Back to Basics: Dirty Laundry

When mustard stains limit my favourite summer tee to the confines of a hoodie and a scarf- the stain guru comes to the rescue. The stain guru has interesting techniques and rituals that make even the most resistant stain disappear – forever. In my family, this is my mother. I am a spilly talker, drinker and let’s be honest – a spilly eater.

With directions that sometimes resemble a twelve-step breakup plan, she will remove that stain AND brighten the shirt all at the same time. Her removal techniques often involve kitchen products like lemon juice and nutmeg, and meticulous details about which hand you should be scrubbing with.

My mother’s unique stain removal process has been an interest of mine for years. The older I got – the more I found myself drawn to her unconventional stain removal skills. Her ability to take natural everyday items seemed far more appealing to me than any of those chemically created products that instantly unclog sinus’s and singe nose hairs.

Her natural, and more importantly – gentle approach to stain removal inspired me to look at the other products that I was using in my home. I began reading labels and was shocked at some of the abrasive ingredients. “What the hell is THAT?” became a common expression, and although I haven’t taken the stain guru reigns from my mother – I’ve become “that girl” who makes most of my household products myself.

Each column I will delight you with a lovely DIY version of common household products that you can feel confident about having in your home. Let’s start with:

Dirty Laundry

Summertime is hands down my favourite time of the year to do laundry. There is nothing like hanging freshly washed clothes out on the line to dry in the beautiful sunshine. That perfect scent of lined dried clothes is something that I have loved my whole life. I remember when I was little kid and my mom would hang load after load of our freshly washed clothes on the line and then once they were dry watching her delicately fold them in the sunshine. They would feel and smell like summer.

Of course, this wasn’t always the case. There were also many times when getting laundry off the line became a family effort. These were the times that my mom would frantically yell “Haul ass! They’re spraying the fields! JUST RIP THEM OFF!” Leaving the laundry on the line in these cases resulted in manure-scented laundry – a downside to growing up beside a farmer.

The older I became, the more I realized that it wasn’t just the fresh scent of dung that assaulted my laundry. Have you ever really walked down the laundry soap aisle and felt overwhelmed by the copious amount of scent? When have apples and mango ever smelled like THAT? Lavender is normally supposed to calm the body.

The overpowering scent of commercial laundry soap, and the fact that the ingredients are often nature’s worst enemy, launched my journey to find a natural, eco-friendly alternative.

This soap isn’t just for the hippies either – it’s budget and time friendly, costing a mere twenty five cents per batch. It took me about a year through a lot of trial and error to come up with the perfect soap for my needs but now it takes me just 15 minutes to whip up a batch of laundry soap. One batch is good for about 56 loads of dirty laundry.

Laundry just got a bit more exciting. You’re Welcome!



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