Sunday, February 12, 2017

day90: Laundry, life hacks

'laundry day ...' (2017) embroidery and collage on a teabag

My theory on housework is, 
if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire, 
or block the refrigerator door, let it be. 
No one else cares. Why should you? 
Erma Bombeck

It may interest you to know that this whole idea/blog/book sprang from a thought that I may be sending you off into the world without some basic knowledge of everyday things, such as laundry, shopping and other mundane activities.  And as I am nearing the end of my allotted 100 days I figured that I should begin to share some of my personal wisdom to do with housekeeping (you can stop laughing now). Even though I tend to adhere to the philosophy of Erma Bombeck (Joe H. will confirm this), I do have some tricks of the trade that I wish to pass on to you.

Today's topic: laundry
  • first of all, if you can, dry your clothes outside, on a clothesline!!! especially sheets!! The sunshine and fresh air give clean laundry the best smell, ever!! When I stayed in Holland we didn't have a dryer and each and every load was hung outside to dry and I LOVED it!!
  • wash all the elements of a set of sheets together, this way they will fade,wear or change color, if washed with some errant colored item, all at the same time. 
  • when storing a set of sheets, put all the folded parts of a set into one of the pillowcases, this way the set stay together and is doesn't take up as much space in the drawer.
  • you can take the small remnants of a bar of soap and throw it in with a load of wash for a little extra cleaning power, and then you don't need to throw out the scrap of soap. (you know me, reuse, recycle whenever possible.)
  • If you are a hurry to dry something that you just washed, first just dry that item with a few other pieces of clothing, not the entire load.  and/or if you need it dried ASAP, put the wet item in with a clean dry towel, that will help the drying to go faster.
  • If you can, stay away from dryer sheets, they seem to cause more harm to the clothes than good and isn't does sound like they are really that good for us humans! You can now get dryer balls or I love the lavender pouches and even a tennis ball will help :)
  • and lastly, a quick review of the basics: 
  1. wash similar colors together and in COLD! Cold stops colors from running. And even though you have a load of white and colors that you want to wash, and you think that nothing should run and you want to put everything in together, remember your lighter colors and whites can/will get dingy, they will start to look grayish. 
  2. Try not to do small loads, it is a waste of energy. 
  3. use warm water with whites and if you want to you can use bleach, most washers have a specific place to pour the liquid bleach so that it will be even dispersed during the washing cycle.
  4. when doing hand washing you can use the rinse cycle on the washer to get it rung-out, the washer's spin cycle is way more superior than our attempts of wringing out the excess water.
  5. be careful, as certain items should NOT be dried, like bras, athletic-wear, certain sweaters or other items that can shrink.
  6. when drying a sweater, lay it out on a clean, dry towel, as hanging it up can make it stretch and get misshapen.  
Of course there are many, many things about doing laundry but these are a few that I wanted to pass along. 

I will end by sharing with you that I love laundromats :) 
When we lived in Brooklyn we didn't have a washer and dryer so on laundry day I would gather all the clothes, handfuls of quarters and a good book and head around the corner to the laundromat.  It was a wonderful and peaceful time, with the purring of the machines, the smell of fabric softener and the warmth of the dryers.  I would read or sketch but mostly I would people watch.  And then after my loads were washed, dried and folded I would stroll home very content, knowing that all my laundry was done.  
I never get that feeling when I do the laundry in the house.  Even though it is much more convenient to throw in a load here and a load there, I never feel as though I have ever finished doing the laundry. Just one of those funny things about your mama!!

Happy washing! 
love, mom

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