Monday, June 3, 2013

In Case I Die: How to do a Load of Laundry

 Nothing kills your buzz like pile of dirty laundry. I would know. I have two kids and a husband and all three of them put out dirty clothes like some god damn laundry fairy lives under the floor boards of our house or something. Laundry is prolific, like a hoard gremlins on Christmas eve. If you give it water, it only multiplies. I once did 15 loads of laundry in a single day. I felt like a bad ass by the time I was done. Do you know what happened the next day? ALL OF THE LAUNDRY BASKETS WERE FULL AGAIN. Never get to cocky about conquering your prolific hoard of gremlin laundry. That is the lesson.

Instead, build good, healthy house keeping habits to last you through your blah, blah, blah, blah... Zzzzzzzzz.

Yeah, I can't really make the claim that I'm some sort of domestic genius or anything. But if you are a person who decided to read beyond the title of this post, then you have probably found yourself buried up to your fucking eyeballs in other peoples dirty laundry, like I have in the past, and are looking to eliminate that problem. I have one solution, and while I can't really say that it is the only solution, I will say that it is the solution that works best for me.

 In the words of my mother-in-law: Do one load a day. I know, it seems excessive. But then again, so does doing 15 loads every other week, because if you think it's OK to spend an entire day doing a million loads of laundry then you are an uncivilized masochist who hates humanity. Those of us who love humanity and ourselves, do one load a day. The end.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to do a load of laundry (read: in case I die and my husband needs to figure out where we keep the washing machine).

I will typically do six loads in a week (1 white/light and 5 dark/brights) and that works well. I like to do towels separately because they require a little more time to wash and dry.  I am not super picky about separating my laundry. If you are, then have fun with that. I'll be over here painting my toenails while you're fretting about whether or not your Puma sport socks count as a delicate or not (they don't).

My Arsenal-
-High Efficiency Detergent (Tide or Gain)
-High Efficiency Fabric Softener
- Shout Spray and Wash

And my very secret weapon:
 White Vinegar

White Vinegar will remove most bad smells from clothing. I have a cat who would pee on my grandmother if I left her laying on the floor, so vinegar has become my best friend over the years.

In one load I will typically use the smallest amount of detergent. I used to use too much detergent, you likely do as well. Try using less, like, way less (I use the first fill line on the detergents cup as a reference). If its a really nasty load then I'll use a bit more. Not only does my detergent last me longer now that I use a smaller amount, but my clothes come out equally as clean.

I also use the smallest amount of liquid softener. The laundry world has a massive hate-on for softener for some unearthly reason. They tend to get all pearl clutchy whenever it's mentioned. Use it, don't use it. It's your choice. DO NOT, however, use it on your towels or anything else that you need to be absorbent, like cloth diapers or burp towels. Fabric softener will hinder your towel's absorbency and also create build up.

Next, I'll add a quarter cup of white vinegar just to cover all of my bases.

A word on bleach. I don't like bleach. It kind of freaks me out and I definitely make it a habit to not keep shit in my house that freaks me out.

As far as settings go, I always use a nice gentle setting. Cold water, low spin, and a normal soil level. I'm not doing a hobo's laundry and so I see no reason to scald and beat the shit out of my clothing for an hour and a half.

Press start, pour a cup of coffee and stare into the never ending spinning abyss that has become your life.

Don't let your laundry sit after the cycle has ended. Toss it in the dryer and be done with it. Again, I use a pretty gentle setting, like permanent press. Modern day washer/dryers do a pretty efficient job of actually doing their job, so I never end up with a damp load.

Once your clothes are dry, fold them while they are still warm. This will eliminate the need for ironing when you actually need to wear the clothing. Your future self will totally thank you (even though your children may not). I like to fold in my room, near the closets so that I'm not hauling 20 lbs of folded laundry through the house just to put it away. Which leads me to my next point.


Once your clothes are washed, dried and fold, put those fuckers away. You will be an incomplete human being if you don't. I'm a fan of organization so I try to make sure everything has a place to live. When you open a drawer or cabinet it should look tidy and put together with purpose.

Any random spare socks that don't have a domestic partner get tossed in the Eharmony spare sock drawer. It's like speed dating for socks. Every couple of months I go through it and make matches. Any singletons that aren't matched up inevitable get tossed.

Congrats, you have just completed one of the more tedious tasks involved in keeping a home from falling apart. Now, go do something meaningful and worthwhile with your life. I hear there is a Housewives marathon on Bravo right now. Go get it!

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