pour 6 cups of water into large pot on the stove.  Add soap and stir over low heat until the soap has dissolved.

Step 3  Add 1/2 cup of borax and 1/2 cup washing soda.  Stir until thick. Remove from heat.

Step 4  Add 4 cups of hot water to the bucket.  Pour in your soap mixture and stir until combined.

Step 5  Fill bucket with cold water and mix well.  (I have a 3 gallon bucket so I only fill it 2/3 full). 

Set aside for 24 hours.

Step 6  Place a funnel inside your soap container.  I made my funnel by cutting the top off a 2L pop bottle.

Ladle the finished laundry soap into your bottle.  Repeat with more containers until all the soap is stored.

To use, shake the mixture well.  Add 1/2 cup to each load of laundry.

Variations  You can add a few drops of essential oils to your soap.  I don’t do this anymore, but in the past I have added lemon for scent, and tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil for bacteria-killing. 

Fabric Softener

I never saw the need for fabric softener until I started hanging my clothes to dry outside.  I don’t know what causes it, but our clothes would come off the line stiff as a board.  As much as I loved the fresh smell of line-dried clothes, the underwear and pants that would stand up on their own was a little off-putting.  So, off to the internet for research and I discovered an easy, chemical-free, and cheap fabric softener:1/2 cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle did the trick.  A Downey ball I found on eBay makes the job even easier.  No more crunchy clothes.

Anyone else make their own soap or have frugal or chemical-reducing laundry tips?

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