Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pincushions, and our homemade laundry detergent

Keyomi, you're so sweet! Thank you for your concern. We have been sick lately -- 7 of the 8 Monkeys came down with something. . . even baby Owen! Owen is also teething, so it's been real fun around here lately.

I have crafted a few small projects. I managed to stitch this order of pincushions when I wasn't rocking sick babies, and while enduring another bout of insomnia. I guess 2 dozen pincushions isn't really a small project, but it took me two weeks to complete it!

I've been on another poppy kick:

The other day I wanted an autumn hair clip, so I whipped this one up in just a few minutes:

Yikes! This photo really highlights my gray!!! I'm trying not to worry about that. Really. I consider myself lucky to have kept my color this long, as premature graying runs in our family. My grandpa was completely gray by 20, and my aunts had gray hair for as long as I can remember. . . and they aren't that old. Sigh.

Oh! I have to tell you about our recent laundry escapade!

Our normal laundry detergent suddenly stopped working last week. Just stopped. I am guessing that it is build-up or something. . . I don't know. What I do know is that our clothes weren't getting clean, and they stunk.

My friend Cathie, of SweetWolf fame, told me about this fantastic homemade laundry soap she discovered! It was awesome timing, and funny, too -- because my dad had just forwarded me the same website. It was meant to be.

Cathie tried the liquid soap recipe, and said it worked great on their clothes. Very low suds, and if you want a scented soap, you can add whatever essential oils you want to the mix.

I decided to try the dry recipe (at the bottom of this page.)

This recipe recommends using Fels Naptha soap, but I had found other recipes that said you can substitute other soaps and still have great results. Zote is readily available on the laundry aisle in our local stores, so I used that. (And it was only $.97!) The borax was also available there for about $3. I could not find the washing soda anywhere, so I ordered it online from It was on sale at the time, and had free shipping, so it was the cheapest option at the time -- $4.99 per box. I also bought some biokleen cleaner for a laundry booster and other green cleaning jobs.

One of my older monkeys grated the soap for me, and then we let it dry out for a day or two. Next, we grated it in a cheap blender (that we use for non-food items) and mixed it with the washing soda and borax. Easy, quick, and green.

But how does it work? AMAAAZING! Our clothes smell so fresh, and they are getting clean. You do have to start running the water in your machine first, then add the soap (I use about 3 tablespoons because we have large, dirty loads) and let it dissolve a second or two before adding the clothes. When I have a load of laundry with a lot of protein-based stains (think kids,) I use a squirt of the biokleen to help break those down. I love this recipe, and we'll be using this for a long time. (Thanks, Cathie!)


  1. 1. not fun!
    2.the pin cushions are adorable!
    3. clip is soo cute..u r totally talented
    4. home made laundry detergent? just too the sick kids..u sure did get quite a bit done! :)
    Welcome back!! :)

  2. Wow, you have been so busy, with sick littlies as well. The pin cushions look so divine, well done!


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