I have daydreams of pioneering, making everything from scratch, having a homestead instead of a modern home............and then I remember how much I enjoy indoor plumbing and the internet. Oh well:) But still I like the idea of making things myself, saving where I can, reusing, repurposing, recycling, upcycling, hunting down the best price and kind of living the life of a modern day pioneer girl.
When our washing machine decided to take it's last spin last summer, there really weren't funds to run out and buy new and besides I needed the time to figure out where the best price could be had. It was my chance to employ a long thought of plan for handwashing cloths. Why? Why would the thought of trying to figure out a better way than a washboard intrigue me.......I have no idea but it always had. For as long as I could remember I realized that a 5gallon bucket and a new plunger would be the perfect match. And guess what? They were! For about a month last summer I did laundry by hand. I would put a few pieces in my bucket, cover with water, add the soap and churn away at clothes. I have a sliding door shower on the first floor and kept the buck on the floor of the shower while standing outside it to plunge. I would count 300 plunges, dump the soapy water, cover with clean water and plunge another 200. Dump, fill and 100. Now everything was clean and rinsed. The hard part was the wringing out. Twisting was very hard on my arthritic hands, luckily where I lacked in wringing strength the summer heat made up for in drying time. It wasn't terribly hard and not even that time consuming but I will say that I'm grateful it wasn't winter.
Since then, we did get a new washing machine and even been given a hand-me-down dryer, which has been an amazing help, but that pioneer girl still calls out in my head.....Renee, figure out how to make it yourself or do it yourself or save a buck.........and I made my own laundry detergent!!!!
Okay I copied one of the thousand recipes for it you can find on the internet, but I did it and had fun doing it. My newly purchased 5 gallon buck with lid is full now with my fragrant mixture, thickening up will be ready for use tomorrow!