Archives For Laundry

Check it. My laundry detergent is looking all cute and junk.

homemade laundry detergent

I already had the glass cylinder (my mom got it for me a long time ago and I think it came from Walmart). I got the blue tin for $1 at an estate sale. It’s been moved around the house several times trying to find itself but finally seems to have settled in as an attractive vessel for oxyclean–side note, love that stuff. My laundry appliances are so old that the temperature knob is broken off the dryer and the washer scoots halfway across the room during the course of a normal spin cycle, but I’m making metaphorical lemonade with my cute containers.

cute containers for laundry detergent and oxyclean

I do a lot of laundry these days and detergent is freaking expensive. After months of sticker shock every time I purchased a container of my beloved powdered tide I decided to give homemade detergent a try. Most of the recipes online are for a huge batch to be stored in a giant bucket. I didn’t want to commit to a year’s supply without knowing how I’d like it first so I adjusted the proportions to make a more reasonable amount. My recipe is pretty simple:

  • 1 bar of soap (Zote white soap was 99 cents in the laundry aisle of my grocery store)
  • 1 cup each oxyclean, baking soda, washing soda, and borax

I couldn’t find washing soda at my grocery store, but thanks to my friend Mr. Google I discovered that heat acts as a catalyst to convert baking soda to washing soda. So I poured some baking soda out onto a cookie sheet and baked it for a while until it changed consistency and a test sample of it no longer reacted with vinegar. Yay chemistry! I used my food processor to grate the soap, then mixed everything together in my glass canister and wa-lah! Laundry detergent. I melted my plastic scoop trying to get to washing soda off the hot baking sheet so I had to search my kitchen for something else that would work. I found a shot glass that held exactly two tablespoons, which was perfect. I don’t know that I would use the food processor to grate the soap again. It kept getting all jammed up and I worried I was damaging the motor, plus the soap never got to the powdery consistency I was hoping for. Maybe next time I’ll grate it by hand first and then put it in the food processor.

I’ve also been making my own dishwasher detergent. I don’t have a picture of it but it’s stored in a glass canister on the kitchen counter with a metal tablespoon in there as a scoop. The recipe is equal parts borax and baking soda (though I may try washing soda now that I know how to make it) and a couple packs of lemonade kool-aid. You can use citric acid if you’re fancy but I didn’t know where to get it and I buy kool-aid on sale for 11 cents a packet. It gets clumpy and hard sometimes but who cares, it’s cheap and it works.

I’m not convinced that the homemade laundry detergent is enough to get Jack’s cloth diapers clean but I’m willing to give it a try. When I run out of the batch I’ve got maybe I’ll tweak the recipe somehow. Any ideas from you lovely readers?

I love when I find something that just works. Sometimes the smallest thing can be a total lifechanger if it just meets a need and works well. These purchases are not glamorous, but they are exciting nonetheless. Example A: my jar opener.

jar opener
Evriholder EasiTwist Jar Opener, Assorted Colors

I bought this thing circa 2010 because I needed something to bump my Amazon total above $25 so I could get free super saver shipping. Ah, those were the days. I have Amazon Prime now and it’s so worth it for me because I buy a lot from Amazon. I am never frustrated about opening jars anymore because this thing works better than any other contraption I’ve ever tried. I think it’s the combination of rubber grip + leverage that makes the difference.

hanger holder
Spectrum 35000 Hanger Holder

I bought this hanger holder two years ago in an effort to make my laundry room a little more functional. I love it. I actually don’t use it for hangers that much because I am not good at keeping hangers in the laundry room to hang things right out of the dryer, but I use it to hang up things to dry. I either drape them over it or use it to hang this handy thing from Ikea. When not in use it folds right up and out of the way.

cabinet turntable
Copco 2555-0187 Non-Skid 2-Tier Cabinet Turntable, 12-Inch

I bought this turntable a year ago and have exactly zero complaints. I use it in my pantry to stow the stuff we use most frequently. Our pantry is not huge and it’s so helpful to have our go-to food items so easily accessible.

Isn’t it nice when things just work the way they’re supposed to? And actually last? I were iPhone chargers were so durable. We just had another one bite the dust after Jack got to it. We could probably both have new phones with all the money we’ve spent on chargers over the years.

I’ve been wanting to hang some sort of colorful art in a particular spot in the laundry room for a couple of months now. I was waiting for inspiration to strike and when I had these tissue paper circles leftover from Jack’s birthday party I had an idea.

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I got out a piece of white construction paper (though in retrospect I could’ve used regular printer paper or cardstock–I wasn’t sure how or whether I’d frame it at first so bigger seemed better) and started at the bottom layering tissue paper circles in rows.

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My technique was basically to paint a thin layer of mod podge (you could also use watered down glue), lay down a row of circles, repeat. I didn’t stress about perfection.

diy tissue paper art

It took me less than an hour to complete and was actually a really relaxing thing for me to do while Jack was napping. Notice how I made the circles overlap the edges of the paper. I figured I’d just fold them over or trim them with scissors.

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I went over a couple ideas for mounting it to the wall, including just sticking it up there with some tape, and in the end I decided to frame it. I trimmed it down to 8.5×11 to fit in this Ikea frame but it just didn’t look right.

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So Jack, Pawpaw, and I headed out to Michael’s to pick up this $7 frame. I laid the paper on top of the mat for a more casual look.

easy tissue paper art

I. Love. It. I was hoping for it to look like scallops and it doesn’t, but it does kind of look like bubbles and that’s cool too. I still need to find a pretty pot or basket for that hanging plant.

nook

If you wanted something more subtle you could paint over it with a single color so the texture would still come through but the colors wouldn’t. I really like the hit of color on the white wall though.

pretty and functional utility room

I would’ve taken down the baby gate for a prettier picture, but Jack was there ready and waiting to make a beeline for the dog’s bowls given any opportunity. Oddly enough he doesn’t seem to mind the gate.

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The other day I mentioned that I finally figured out how to let Juliet come and go from the laundry room while keeping Jack out. See how I just mount the gate about six inches off the ground? A dachshund can crawl under but a baby can’t. I can’t believe it took me so long to think of it!

pets can crawl under but babies can't

It felt good to get back into the crafting groove after a few weeks of not doing much of anything creative! Now I’ve got plans for a few more little projects around the house, but I’m still putting the bulk of my time towards family right now (and studying for my LCSW exam, which it looks like I may FINALLY be taking soon!). I’m off to work today–hope you each have a lovely Tuesday!

I finally got Nick to mount a ceiling hook in the laundry room last night and my macrame fantasy has now come to fruition.

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I used some hemp cord I got at Hobby Lobby (about $6 with coupon) and followed this YouTube tutorial suggested by reader Mary. It was super easy (except for making sure things didn’t get twisted up). For the top I just used a key ring. It was a little tricky to delicately wrestle the plant into the hanger without destroying all the trailing pieces, but I managed somehow. I’m keeping my eye out for a prettier basket or pot to replace the basic plastic one from the nursery.

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In addition to being a haven for plants and cats, this little nook is shaping up to be a very convenient place to stage everything for Jack’s birthday tomorrow–all this stuff would be cluttering up my kitchen counters otherwise, but here it’s out of the way while still being easily accessible.

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Speaking of cats, I keep them from messing with my houseplants by spritzing the leaves with this stuff* every week or two. It really works!

I’m so excited that it’s Friday, y’all. I’m really looking forward to celebrating Jack’s birthday tomorrow and enjoying some peaceful family time on Sunday. And then next week is the Fourth of July, when everyone from my mom’s side of the family gets together to celebrate at my grandparents’ house. I love summer. Thanks for reading, y’all, and have a great weekend!

 

*That’s an affiliate link. If you buy that product from Amazon after following that link a teeny tiny portion of your purchase will go to me for sending you there.