Laundry Lessons

I've tried a lot of money saving things over the years. If I can pinch a penny, I will. Twice. So when I heard how you could make your own laundry soap, I was all over that. I bought stuff to make my own laundry detergent, and spent half a day making about 5 gallons of it, only to realize that it didn't work. It's unclear whether I messed up the recipe or if the liquid version just isn't as easy to make as the powder kind. (We can't use powder detergents here. They build up like a block of styrofoam in the septic and back the system up. Things ain't pretty when that happens.) But the point is, my attempt didn't work. I may or may not try that again someday.

When I was reading about DIY detergents, I read that most laundry soaps suggest you use WAY TOO MUCH when doing a load of laundry. It was suggested, by whomever wrote the article, that a fraction of what is suggested would be just fine. And it was further stated that there is such a build-up of detergent in laundry from the overuse of said detergent that you could feasibly wash a load of towels with no soap whatsoever and it would still suds up. I cut down on the amount of soap drastically after I read that. My clothing really does come out clean and fresh smelling, so whoever the "they" is that wrote that article must know whereof they're speaking.

Today I ran out of laundry detergent. As I was washing towels, I thought it would be a great time to test the truth of the statement that a load of towels could be washed with no soap whatsoever and it would still suds up. Just to make my mind feel better about things, I did add both bleach and fabric softener. I shuffled the towels from washer to dryer, and ran into town for groceries.

While I was in town, the school nurse called. Micah had an accident at school and I had to go pick him up. When I walked into the nurse's office, the smell was unmistakable. Micah had an accident alright. Poor kiddo. And the can of Lysol they'd emptied trying to cover the smell didn't exactly work. Instead, it was simply adding to the aromas of the room. Both the soiled pants and the Lysol were strong-arming it for the right to be the main smell in the room. Neither were winning. I felt sorry for the nurse who had to spend the rest of her day in there.

After starting a bath for Micah, I tossed his clothes in the washer and grabbed a towel out of the dryer. It was then that I remembered about the laundry experiment, so I put my nose deep in the warm towel and inhaled deeply.

Yeah. "They" were not exactly accurate in the "towels can be washed without detergent and they'll still suds up" statement. Those towels smelled like the nurse's office. Both the "I need washed" smell and the bleach were pungent, and there was nothing fresh about it. I'll be re-washing the load of towels now that I have laundry soap.

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