DIY Laundry

I’ve got two laundry DIY’s to share with you. A super, easy laundry soap and so your dryer doesn’t feel left out – felted dryer balls.

You can search the internet and find hundreds (if not thousands) of laundry detergent recipes. I’ve tried a few different powdered versions, but have ultimately settled on the following recipe as what works best for us.

1 – 5.5oz bar Fels Naptha
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda (NOT baking soda)

I grate the Fels Naptha using a cheese grater and that has worked for me. I know some people like to grate it and then pulse it a few times in the food processor to make sure they get it nice and fine so it breaks down faster in the wash.

Mix all the ingredients really well in your chosen container.

I add two tablespoons directly to the drum (not in the detergent space) of my front loading washer and then load my clothes. I’ve found it’s not as sudsy as many commercial detergents, but works just as well.

A few other laundry hints:
For stains around the collar, I make a paste of water and borax and scrub lightly with an old toothbrush, they come right out. For dirty knees, food stains, etc (I have kids), I wet my bar of Fels Naptha and lightly rub it over the stain. Super quick and easy and I don’t need to buy a special stain remover.

Last fall, I went out and bought some yarn to make felted slippers. After a few months, I realized I wasn’t all that interested in making the slippers but I still had the yarn so I decided to make dryer balls with them. Dryer balls help cut down on dry time and also limit your need for fabric softener/dryer sheets. I add few drops of lavender essential oil to them once a week (about every 15 washes) and our laundry comes out beautifully and smells great. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

-yarn for felting (100% wool is always a good choice for this. You’ll want to stay away from anything labeled washable or superwash)
-a yarn needle or crochet hook
-an old pair of nylons

First, you’ll want to wrap your yarn around your fingers 10 or so times like this:

Then you’ll want remove the yarn from your fingers and wrap it around the middle:

Once you’ve done that, you’ll just keep wrapping the yarn around until it’s about the size of a baseball. Then you’ll want to take the tail, and tuck it in. I found the easiest way to do that is either tuck it through a few layers using either a yarn needle or crochet hook and then cut off any extra.

After you’ve made your ball, you’ll want to push it down into the toe of a cut off nylon leg. You can then either knot it off or tie it using some acrylic yarn (not the wool you’ve used, or that will felt and you won’t be able to get it untied). I do about five or six balls per nylon.

After you have them all knotted, you’ll want to wash them in hot water with a cold rinse cycle and then dry them at the hottest setting. (I make them on the days I wash towels since I’m already doing multiple loads in those temperatures). I usually run them through the wash/dryer twice before untying them, cutting them out of the nylons.

When you’re done they’ll look like this:

You’ll be able to use them over and over again and they’ll just continue to get more and more felted.

Happy laundry day!

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