I am going to admit right away that I get really excited about good quality, functional and beautiful laundry care products. I actually get excited about a lot of simple things, like seeing the Canada Post guy walking up to my door, hearing the seal pop on canning jars, or using a new sharpie for the first time. Yep, simple things amuse simple minds. Anyway, I have this dream, like probably many people do, of having a really beautiful laundry room in my house. Of course, that is kind of an expensive dream that is a totally unnecessary luxury. Hell, I’m lucky to even be able to do laundry in my own house. My current laundry room is housed in my unfinished basement. The walls and floor are concrete (and not the pretty polished concrete you see in all the really expensive modern homes), all the plumbing and electrical is exposed, and the cat litter boxes are nearby. Not what you would call a laundry sanctuary. Maybe one day my laundry room dream will come true (we’re talking like 20 years here folks). But the current set-up is functional and I fill it with products that I love in order to make the laundry experience more enjoyable. Here are a few of my favorite products or things that are on my dream laundry room wishlist:
1. Mrs. Meyers Lavender Fabric Softener $7.99 & Dryer Sheets $7.99 – mrsmeyers.com – I don’t really like most scented laundry products, but Mrs. Meyers makes a really subtle lavender scented product. I hang dry most of my clothes so using a fabric softener is a must for me. The dryer sheets are nice for laundering bedding.
2. Wooden Drying Rack $115.00 – Rejuvenation – This is not the exact drying rack that I have but it is pretty close (I bought mine at Portland Homestead Supply in Portland, Oregon). I used to have a wire rack from either Wal-mart or Ikea but it was POS and it eventually became unusable. I’ve had my wooden rack for a couple of years now and it is showing no signs of wear at all.
3. Laundry Cart $249.00 – Old Faithful Shop – I don’t have this but I want it. I’ve wanted it for a few years but I haven’t been able to justify spending the money. It’s so pretty though.
4. Wooden Ironing Board $99.99 (on sale!) – West Elm – I don’t have this either but it is also on my wish list. My current ironing board is okay but isn’t the greatest quality or the prettiest. I like pretty things.
5. Wool Dryer Balls $26.99 – amazon.ca – I love these wool dryer balls, especially for bedding. I used to use the plastic/rubber dryer balls until I heard that they could be damaging to the sensors on your dryer. I have no idea whether or not that is true but I do like the wool balls and they do not bang around in the dryer like the old ones did.
6. XL Mason Jar $21.25 – amazon.ca – You’re probably wondering why I like mason jars in my laundry room. I use them to store my laundry soap and my laundry making supplies. They are perfect for the laundry soap because you can just shake the jar instead of having to keep a soapy whisk in your laundry area.
That brings me to my next point: I read a lot of articles about making your own cleaners and shampoo and yogurt and so on. I’ve tried some of those things and they work pretty well but it is debatable on whether or not they actually save you that much money. But the laundry soap is another story! A DIY laundry soap that works really well AND is really cheap to make?! This is it. I’ve been making it for about 3 years and it has never failed me. It will take you about 20 minutes to make and last for a couple of months (that’s for two people only). I have always been a bit hesitant to sharing my recipe because I want to keep the secret for myself but here it is for you all to go ahead and try out. Let me know what you think!
DIY Laundry Soap Recipe
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1/3 bar of soap, grated OR 1 cup soap flakes (I’ve used both – soap flakes are easier)
20 cups of water (I use tap water)
Essential oils (optional – I use lavender and just add as much as I feel like at the time)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the borax, washing soap and soap flakes in 4 cups of water. Once dissolved, remove from stove and pour in to a large bucket. Add 1/2 the water, stir to mix, add the rest of the water and any essential oils you like and stir to mix. Let sit overnight or until the next day when you have time to transfer it into containers (I’ve left mine for as long as a couple of days and it doesn’t make a difference – it isn’t like rising bread or anything). Transfer to containers with lids and whisk or shake before use. 1/2 cup per load is more than sufficient.
Please note: I have a front loading HE washer and this soap works great in cold or hot water.
I am not sponsored or affiliated with any of the products featured in this post, I am just very fond of these products!