March 25, 2010

Eco-Cleaning: Laundry Day + Giveaway!

Thanks everyone for understanding my need for a day off, I'm sorry that I broke the agenda - that was unprofessional; but the nice thing about being a blogger - is there's a semi-professionalism that I feel I'm responsible for, which is great - since that's all I've ever been able to achieve in the real world anyways.

Okay, whether you do your laundry at home, or you frequent your local laundromat - you can still go au naturel.

  • Liquid Laundry Detergent: 1 cup liquid castille soap, 2 cups water, 1 cup washing soda, 1/3 cup salt - warm the two cups water, washing soda and salt until mostly dissolved, then transfer to a one gallon container (a cleaned, reused milk container is perfect for this); Add the castille soap to the gallon container, and fill container to top with water. This will be enough detergent for approximately 64 loads: use 1/4 cup per regular load. 
  • Fabric Softener: You'd really be surprised what a little bit of vinegar will do to soften your clothes, as well as disinfect them. During the rinse cycle, toss in 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar. The vinegar smell will rinse out; and be covered up by your fabuloso Lavender Dryer Sachets (instructions to follow).

A quick note about what to expect from your laundry detergent: it will clean as well as any other "green" product you use; it will disinfect and soften when you add the vinegar to the rinse cycle; it will not be super sudsy like many of the products that you might be using now, that aren't "green" or "eco-friendly", due to the charming lack of SLS. "What's SLS, Tara?", you might be asking - or you could be wiping your brow, "Phew!" with a sigh of relief that crap isn't in there. From either position you sit - you're getting the spiel now:
  • SLS: What is it? Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. What does it do? It makes sudsing action that we've become programmed to associate with cleaning. You can find it in (of course, your cleaning products) toothpaste, shampoo, shaving foams, bubble baths - if it suds - it's there. It's also a known skin irritant, can cause allergic reactions in the mouth from dental products, and a possible carcinogenic. Just click on that hyperlink up there for a much simpler breakdown of how freakin' scary this stuff is - and then promptly go on tirade through house removing every last bottle containing the crap. 'Nuff said.
If you'll be tossing your clothes in the dryer - I will be offering a giveaway of a set of 3 EVA Dryer Sachets (One with Lavender, One with Rose, and One I'll let the winner decide on based on my stock of herbs and flowers). Now I haven't been a good little crafty blogger, so I haven't even had time yet to make them, take photos, and get you all excited - let alone do a photo-DIY...

But wait, there's more!! I've got photos of the super-sweet vintage fabric I'll be adorning these EVA Dryer Sachets with:

To enter the giveaway for the EVA Dryer Sachets, please visit the EVA Etsy Shop, and tell me what your favorite item is. Also, if you aren't already following, now you know the drill - good for each entry is a mandatory subscription - and I think you'll be glad you did! Just be sure to let me know in the comments if you are a new subscriber and your email. 

For an extra entry (each of these is worth one) tweet this post, facebook, or blog. Comment with your twitter name so I can find you, your blog so I can read/follow, and your facebook link - so we can be friends!

There will be at least one more giveaway tomorrow, deadlines for all entries are Sunday, Mar.  28th at 11:59PM (PST) - I'll announce all giveaway winners on Monday morning! Good Luck!

Here are the instructions for making your very own Lavender Dryer Sachets:
  • First of all, you will be in need of Cotton Muslin, you'll determine the yardage, because it depends how many of these you want to make. You need thread of course, and can either hand sew, or use your trusty machine. And organic lavender flowers, again, these can be found from Mountain Rose Herbs or other such places. 
  • To make one sachet, simply cut two 5" squares of your muslin, and sew together using 1/4" seams on three sides. Turn inside out and use a pencil or better yet, a bone folder to make neat corners. 
  • Fill with your lavender flowers nearly to the top; but leave about an inch so that you can turn in a 1/4" seam, gently iron (avoiding the flowers), and sew shut. 
  • It's that simple!
These bags are reusable, and when you sense that the lavender isn't freshening up your laundry with the strength you want; just take a seam ripper and open about 2-3" on your top side. Empty the lavender into a bowl, refill your sachet with new lavender, and sew shut again. 

Now, for that lavender just waiting in the bowl. Crush it in your hands, or even better with a mortar and pestle. Keep it around for the next time you vacuum with baking soda - instead of using essential oils, toss out the crushed lavender flowers. Let sit for a half hour as usual. Aahhhh...I just love the smell of lavender. If you don't, there are plenty of other dried flowers you can use in the same manner.

And for those of you who love to use the elements of the sun and air to dry your clothes - now you don't have to worry about tough towels and sheets - that fabric softener will keep them smooth and soft as they dry in the spring breeze.

And lastly, the subject of ironing. We all have to do it  - and if you sew, you do it more than just on laundry day. So here's a great recipe for a delicious smelling ironing water that will double as a linen spray before you lay you down to sleep:
  • In a sterile 16 oz. bottle: 3 oz. unflavored vodka, 12 drops lavender or your favorite smelling pure essential oil, 12 oz. purified water. Spritz on linens as you iron, or on bed linens about a half hour to hour before sleep.
I think that covers yesterday's post and gets us all caught up for today's post - the Bedroom...

See you again later today!


julia said...

I'm following on Google reader, does that count? I love Day at the Farm Pyrex Bowl and the Herbal Eye Pillow - Limited Edition Vintage Bouquet, I'm a big fan of vintage and reused materials!
I'm also excited to find yet another use for vinegar. I've been using it as a hair detangler, after washing my hair and scalp with a combination of regular conditioner and baking soda. No SLS there, and I think my hair is less dried out and brittle now.


Tara said...

Hi Julia -

Following in a reader definitely counts! You are definitely taking the plunge using that combo of vinegar/baking soda on your hair. Kudos au naturel girl!


Scrapity Anne said...

I just found this blog through Apron girls and am IN LOVE! I just recently started slowly integrating all natural products. I now make my own powdered laundry soap and love it! Using a water/vinegar mix to clean, LOVE the idea of adding an essential oil. Thank you SO much for this series of posts!!

Scrapity Anne said...

Totally forgot about the giveaway! LOL!! I love the zodiac pyrex bowl and the pagoda eye pillow (my son does a Japanese style of karate and I love the style).

Tara said...

Scrapity Anne - thank you so much for your sweet comments - just want to warn you adding essential oils to the water when washing could deteriorate the fabrics of your laundry.

Instead, you could cut up some old, clean rags into 5 inch squares, add 5 drops of your fave essential oil - and toss in the dryer with the laundry. That's much faster than making the sachets - but won't ruin your clothes.

All the best,

Maria Isabel said...

The Vintage Fraulein Steins are very cute! Too bad I'm broke thou :(
- Maria Isabel

Maria Isabel said...

Im a follower!

Maria Isabel said...

I posted it on facebook!!/home.php?sk=lf

Alli (One Pearl Button) said...

Great giveaway - I *love* that fabric!! It's hard to choose, but I think I would have to go with the "Day at the Farm" Pyrex. It's adorable!

Erin said...

I don't understand the following thing really. I stick with the traditional book mark and return twice daily method.
But my favorite thing in the shop has to be the "Swing Time Business Card Sleeve" totally sweet image and great function!
My boyfriend hates vinegar so I think I will have to sneak it in or he will totally be convinced he can smell it. Do you think Vinegar is ok for use on clothes that say no fabric softener? Since it is not chemically. These items are usually those treated specially for UV protection or quick drying.

Tara said...

Hi Erin,

The following thing means you don't have to remember to check the bookmark - you'll get updates sent to your email, google reader, or your blogger dashboard.

I'm honestly not sure about the vinegar on fabrics that specify no fabric softener. As far as the smell of vinegar - if you can't make the dryer sachets, read my comment about how to make little toss-in rags that will make your laundry smell sweet. Your boyfriend won't know what hit him.

CarzooCritters said...

I love the Five Heaven Scent Simmer Sachets they are so cute and I am sure they smell wonderful =)


carzoocritters at gmail dot com

Melissa said...

I follow your blog, and I like the day on the farm vintage pyrex bowl.

missavene (at) gmail (dot) com

I wanted to correct you on one point from your post. You said "You can find it in (of course, your cleaning products) toothpaste, shampoo, shaving foams, bubble baths - if it suds - it's there." referring to Sodium Laural Sulfate, but I wanted you to know, that as a natural cold process soap maker, natural soap can lather like a dream, and be 100% free of surfactants... just fyi.

Thanks for the great give away.

Jennifer L. said...

I love the Vintage Silk Cross Hatch Plaid Scarf.
jentam777 AT gmail DOT com

Erin said...

Loved both the sachet idea and the cloth bits. May try both. I don't think there is any harm is using it on the fabric I suppose because it doesn't say no fabric softener and no vinegar (HAHA). I am very intrigued by this following thing. It would be so helpful!


Erin said...

P.S. Set up to follow! How fun!

Tara said...

Thanks Melissa -

That IS a great point about all-natural soaps that I should have mentioned and failed to. I only use SLS-free products, and they suds and lather (just not as much); but you raise a great point - and I really appreciate it.

Do you sell your soap online? Maybe you can let us know where?


Kim said...

My favorite item:


Rachel McGuire said...

Following via Google friend connect. and The product I like most is Vintage Silk Cross Hatch Plaid Scarf

amomsrantings at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

wow-- great recipe ideas! I love the "Five Heaven Scent Simmer Sachets"
june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

Melissa said...

I don't sell online yet Tara, just at my local farmers market.... I don't even blog yet, but when I start I'll have to let you know. Thanks for responding to my earlier post :)

Sarah said...

New follwer and the Herbal Eye Pillow looks wonderful.


I would love for you to come by and visit me at:

Chacoy said...

i love the heaven scent simmer sachets and the herbal eye pillows{limited edition fly away} and the chevron deskset;}
i subscribe via rss;}

AmbreRose said...

I am a fan of the Silk Road Linen Spray and I would use it everytime I went to a hotel. What a great idea! ambrerose(!at)

Lisa said...

I like the Vintage Kasuga Arrowstone Sugar Pot w/ Lid in the Desk Set.

lin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
asha.marie said...

I really love the Herbal Eye Pillow - Down in the Garden.

asha.marie said...

I am following on Google friend connect.

asha.marie said...

I twitted on twitter.

asha.marie said...

Posted on Facebook.
asha marie pena

Tara said...

I'm so glad so many of you have entered this giveaway...I wonder how many of you noticed the really BIG GIVEAWAY from Mountain Rose Herbs???

jennifer57 said...

Vintage Silk Cross Hatch Plaid Scarf