Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Homemade laundry detergent

Does the title of this post make you think I'm crazy? That's ok, I probably am!

A couple months ago, I read about how easy and inexpensive it is to make your own laundry detergent. The idea was very appealing to me. After doing quite a bit of research on different ways to make it and how safe and effective it was, I decided to give it a try.

I went with a powder detergent instead of liquid, because to me, it's much less messy and so much easier to store. I read many, many recipes and this is the version I came up with:

  • 2 cups Borax
  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 2 bars Ivory soap, grated (you can use other bar soaps - more on that below)

After you grate your soap (I just use a cheese grater), mix everything well in a large bowl, then put it in an airtight container. The whole process only takes about 5 minutes.

You only need one tablespoon per load of wash! I sometimes add an extra half tablespoon if I have an extra large load. You can make as much or as little of this detergent at a time as you'd like, just keep the ratios the same.

You should be able to find all of these ingredients at your local grocery store, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. They're also available online, but I highly recommend buying them locally to get the best price. The washing soda and Borax are only about $4/box, and I got 10 bars of Ivory soap also for $4. The cost breakdown per load of wash is less than three cents!

2 cups Borax = $0.84 (9.5 cups/box @ $4.00/box)
2 cups washing soda = $1.17 (6.8 cups/box @ $4.00/box)
2 bars Ivory soap = $0.80 (10 bars @ $4.00)

Total cost per batch = $2.81

(about 100 loads total based on 1 tablespoon per load)

Total cost per load = $0.028

You can't beat that!

I was paying about $0.25 a load with my previous detergent (All Free and Clear pacs), and I felt like I was buying new packages constantly! If I keep making my own detergent, I will save well over $100 a year.

I have found that our clothes are just as clean as they were when we used store-bought detergent, and none of us have had any sensitivity to this detergent at all. Although the Ivory soap has a very "soapy" smell, our clothes come out completely odorless and just smelling fresh and clean.

As I mentioned above, you can use almost any bar soap that you like (or soap flakes), including laundry soaps like Fels-Naptha or Zote, but I personally felt that Ivory was a more natural choice. I've read about allergy concerns with Fels-Naptha, and I could only find Zote soap that was dyed pink, which I didn't like, since I was trying to make this as natural as possible.

A few more notes about this detergent:

  • It is said to work in all types of washers, including high efficiency machines (I just have a regular top-loader).
  • It works in cold water (I use cold water for almost everything).
  • I don't use it for Audrey's cloth diapers, because it is not specifically approved by the manufacturer, but I have read that some other people have used it without a problem. 
  • It will not make suds, so don't be alarmed...just know that it's still doing it's job without them!
  • While doing my research, I found some controversy on using Borax in laundry detergent (as well as some other household cleaners). It is my personal conclusion that it is perfectly safe to use in my laundry detergent...but of course you can do your own research to make sure it's right for you and your family. 
  • There are many variations of this recipe online if you're interested...some have fabric softeners in them, and you can also make a liquid version. Some may work better than others for you, especially if you have hard water. 

Let me know if you're currently making your own detergent and what your recipe is! If not, will you be trying this one? I already have my mom hooked on it!

I'm linking up to Sew Many Ways, Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Happy birthday to my husband!

Today is Josh's birthday! Here are some things you may not know about him...and why I love him so much!

He is an amazing father. Right from the beginning he's been a hands on dad....doing diaper changes, rocking her to sleep, getting up in the middle of the night...everything!

He spoils all of, Audrey and Lola. He always goes over the top with gifts and loves surprising us.

He works so hard to make a good life for us, and so that I can stay at home with Audrey.

He never complains that he's tired, even though he always gets up in the morning with Audrey so I can get more sleep. 

He puts up with the ridiculous amount of photoshoots I've insisted on since Audrey's birth!

He always compliments my cooking and baking...even the times when I know it's not that great!

He started a wedding fund for Audrey the week she was born.

He does anything and everything he can to make my life easy and happy.

He makes up really clever and sweet songs to sing to Audrey and Lola!

He's so funny. He's always cracking jokes and coming up with new ways to make us laugh!

He encouraged me to start this blog, and even came up with the name!

He's a fun dad. He loves playing with Audrey and making her giggle.

He treats me like a princess everyday. Even when I don't deserve it.

He puts all of us before himself. Always.

Josh, I hope you know how much we LOVE you, today and everyday! We are so thankful to have such an amazing husband and father. Hope you have the happiest day! We can't wait until you get home from work so we can celebrate with you! XOXO

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I'm back!

Hi friends! Thanks so much for your patience while I was away! I know we are long past Christmas, but I still really want to share a few photos from our holiday! I hope you don't mind! We had so much fun staying at home this year (usually we travel to NJ), and Audrey was at such a fun age where she could sort of understand what was happening.

Hope you enjoy!

Thanks for looking and for letting me get these pictures out of the way so I can move back into normal blogging! I know our family in NJ will appreciate seeing these!

Have a great rest of the week! It's been so cold here. We are supposed to get snow on Friday, which I'm kind of looking forward to!

See you soon! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hi friends!

It's been awhile...hasn't it? I had plans to update you on our Christmas and my surprise 30th birthday celebration (which my husband so sweetly planned!), but many, many things have been keeping me from blogging. Most of them are boring, so I won't bother you with the details!

That being said, I am going to take a little blog break. Maybe another week....or two...I will just have to see, and play it by ear. I love blogging, but there are just too many things outside of blogging that I need to focus on right now, so I'm going to take some of the pressure off of myself, and just take a break. I appreciate having each one of you as a reader, and I hope that you'll understand and be patient as I take my little blog-vacay!

I will be back though, I promise! And as always, I will be posting pictures of our daily life on Instagram.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite blogs (in no particular order), to keep you entertained!

These are just some that I read most often, but there are so many more that I could list! What are some of your favorite blogs, or do you have one of your own to share?! Please link in the comments!

See you soon!

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