Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Uninvited Guest!

Leona started showing signs of a fever last Thursday with a runny nose.  She is teething 2 top teeth so we just thought it was that.  Then, I thought maybe she was starting a sinus infection because my allergies were terrible, so I began giving her Benadryl on a regular basis.

Friday & Saturday were miserable for her.  Her fever reached 101 & she just wanted to cuddle all the time...which anyone who knows her knows that she is always too busy for cuddling!   Soon vomitting followed the fever, as well as several baths to keep it under control.  Ben was supposed to be on-call, but ended up getting done early to help me with her, especially since I had been at ECA every day that week.

Sunday morning she woke-up with a slight rash on her face.  About a 1/2 hour later I began to put some things together.  A little over a week before she had gotten the chickenpox vaccine.  I had heard of several people that had gotten them from the vaccine, so I began checking her body.  Sure enough...she was covered!  I couldn't believe it!

I am praising the Lord though! She shows no signs of itching!  I can't imagine trying to tell a strong-willed young toddler not to scratch them!  Her fever has been gone since Sunday too.  Really it's just an ugly, annoying rash now.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Making Laundry Soap


Well in another endeavor to save our family money, I started making my own laundry soap.

Who ever thought I would be a cloth diapering, homemaker who made her own laundry soap??

 It worked out great & to think that I will spend about 60 cents for 64 loads of laundry!

Did you do the math? That's less than 1 cent a load!!!! WOW!

Here is my recipe for a DOUBLE BATCH---4 gallons: (based on The Family Homestead site where you can find the single batch recipe)
2/3 bar Zote, grated
9 cups water
1 cup Borax (20 Mule Team found in the laudry aisle)
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda; found at Super Wal-Mart, Meijer and Kroger)
8 cups HOT water
3 gallons (12 qts.) water
optional: 1 oz. essential oils (any scent from lavendar, lemon, rosemary, to tea tree)
Zote is a laundry bar of soap.  I found it at a regular Wal-Mart in the laundry section on a bottom shelf.  You can also use Fels Naptha.  Zote is a larger bar of soap & stronger in my opinion.

Borax you can find at Wal-Mart, Kroger or Meijer, again in the Laundry section.

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda is a little more tricky to find.  I found it at our local Meijer & Super Wal-Mart. Most people say they have to order it online. Meijer.com would have it too!  Be careful!  This is NOT baking soda or Arm & Hammer's detergent baking soda.  Refer to the picture!

 Put the grated Zote bar into the pan.  Add the 9 cups of water.  Warm & stir until all of the soap has melted really well. Measure out the other ingredients while you wait so they are ready to go.

Add the cups of Borax & Super Washing Soda.  Stir unti dissolves (not long).

I use a canning pot for the rest of the recipe.  You can use one of those big buckets from Lowe's if you want!  Add 8 cups of HOT water.  (I warmed mine in the microwave & had it ready to go)  Stir really well to the large pot or bucket. Pout the laundry soap mix to the pot or bucket. Stir well.

Add 3 gallons of water to the large pot or bucket. I typically use warm water so that my soap doesn't get too thick while I am pouring.

Use a funnel to pour the detergent into old detergent bottles or water jugs.  You could just use the big bucket to dish it out of, but I wanted something more handy.  The consistency is like sloppy, thick JELL-O.  Just shake the bottle before you pour.  You'll want to use 1/2 cup per load.  (HE or front loader washers will use 1/4 cup---that's 1 cent per 2 loads!)  For dirtier loads I use a little more and for smaller loads I use a little less.

Here is my finished product, minus another gallon water jug.  The smaller containers and jars are for friends to try.  A lot of people were so interested in how well I liked it!

I have to say that I really like it so far.  There are no chemicals to worry about.  It is all natural.  I will use Oxyclean FREE with a few loads that need a little extra whitener.  You can find a brightner recipe here. The main ingredient in Oxyclean is peroxide! My girlfriend uses 1/2 peroxide and 1/2 white vinegar.  She uses peroxide to clean her carpets too!

I thought about adding some essential oils to the recipe because I love fresh smelling laundry, but I use fresh smelling liquid softner from Melaleuca, so I didn't bother.  My first load I tried it with bath towels...the true test.  We'll see how long they stay smelling nice!  So far, so good!  My whites were great!  I am not seeing any changes in my clothes, either!!

UPDATE: I am now on my second batch & loving it.  My batch lasted from Sept to February for my family of 3!  I love it. I think I will try the oils this time.  You CAN'T use this on cloth diapers, so that is a bummer.  I use Trader Joe's & Oxi Clean FREE for those special loads.

NEWEST UPDATE: I've been making my own laundry soap for nearly 3 years. I am still loving it! You can find some helpful tips here.

A friend of mine uses this recipe:
4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax
4 gallons + 12 cups water
Once you start making your own laundry soap, it is a slippery soap to make tons of homemade cleaners!  I will be posting those I have tried on my blog too!  Thanks to those that have shared in this experience and encouraged me in this adventure! Love ya Krista!

If you try it, you have to let me know what you think--- LEAVE A COMMENT!