Friday, July 3, 2009

Food Freedom! Laundry Liberation!

Posted By on Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Because what could be more liberating than financial independence? Oh, sure, life and liberty and the whole pursuit of happiness thing factor in, but have you priced them lately? 

Well, I can't solve your big problems – refusing to save, spending more than you earn, insisting on indulging in those optional treats like education, health care and new brakes for the car – but I can share a few bits of advice. Two in particular today:

1. Gather enough funds to get that farm share !

One week of veggies from DeepSeeded!

2. Make your own laundry soap! (Yes, I know, very pedestrian, yet more satisfying than you'd expect.) Costs about $4 for supplies and does about 20 loads: about 20 cents per load. (Tide HE is about $10 for 32 loads: 31 cents per load. If you, like me, do at least five loads a week, that's a savings of almost $30 per year! OK, so not a huge amount, but still – it's three cheap dates !) 

Plus, you're avoiding buying eight or nine plastic bottles per year. (I do far more than five loads a week, so am truly saving money and creating less waste. If you have kids, I'm guessing that applies to you, too.) Last I checked, all that "recycled" plastic just gets shipped to China for "processing" anyway, so really, the only solution is to reduce and reuse. Speaking of, you'll need a plastic bucket to get started...

First, buy a box of Super Washing Soda ($2.99):

Super Washing Soda!

Next, grate a bar of castille (veg-based) soap. I like Kirk's (cheaper) or Dr. Bronner's (smells nice!) or that one they sell in bulk at the Co-op:

Mmmm, citrus-flavored!

Don't leave it unattended or people might think it's cheese and steal a bite:

White cheddar? I'll just have a nibble...

Put the grated soap in a saucepan with enough water to cover and simmer for about half an hour, stirring occasionally.

Soap! It's what's for dinner!

Get the bucket out. Fill with two gallons of your hottest tap water. Then add the soap.

Making sure you've already added the soap – r emember, water and soap first! – stir in two cups of Super Washing Soda. Stir, stir, stir. Then leave to cool overnight, stirring whenever you think about it or walk by.

In the morning, a delightful glop! (Please note: I did not have a bucket, so I tried to improvise. Do not try this at home! Follow the part of the instructions that call for "a bucket." An old powdered detergent tub is perfect !)

A ha! Glop! (I recommend stirring a bit more often.)

A ha! Glop! (I recommend stirring a bit more often – and, once again, use a bucket! Or tub. The aesthetics are much better.)

One-half cup works wonderfully even on stinky teenager clothes (Or diapers! I've been doing this a long time). If you have a regular ladle, that's probably a half-cup right there, so you can leave it in the bucket and give the occasional stir.

Now, you can also use baking soda or Borax, both of which clean effectively, but will not glop up in such a satisfying way. Suitable for front-loaders, top-loaders and heck, I use it in the dishwasher, too! 

(h/t to Hip Mama , from whence this recipe came, so many years ago)

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Jennifer Savage

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