Make your own laundry soap for fresh smelling clothes and linens!

I did, and I absolutely love the way my massage table linens and my clothes smell!

It started when my daughter told me she was making her own laundry detergent. I was not happy with the expensive  “natural” detergent I was using on my massage sheets. I’ve smelled old massage sheets that have a rancid smell from the oils and creams used that didn’t quite get washed out. My massage sheets are an investment (100% organic cotton), and I want them to feel and smell clean and fresh for a long time.

She gave me the recipe she used. I tinkered a little with it and am very satisfied with the results. If you’re interested in making your own, you can save money, get better results, and be kinder to the environment.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • a large mixing bowl
  • a measuring cup
  • rubber gloves
  • an airtight container


  • 2 cups washing soda (found in the grocery store on the laundry supplies aisle)
  • 2 cups Borax (ditto)
  • 2 cups baking soda (on the baking supplies aisle)
  • 1-3/4ths cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s; you can choose a scent)

Add the powders to the mixing bowl and mix well. Put the gloves on and break up any lumps.

Add the liquids. Remember, baking soda plus vinegar are how you make volcanoes erupt for 4th grade science projects! It will fizz up, so add it slowly.

Wearing rubber gloves, start mixing it by hand, breaking up lumps. The mixture gets warmer. The texture becomes like Play-Doh. Keep kneading, and it becomes crumbly. Keep kneading and breaking up the lumps until it is mostly powder. It’s okay if a few small lumps remain — they’ll dissolve in the wash. This should take about 10 minutes.

Put it in an airtight container. I like using a Ziploc bag.

When I’m ready to wash a load, I simply add 1/4th cup of this homemade detergent to the water, and my laundry comes out sparkling clean and smelling wonderful!

(Shortcut: On January 9, 2014, I mixed up a batch. For some reason, after kneading it for 12 minutes, it didn’t become powdery. Temperature? Humidity? Age of ingredients? I don’t know. I measured 1/4th cup of the mixture and rolled it into a ball. I made 32 more “soap balls” to match, let them sit on my counter for a couple of hours to dry, and stored them in a Ziploc bag. When I need to wash a load, I simply crumble a soap ball into the water.)

This recipe makes enough detergent to do 33 loads of laundry.

Here are the pre-tax costs of ingredients, as of March 7, 2013, rounded up to the nearest cent (using my best math abilities; let me know if I miscalculated, please). Note that I bought larger amounts of ingredients to save money.

  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, $3.24 for 55 oz. = $.06 per oz. x 16 oz. = $.96
  • 20 Mule Team Borax, $3.38 for 76 oz. = $.05 per oz. x 16 oz. = $.80
  • Store-brand baking soda, $2.12 for 64 oz. = $.03 per oz. x 16 oz. = $.48
  • Store-brand white vinegar, $2.82 for 128 oz. = $.02 per oz. x 14 oz. = $.28
  • Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, $43.19 for 128 oz. ( = $.34 x 4 oz. = $1.35

The total cost to make this recipe is $3.87, which breaks down to about 12 cents per load. I don’t know how that compares to commercial laundry detergents, but it seems very reasonable to me, given how fresh my massage sheets and clothing smell and knowing it’s natural and not harmful to the earth.


End-of-year blog stats for 2012

I’m winding up my third year of blogging, getting ready to move into the fourth year, so it’s a good time to summarize.

View and visitor data

In 2012, my blog was viewed over 48,000 times, averaging 134 views per day. That’s up from 23,000 total and 63 average in 2011. Readership continues to grow. Thank you.

I had my best day ever, 580 views by 206 visitors, on Monday, December 10. That was far above average, and I still don’t know what made it different. I’m curious and happy!

(FYI, each page/post viewed per day per device counts as one view. WordPress just started tracking visitors this month, so I won’t have meaningful data on visitors for awhile.)

Most popular posts of 2012

  1. Home page/archives (the blog was my home page for most of the year)
  2. Update on my Spartan trailer
  3. Trauma releasing exercises
  4. Tattoo art on yogis
  5. The starfish story: making a difference
  6. The Well Ashiatsu and Massage (my new home page as of the latter part of this year)
  7. Each moment, life as it is, the only teacher: quotes from Joko Beck
  8. How do you get your energy back after having the flu?
  9. The left brain right brain crossover
  10. What you need to know about standing desks

Many of these posts appeared before 2012, but The starfish story and The Well Ashiatsu and Massage were new. Other new popular posts in 2012 included The heart’s energy field, Breaking a habit: change the cue and reward first, and the routine will follow, and The 12 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening. Posts on current yoga controversies (injuries and scandals) got quite a few views as well.

Where views came from

blog views by county, 2012

blog views by county, 2012

Since Feb. 25, 2012, when WordPress began tracking where views came from, over 27,000 views have come from the U.S., followed by Canada and the UK with about 2,500 each. Australia, India, Germany, South Africa, Ireland, Netherlands, and New Zealand round out the top 10 countries. Hi, y’all!

I had no views at all in 2012 from Greenland, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Somalia, several west and central African nations. and a few very tiny ones.

Most popular search terms

Almost 30,000 views came through people using search engines, mostly Google. (This is why tagging is so important.) These were the most popular search terms:

  1. yoga tattoos
  2. spartan trailer
  3. trauma release exercises
  4. spartan carousel
  5. starfish story
  6. yoga tattoo
  7. spartan trailers
  8. spartan carousel for sale
  9. standing desk height calculator
  10. glenn black yoga

Other search terms that got viewers here included:

  • sitting unhealthy
  • jobs that are not sedentary
  • constructive things to do
  • 100 naked people
  • tantric broad

Surprisingly, several search terms used the Russian and Turkish alphabets. I have no idea what the English equivalents are.  I had 125 views from Turkey and 70 from the Russian Federation, so I goess they found something of interest. 

Clicks and ads and earnings

If you enter Amazon through links on this blog and make a purchase, I get a small percentage of whatever you buy, through a program called Amazon Associates. Amazon got 973 clicks from this blog in 2012.

From those clicks and subsequent sales, I earned all of $110 in 2012.

Don’t ask how many hours I put into this website. I don’t track my time, but I’m sure it averaged at least a couple of hours per week, and often double that. $110 for 104 hours (52 x 2) works out to about $1 per hour. Hmmm.

I have yet to be paid a cent for allowing ads on the blog. I’ve earned $54.37 since February 2012, when I began allowing ads, but the minimum payout is $100, so I’m still waiting for a deposit.  Frankly, I’m not sure advertising is worth the aesthetic drag and distraction, and I worry that some company whose values I disagree with (like Monsanto) will advertise.

If that happens, please let me know as soon as possible, so I can quit taking ads.

Blogging is a labor of love for me. It would be nice to make more money at it (with integrity, of course). I consider writing projects from time to time that could bring in  income, but so far I haven’t followed through. I believe that could change!

Other data

I end 2012 with:

  • over 75,000 views total
  • 313 followers (156 at the end of 2011)
  • 727 total posts
  • 2,250 tags
  • 576 comments (including my replies to commenters)

It’s been a good year. Thank you for reading me!

Building my massage practice

I have not been posting here quite as often as I used to because I’m working on building my massage practice, which includes not just giving massage (which I enjoy and am good at) but also learning about business matters like marketing, bookkeeping, scheduling, pricing, and so on.

That kind of practical, down-to-earth stuff that doesn’t seem to fit well with the themes of this blog. You’re not here to learn whether to use Quicken or Quickbooks, read about using incentives to attract and retain clients, or sift through research on gift certificate law in Texas, but currently I am a sponge for all that.

I’d love to share some of my lovely experiences! I had fun on Friday morning doing something new: going to each business on the block where my studio is located, introducing myself as a new neighbor, and letting them know I’m available for massage just a short walk away.

My friend Keith came with me. We talked to people at 19 businesses and left a flyer for the bulletin board and business cards at each one. I was glad to have his company.

One of my pet peeves is that I work hard to get stressed people all nice and relaxed, and when their session is over, they get in their car and drive away, which can so easily undo the relaxed state.

I’ve begun suggesting that they enjoy their relaxed state as long as possible, just becoming alert enough to drive themselves safely home.

Even better would be if people could walk to my studio, get a massage, and walk back. Walking anchors the relaxed state more deeply, and the neighborhood is old and lovely, a visual treat.


I’ll be sending off for my certification in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy today, having done the requisite 20 practice sessions with evaluations. I’ll take the test and get the paperwork in the mail. That feels good. I’m really grateful I can offer this modality.

I’ve just ordered a workbook on trigger points and am looking forward to learning how to work with them. I will be able to make even more of a difference when clients experience muscle pain.

I’ve been fortunate to have worked on some people who are themselves highly experienced bodyworkers, who have shared tips and wisdom with me. I feel immensely grateful for the support.

When I start each session, I like to be still for a moment, connecting my energy to earth and heaven and then connecting to my client’s energy. It feels appropriately responsible when someone has come to me with trust that I can help them feel better. I know it sounds like a cliche, but that moment feels sacred.

Also, all of my clients are really great clients!

Celebrating online booking for massage with a special offer

New! Online booking for Ashiatsu and massage!

I’m very excited! I just got online booking set up for my massage practice! If you need a massage here in Austin, I’d love to work with/on you. I do integrative massage, and Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy (barefoot massage).

Special offer

To celebrate, I’m offering a special: if you book an appointment that’s 60 minutes or longer online by 8 pm CDT tomorrow, October 25, you may add 30 minutes to your session for free.

Feel free to pass the word!

Online booking available

You can book online any time from my home page, from my Facebook business page The Well, by clicking this link, or by clicking the menu Schedule Appointment. If you prefer to talk to me, you can call me at 512-507-4184.

My studio is downtown near 12th & Lamar, with free parking.

Let me know if you have any questions or run into any problems with the online booking. I think I’ve got it all set up correctly, but if you have any problems scheduling online, please let me know ASAP (512-507-4184). Thank you!

Now offering Ashiatsu at my downtown studio!

Ashiatsu now available

Good news! I am now offering Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy, at my downtown Austin studio, 12th Street Massage, 827 W. 12th. Call 512-507-4184 to schedule an appointment.

Ashiatsu (AOBT) is called “the deepest, most luxurious massage on the planet.” Performed on a standard massage table, I hold onto overhead bars while massaging your body with my feet. Ashiatsu consists of long, flowing, deep strokes with the whole foot as well as targeted work using the heel, toes, or edge of the foot.

Ashiatsu sessions last 60, 75 or 90 minutes. The 60-minute sessions are done on the back. Longer sessions include work on the front and sides of the body and may include work with the hands on your neck, feet, or hands.

If you like the feeling of slow, deep pressure, you will love Ashiatsu. Leveraging the amount of pressure you receive, I can apply up to my full body weight (I weigh in the 110-120 range) to the places on your body that can take it, lightening up on vulnerable areas.

If you’ve never experienced Ashiatsu, I invite you to come check it out. Many, many people love it so much, they never go back to traditional massage. Needless to say, the pressure really refreshes your circulatory and lymphatic systems.

Integrative massage

I also offer integrative massage (Swedish plus the Lauterstein deep massage method, as well as reflexology, acupressure points, stretching, body mobilization techniques, trigger point therapy, Reiki, and/or craniosacral work) at my studio.

How I work

Here’s a little about how I like to work: I always give you the full time you pay for, and if I run into an area that needs extra work, I may run over a few minutes (in that case, it’s on me). If you need to leave by a certain time, please tell me up front. Otherwise, you can take your time getting dressed and enjoy your relaxed state.

Here’s the secret of a really great massage: I do not book sessions back to back like discount massage places do because it’s important to me to be rested, fresh, and present with each person I work on. For that reason, I offer only a limited number of appointments per day. My cancellation policy is 24 hours in advance.

I provide fresh organic cotton sheets, organic oils, aromatherapy if you like it, and nature sounds, soothing music, or silence.

A massage makes a great gift. We all know someone who would be so grateful to receive one. I offer gift certificates in any denomination.

I also offer chair massage and lunchtime yoga classes for employee wellness.

MaryAnn Reynolds, MS, RYT, LMT, NCTMB

New massage modality coming soon: Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy

New offering: Ashiatsu

This past weekend I went to San Antonio and did four days of training in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy, learning to work on the back, front, and sides of the body with my feet.

Oh, it is so much fun, and painless to give because I’m using my feet and leveraging my body weight to control pressure by holding onto overhead bars. Current weight: 114. May  wear a scuba belt for those who want even more pressure… I usually keep one foot on the table, though, so I’m completely able to deliver lighter pressure.

In case you didn’t know, I have really amazing reiki energy in my feet! Some days I wake up with it just pouring out of them. I haven’t known what to do with it, but this seems like a very good way to put it to work!

I also have “monkey toes” like many yogis with Iyengar training.

I’m looking forward to getting some overhead bars set up and being able to offer it in addition to Swedish, deep, and integrative (an intuitive blend of Swedish, deep, acupressure, reflexology, clinical — whatever is needed) that I already offer.

Because of my size, I was wearing my body out trying to deliver the deep tissue pressure that so many people like. A lot of people don’t realize how taxing massage is on the therapist’s body and what a high burnout rate this profession has. I didn’t. Self-care is essential to be and give your best. I’m working now on giving as much as I can give without hurting myself.

Learning Ashiatsu will allow me to make a difference on those who like medium to firm pressure and those who want to try something different. The long strokes are very relaxing. My practice client at training, Don, a big biker who practices reiki himself, fell asleep!

Photos from training (I’m the one with the short hair):