It's the one where Laura and Mary don't want to help Ma make laundry soap and try to run away with Jack. Unfortunately they tell Nellie Olson they are going to join the traveling circus and she immediately tells Pa, right after she makes fun of them for making their own soap instead of buying it at Olson's Mercantile.
Um. Where was I?
Oh yeah. Laundry soap. I make my own. Like a freaking pioneer woman. On the surface I am not happy about this turn of events. It makes me a little more hippy-dippy than I want to admit to being. I feel as though I am just on the cusp of making my own clothing from tree bark and grass clippings. However, I do suffer from a number of detergent-related allergies and, after finding the detergents I can use on the supermarket shelves less frequently than they have been in the past, I had to resort to making my own. Yay.
- It's remarkably inexpensive to make.
- I can tailor the soap to suit my hard water. (You may not need the baking soda if your water is soft)
- I can scent it as much or as little as I want.
- Very little is needed to wash a full load (I use 1-2 tablespoons per) so when I make a bucket, it lasts a good long time.
- It is more environmentally friendly.
- I no longer scratch like I'm a tick-infested peasant.
In other laundry news, try these more sound alternatives:
For stains I use a mix of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Soak it down and throw it in the wash. For oil based stains, I still spray with the peroxide/water mix, then I rub the stained area with a Fels Naptha soap bar. Or you can just dampen the stain and rub the Fels Naptha soap on the dampened fabric. If it doesn't take out the stain immediately, give it a wash or two more before giving up.
I also use white vinegar in the wash. We have a laundry room used by all the condo tenants A few years back we switched to front-loading washers and I can't say enough bad stuff about them. Maybe they work better in one dedicated home, but for a community? No. The receptacle for your soap, bleach and softener does not rinse out. When you're Allergy Girl this is not good. So I use plain white vinegar to neutralize whatever is left behind. I put it in the softener and the bleach cups. Vinegar also works well as a fabric softener and helps to reduce static cling from the dryer. If you're worried that your clothes smell like vinegar when you remove them from the washer, don't worry. The smell will dissipate in the dryer.
If you're still looking at the detergent aisle in the store for solutions, try looking at the topmost shelves. The older, less popular, less toxic items are usually displayed there. Sometimes they may seem more costly, but check to see how much is used and see if you do actually get a better bargain. You may be surprised.
Or there are several vendors on Etsy selling laundry items. I've purchased the dryer sachets from Soft and Cozy. And powder from Prairie Grass Sundries. Both are great. I actually gave them to my mom for Christmas last year because I'm always using her laundry stuff when I visit. Also I thought it would be nicer if she used less caustic materials. Either way, it's a nice thing to have a laundry soap that you can personalize and not worry about allergies or killing off the environment. You know exactly what is in it.
Happy laundering! Ma's calling - I've got to go grind the corn meal for flour now.