Laundry, Laundry, Laundry

Laundry is not my favorite.  It is like an exercise in futility, but for emergency purposes or long term power outages dirty laundry will need to be dealt with.

I bought a laundry plunger thingy, soap and already had buckets.  I thought I was covered, but, while reading an article about hand washing laundry in the Paratus Familia Blog which can be found here,    she mentioned it took 3 days to dry her laundry when hand wrung.  I envisioned hanging laundry dripping on my carpet and wood floors in the winter and set out to find a new plan. This is what I came up with:

Laundry Equipment        Wringer close-up

The wringer was not cheap.  I found it at getpreparedstuff.com.  They also sell replacement rollers which made me wonder how sturdy it is.  I found the galvanized tub at Lowe’s.  The clamps couldn’t quite reach on the tub so I needed wood blocks in between.  

I wanted to make sure it all worked so I brought my kids outside to demonstrate because I want them to know how to use the stuff I have.  My boys were sooooo uninterested.  I could tell by their faces they were fantasizing about their future wives doing their laundry.  I shook the laundry soap in a small jar with water to dissolve it before it went in with the clothes.  Let the clothes soak for a while so the soap can do most of the work for you.  The wringer struggled with jeans I am guessing due to the differing thicknesses from seams. I can see why it took a whole day to wash laundry back in the day.  

Don’t forget to have clothespins and clothesline in your storage as well.

Clothespins

I didn’t really want to hang our undies outside to dry so I bought a collapsible laundry rack like this one.  I would like to get one more at some point.  Also as a fuel saving option I purchased a couple of solar shower bags.  They are designed to lay flat on a table in the sun and are supposed to heat water up to 120 degrees F depending on outdoor conditions.

Laundry Rack                       Water Heater

Laundry Soap

I had heard of making your own laundry soap from a friend so I thought I would give that a try as well.  There are a million (I don’t even think I am exaggerating) recipes out there.  I chose the powdered option with these ingredients.  My grocery store had everything in the laundry aisle, how convenient.  This recipe I found at “The Harried Homemaker” blog found here.  I multiplied the recipe by 3 so I wouldn’t have to make it that often.

Laundry Soap

    Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap

3 bars Fels-Naptha Soap
3 cups Washing Soda
3 cup borax
1 1/2 cups oxyclean

Directions:  Finely grate Fels-Naptha Soap.  I did this using a food processor to grate it, then the blade to grind it pretty fine, like cornmeal, kinda.  Mix grated soap and other ingredients in a 3 gallon bucket.  Use 1-2 Tbs per load.

This is a non-sudsy laundry soap so it works well for HD machines.  I have a friend who tried the powdered version in her HD machine and it gunked it up a bit.  If this is a concern try a liquid version.  Do a search for other laundry soap recipes to see if there are any that would work better for your family

If you love your laundry soap then store that up.  I like this because:

  • it has less chemicals in it for our overly sensitive skin
  • it has a fresh clean scent and cleans really well
  • it is concentrated so you can store a whole years supply in one bucket
  • it is roughly 4-cents per load
  • it literally took 15 minutes to make
  • the ingredients have other household cleaning uses as well so I don’t have to store up cleaners, I can just use what I have.

Please share in the comment section if you have any other ideas to make laundry more efficient!

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