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Thursday, January 26, 2012

homemade laundry detergent, hand soap, and other various thoughts

I totally woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Do you know those days? No matter what is right, everything feels off.

I am tired. I couldnt fall asleep last night. Thinking. Thinking. Thinking.

And I am trying this new "purge my life of sugar and gluten" health kick thing. And its killing me. Seriously. Plus I have been feeling intense guilt about TV watching of the children lately. But if I cant get baby to nap in the bed (which I cant) then I NEED those video watching quiet times.

And on and on it goes.

And the spiral gets worse. I will never have a career. I am a terrible mother. I cant eat anything. Etc. Etc.

And I sit down in the sunshine and close my eyes. Little man zips up on his scooter and says "Are your eyes bright red when you close them in the sunshine?" Yes, they, in fact are. "Oh, me too." And he zips away. (Yes, scooter indoors. Winter + Rental floors = I dont care.)

He has been very attentive of my mood, my spiral this morning. "I love you SO SO much mama," he says. "Wow, you have a lot of dishes to do. I know, if I help it will go FASTER." And he stands next to me in the sunshine, his strong little body on the stool, and we do our dishes. "There," he says as we finish up, "Wasnt that quicker?"

And as I sit in the sunshine, I pull out my blinking Blackberry to find a few emails that came through. Some junk. And then, dun dun dun. My very first for real rejection letter for my manuscript. I have totally been prepared for this moment. I knew it was coming. In my head I would say "Hmm, I wonder when they will get that rejection notice to me." But still. Eh. Didnt feel great. You know?

And yes, I know, scores of authors have dealt with rejection after rejection before publishing their mega hit book, etc. I know. I dont have a mega hit book on my hands, just a little tale. Maybe I will try again. Or not. I dont know.

In the meanwhile. It adds a lot of weight to my day. I suck. At everything. EVERYTHING.

So. I turn to what I dont suck at, which is household duties. Because, I may not be able to publish a book but DAMMIT, I CAN make my own laundry soap!

And so I do.

This is how, if you want to too.

Shred up one bar of soap. Use Ivory or Dove or something really pure. I just used our regular cheese grater. Dump in a four/five gallon bucket container. If you dont have one lying around handy do what I did and half the recipe and put it in an old, large laundry soap container! I think its easier to make in small batches, plus then you can just shake rather than stirring the ingredients together.

Add hot water and shake to dissolve. Add 1 and a half cups of washing soda (or 3/4 cups). You can get this at stores like Walmart. Add more hot water, shake. Add 1 cup of Borax (1/2) again, you can get at Walmart.  Fill the container full of water. Stir or shake till dissolved. Let sit overnight. It took nearly two days for mine to gel up right. Use the same as any concentrated laundry detergent. Also, you can add essential oils to it. I put in 4-5 drops each of lemon, lavendar, and ylang ylang. It will be kinda gloopy and the water will separate a bit, just shake before portioning out.
ingredients for laundry detergent. i use the old laundry detergent bottle to
mix up the new stuff.

I am really pleased with how easy it was and how well it cleans. Also - CHEAP! All of those ingredients cost $12 at Walmart. (Thanks sister for getting them for me!!)

Also then, hand soap. Since I was shredding soap, why not right? Just shred one whole bar into a bit pot. Add one gallon of water and two tablespoons of glycerin (again, from Walmart, thanks again sister!) Bring to a boil, stir to dissolve, then let sit overnight or for 24 hours. I added patchouli, ylang ylang and sandlewood. Hmmmmm...Right now its sitting on the stove and looks like swamp water. I am hoping it gels up right. I plan on reusing our (nearly empty) hand soap pump container.
swamp water looking soap

So. Eh. Its sunny out. Baby is nuzzling up to me, my constant blogging/housework/peeing companion. I should go make lunch.


  1. Been making my own laundry soap for over a year. It has saved us a TON of money! I'm so glad I did it--Thanks to none other than Michelle Duggar! :-)

  2. ah, I know those days! at least you found the light. homemade laundry soap. victory.

    and I wonder why my new yahoo account won't let me add your url to my bookmarks. grrrr.

  3. Hugs on the rejection letter. I'm pretty sure that's a guarantee you WILL be famous someday?! Oh, and knowing me helps. A friend from college? Best-selling author of a fantasy series now. A friend from a mom's on-line message board? Best-selling author of two cookbooks. So, you know, I'm good luck!

    (And, just asking, would you ever consider a swing? My little guy is currently zonked out in one right now. He gets lots of love and holding all day, but he almost seems to need time by himself to sleep deeply. Just a thought!)


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