A Kinder, Gentler Laundry

Laundry is a part of life for most people, but a way of life for innkeepers.  If you are not big enough to warrant employing a housekeeper or using a pick-up and delivery service, you are changing out loads while washing floors, cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming.  Who said this wasn’t a glamorous career path?!

If you have been to the laundry products aisle in your local supermarket lately, you will have seen a dizzying array of boxes, bottles, sprays, powders, liquids, “balls”, “pods” and gels.  There is scented; mountain fresh, crisp linen, clean rain, etc.  Just a matter of time before you can choose Chanel #5 or bacon scented.  The more “natural” products can be unscented, fit for sensitive skin or dye-free.  Then you have fabric softeners, stain removers, pre-washes, pre-pre-washes and static cling taker-outers.  But those inventions can be for a blog of a different day.

One of our many creative, resourceful and generous guests here at Camellia Cottage Bed & Breakfast recently shared his recipe for home-made laundry detergent.  It can be a little time consuming, but you can be putting it together while binge-watching Downton Abbey.  The best part is you use 1 tablespoon per wash load and it is ridiculously cheap!  Seriously, I tried it.  It works.  Even if you don’t make enough to keep up with your regular household laundry, it’s perfect to take in a container when you go on a trip.  All of the ingredients are located in the same supermarket aisle as all that blue stuff.

Give it a try!


1 bar Fels Naptha Soap, grated on a box grater

½ cup 20 Mule Team Borax

½ cup Washing Soda

Stir together and store.  Wetting a bar of Fels Naptha and rubbing it on a stain works great.  Adding ¼ cup Borax and cutting your regular laundry detergent by ¼ cup is much gentler on your clothes.

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