The most exciting is washing my Egyptian Cotton sheets I bought in Cyprus 14 years ago. They feel like they have just got ten years younger. It isn’t fine satinised Cotton, but so pretty with cutwork, and a tape pattern on the pillowcases and quilt cover.
They have come up a lovely white, not an artificially brightened white. As Ken Dod would say they feel plumptious. Sadly it was announced He died today. So much part of my generation. Just a man who was happy to be alive. I think He is telling jokes to God in heaven right now. God has a great sense of humour.
Anyway I immediately noticed how well these sheets ironed. How crisp and full they feel. Not a new sort of stiff, but almost as though they had a light starch to them. I am definitely making up a killer jar of the mixture. I will have to wait until I go to France to get Savon de Marseilles in bar form to make it as a one dose product. I have this soap in liquid form, so put the savon in separately.
Once it is all mixed with a lable on it, I can let my Husband use it. My next project is to experiment with the dishwasher to see if a home made product will work. My main concern was to eliminate the synthetic perfume smell. I was wondering if I could make a final rinse for the Laundry with some vinegar water and essential oils. Lavender would help me sleep. I actually put a few drops of essential oils in the Savon, This has worked very well, and the sheets smell delicious. Very delicately perfumed with Lavender T.Tree and Eucalyptus.
It was simple to measure up. I found the recipe on a blog about home making, and making products from less toxic and environmentally damaging ingredients.
It was simple really. Here’s this delightful ladies recipe. I added two capfuls, probably 10ml of Ammonia to the dispenser drawer once I put the powder and Savon de Marseilles in. There is blessedly no smell to the sheets. I am changing the bed tomorrow, and hoping this will reduce my breathing symptoms at night. I hate the smell of laundry detergents. The update is that it does, and I am sleeping better.
half cup cup of baking soda
one cup washing soda
quater cup coarse sea salt (I am sure dishwasher salt would be Ok. I have course sea salt I buy from France which is much cheaper than here).
A bar of something like Dr Bronners Pure Castile Soap. I used Savon de Marseille, mine is liquid so I put a tablespoon to the dry ingredients. I will buy a bar next time as well so I can grate the soap in and have it all powdered. Apparantly grating it can be done in the food processor.
Then I added about 10ml of Ammonia to the wash compartment.
(I just popped back to this post, as I forgot to say how much to us).
Its two tablespoons for a heavy wash. One tablespoon for a light wash.
If I am washing wool by hand, like jumpers, I just use the Savon de Marseilles and a cap full of Ammonia. That’s a teaspoon full. I don’t stand over it and breath it in!
Use gloves for mixing and using any sort of washing. No point in ending up with chapped hands. I only buy heavy duty gloves. The black ones, because the lightweight go through the fingers so quickly. Less gloves, lest going in the waste to have to deal with. Also I can then use very hot water.
I put my sheets on a 60 degree eco wash on the soak program. The whole wash takes about four and a half hours. I always wash my sheets on hot. Sometimes on a full 90 degree wash. Kill anything!
I do have a sheet fetish. It used to be a shoe fetish, but I broke my ankle badly and spent a long time in bed on quetiapine. Having good sheets just makes life better. They were expensive, but excellent white cotton sheets last half a lifetime. They can even be mended if needed. Then when they will go no further, they make wonderful cleaning cloths. Just edge them on the sewing machine.
They are better for the environment with no fibres that don’t break down. I also started edging some old towels that have gone thin. I use them for cloths. I decided this week I will go back to these cotton cloths rather than use plastic scouring sponges. I told my Husband we will never buy them again. My Cotten toweling cloths will last for years. I can soak them, boil them and dry them. So much more hygienic. The best thing to soak dirty pans in, is some liquid soda crystals. Obviously not Aluminium.
I know I have the time to experiment, but these experiments are to see if they will save me time, work out better, or cheaper. The making of washing powder is very much cheaper than shop bought. It doesn’t stink of artificial perfume, and has left the cotton crispy and easy to iron.
I have always ironed my cotton sheets. Then about ten years ago I saw a Miele rotary iron in an auction. I managed to buy it for £53 and got the Miele repair man to check it over at the same time as fixing my Miele washing machine. The bill for the two was just under £100. I hate to think how much one of the irons would cost new, but although it’s a big bit of kit, I just get any sheets and flat stuff done once a week and do all the Ironing together.
I love doing it, smoothing things out is so satisfying! Also having crispy beautifully ironed sheets.
There wasn’t such a thing as nylon sheets when I grew up. My mother did the same thing. However eventually with Seven of us in the family, She bought nylon sheets. Understandable.
The thing is back then, it was all flat sheets. You took the top sheet and put it on the bottom once a week, then put the clean sheet on top. Half the washing and the sheets lasted longer. In fact I should go back to using a top and bottom flat sheet, so I don’t have to wash my beautiful Cypriot duvet cover so often. I am going to wear it out too quickly!
I have so many little things I want to do now I am feeling better. Taking Depakote for so long I realise I had lost all the simple pleasures in doing the little jobs. I was a bit of a zombie. I am getting my memories back of my childhood.
My next plan is to buy Pyrex storage dishes for the freezer. I don’t want to use plastic any more. Also the great benefit is to get small dishes for meals for the two of us, make things like lasagna and moussaka and freeze them in the Pyrex. Then I can simply put the dish in the oven.
I did have a look on the Le Parfait site, and on Amazon, however all the jars are round. What I want are square and oblong ones. I want ones with a glass lid so I can cook with the lid on as well. I want an easy spring release that is simple to release the whole hinge mechanism from the dishes. Shaped silicone seals to slip on and off the lids. The spring mechanisms and seals should be replaceable.
I quite like the simple plain Le Parfait jars, but I suppose they could be coloured glass. Pyrex is so very useful. It would also be a very eco friendly way of saving space in the freezer. In fact some things if they are canned properly probably wouldn’t need freezing. Better than plastic. Then if one gets broken, perhaps we could get a refund on the glass, so it can be recycled into new jars.
I like the Le Parfait jars better than Kilner Jars. So if this is a noteworthy idea, I would like the patent credit to go to Le Parfait! They can always send me a couple of dozen in samples as a gift!
I am more likely to see something like that in France. I will be keeping my eye out. A dozen or so of those sort of dishes would be a great investment.
Well less of my wittering on about my Lent house detox. I have got to go and wash algae off my Olive trees for a while. I think I must start writing lists, I seem to find more to do every day! How anyone manages to go out to work and run a home I don’t know. I suppose that’s why everyone has to live on convenience food, and not care for the home environment. When I was running my business, My Husband was at home. He had to retire because of massive heart failure. He is a miracle! Very capable Man.