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.

Ingredients   

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)

Directions

  • 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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So what did you do? May 2, 2010

Filed under: Little things to help save our planet,The Urban Homestead — Flour Girls & City Chicks @ 2:27 am
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So the 40th anniversary of Earth Day has come and gone.  Did you take any steps to help out our planet?  Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t.  I am not here to judge but I will share with you what I did. 

To some it may not be a huge step and some may think we are a little crazy here on the homestead.  So what was our big step you may be wondering….well it wasn’t that we decided to use only recycled grocery bags every time we go out shopping…we already do that.  It wasn’t that switched our household cleaners and laundry soaps to green ones…yes, we already had done that as well. 

It occurred to me a while ago that my family, me included, was spending way to much time watching television.  A lot of the time was spent just looking for something to watch.  There were 200+ channels and still nothing was ever on.  So I did some research to see just how much our “vampire”  was sucking out of the outlet and I was amazed.  Over the course of a year our one HD/DVR and one TV cost as much as a refrigerator to run.  That doesn’t include all the other televisions, dvr’s and gaming systems we have hooked up either.   If you do a google search on it you can find several sites that can help you estimate just how much your electrical goods use while not in use.  So now can you guess what we did?  As crazy as it may seem in this media driven society that we all live in we CANCELED our Directv service!  No, we didn’t switch to cable instead.  So were we crazy to give up a service that brought us so much mindless joy…it could be that I was since Tue Blood season 3 is starting soon.  No not really.  It was an environmental smart choice for us to make.  It has been a week now with out it and even though we no longer have our multiple dvr’s we haven’t really missed much on tv.  Thanks to Playon and Fancast we can find nearly all of our favorite shows.  See I am not that crazy…I didn’t give up the internet!  A girl still has to have the world (or world-wide web) at her finger tips.

So as the days and weeks go by I hope that you all continue to think of ways to make Earth Day everyday. 

Hugs~ The City Chicks

 

Do you know or care what you eat?? August 19, 2008

Filed under: Little things to help save our planet — Flour Girls & City Chicks @ 6:52 pm

I know that so many of us out there are trying to switch from our normal standard of food to the organic lifestyle. I know it is not easy. Even for me and my family but I do know that I will continue to try my best. Even if it means I bake my own home made bread and cakes from scratch. I did want to share this little bit of information with you all though because shopping for True Food is not so easy these days. When you buy organic you are guaranteed that you are not eating genetically engineered (GE) food. However, with the increasing amount of GE food out there it can be trick and the labels can be deceptive. So if you are curious or just flat out want to know what you are buying the great folks at Tue Food Now! have written a handy printable shopping list.