The City Chicks

The life and times of a couple of urban farmgirls!

Laundry Day May 3, 2010

Filed under: Little things to help save our planet,The Urban Homestead — Flour Girls & City Chicks @ 5:13 pm
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I can only think of a couple of people in my life that actually like doing laundry.  My grandmother, because she is of the old school days of “if you do a load a day it will never pile up”.  Now maybe she doesn’t enjoy it.  Maybe she is just caught up in the load a day habit thing.   Then there is my friend Celeste…I really don’t think enjoys the prospect of washing her broods laundry any more or less than I like doing my families but you never know.  I am not here to judge.  I just think she enjoys the peace she finds at the clothesline.

Either way laundry is not my favorite chore.  I have tried Granny’s method of a load a day over the years and never stuck with it.  I prefer the City Chick method of wait and do it all in one day when I have nothing clean left to wear.  Life is to short for me to worry if I got my daily load done.  When that day of the week comes along I do like to keep it easy and in the non winter months I too find it somewhat enjoyable.  I really dislike lugging the basket up the stairs and out to the laundry line over and over again but it is all worth it when the weather cooperates.  Nothing beats what I consider the best part…pulling the clothes off the line.  They smell so crisp, clean and fresh and best of all they are usually wrinkle free.  Plus, as a bonus, line drying is good for our environment.  It is hard to imagine that so many suburbs prohibited people from having a clothesline.  If you are one of those folks you should visit the folks over at the Right To Dry.  Even if you are lucky enough to have one take a look.  It is very interesting.

To make my laundry days bright and cheery I use a homemade laundry soap that smells fresh, is cost effective, is good for the environment and most of all it cleans amazingly!  Of course, don’t forget that the extra dose of vitamin D you get from hanging those clothes out to dry inthe sun will boost your spirits as well.


1 box of Borax

1 box of Washing Soda

3 bars of Fels Naptha laundry soap

1 economy size box of Baking Soda (optional)

1 container of any oxi cleaner (optional)


  • Dump the Borax and washing soda into a large bucket (mine is about 3 gal.).  Use a bucket with a tight-fitting lid!  If you are adding the oxi cleaner and baking soda you can add it now as well.
  • Grate your 3 bars of Fels Naptha soap.  If you have never used, seen or worked with it before it is a very hard soap.  I highly recommend using a food processor to help with this step.  Otherwise it could take all day to grate.  (not literally)  If you are using a food processor shred it through like you would cheese.    
  • Once it is shredded you can add it to the bucket.  However, I prefer to double process mine.  So I place my soap “cheese” into a glass bowl and change my blade on the food processor to the mixing one.  Then I add the “cheese” to it and start pulsing and mixing the soap again until it is about the size of an eraser top.
  • Now I add mine to the bucket.  Place the tightly fitted lid on to the bucket and start shaking, rolling and tumbling it around until it is well mixed.  That’s it.  Your done!  Isn’t that easy?
  • Since I am space challenged near my washing machine I transfer a small amount into a smaller container to put on the little shelf next to the washer.  Each load of laundry only takes 1 tablespoon (for lightly soiled) to 1/4 cup (heavily soiled) per load. 

So if you chose to only use the first three ingredients it only cost $10 for the entire container which on our homestead last about 6-8 months.  It will cost about $4-5 more if you add the other optional ingredients which will help with softness and brightening. So it is only pennies a load.   *NOTE~ if you have a front loader like I do just add the soap to the basin of the washing machine before adding your clothes.  Otherwise it tends to build up in the dispenser!

*Tip 1*  If you want to whiten your whites try adding a bit of hydrogen peroxide to the load.

*Tip 2*  If you would like to soften your clothes vinegar in the softer dispenser works great.  No, your clothes with not smell like vinegar once they dry.  

*Tip 3*  If you are wanting an extra scent to your laundry you can always add a few drops of essential oils to your soap or vinegar.  It will be so dispersed or diluted that it will not stain your clothes.  At least it never has ours. 

May your day be blessed with a basket of crisp clean clothes off your line!

Hugs~ The City Chicks


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