Monday, 2 January 2012

''Get cash immediately"...

...''Quit your job and be your own boss now'', just some of the wide sweeping statements that we are bombarded with through the media. While the content of the statements vary, the message is still the same, drastic, immediate action must happen in order to see results. While big changes are good, they don't have to be huge, they don't have to be instant and you don't need to have results straight away. I am finding this especially true with our lifestyle shift. While we may not be making huge changes, we will make a difference.

I am reading the book 'Eco-Friendly Families' and a statistic in the book jumped out at me concerning this 'small steps' logic. It reported that if every household in the United States were to change a blown light bulb to an energy efficient bulb their effect would be enormous, preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that from 800,000 cars and save enough energy to light 2.5 million homes for an entire year. Now if that isn't an incentive to make small changes I don't know what is.

And so here is our small change, making our own laundry powder.

Grate up some Velvet laundry soap

2 cups worth

Add 1 cup of Washing Soda

1 Cup of Borax

And we're done - easy peasy

We put a wash on and were really impressed with the result. Clothes smell lovely, they don't have that overly chemical waft about them, and they smell clean, in a simple gentle way.

EDIT: As quite a few people have shown interest in making this laundry powder i thought it might be worth adding some information a reader has pointed out. If you use your laundry water as grey water, that is, if the water from your washing runs off into your garden, DO NOT add the Borax. I had read Borax is no good for plants and a reader confirmed this, so simply use the grated soap and washing soda minus the Borax. We often use the grey water for our garden and will be making up a Borax free batch.

NOTE: You only need to use 2 tablespoons per load.

Today marked the last day with Luke at home, he is back to the daily grind tomorrow. I will really miss his help, darling Lila  is having a rough time with her molars and has been super grizzly. Usually when she is like this and it's just her and I we head to the shops to distract her and of course I usually make a feel good  purchase of chocolate or something along those lines. Perhaps instead of walking the shops I should endeavour to create more moments like this

''Lila, this is a leaf''


  1. Great work with the washing powder! Where did you get the borax/washing soda from? This is probably a stretch, but do you know if its MCN friendly? This is something I've been wanting to do for a while.

  2. Hi :)

    Borax is pretty much non-existent in supermarkets now, I certainly couldn't find it, however, it is easily found in stores like Bunnings. The washing soda is found in the cleaning aisle at your local supermarket, it comes in a bag and is called 'lectric soda' that was for the crystals, It comes in powder form but I haven't found that yet.

    Not sure about about the MCNs... I assume it would be fine but it is definitely something worth finding out.

  3. If you recycle your water onto your garden it's NOT a good idea to have borax in the mix. I make mine without as ours goes onto the garden.


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  5. Thanks Deb :) Have updated my post with this information.

  6. Here is the recipe I use:

    Laundry powder
    1 box lux flakes
    2 packs washing soda powder
    3 packs bicarbsoda

  7. Love reading your updates chele and pics of your little Lila! Well done for taking on this challenge! xo

  8. awesome chele! do you think this would be ok for front loaders?

  9. Bicarbsoda is the little miracle worker my mother used to use it on number of things, if you make a paste of it and apply it to a stain it will get almost any stain out. If you soak recent stains in milk that will get stains out as well especially blood.

  10. Thank you Susan :)

    Vee - I think it will be ok, the mix doesn't sud up which correct me if I am wrong is the main issue when considering front loaders?

    Kiwikid - Great tips! thank you.

  11. Am totally going to do this! We're working on 'living with less' - decluttering and trying to steer away from being so consumeristic, but our current family project involves buying things (non perishables for charity), so we can't go as far as you have. Looking forward to reading about your journey though :)

  12. Hi !! I've heard so much about the wonderful things you guys do as a family. I'm so pleased to have you stop by. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing.

  13. Cheers chele will give it a go and yes I think that's the main issue with front loaders

  14. Made the washing powder the other night but after grating the skin of one nuckle hubby suggested sacasticly I might add why not use the belenda to do the soap, of course I scoffed at the idea defeats the purpose of what I was trying to do, but after yet another buckle gone and tired hands I bit the bullet and got him to chop the soap in to little bits put it in the blend and a way it went. And hey presto in less than 2min it was done.

    With the recipe I added 3 cups of washing soda to the mix and found it did not stick in clumps to the wash, my mum use to add a few drops of eucalyptus to the final wash for the nice smell so am looking for dried eucalyptus to add to the mix.