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Clean Kids: DIY Laundry and Bath Tips

Welcome to the April 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Personal Care

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles relating to their children’s personal care choices.

Clean Kids: DIY Laundry and Bath Tips

Having clean kids can be easier than you think, if you enlist them to help you out!

Are you drowning in piles of laundry? Children as young as five can do their OWN laundry! Our children started helping with the laundry when they were only toddlers. They can help sort laundry into whites and/or lights and darks, help stuff and unload the machines, and fold and put away items. If you have a top loading washer, you will need to help your five year old until they get tall enough to reach to the bottom of the washer. 

Our children know that when their laundry bag is full, they need to put on a wash. Something that can help the independent learning process along is Trigger Memory System’s Clean N’ Flip Laundry For Kids. Young children often have FUN doing laundry! Oncce they’ve been doing laundry for awhile, it just becomes routine. 

We also find it fun (as well as money-saving) to make our own liquid laundry detergent together. Here is our recipe.

DIY Laundry Detergent
16 cups of water
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 bar laundry soap, grated
Heat water at medium heat, then add Borax and Washing Soda.  Stir then add the grated laundry soap. Increase heat to medium high and stir until soap dissolves. Pour mixture into a 3 gallon bucket. Let sit for one hour, then fill the rest of the way with hot water and stir. Pour into three 3-quart containers and top with hot water, leaving a few centimetres headspace.  To use, shake the container and pour – depending on your washer, you may need a quarter cup, or even less for a High efficiency washer.

Do you go through bathroom soap like crazy? It’s fun for children to play with it. They love it so much that they can go through an entire bar in just one bath! We started using liquid soap, but they STILL went through it quickly, pumping way too much for one bath or using multiple pumps just to wash their hands. 

I picked up some cheap liquid soap at the dollar store in a sudsing dispenser. It’s amazing how little soap it takes, mixed with water, to fill a sudsing dispenser. The result? Far less waste and dollars spent! For even more savings, I’m going to try making our own liquid soap starting this week. Here’s the liquid soap recipe. Enjoy making up some sudsy fun with your own kids!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon April 10 with all the carnival links.)

  • Rub-a-Dub Co-Bathing in Our Tub — Bath time is more than soap and water! That Mama Gretchen shares how co-bathing with her toddler has opened up a world of cleanliness, learning, and bonding.
  • This is How We Take a Bath — Shannon at GrowingSlower shares her special formulas for babywash and a happy bath time.
  • How to Gently Trim Your Toddler’s Nails — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses some of the gentle suggestions she has received to help Little Man overcome his anxiety of having his nails trimmed, as well as how she copes with her need for his nails to be trimmed.
  • Baby bath time and skin careUrsula Ciller shares some simple and natural tips for bathing and skin care.
  • Want Your Child To Love Getting Clean? Have Them Make Their Own Soaps, Shampoos, and Lotions! — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her secret to empowering her daughter to “get clean.” Together, Jennifer and her daughter make their own body washes and lotions which makes clean up time fun!
  • Encouraging Self-care Through Awareness… and Fun — Amy at Presence Parenting shares some tips on how to transform self-care from a struggle into an opportunity — for kids and adults.
  • Caring for kids’ curls — Lauren at Hobo Mama tells you how to clean, condition, comb, and style ringlets and waves on little heads.
  • Playing in the Rain — Jorje of Momma Jorje loves how her family has come to make a family event of showering!
  • The Cleansing Power of the Football — Rachel at Lautaret Bohemiet talks about her son’s favorite bath buddy.
  • Coconut Oil: Nature’s “Baby Magic” — Megan at The Boho Mama has only one must-have baby care item in her cupboard: Coconut Oil!
  • For Sensitive Kids, Less Is More — Kadiera at Our Little Acorn finds less cleaning is better.
  • Bathtime: Just Another Chance to Play! — Lyndsay at Our Feminist {Play} School discusses the many reasons bath time is important – getting clean isn’t one of them.
  • Hygiene? What hygiene? — Sheila at A Gift Universe confesses some of her most embarrassing hygiene secrets.
  • Confused About Chemicals? — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep describes how to find out where the toxic chemicals are in your house and tips on alternatives.
  • Clipping Those Talons — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings describes the ways her daughter’s tolerance for personal care has changed over time, especially when it comes to nail clipping.
  • Sit Back, Relax and Unschool Hygiene — Instead of focusing on tactics of how to ‘get’ your child to focus on hygiene, Authentic Parenting explains how to help your child internalize hygienic standards.
  • Help! My Tot will not let me brush her teeth!Mudpiemama shares five positive ways to help toddlers brush teeth and sabotage the tooth fairy’s secret conspiracy.
  • Self Care and the Spirited Child — Amy at Toddler In Tow shares how a balancing act between independence and connectedness helps her spirited child learn appropriate self-care.
  • Hairbrushing is a Safety IssueDulce de leche guest posting at Natural Parents Network explains that although tangles are not a safety issue, self-confidence and body boundaries are.
  • 15 Ideas to Prepare Toddlers and Preschoolers for Dental Procedures — Dionna at Code Name: Mama is sharing ideas on how to thoughtfully prepare little ones for dental visits (particularly those that require anesthesia).
  • Holistic Care of your Toddler’s Teeth — Erica at ChildOrganics tells a tale of her children’s teeth issues and how she uses homeopathy and good nutrition to keep cavities at bay.
  • Bath Time Bliss : Fuss-Free Bath Time for Toddlers — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares how she has made bath time completely fuss free for both her and her toddler.
  • Homemade Natural ToothpasteCity Kids Homeschooling hosts a guest post on a homemade natural toothpaste recipe that kids will love!
  • Bathing Strike StrategiesCrunchy Con Mommy offers her best tips for keeping your little ones clean when they refuse to bathe.
  • Bodily Autonomy and Personal Hygeine — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses the importance of supporting a child’s bodily autonomy in the prevention of abuse.
  • A Tub Full of Kiddos! — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment has kiddos who love the water, so bathtime is a favorite evening activity!
  • The Trials of Tidying My Toddler — Adrienne at Mommying My Way shares the difficulties she has with getting her on-the-go son to be still enough to get clean.
  • Wiped Clean — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen shares her recipe for homemade diaper wipe solution to clean those sweet little cloth diapered bottoms in her home!
  • Snug in a Towel: Embracing Personal Grooming — Personal care is time consuming,especially with more than one child; but the mama at Our Muddy Boots is learning to embrace this fleeting and needful time.
  • EC: All or Nothing? — Elimination Communication. Even the title sounds complicated and time consuming. It doesn’t have to, if you adapt it to meet your family’s needs, says Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy.
  • Routine Battles — In a guest post at Anktangle, Jorje of Momma Jorje outlines a simple incentive to help inspire your little one to follow a routine.
  • Redefining Beauty For My Daughter — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger relays her struggle to define her own femininity and how her preschooler unexpectedly taught her a lesson in true beauty.
  • Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Three Girls In The Tub — Chrystal at Happy Mothering shares how she turns bath time into a few minutes of peace and quiet.
  • Montessori-Inspired Activities for Care of Self — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now has a roundup of Montessori-inspired activities for care of self and ideas for home environments that encourage independence.
  • 10 Gentle Tips for Little Ones Who Hate the Bath — Kim at life-is-learning gives 10 tips to get your little one into the bath and maybe even enjoying it.
  • The Boy With The Long Hair — Liam at In The Now discusses his son’s grooming choices.
  • Personal Care in a Montessori Home — Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares a summary of the ways she has organized her family’s home to make for easy, Montessori-inspired toddler personal care.
  • Styling Kids — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is letting her kids decide what to look like.
  • Clean Kids: Laundry and Bath Tips — Kimberly at Homeschooling in Nova Scotia shares tips on how to get your children helping with laundry plus recipes for laundry and liquid soap.
  • How to Clean Your Children Naturally: A Tutorial — Erika at Cinco de Mommy shows you how to clean your children.
  • Cleaniliness is next to… dirt — The lapse-prone eco-mom (Kenna at Million Tiny Things) sometimes forgets to bathe the kids. Except in the mud pit.

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Kimberly is a homeschooling mother of two living with her husband of over 20 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is also a freelance writer, editor, social media manager, and VA. In her free time she likes to hand-spin, knit, read, engage in local theatre, and horseback ride.

8 thoughts on “Clean Kids: DIY Laundry and Bath Tips

  1. Thanks for all of the great resources! I’m inspired to involve my toddler with laundry even more. I can remember learning to do my own laundry at age 5 or 6, so I know it’s possible as you say! Good luck with your soap making adventures – I love how little soap we go through with a sudsing dispenser, too!

  2. Pingback: The Boy With The Long Hair - In The Now
  3. Thank you so much for linking to the recipe for liquid soap – I’ve been meaning to get sudsing dispensers for our house, but I hadn’t been properly motivated yet. Now I am 🙂

  4. I agree, our kids have been doing laundry for years. I make about the same recipe for our laundry detergent, except ours is dry, not liquid. It works great. 🙂

  5. It’s encouraging to hear kiddos can enjoy doing laundry! We encourage ours to participate, and they do sometimes, but I think they prefer to play at other things right now! But I’m not giving up 🙂

  6. Oh, my gosh, are you kidding me? Kids that young can do laundry? I mean, Mikko helps me sort but I had NO IDEA. This is so exciting! I started doing my own laundry at 11 or 12, so I guess I had that age range in mind. Now I know to get cracking! 🙂

    I want to try out those flipcharts for cleaning. Love the detergent recipe, too, and the idea for a sudsing dispenser — thanks!

  7. I always admire those moms who manage to make their own soap–it’s long been on my list but I’ve never managed it since I had kids! I love the kids-doing-laundry idea, but I regret to say I have too distinct a memory of the Sears washer-repair guy holding up a small handful of various tiny legos, pebbles, and coins and saying: “This just cost you $200.” So I keep putting it off…

  8. This is awesome, I bet my little one will enjoy doing the laundry with me when she’s old enough! That’s a really simple and environmentally friendly receipe too. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Pingback: Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Three Girls In The Tub

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