Monday, August 29, 2011

Laundry Days Ahead...

If one is not familiar with a Primary Montessori classroom, what might not be realized is the amount of laundry produced during a typical work session!  The biggest "laundry producers" are the Practical Life activities.  These include many Care of Environment exercises such as washing tables,chairs, windows, or the easel.  Also, each of the polishing lessons require the use of polish cloths which necessitate a wash through the laundry.  (You can read more about the purpose and rationale of these types of lessons here). Additionally, in an attempt to be more "green," in the classroom, I abandoned paper towels a few years ago in favor of (cloth) hand towels.  This means that each time a child washes their hands, they use a fresh hand towel to dry off their hands.  These towels, along with others from the Practical Life activities, are collected in a designated basket...and guess who takes it home to wash at the end of the day?  Yes, yours truly...!

Needless to say, trips to the store for laundry detergent were getting tiresome and I began to wonder about how much money I actually spent on it! Would you believe that while browsing Pinterest, I came across a recipe for homemade laundry detergent?  To make a long story short, my newest endeavor should last me all year for under $20!  Here is what I did:

One 4lb. box of Super Washing Soda; One box of Borax laundry booster; One 4 lb. box of Baking Soda;  Three bars of Fels-Naptha soap (sorry, the photo shows only one bar of soap).
First, I grated the soap and then simply mixed all the ingredients in large bucket...done!  I have read that you can also add OxyClean and essential oils to the mix. Apparently, just one tablespoon is needed per load - there is no denying, this should last me very long time!

Who knew I would be this happy to do our classroom laundry?  And did I mention how lovely and fresh it smells? ;-)


  1. Is the soap safe enough that the children can grate it? Grating soap is a popular activity in my classroom. We use the grated soap to wash tables, chairs, floors, etc. Also the children use the cloth washing activity to wash all polishing cloths, hang them to dry, then iron and put them away the next day!

  2. I love the idea of setting up an activity for washing the polish cloths...hmm, this one has me thinking already...! Thanks for the idea!