Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Oh, my gosh, I love this stuff!  I get so tired of paying exorbitant prices for laundry detergent that is mostly water.  And truth be told, I think that's why the detergent companies have pushed the liquid detergents over the last couple of decades and cut back production on the dry, they make way more money on the liquid.  The homemade stuff is pennies per load and works just as well. 

To make:

1 bar of Fels Naptha bar soap, grated
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda
1/2 cup baking soda

Grate the Fels Naptha with a cheese grater, then add the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl and stir.

Put about half of the mixture in a blender and grind until the Fels Naptha is a more grain like consistency. 

Transfer to the mixture from the blender to a storage container (mine is an old plastic Folgers can) and then grind up the rest of the mixture.

By the way, that's not my normal blender pitcher in the picture above.  That's an old pickle jar.  (Bonus hint, you can use a mason jar or any old screw top jar that fits on your blender and make your own Magic Bullet.)  I had planned to store my laundry soap in that jar but then my husband dropped a jar of jalapenos in the garage when he was unloading the groceries and I decided since he helps with the laundry quite a bit, I probably ought to stick with something non-breakable. 

For light loads, you only need 1 tablespoon of soap.  For heavier loads, 2 tablespoons.

Because this is low sudsing, you can use it in high efficiency washers.  I have a Fischer-Paykel machine and this worked great in it.  The first load of laundry I did using this contained one very gamey sweatshirt and my favorite sweater that my grandson had spit up all over.  Both came out smelling great and clean as a whistle.

Wine Glass Coasters (or regular coasters with a secret life!)

Oh my!  I've neglected this blog so!  Oh well, that's what a new grandbaby and a whole bunch of other stuff crammedintojustafewmonths will do.  But it's a new year and I'm going to try to do better.  Towards that end, here's an addictive little project that is quick and easy and uses up those fat quarters or fabric scraps you have in your stash.

You’ll need a 4.5” square ruler, a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and assorted fabric of your choice.

For each coaster, you will need 6 squares of fabric.  (The square ruler and the rotary cutter make it easy to cut several squares at once so you can make multiple coasters.)

Take 4 squares, fold each in half, then iron.
You should have 4 halves, and 2 squares. Layout the folded squares, overlapping one end over the next to determine the placement you’d like for your coasters.

With the remaining squares, place them wrong sides together.

Then place your folded squares, on top of the unfolded squares. 
BE SURE YOU GET THE CENTER OF THE FOLDED SQUARES AS CLOSE TOGETHER AS POSSIBLE!  Also be sure that all your fabric lines up evenly on all 4 sides.

Sew all the way around with a scant ¼” seam.  (I only use one pin in the center.  You may want to use more.  I’m just lazy.)

Clip the outside corners diagonally.  (Excuse the glare, but you get the idea.)

Turn the coaster inside out and if needed, poke the corners out to a point, then press flat.

Slide your wine glass in between the folds and voila, a wine glass coaster.  Or, if you are like me, you just use it as a regular coaster.