This post has been edited to include two additional laundry recipes!

All right y’all, let’s do laundry.  First things first: laundry soap.  This one’s as easy as clicking over to SouleMama’s recipe, which is pretty much perfect.  Why re-invent the wheel?  While you’re over there, take off your coat and stay a while.  Amanda Blake Soule is one of the best voices out there for simplicity, creativity, and integrity in family life.

Kid-friendly project: Make stain remover with leftover soap bits.  Collect ’em in a jar until it’s halfway full, then add boiling water and stir or shake until the soap has melted.  When it cools it’ll turn into a soapish-jelly sort of awesomeness.  Dip in your fingertips, and put a glob on your stain.  Let it sit if you can.  How cool is that?

Finally, I’m trying to get out of the habit of using dryer sheets because I just don’t like their one-use quality; plus, I read that they have a coating on them that melts in the dryer and coats your clothes, which is what helps with static cling.  Hm.

So I looked around, and found out a few things.  One: fabric softener helps with static cling.  Two: vinegar + baking soda is your homemade fabric softener.  Three: flannel cloth rags make great reusable dryer sheets.  Put it all together?

HOMEMADE FABRIC SOFTENER + DRYER SHEETS

1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup baking soda

1/2 cup water

a few drops of your favorite essential oil – optional

used-up flannel

Mix all ingredients until baking soda is dissolved.  Solution can be used in the rinse cycle of your wash as a fabric softener (1/4 cup).

To make dryer sheets: place fabric softener in a wide, shallow dish or plastic bin.  Cut up some used-up flannel into squares, and soak in fabric softener.  Wring out excess, and let pieces dry completely before first use.  Then simply place a flannel piece in the dryer with your load of clothes.  Re-use until it doesn’t work anymore – you should be able to get a couple dozen loads from one cloth!  When it’s done, just soak it again.

Next week I’ll post three recipes for frugal and natural bathroom cleaning.  Does that say “party” to you, or what?

(Bonus click for sewing Nesters!  After finishing off our kitchen week, I found this crafty tutorial for making your own re-usable “paper” towels.  Seriously clever!  You know this will be the first thing off my sewing machine when I get home…exactly five weeks from today.  Not that anyone’s counting.)

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