Monday, January 31, 2011

how I revolutionized doing laundry...

I recently changed every single thing about how I do laundry. And OH MY WORD my life is so much more streamlined now. Its been totally fabulous.

A while back we started going green in our home. This process has been going really well and we've made many changes in our home. One of our changes is that I now make our own homemade laundry detergent. This turned out to be super simple, very cheap, much healthier than store-bought detergent, and it works really well. My friend, Lisa, posted a tutorial on how to make homemade laundry detergent. I followed her recipe and am quite pleased! For my fabric softener, I add about 1/2 cup of baking soda right in the wash and about 1/2 cup white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser.

That was step one in revolutionizing my laundering process...

Step two is where it gets super amazing.

With five people in our family, we do have quite a bit of laundry in this house. We have nowhere close to the amount of laundry the Duggers have to do, but the sorting and putting away of laundry can still be quite tedious. I used to just collect everyone's laundry and wash it all mixed together (well, I did sort out the whites....) Five people and five different closets equal a lot of time sorting all the folded laundry into the right person's closet. Just typing that last sentence gave me a little headache. Anyway, a while back one of my friends shared her laundry method and I finally gave it a try. Her name is Erin. She's freakin' brilliant. The method? Drum roll please.....

Do each person's laundry all in the same load.

That's it. Simple. Yet brilliant.

I like to keep up on our laundry. I don't really ever let it pile up, so this method works amazing for me, because I don't have heaps and heaps of laundry that all needs done at the same time. On Mondays, I do all of Jack's laundry. On Tuesdays, I do all of Macy's laundry. On Wednesdays, I do all of Zoe's laundry. And I do all of mine and Matt's laundry on the weekends. I do one load of white laundry each week. And I throw in towels, dish rags, etc with any load throughout the week. I seriously LOVE putting laundry away now. I literally fold all of one person's laundry and just walk it ALL in to that same person's room and put it ALL into that same person's closet and drawers. And then I leave that person's room happy and not frustrated because I don't have to enter four other closets and figure out who's laundry needs to go where.

So, really? An entire blog post about laundry? Oh yes.


Lisa Joy said...

Erin is just so smart. :) I do something similar, except I wash me and Eric's clothes together and the boys' clothes and household linens all separately. It's SO much nicer than washing everything at once.

I'm glad you like the laundry detergent. You had mentioned the other day that you weren't too keen on the gloppiness of it. Well, now instead of the Fels-Naptha (which I discovered was not as environmentally-friendly as I thought), I use a bar of castille soap and double the recipe of everything else. I still have to shake it, but it's much creamier. You should be able to find some in the same place as the Fels-Naptha.

Betsy Beers said...

Lisa, I was wondering about how "healthy" Fels-Naptha really is.....mostly based on the lack of info about it out there! Once this batch is gone, I'm certainly going to mix up the recipe a little and try a different bar soap. I'm still happy with my current batch's cleaning power, but for sure will change up the bar soap next time to make it a little less toxic. Thanks for the tip, friend!

Heather Everingham said...

Betsy Betsy Betsy!! While Erin is a smart cookie I agree. You've gotta try this method... you make everyone put away their own laundry. I realize the girls may be a little young but even Max at 3 can do it, and when they don't put it away I put it back into the laundry basket and sit it on the dryer eventually they complain about not having clothes and I let them know where they can find them, and put them away. I also make them take turns putting towels away so I'm not always having to do it. You have avoided my heaps of laundry but I do it all in one day (the whole day) sort it on the couch and let them sort their own piles into pants and p.j.s and hang their own shirts/dresses. Although I'm still washing and folding it all it saves a lot of time for me when they can lend a hand. We don't wear all these clothes ourselves :) I am ready to try your recipe of detergent, and my MIL has been using Fels-naptha for years literally. It has some major stain fighting power!

Vanessa said...

I just love this! As a single parent to two young girls...the laundry piles up as well. I get so busy that I dont get to do it on the weekends and the laundy takes over my apartment! I will be going out today to get 3 hampers! what a great idea!

Amanda said...

Quick question...when you add the baking soda and the vinegar for the fabric softener, are you talking about the Super Washing Soda or just baking soda? And do you add the baking soda when you add the laundry detergent? Also, do you add any water to the vinegar or is it straight up vinegar? Just curious.

Enjoyed your post! Oh, one more thing... do you have a laundry basket in each person's room? And do you really throw all their clothes in at one time or do you do a dark and a light load for each person? Just curious.

Remember...I need a lot of details. :) I was sad not to see you tonight.

Thanks for the post.

Betsy Beers said...

Amanda, I was sad the weather was too crappy to be able to get together tonight too....oh well, we'll see you next week! And, I've seen 2 times where Eric has mentioned something about making babies during a blizzard, so apparently your night will be just fine ;)
When I do laundry, I start the water in the machine, then add the laundry detergent. And right after I add about 1/2 cup baking soda (not super washing soda) in the water with the detergent. And THEN I add non-diluted white vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser thingy. It WILL smell like vinegar when you add it to the dispenser, but I promise your clothes will not smell like vinegar. They will just smell like nothing but "clean smell"! OH, and I don't always add baking soda for the fabric softener part. Sometimes I just use vinegar as a fabric softener. But if there are any jeans or towels or super thick clothes in the load, I'll add the baking soda as well.
And, yep, we have a hamper in everyone's room. When its time to do the laundry, I WILL sort out the whites and then do all the darks in one load. For our family, one time a week we have enough whites to do a load. So, THAT is the only load each week where I will combine all of laundry together. I'm ok with one mixed load each week!
Hope that helps!
Are you using the liquid recipe or did you make the dry detergent?

April said...

Good stuff. I would LOVE to make our own detergent once life becomes our new normal. A friend gave me some homemade detergent for J&A and I LOVE it. BTW: we are now doing laundry have exponentially increased our laundry, especially when Addise poops through everything. Several times a day. Like she did today.

Rebekah said...

I do the same, sans the Fels-Naptha. I use some equal measures of Tide, A&H and Borax. I know, not totally green with the Tide powder still in it, but I was needing a little stronger stain fighting powers!

I do still separate my laundry my colors and do towels sep., but I organized everything in my laundry room before I head back to indv. bedrooms.