It was cold this morning. When I woke up, my bedroom was 52 degrees, and when I went downstairs, the rest of the house was 54 degrees. Only a few degrees chillier than other mornings, as it was very cold outside. The typical winter routine is letting the dog out, starting the fireplace, letting the dog back in, running down cellar to get the wood furnace going, then back upstairs to turn the tea kettle on before heading outside to take care of the birds. (wild and domesticated) When I came back in, I started a pot of Tomato-Corn Chowder, fixed my breakfast, fed the cats and dog, and filled the bathtub in case the wind knocked the power out. (A great way to have plenty of water on hand for the animals, flushing the toilet and if necessary, doing dishes if power is out for very long... and if it doesn't go out, I use it for watering the houseplants plus these things just the same) I went back outside after breakfast to secure the tarps on the woodpiles on the porch, as the wind was starting to whip, then laid out some hay for the geese in the barnyard, as it was bitter cold and I couldn't bear to see them laying on the ice.
I stuck a load of laundry in before I went up to shower, and that's when I discovered that I was out of laundry detergent. Now mind you, I was cold, and it was cold out, and we live about 10 miles from town, and the last thing I wanted to do was run to the grocery store . So, I grabbed some soap from the laundry cupboard and grated away.
I grated 2 bars of Fels Naptha laundry soap. It takes only a few minutes.
To the grated soap, I added about a cup and a half each of Borax and Washing Soda. I also threw in about a cup of non-chlorine bleach powder.
Mix all together and put in a container. (I ended up with about 4 to 5 cups of detergent.) To use, I started the washing machine, poured in about 1/8 cup, as I only did a small load, and let it swish around before I added my clothes.
Then I grabbed a bottle of conditioner to make fabric softener.
I poured a third of the bottle of conditioner into a 32-ounce jar, added about a cup of White Vinegar and then filled the rest of the bottle with water.
Give it a good shake before pouring about 1/4 cup of it into your Fabric Softener dispenser. (Use more for larger loads)
I've made detergent before by heating the soap and an appreciable amount of water... it makes a LOT... but I don't care for the thickness and sliminess of the mixture. This works perfectly in a pinch!