Yesterday was an interesting one and alot of fun. Over the weekend, our washing machine's belt had finally stretched to the point that it no longer would spin the drum to get the water out of the laundry. With 2 little ones in cloth diapers, I really needed to be able to do laundry. I ended up washing laundry by hand and hanging it out on the clothesline to dry. What a great experience it was!
While Micah, age 3 months, was napping I went to task washing the laundry. Abigail, age 2 yrs, was beside me "helping" as she swished around the wash cloths and flannel baby wipes around in the rinse water. By the time we were done, Micah had awaken. I put him in a baby carrier and the 3 of us went outdoors to hang up the wash. Abigail had such fun running around. At times, she would come over and help hand to me the clothespins. Later she helped to put the dried laundry into the basket. At one point as I was putting the wet laundry on the line, I glanced down to see Abigail dropping a kitten into the basket on top of the laundry. She is such a little monkey! All the while when we were outside, Micah was looking around and enjoying the breeze.
I loved the experience. While I don't see myself doing laundry by hand all the time, it is nice to know that if the situation comes up again, I know how to do the laundry without a machine. I also had the chance to really appreciate the homemade laundry soap. I was pleasantly surprised at how soft the wash water felt. My soap recipe is very simple. I grate very fine 3 bars of Ivory soap. Once grated I measure how much soap I have. The soap is poured into a large bowl. To this, I add Borax and washing soda in the ratio of: 1 part soap, 2 parts borax, 2 parts washing soda. I mix the ingredients together very well using my hands to break up any lumps that may be in the powdered ingredients. I store the soap in recycled metal baby formula cans with plastic lids. To use the soap, I use the little scoop that came with the baby formula, about a 1 Tablespoon measurement. I add 2-3 scoops of the soap to a large load of laundry. For presoaking the diapers, I use 1 scoop in the diaper pail of water. The soap works great on our laundry and smells very nice also.
I am so grateful that the washing machine belt had to be replaced. Had it not been for that fact, I would have missed out on a precious experience with my kids.