DIY Laundry Detergent

Gentle Readers,

Like many before me, I don’t understand the costs associated with keeping my clothing clean. Dry-cleaners believe that women’s shirts are more expensive to clean than men’s shirt. No one has dared tell me that my sweat is tougher than a man’s to treat. And yet, my fancy professional clothes that cannot touch water must receive a costly treatment after so many wears.

A few years ago, I stopped using dryer sheets in favor of wool dryer-balls. You only purchase the product once, which means less packaging in the world. I also like that they have no scent. Many of my friends are highly allergic to any fragrance and I want my clothing to not impact their health. The environment, my budget, and my friendships all win.

I have been itching to make my own laundry detergent for a few years, but I could not justify it until my detergent ran out. I use less than the recommended amount, because my clothes come out clean with far less than the manufcaturer suggests. I finally finished a container of oxyclean and thus had the space I needed to create my first batch.

There are lots of recipes online, and most of them are the same. For my ratios, I looked here.

You don’t need much for DIY Detergent

I purchased 5 bars of soap (you need one bar, but it was cheaper in bulk), 1 box of washing soda, and 1 box of borax.

Per above, I don’t like scents, so I ignored the advice to add essential oils. I did purchase a microplane after checking out my local hardware store for a suitable alternative. I don’t have a dishwasher, and didn’t want to use my small food processor and end up with soapy pesto later.

Steps to making DIY Laundry Detergent

Once I had the materials and the room in an airtight container to store it, I pulled out the microplane and one bar of soap and grated it while watching music videos on YouTube. It took longer than I anticipated, but was not onerous. I think I was done in 15-20 minutes. Per usual, I knicked one knuckle on the microplane twice. So I will refrain from giving myself a manicure for a few days while I heal. Happy to report that no blood ended up in my detergent.

Then I added one cup of washing soda and one cup of borax. I briefly stirred everything together, while being careful to not get things on my skin as two of the ingredients can be drying.

That’s it. I now have very powerful, much cheaper detergent. Most people advise using one to two tablespoons per load.  I immediately did one load of laundry with this detergent; it included a flannel shirt from my dad who was a hardcore smoker living in a moist apartment. It had smelled of mildew and smoke. No longer. The load came out and appeared far cleaner than my expensive store-bought detergent ever achieved.

One final bonus was learning that the friend who hosted me for dinner and games Sunday night is also interested in making her own detergent, but had not been able to procure washing soda. The box is huge and you take so long to go through it one cup/tablespoon at a time. It will be easy for me to put some in a baggie to share with her.

Have any of you ever made your own detergent? Did you like the results?

 

Net Worth Week 85 – Thanksgiving Edition

Gentle Readers,
I have not yet been formally offered a gig. That means I earned no money this week. That’s frustrating, but it acted as a form of bereavement leave.  It also gave me time to be on the phone figuring out estate management. I began much of the estate process. I am still unsure of a few things, but I’ve made big strides. This is mainly because he had little and I had the time beforehand to get an idea of where he had accounts.
Unfortunately, Earnest did not allow a month-long break on paying. Apparently that is only for people who have their student loans through them. The only option for a break is a 3 month break. I hope that won’t be necessary.
I changed some accounts around. The health account was subsumed into the EF. I now have a line-item for the plane tickets I need to repay my brother for. He hasn’t told me the particular amount, but he will eventually. We’ve agreed that I will repay it when it won’t hurt me financially. That is, after I have a gig for a few weeks. Or when the life insurance pays out.
I got to spend Thanksgiving with one of my favorite families. The food and friendship were restorative. I got to hear stories from her children. I got to have a glass of very fancy whisky to celebrate her husband’s promotion.  It was lovely.

This week’s net worth numbers

11/17/2017 11/24/2017
 Joy 1110 1110
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 57
 Business 5 5
Life 2855 2471
IRA 15827  15966
 Brokerage  851  858
 Rewards Card 2 -891  -1587
 CC (largest  0  0
 CC (longest 0  0
 Rewards Card -5613 (BT)  -5613 (BT)
 SL 1 -105833  -105899
SL 2 -46642 -46672
Earnest -2277 -2279
 Repay brother -600?
 Net Worth -140224 -141855
 Percentage Change .31% -1.16%

How were your Thanksgivings?

 

Net Worth Week 84 – Hard Week Edition

Gentle Readers,
My gig ended last Monday, but I have an interview to do similar temporary work as a supervisor. I hope that this works out. I will likely have at least two weeks without earning money.
My brother’s high-risk pregnancy ended with an apparently healthy child. They live overseas, and their country has some strict rules for fathers in hospitals. He had very little time with his child at first. Gratefully, his wife is being released today. Their child needs a little more monitoring, but things appear okay. That brother’s biopsy results indicate that he does not actually have cancer and he should be able to avoid the cancer that impacted our father by lifestyle changes.
Our father passed away a few hours after his most recent grandchild was born. Most of his children were en route, but did not make it in time for a final goodbye. One of his children had not been able to visit him during this illness at all. Another only saw him in his final hours – after he’d already lost the ability to communicate. I have many thoughts about this, but for now, I need to begin managing his estate and that involves many phone calls and figuring out what all needs to be managed.
I had to cancel my physical because I was near my dad, but I will reschedule. I also need to request a month-long break on Earnest.

This week’s net worth numbers

11/10/2017 11/17/2017
 Joy 1110 1110
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 2047  2855
 IRA  15798  15827
 Brokerage 863  851
 Rewards Card 2  -612  -891
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -5764(BT)  -5613 (BT)
SL 1 -105668 -105833
SL 2 -46566 -46642
 Earnest -2270 -2277
 Net Worth -140673 -140224
 Percentage Change .__% .31%

Have you ever had to handle an estate? Any tips?

Net Worth Week 83 – Find Support Edition

Gentle Readers,
My heart is still hurting, but  I must just wait for her. I know that it will likely be many months. My twitter shows how swiftly my feelings and hopes and fears can change about this. However, I am following our boundaries as stated. No matter how I feel at a given moment. I’m really proud of myself.
This post is so late because I had a slumber-party with my friend and her family. It was soul-refreshing. The kids were sad I had to leave, but I can’t sleep on their couch forever. We played. We ate delicious food. We talked. She and I made plans to make plans for a trip. It was lovely. Rejuvenated me.
 I attended a conference about my business this week, and had my gig likely canceled. It is only likely until someone with the authority to fire me is actually at work. The two people authorized to make the decision were out on vacation when my supervisor said that the project is likely over. Thankfully, the conference was very informative and introduced me to people of like mind.
I’ve not further looked into Talk Space yet. I’m not sure that I need it, or that I can afford it since I don’t know if I will be employed come Monday.
This next week should see the biopsy results for my brother. Then we’ll know what steps he’ll need to take. His wife’s c-section is also planned.  I’m really hoping that it goes well and that the baby is healthy.
Per my girlfriend’s request, I’ll have my physical this week and see if any tests would be necessary for me.
For the second week, my dad could not begin chemotherapy because he has not been able to consume enough. It has been four weeks since he has been able to receive any treatment. I fear that means he has only weeks to live.

This week’s net worth numbers

11/3/2017 11/10/2017
 Joy 1110 1110
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 3159  2047
 IRA  15851  15798
 Brokerage 864  863
 Rewards Card 2  -630  -612
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -5979 (BT)  -5764 (BT)
SL 1 -105989 -105668
SL 2 -46713 -46566
 Earnest -2730 -2270
 Net Worth -140668 -140673
 Percentage Change .43% .–%

Do you think I’ll have a job for the next few weeks?

Net Worth Week 82 – Things Get Worse Edition

Gentle Readers,
If you follow me on twitter, you’ll already know that instead of staying with me for a week, the unresolved issues in our relationship jumped out and demanded attention, which included my girlfriend staying with other friends. The short version is that she needs space right now and I am giving it. It is incredibly difficult to wonder if she’ll come back in a few (many) months and want to release the pause button.  But I know that regardless of the outcome, the way she needs love from me right now is from a distance. That means very limited direct communication. She can’t have space to focus on herself if I am filling it up with cute memes or with my woes and joys.
Any time I hurt in major ways, I allow myself to feel the fullness of what I’m feeling, but I also make sure that my friends know what is happening. They can check on me and contribute to my well-being. My friends are doing a great job of loving me.
Even so, I’ll be raw for awhile, but that is just something you experience sometimes. I am using the time to focus on being the best version of myself. I am studying hard. I am loving my friends well. I am doing many more things to develop my business.  I am crying and sleeping and remembering to eat.
I’m already a different person from when she saw me last. Quite literally, as I’m now on a new tray of invisalign. I’m sure that there will be other, less tangible changes as well between now and the next time we see one another. Time does that to people. I know what I hope for and I know that I may never get it. I’ll exist in an interstitial emotional space for a bit.
I’m looking into Talk Space, in part, so that my current string of woes does not overwhelm my friends. The weekly fee for access to the subscription is cheaper than a therapist through my insurance. I don’t think I would do the highest tier, which is the only one that includes one 30-minute Live-Session a month. Can a therapist messaging you once or twice a day make enough of a difference to be worthwhile? I’m not aware of having a mental health issue. I’m just going through a lot and a space for talking is good…
How this impacts me financially. So far, I’ve had to use will-power to prevent myself from buying very expensive beautiful shoes I cannot afford right now. Part of no communication includes me not sending her presents or planning any trips. I’ll be spending thanksgiving at my friends house in DC, which is cheaper than flying to Texas. I’m trying to spend time with friends while spending little money, and that is helped by invisalign. Eating is difficult and most menus have food that is just too tough for me right now. I also think that I’ll be talking more walks along The Mall in the near future. Due to growing my business and having a gig,I spend more time alone than this extrovert likes, and at a time when I am sad and stressed that is definitely not a good thing.
In other tales, more things got worse for my family, too.
My favorite brother who lives overseas and whose wife is in a high-risk pregnancy just told us that he has the precursors of the cancer that is killing dad. Hopefully catching things so early means that appropriate treatment will save his life. That is highly likely. Thankfully, he lives in a country where medical care won’t bankrupt him. He can access it. Being afraid for dad made him go get tested for something that has been bothering him for a year. Our dad’s illness may have saved his life.
This type of cancer mainly impacts men, but just in case environmental factors played a part, my girlfriend asked me to get my physical and update my medical record with the new cancer prevalence in the family. So I’ve made that appointment. She also wants me to do a cancer screening, and I’ll ask my doctor if that is something we should do.  I also checked out the insurance available on the exchange for next year. My premiums are going up by a lot more than any other year since the ACA started, but insurance is important. I clearly need to study to earn more so that I can cover the expensive next few months.
My dad was not actually able to begin chemotherapy because he has not been able to eat or drink enough to have the appropriate ‘levels.’  This sounds ominous to me. I did ask a nurse I know for her thoughts. To her, it sounds normal and not ominous. I’m not convinced.
We are anxiously awaiting the next baby. It’s been a very high risk pregnancy and I have a lot of stress about her safety. Baby should arrive in the very near future.

This week’s net worth numbers

10/27/2017 11/3/2017
 Joy 1109 1110
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 3424  3159
 IRA  15469  15851
 Brokerage 872  864
 Rewards Card 2  -1115  -630
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -6168 (BT)  -5979 (BT)
SL 1 -105874 -105989
SL 2 -46660 -46713
 Earnest -2725 -2730
 Net Worth -141279 -140668
 Percentage Change -.67% .43%

When many things fall apart at once, what is your self-care? Have you ever used a therapist or Talk Space?