Sunday, March 24, 2013

Saving in the Laundry Room

The weather yesterday was just beautiful for March.  Sunny, temperature in the 50's.  My daffodils are so very close to blooming.  And today, we are expecting 8-12 inches of snow.  Welcome to Indiana in Spring!  Sigh.

I took advantage of the beautiful weather.  I stripped all the bedding in the house, washed it and got it out on the clothesline, except my son's, his allergies don't allow him to enjoy the fresh smell of sheets and blankets dried outside on the line.  Other than the wonderful smell, it's a huge money saver.  Instead of running the dryer, I just let Mother Nature handle it!  And that's less money I have to give the gas company!  I found very few people who have a clothesline in the city and fewer who use it year round.    I have friends who have told me their HOA's won't allow them.  I don't think I am ever going to understand HOA's...LOL.  Anyway, I don't flaunt mine, I have it tucked away in the back corner of the yard with a privacy fence on one side and the garage behind it, most people don't even know I have it.  It's short, maybe 20 or 25 feet with 4 lines, I can get a lot of laundry on it.  When you think about it over the course of a year, it saves a lot.  As long as it isn't damp outside (or raining) I will use it.  Even in the winter, they are just a little cold when you bring them in.  For towels and jeans, if you run them in the dryer for 5 minutes before or after you put them on the line (either works but I prefer before), they aren't stiff and scratchy.  One thing I don't do is put underthings out one needs to see all that!  But for those and delicates  I have a drying rack inside that folds up and tucks away on the wall of the basement stairwell.

A lot of my friends make their own laundry soap.  They swear by it.  I haven't ventured into that yet but maybe sometime.  My understanding is the recipe makes a bunch and I'm short on storage space.  I use Tide and get it when Kroger has a P&G sale and I have coupons.  There are sites that will let you know when there is a P&G insert in the Sunday paper so you can buy extra papers if need be.  My point is that with the sale and coupons, I generally stock up on Tide when I can get it for $2-3 a bottle.  An additional way to save money with laundry soap is to read the bottle.  For many years, I just filled the cap and threw it in the washer.  One day, I have no idea why, I read the label.  There are little lines inside that cap for measuring.  The #1 line is for regular loads.  That meant that for YEARS, I had been using triple the amount of laundry soap than I needed to.  

As for fabric softener, I know a lot of people who use vinegar and I have done that too.  I do buy softener and will get it the same way as the Tide.  I do use fabric sheets too for times when I need to use the dryer.  I don't know why but I, personally, think that sheets work better on static.  

A few things not really laundry related but laundry supply related here.  I love the scented trash bags but, of course, don't want to pay extra for them.  I stumbled on this and it's great.  I store my trash bags in the same closed cabinet that I store my dryer sheets in.  It's surprising but the trash bags will pick up the sent of the sheets and then you have scented trash bags!  Ta Da!  

My friend Secrena has shared a wonderful carpet cleaner recipe too.  She mixes 1/3 cup Bleach, 1/3 cup Tide and 1/3 cup Fabric Softener.  You use it in place of carpet cleaning solution in a carpet shampooer.  It works fabulously and smells wonderful!

Secrena again shared with us an imitation Febreeze recipe.  In a spray bottle of water, she adds 1/8 cup of fabric softener and 2 Tablespoons of baking soda.  When I make it, I start with hot water so that the baking soda dissolves entirely.  I use this on everything.  Carpets, curtains, beds and I have even used it between dry cleaning on my coat to cut static and freshen it. 

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