Live Simply to Simply Live,  Self-Sufficiency

Frugal Frieda does the washing

Washing tips from Frugal Frieda could make all the difference to your washing day! As regular reader’s of my blog will know it was my aim this year to write a “Frugal Frieda” post every month. This month it is about Frieda doing the washing. Why Frugal Frieda? Because Frieda is sensible with her money and likes to live simply. In an earlier “Frugal Frieda” post I did talk about her possibly being my alter ego and whether she is or she isn’t I will leave completely up to the reader to decide.

Frugal Frieda is always busy doing the washing. A friend many years ago said about Frieda “you are either very clean or very dirty” – referring to the amount of washing she did. It is probably a good idea to wash clothes, sheets, towels well before they are too dirty. It takes more effort to get very dirty clothes clean. Frieda learnt that lesson very early in life and therefore washing regularly became part of her routine.

Decades ago, back in the 1950’s and 1960’s Frieda remembers that washing was usually done on a Monday. Why was Monday washing day? I don’t know but perhaps it was because households did not have all the appliances we have today. Given that there was so much manual labour in washing it could take up the entire day.

Even today, my mother who is 90 years old likes to wash on a Monday. A few months back, after moving into a retirement village, she assessed the outside clothes line space. She discovered that she could continue to wash on Monday but was still puzzled about why others did their washing on other days!

When Frugal Frieda washes in this modern age she likes to have an energy and water efficient washing machine. This was before she replaced her twin tub washing machine with an automatic one. With the twin tub she was able to recycle the water and thereby saved this precious commodity. Frieda comes from the “Silent Generation”. She grew up during the Great Depression when there was high unemployment and food was in short supply. This generation survived by being frugal. Even today Frieda wonders about Generation X or Y, even though they buy energy-saving appliances, many have grown up in towns and cities where water was in abundance and flowed freely from the spout. Yet others (across all generations) that have grown up in country and regional areas are more like Frieda, conscious of their water usage.

While water and energy is an issue for Frugal Frieda she is also concerned about keeping things simple and low-cost by making her own washing powder. There are toxic chemicals in commercial laundry powder and this is why Frieda also likes to make her own.  It is easy to do and here is her recipe:

Frugal Frieda’s Washing Powder

  • 1 cup grated soap (Frieda is an old-fashioned girl and usually uses sunlight soap but she tells me you can also use lux flakes or another soap brand)
  • 1 cup washing powder
  • 1 cup of borax

Mix together and store in airtight jar. 1-2 tablespoons per wash.

Sunlight soap has been made in Australia since 1884
Since 1884 people in Australia have used Sunlight soap for washing

Note: today we have appliances that Frieda never had so if you have a blender you can use this to mix the ingredients (after you have grated the soap). The other option is to add your 1-2 tablespoons of the powder to water before adding to your washing machine. Essential oil is also a great addition, such as eucalyptus or lavender.

If you have heard rumours about “borax” and that is a concern you can use another recipe. Though, do not confuse borax with borax acid. If you would like a washing powder without borax, then click on the link here. 

What Frieda has done for me today is to remind me that conserving water is a sensible approach to life given that Australia (apart from Antarctica) is the driest continent on earth. It is even more sensible given that most of us in cities and towns today pay for water.

Taking the next step and making your own washing powder is simply about being wise with your money. When you do this you known exactly what is in the washing powder and it is not a time-consuming task. As well, making your own gives you a sense of satisfaction and it is also another step towards protecting the environment – no more disposable containers.  Frieda has never had a problem with her washing powder and being an old-fashioned girl Frieda’s view is that it is “simply the best”.  Making my own washing powder is on my “to do list” – what about you?

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