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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What would you like to give?

Heather
Beauty That Moves
Greetings! We have unexpectedly been a little quiet here at the co-op... maybe we all needed a minute to pause. A good thing to do as we take stock and prepare for the holidays ahead.

laundry soap kits

Recently when I was reading over at Paul's blog, he wrote something that got me thinking. So often around the holidays the question frequently asked is "what would you like to get?" But Paul suggests we ask ourselves, and each other, "what would you like to give?" Isn't that great!? What a great message for our children.

laundry soap kits

I gave it some thought, and this year I would like to give this gift... a little extra money in my friend's and loved one's pockets, greater health for their families, and respect for our planet. This year I will be giving the gift of do-it-yourself homemade laundry soap.

In our home, we made the decision long ago to switch from the toxic, chemical filled laundry soap from the grocery store to the earth friendly natural variety found at our local food co-op. It wasn't long before I realized that every time I turned around I was spending $10 or more on laundry soap, it's so expensive! We were fortunate to at least purchase it from the bulk bin so we didn't face the excessive packing issue, but I knew it would be better for our budget if I began to make my own. I use Rhonda's recipe with one change, I double the amount of borax and washing soda. I realize it's probably totally unnecessary, but it just makes me feel like it's a little more heavy duty.
laundry soap kit
This detergent works so well, I have absolutely no complaints and I want to share it with the world! Instead, I will be realistic and share it with those that I personally connect with over the holidays. At first I thought I would make the detergent and give it away all bottled up. But how great for people to make it for themselves? I've put all the ingredients in these little kits, including Rhonda's instructions (I was lucky enough to have several bottles of essential oil on hand and those great cellophane bags). These kits will make just about 2 gallons of detergent, and I hope they will also make a few homemakers happy, satisfied, and just a little bit more capable. I also hope they quickly realize the money that is saved, the waste that is reduced, and the healthy benefits for their family and planet.
laundry soap... almost 2 gallons
So this is what I want to give. Not just the homemade soap (which would still be such a lovely gift!), but the skill that goes along with knowing how to do a simple, practical sort of thing for one's self.

What about all of you, are you thinking of the holidays? What would you like to give?

32 comments:

cathy c said...

I LOVE the idea! I have given Rhonda's detergent already made... I will give the ingredients and hope my friends will make it! Best wishes to you!

cathy c

Anonymous said...

what a great idea! Love it! As always so simple and thoughtful!

Mrs. Anna T said...

We don't celebrate your holidays, but what a great idea of a homemade gift. :o)

Toria said...

You might want to make the photos non-private before posting them on a blog. Or is it just me who get the message that I'm not permitted to view private photos?

heather said...

sorry toria! i fixed it... click away. ;)
heather

annette said...

What I great idea! I use Rhonda's detergent with great success (as if there was any doubt). Giving the kit as a gift is a wonderful idea and one I will have to use this year.

mamawhatthe said...

You know, I had been thinking about this very idea. Your kits are adorable (can laundry detergent be adorable?). If I received one as a gift, I would be thrilled. Thank you for pushing me over the edge.

Nic said...

Fantastic idea! I'm trying to have a handmade/homemade christmas this year. You've just given me some more ideas. Thank you!

chelsea said...

I just started making laundry detergent myself -- just had a wee little baby and wanted something gentler, something that i knew and could identify all the ingredients of, for his skin. I make it with a bar of dr. bronners castille lavender soap (already scented so it doesnt need essential oil) and it smells so sweet and i get tickled each time at how little detergent it takes for each load. what a lovely lovely gift idea.

Lilla said...

What a fabulous idea, Heather! I just made my first batch of homemade laundry detergent and really like it. I am using equal amounts of soap, borax and soda and find it works great. I'm having so much fun trying out these new, simple recipes for simple living!

daisymum7 said...

What a fantastic idea!!! I just posted that we had our annual water quality check on our home treatment plant and it was the best result ever the only change I made (I have always used natural cleaners) was the laundry liquid!! And it is SO cheap!!

I love this idea hope you don't mind that i steal it too.

So now you have given two things the gift and the idea for us all to share.

daisymum

Sarah said...

I love the idea of not only giving a gift, but giving a skill as well.

Rhonda Jean said...

They are lovely thoughtful gifts. I have made these in the past and they are always welcomed. I've even given them to my sons - they loved it.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea - you have packaged them up SO beautifully, its a fantastic gift idea - the gift that goes on giving !!
Jeni

Lisa Clarke said...

What a great idea!

I am bartering with another crafter and exchanging my handcrafted clay buttons for her Eco Tawashi. Tawashi are crocheted dish scrubbers that, when made with acrylic yarn, are supposed to clean dishes quite well, often without soap. I plan to give them in a small gift basket along with some homemade dish soap (once I find a recipe...)

I like your idea of giving the ingredients and the instructions for making it - it gives the recipient the ability to keep using the good stuff long after the initial batch has run out.

Caroline said...

What a great idea! I love this! I never considered making my own laundry detergent--I guess I always thought that it would be too difficult to make at home. It's a super gift idea, too. It is easy to make, inexpensive, and useful. I'm done with my Christmas gifts for this year, but I'll consider it for other occasions or next year.

deb said...

This is a great idea for gift giving... love that!

I have made this same laundry soap in the powder form and used it for years with great success. I use a Microplane grater on the bar soap. This helps to finely grate the soap and dissolves quickly in the wash water.

Your packaging is so wonderful... I would love receiving this gift! :)

Almostima said...

Fabulous! ... and very Martha! :)

P~ said...

Heather~ What a great idea! And I'm so flattered to have been a little bit of inspiration too. That's really what make the writing special to me after all. You've really struck a wonderful chord here too. Now I really need to give my own giving a re-think.
Thank you for this post.
P~

Toria said...

Thanks Heather, it was worth waiting to see the photos. They are beautifully packaged and I think should be very welcome by their recipients.

Nancy said...

Love this idea! I'd be thrilled receiving it as a gift.

Karen said...

i love this idea!!! lately, i've been staring longingly at the Borax on the grocery store shelf (i know .... i have issues...) ... i will definitely keep this in mind ... i think it's a great gift for anytime of the year!!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I would LOVE to receive this as a gift! It's eco-friendly and would save me money! I have never made homemade laundry soap before and can't wait to try it! What scent are the essential oils you packaged up? Thanks so much for the idea!

Kris

Jan Hatchett said...

Hi all,
I have made the powdered, concentrated laundry soap from scratch before, but ended up not being able to use it.

I made it with Octagon Soap from Colgate as the base and always used white vinegar in the rinse.

In the summer, our clothes began smelling really sour after we wore them for awhile. They looked clean, but smelled.

Any advice on what to do to fix the problem?
Jan
www.anotherhatchettjob.blogspot.com

grace said...

I am working towards a 90% used and/or handmade Christmas this year. I want to give people the knowledge that they can receive beautiful, useful things without supporting a soulless mass market.

knittinandnoodlin said...

What a brilliant idea! Love how you packaged it! I've been making powder detergent for awhile, and it never occurred to me to use Deb's idea of the microplane grater.

Mimi said...

This is so lovely. What a great idea!

PiLibrarian said...

I have been using homemade laundry detergent for a few months now and really like it. I used a soap called Fels Naptha, but I see you've used regular Ivory in your kits. Does any kind of bar soap work, even non-laundry specific?

The packaging is what really makes your idea beautiful!

sheri said...

I came here via Crunchy Chicken for your laundry soap recipe, and have quickly been sucked in...your blog is fabulous!

I am going to try your laundry soap recipe -- looks heavy-duty enough to tackle the laundry for my 5 grubby kids plus cloth diaper laundry too!

Thanks for the idea! What a wonderful gift idea that is, too.

Paula said...

What Essential Oil did you include? And how do you use the EO?? Thanks!! I have been wanting to use EO with the laundry, but can never figure out how. I am trying to figure out which of the recipes you used (for liquid or concentrated for front loader)? Thanks again!

gonzomama said...

thanks for link to the recipe. i have been wanting to try this and wasn't sure if it was suitable for a front loader. can't wait to make this change for our family!

(love it as a DIY gift too)

Ashli Norton said...

The only thing that would make this gift better would be to include homemade soap for the recipe, instead of the ivory, other than that, I am totally stealing this for my xmas and bday giving this year.