Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flats Challenge Day 2: Homemade Love

It's Day #2 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge and I'm definitely feeling the flat love. Only one leak yesterday, but I was really pushing the diapers to the limit so I think that was pretty awesome. I was even able to use one small, thin, Child of Mine flat all by itself with no leaks with a kite fold (though it was SOAKED under the cover). Very impressive.

I am also loving the camp washer.  Makes things very easy and looks like it works very well.  I say "looks like" because I only did half of a wash cycle last night.  I filled the bucket with cold water and agitated them a bit for a pre-rinse, then filled the bucket with hot water and detergent and agitated some more.  Then I got distracted and left them in the hot soapy water overnight.  I'm thinking that won't hurt and may help, and I'm up to rinse and hang them before the kids get up.  I was wiping and reusing my covers yesterday so I only ended up needing three all day.  I also had plenty of diapers left over, so I'll be fine today while waiting for the rest of the stuff to dry.

I had planned on just participating in the flats challenge with my diapered baby, but it occurred to me that it would kind of be cheating to then go and put a pull up on my four year old at bedtime.  So back to Walmart I went.  They didn't have any Child of Mine covers in a 5T so I went with the flannel and fleece from the craft department.  I didn't get home until bedtime so I just tied the flannel and fleece on Violet all crazy like and I'll cut some real flats and covers today.

Speaking of homemade fabulousness, today we have a special treat with guest blogger Monica Weller.  Without further ado, take it away Monica!

I'm so excited to share with you about making homemade laundry detergent. I have been making my own laundry detergent for well over a year now and I use it exclusively. I'm especially thankful to have homemade laundry detergent for my cloth diapers.

We have a large family and I try to save money any chance I get. I wasn't sure if making laundry detergent would work for us or not but I figured I didn't have much to lose if it didn't work and if it did work doing this could potentially save our family some considerable dollars.

Well it worked and I am not going back. We have a septic system so I make liquid detergent but you can make a powder version if you prefer. This is the recipe I use:

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha
1/2 C Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not Baking Soda)
1/2 C Borax
1/2 to 1 ounce of essential oil, if desired
2 Gallon size bucket

Grate the bar of Fels Naptha soap into a pan. Add 6 cups water. Heat until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved making sure all the grated bar soap has melted. Pour into bucket. Add 4 cups very hot water. Stir. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups hot water. Stir again. Let the soap sit overnight. It will form into a watery gel. Ready to use after about 24 hours.

Use 1/2 cup per load. You can use 1/4 cup for high efficiency washers. This soap has minimal suds but that is okay. The suds is an additive in commercial detergents.

This is wonderful if you have allergies.

This is also very cost effective.
Fels Naptha: $1.09 for 5 1/2 oz. bar
Borax: $4.26 for 76 oz.
Washing Soda: $2.57 for 55 oz.

So for $7.92 you can get all the ingredients. I checked Tide HE at Sam's Club and they sell it for $19.98 for 170 oz. bottle. The savings is at minimum is 1/20 the cost. So what are you waiting for?

This is the only detergent I use for my cloth diapers. I use the rinse only cycle (cold water) and then I add the detergent and wash my diapers on the sanitize cycle (hot water) and they come out great every time.

Good Luck! 

Thanks Monica!  I am very excited to try this out myself.  I am trying out SO many new things with this challenge, and every one of them has been great so far, I'm sure your detergent will be too. 

Because I LOVE Monica's recipes.  Mostly the edible ones, but I can only imagine this one will be fantastic in a less delicious way.

Monica has also published a cookbook full of great recipes (the edible kind lol) called, simply enough, "Homemade Cookbook".  She's planning on starting a recipe blog soon but if you're feeling hungry before then, you can email me at bogflower at gmail dot com and I'll give you all the info about ordering a cookbook of your own.  They are $13 and chock full of family-friendly recipes.

So, after a great day of flat diapering, where does that leave us?

Total $$ Spent: $115.02 with tax (yet ANOTHER Walmart trip to get fleece and flannel for preschool overnight diapers)
Total Time Spent: 2:52 (added another Walmart trip, 6 changes, some time spent figuring out how to make a quick bedtime diaper, and half a "wash cycle")
Total Diapers Changed: 6
Total Leaks: 1

See you tomorrow!

***Want to learn more about the flats challenge?  See the official rules here.***

Flats and Handwashing Challenge 2011:
A Walmart Shopping Spree
Getting Prepped
It's So Campy
Bye Bye Love
Day 1: So It Begins...
Day 2: Homemade Love
Day 3: Wordless Wednesday
Day 4: Noso Glory
Day 4.5: The Apoocalypse
Day 5: TGIF!
Day 6: Sharing the Love
Day 7: Your Grandma's Diapers
Reflections in a Yellow Puddle
The Happy Anteater

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