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Some Tips for Line-Drying Laundry

This is an article from my archives which I wrote a little over 2 years ago. Since we have a really beautiful day for line-drying here, I thought I would do a re-post of it.

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Today’s post is all about laundry. In the past, I have shared how I’ve saved a bundle making my own laundry detergent and how I enjoy hanging mine out to dry instead of using my dryer. Today I’ll give you some reasons why line-drying is beneficial as well as some useful tips for those of you who line-dry your clothes, or would like to try it out.


Reasons to Line Dry Your Laundry
1. Saves Energy– Hanging out your wash is a simple and green way to reduce energy waste.
2. Saves Money-Not using your dryer regularly can make a nice reduction in your electric bill.
3. Reduces Wear on Clothes– Do you ever notice how much lint is collected after running your dryer? That’s all stuff being worn off of the fabric of your clothing. Allowing your clothes to air dry will lengthen the lifespan of most clothing items.
4. Kills Germs– Sunshine can be a wonderful thing. When it comes to laundry, it has antibacterial qualities, effectively killing off germs.
5. Freshness– There’s nothing like the smell of laundry that has been blowing out in the breeze and sunshine all day. As far as I’m concerned, no store-bought product can really mimic it.
6. Physical Activity– Sure, it’s not like going for some intense running or training session, but hanging everything out does use up some muscle and energy. Hey, every little bit counts, right?
7. Soothing– You may think this sounds weird, but I find hanging out laundry to be very soothing and almost relaxing. I’m usually able to at least sort of tune out my family during the time it takes to do this. Believe me, being out in the fresh air and sunshine is good for people too!!


Tips For Line-Drying Laundry
Shake your clothing pieces out right before hanging. This will help reduce wrinkles.
Hang shirts by their bottom hem. Doing so keeps them from getting pulled out and weird-looking at the shoulders.
Avoid overlapping items. Try to hang everything so it’s just a single thickness, if possible.
-For larger or heavier items, use more than 2 clothespins to keep it from sagging. Or from blowing off if it is a really windy day!
Watch the weather. Believe me, it is so frustrating to hang everything out only to have it not dry properly or have them rained on! Before hanging, make sure the whole day looks decent for hanging.
Start your wash early. If you plan on hanging multiple loads in a day, start washing early enough so you can get everything out in good time. This is especially important if you have somewhere to go in the morning. Get it out before leaving the house!
Plan wash on fair weather days. I have actually been doing this a lot lately. I’ve been saving up my loads for good clothes-drying days to reduce my dryer use.
Fluff in the dryer-If you do not like that “crispy” feel air-drying can give jeans or towels, just throw them in the dryer for maybe 5 minutes to fluff them.
Pair socks as you hang– This may save you time later. Pair them up and hang both by one corner with a clothespin.
Hang in order– This is one I made up, but I swear it saves me time! If I’m being thoughtful about it, I hang the clothing out in age order. For example, I hang all my husband’s clothes, then mine, then our oldest son’s, and so on.
Fold as you take down– If I follow the step above, I fold as I go and it’s already sorted and ready to put away!!

Craft/DIY Ideas, Recipes

Handmade Christmas Series: Laundry Detergent

Greetings! I have another handmade Christmas idea for you. This one’s for all the really practical people in your life.

Who doesn’t use laundry detergent though, right?

Right.

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Now, I’ve done a couple of laundry detergent recipes on here before. As you can see, this is a powdered version.

I tweaked this one a little from my previous powdered recipe, this time using a bar of Zote Soap instead of Fels Naptha.

The Zote soap comes in a mega-sized pink bar. Besides being a pretty pink color, it smells nice and fresh too.

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Here’s the recipe–it can be easily doubled, tripled, etc. if you are making a bunch of this.

1 Bar grated Zote Soap

1/2 C Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

1/2 C Borax

Mix well and store in an airtight container. Use 1 TB for a light load and 2 TB for a heavy one.

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Place in a mason jar or other gift-able container, add a nice tag, and you have a great little gift!

Craft/DIY Ideas

Homemade Fabric Softener

I can’t believe I haven’t tried this out before. As some of you already may have read here before, I’ve made my own laundry detergent and haven’t had to buy any for the past 2 years. I honestly still get a bit of sticker shock whenever I happen to see detergent at a store and peek at the price. However, another thing sometimes gives me sticker shock as well–the price of fabric softeners. I hadn’t bought any in some time and had a coupon for one of the newer kinds. Once I got to the store, I priced it out and discovered it was still way more than I was willing to pay for what would be probably a month’s worth of laundry loads for our family. So, I thought the DIY version was worth a try, especially to the tune of @$1 a pop.

The recipe really is super easy and took me maybe 5 minutes or so to whip up.

All you need is the following ingredients: 6 cups of hot water, 3 cups of white vinegar, and 2 cups of hair conditioner.

I got out a big mixing bowl and added the hot water first. Then I squirted the conditioner in, mixing it until well dissolved. Lastly I added the vinegar and mixed that in well too.

Place in a bottle or recycled container of some sort. (I ended up putting mine in a washed out milk jug.) This ends up making well over half a gallon of fabric softener!

To make this even more cost-effective, use a cheap conditioner, just make sure you pick one that smells good to you.

Craft/DIY Ideas, Recipes

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

I’m excited to cross one more thing off of my typical grocery/household spending list. Our family typically fills a dishwasher load every day and I usually run it every night. In the past, I’ve been a big fan of dishwasher tablets and have used them pretty faithfully. However, what I don’t dig is how much they end up costing me. Since I discovered how cost-effective making your own laundry detergent is, I was on the hunt for a good dishwasher detergent recipe. I was ecstatic to find one that used a lot of the same ingredients as the laundry detergent recipe I use. Willing to at least give it a go, I made this recipe this past week and have been quite pleased with the results.

It definitely does a great job at cleaning our grungy dishes and I’m loving the cost. As you can see, it makes a powder form of detergent. I put it in a clear plastic canister with a pour spout and stuck an old measuring spoon inside. Interested in possibly making your own? Here’s the recipe I followed:

Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup Borax

1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

1/2 cup citric acid

1/2 cup salt

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and put in an airtight container. Use 1 TB per load.

I also recommend using a shot of white vinegar as a rinse aid. It works great!

Recipes

Laundry Detergent Recipe

“There’s one thing that everyone can count on–death and taxes.” Ever heard that statement before? Well, here’s a quote from me to all of you Moms out there who are also blessed by a “quiver”: There’s one thing that you can count on everyday–laundry. I can reminisce to the days when my hubby and I only had to do laundry once a week. In fact, I think I still did it only once or twice a week when our firstborn arrived. Well, there’s no way in heck I could do that now. There would be a ginormous mountain of towels, tees, undies, and various other dirtied goodies awaiting me if I waited that long. By the time we had 5, I pretty much had to do at least one load a day, often times more. I was using laundry detergent like it was going out of style! As you all know, unless you get some kind of super thrifty deal, that is one expense that can add up in your grocery bill.

Last spring I was checking my facebook page and saw that an old friend of mine (who also has a brood) posted how she loved the smell of making laundry detergent. Needless to say, I was intrigued  and inquired about it. She told me she got a recipe off of the Duggar’s website (you know, the folks who really have a brood!) and swears by it. I checked it out, bought the ingredients, and tried my first batch in the beginning of June. Well, it cost me less than $2 to make, lasted around 3 months, and did a good job on our laundry. Since then, I have recommended it to other Mom friends and thought you may be interested too! So, here it is–I have been using the liquid variety personally. It doesn’t turn out looking extremely uniform and beautiful, mine is often lumpy and clumpy, but I am told that is normal!

Liquid Laundry Soap

4 cups hot water

1 bar Fels Naptha soap

1 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda

1/2 cup Borax

Grate soap bar and add to a saucepan with water. Stir on Med-high heat until soap dissolves. Fill a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full of hot water. Add melted soap, washing soda, and borax. Stir until dissolved. Fill bucket to top with hot water. Stir, cover, and let sit overnight.

Stir and fill a used, clean laundry detergent dispenser 1/2 full of soap mixture and rest of the way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel) Use 5/8 cup per load.

Optional-add essential oil to mixture once soap has cooled for fragrance.

 

Powdered Laundry Detergent

1 cup grated Fels Naptha soap

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup Borax

Use 1 TBSP for light washing and 2 TBSP for a heavy load.

*Note that it says Arm & Hammer washing soda, not regular baking soda! I buy my ingredients at an Amish dry goods store, but I have seen some of these ingredients at Wal Mart as well.