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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap - Frugal Friday

*****REVISION  2/15/2010*****

I have been using this laundry soap for over a year now and while I have saved quite a bit of money on soap I am finding that the whites are not very white anymore, so rather than be targeted for a cheer commercial I am switching back to regular laundry detergent.  Also I was reading that Borax can be a skin irritant so this may actually not be the best for ones skin, although I have had no problems with it.  In a pinch I'd still use it but long term I don't think it's done any of my clothes any favors.  It seemed great for the first 6 months or so, so my apologies if I've lead you down a path of dingy socks.  


It's a Frugal Friday so today I made powdered laundry soap, I have a front loading washer and this works very well in it. I also use vinegar in place of Fabric softener, it helps to keep any soap film from building up as well as making clothes colors stay true for longer and making them feel softer and they don't smell like vinegar after they are dry.

Here's the recipe I made:

2 cups borax (20 Mule team)
2 cups Arm & Hammer washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1 bar fels naptha laundry soap- (finely grated so it will disolve easily in the washer)

If you are like me and do not have a food processor you can grate the soap by hand, I use a vintage rotary grater that would normally be used for hard cheese, it worked pretty well and gave me the tiny pieces I was wanting.

Once you have the soap grated you pour the 3 ingredients in a bowl, mix them till they are evenly blended, transfer them to a container with a lid to keep moisture out. That's it. I use 1/8 cup per load and the clothes have been coming out clean and smelling clean but not detergenty. I still have to spot treat just like I did with regular detergent, but that's no worse than before.

I have a friend who has extremely sensitive skin so she makes her own soap, she uses her soap in place of the Fels-Naptha bar when she makes laundry soap.

The first time I decided to try this I had a little trouble finding all the ingredients, the washing soda was the toughest. I found all three ingredients at a Fred Meyers store near me. Some people have said they get it at Wal-mart, but where I live Fred Meyers is the only place I could find that had it and I called them all. SO it might pay to call around before you waste a half tank of fuel looking for the washing soda. I have also seen some companies selling it online if you can't find it where you live.

It's a pretty simple way to save a few bucks. It will be even easier when I get a food processor. That's on my thrift list, I'll find one soon. :-) I bet I have saved enough money on my last 2 batches of laundry soap to pay for the food processor when I find it. ;-)

Snow globes - Mary Poppins party

As I said in my post about the party I love the snowglobe scene and feed the birds song from the Mart Poppins movie.

Here's how we made the snowglobes.
Baby food jars - upcycled
Nickels- 1 per jar
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
glitter- I used pink because I already had it. I wonder if there is any tiny bird shaped glitter out there.... that would be super cool!

Sprinkle a bit of glitter into the jar filled with water.

Hot glue a nickel standing upright onto the inside of the lid.

Put the lid on the jar and turn it over. If there is a large bubble like you see here, you may want to add more water, I wasn't able to get it bubble free but it was much better.

Spoonful of sugar - Mary Poppins party treat

I have been thinking of this often lately while I have been taking NyQuil, imagine if it were not sweet and candy flavored... I shudder to think what it would taste like.

Anyway, spoonfuls of sugar sound completely simple enough, but to make for less mess and more fun here's what I did.

I put plastic spoons on a plate, then I put a drop or two of water in each spoon then poured green sugar sprinkles over the water till the spoons were full and let it sit for at least a day and overnight to dry. The sprinkles hardened into a lump and stuck to the spoon, perfect for easy serving. The green was inspired by the Lime cordial flavored medicine Michael had to take after being out in the rain, and showed up nice on the spoon, as well as giving the kids green mouths which they fully enjoyed. I thought of making some in red for Jane's flavor but didn't. Incidentally at that time I thought some real Rum punch would be yummy for the grown ups at the party since that was the flavor of Mary's medicine, although I would serve it in cute vintage crystal punch cups. If it were the right group of parent's I would totally do that, but didn't this time.