Wherein I attempt to make my own laundry soap

On Sunday, I was in a bind.  I had put my last disposable diaper on C and was waiting for the order of EcoSprout laundry soap to arrive to clean my cloth diapers.  I realized that no mail was going to be delivered the next day since it was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  A trip to Target was in store but not just to get more disposable diapers.  You see, I needed to wash those cloth diapers stat before they became a biohazard!  I looked online (really, just on pinterest) and searched for DIY laundry soap.  I found a recipe that required three simple ingredients and I happened to already have two of the three!  All I needed was some Arm and Hammer Washing Soda.

So off to Target we go.  M decides she wants to spend her saved up birthday/Halloween money to get a toy.  We look for the washing soda but no luck.  M still gets her toy and makes her mama proud by not just using her money towards a toy for herself but also spends half of her money to buy her little sister a toy.  Very cool.  And totally her idea.

Since Target was a disappointment, I decided I had to enter no man’s land.  Yep, Walmart.  I despise Walmart.  I. Do. Not. Shop. There.  But the word on the street was that they sold this washing soda and desperate times call for me doing things that I really don’t want to do.  So I go to the store whose-name-I-can’t-type-anymore and there is the washing soda.  Yay.

The other two ingredients beside the washing soda is borax and fels-naptha soap.  The basic idea to make the detergent is to shave the soap and then mix it with some borax and washing soda.  It is not fun to grate that soap so I ended up only doing about 1/3 of the bar.  I then mixed it with 1/2 cup of both borax and washing soap.  Even though I didn’t grate that much soap, I still had so much detergent!

I ended up washing not just the cloth diapers (an entire diaper pail full of them), but also five loads of laundry.  I still have detergent left over.  Some of the laundry was pretty stained and was pre-treated and ALL came out looking and smelling clean.  There is a lemony scent to the soap but your clothes DO NOT smell lemony.  They just smell clean.  I like that smell.  Much better than the smell they started out as.  Especially the cloth diapers.

DIY Laundry Soap Recipe:

For about 15 loads or so.

1/3 shaved/grated bar of Fels-Naptha Soap (grater is from IKEA and is highly recommended!)
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

Mix all together and place into a jar.  Use 1 tablespoon per load.  Adjust as needed.

Scenes from a weekend

Eco Sprout Laundry Soap – Review & GIVEAWAY!! CLOSED!

What (or who) is Eco Sprout? It was started by a WAHD (that’s right, a work at home dad!) who wanted to find a detergent that would not just clean cloth diapers, but also his family’s laundry.  Jared wanted a soap that was “free from enzymes, phosphates and is 100% biodegradable” and set out to make that happen himself.  He takes great care in his product and even manufactures it himself. 
Eco Sprout detergent is available in the following scents: Lavender Chamomile, Warm Vanilla Sugar, Fresh Linen, Vanilla Sandalwood, In the Buff (unscented) and a seasonal scent, which is currently Cinnamon Sticks.  Eco Sprout promises that the scent is purely for your enjoyment and will not transfer into the smell of your clothes.  I was sent a large sample bag of the Lavender Chamomile laundry detergent.

What did I think? First thing I noticed was the scent!  So pleasant.  Just having the bag sit on the shelf gave my laundry room a great aroma.  It definitely made dumping those dirty diapers into the washer a slightly more tolerable experience!  After I washed and dried my diapers and cloth wipes, I did notice a slight scent linger on the wipes.  No scent was detected on the diapers and the scent on the wipes was not strong and did not last into the next day.  I also used the detergent on my regular clothes using both a warm and cold wash.  The clothes came out clean and had no underlying scent or odor.  One thing I especially noticed was that with my regular laundry soap, the undershirts would sometimes hold their odor even after a wash.  This was NOT the case with Eco Sprout.  It worked GREAT!
After my daughter peed on her diaper, I did notice that it had a slight ammonia smell.  I quickly went on Eco Sprout’s Facebook page and noticed that I had not followed their instructions fully.  They advise that whenever you start a new detergent you should first soak them in hot water with 3 tablespoons of their detergent  and soak for at least 3 hours or overnight if possible.  Then after draining the tub, wash again with 2 full hot washes/cold water rinses but do not use any more detergent.  Upon reading this, I washed all of my diapers as they instructed and did not encounter any more ammonia scent nor was the scent of the detergent found on my wipes any more.
I give this detergent a THUMBS UP!  It worked as it said it would and made my laundry room smell great, too!  I was especially impressed to find a detergent that would work for ALL my laundry needs!

BUY IT: You can buy your own bag of Eco Sprout detergent in your choice of scent for only $13.98 and right now shipping is just $3.00! 
WIN IT: You can win your very own large sample bag (cleans about 6 loads) in the Sandalwood Vanilla scent shown here!  (Cute toddler not included). 

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit EcoSprout’s website and come back and leave me a comment on what your favorite scent is.  You must do this first or no entries will count!  Please leave your email address with this entry.
Extra Entries:
  1. Like Eco Sprout on Facebook (leave your Facebook name).
  2. Follow Queen of the Snot Princesses on Google Friend Connect (side bar — click Follow)  (leave GFC name).
  3. Follow me on twitter (leave your Twitter name)

This giveaway is offered to US residents 18+ and will end on January 13th 11:59pmCST.  Winner will be chosen through random.org.  Winner will be notified via e-mail.  If they fail to respond within 48 hours then a new winner will be picked.  Please leave your e-mail address in all your comments so that I can contact you.  I will not share your e-mail with anyone, it is strictly for me to notify you if you win.  GOOD LUCK!
Full Disclosure:  I was given this product by the supplier at no cost to me but the opinion here within is entirely my own.  You may experience a different result upon using this product.

Gotta Do the Laundry…

One of the most common questions when considering cloth diapering your child is the laundry. Don’t you have to do it all the time? Doesn’t it take up a lot of your time? Doesn’t it use up a lot of water and thus cost money? These are some common questions that I myself had and that I have encountered since writing my last post about cloth diapers.

When I first started to cloth diaper, I just had the ten or so diapers that I bought through Jillian’s Drawers. So with those few diapers, I ended up washing them every day. I also didn’t use cloth diapers at night, which kept down the amount of washing. Since the average diaper can cost around $17 each, we didn’t want to buy a lot in case it didn’t work for us. After a month of just having these few diapers, I started finding some on sale online and slowly built up our stash. We now have about 15 diapers, which is a reasonable and manageable amount but I am always looking for deals to add to it. With this amount I am able to do laundry every third day and also to use the diapers at night. So this week I washed our cloth diapers (by themselves) on Monday and Thursday.
My Washing Routine:
1.Brief soak diapers in cold water for about 15 minutes.
2.Pre-Wash in cold with a teaspoon of detergent (currently I use Charlie’s Soap)
3.Wash in hot with cold rinse with about a tablespoon of detergent
4.Use Second Rinse option on washer (if available)
5.If warm weather, take diapers outside and air dry them. (The sun is a natural brightener and bleaches out stains). If not warm outside, place in dryer under medium heat.
Mostly, the washer and dryer do all the work and I just have to remember that the diapers are in there!
With regards to our water bill, I have not seen a dramatic increase in our bills. I’m sure it has gone up a bit but not enough to give me pause. In Downers Grove, we pay for our garbage pickup so it has been nice that we haven’t had to purchase more stickers for the garbage since we have begun cloth diapering Baby C. I remember with Miss M we were having to put the garbage can out every week filled with diapers. This time around, the garbage goes out usually every other week like it had been before Baby C was born.

Overall, with the right amount of diapers and a little extra time in your day, washing your cloth diapers is pretty straightforward and easy.  
Please ask more questions!  I love to help pass on my little knowledge to interested parties.

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