Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Doing Laundry MY Way

Laundry...why does it have to be so much trouble? It always piles up while I wait to have a full load of a certain color, and by that time everything is dirty and we're digging through laundry baskets for something to wear!

So, I made up my mind to do one load a day. I was still sorting colors and separating the towels and the kitchen towels, and it worked for a while. The problem was, there were still all of these laundry baskets sitting around, and if I missed a day, yikes! Everything overflowed!

Well, I've started doing laundry my way, and I'm much happier because of it. We put our clothes directly into the washing machine like it is a laundry basket ("shouting out" stains as we go), and in the morning I start the wash. Once the load is all washed, dried, and folded, we start over again. I wash everything together. Even a towel gets thrown in from time to time, and guess what? Nothing happens. I've always been under the impression that the world would stop turning if towels were washed with dress shirts, but so far there have been no galactic abnormalities of which I am aware.

I have also simplified what I use in the wash. I use a detergent with color-safe bleach already added, and I only use white vinegar as a fabric softener. This way everything gets "bleached" and it doesn't matter if a shirt that requires fabric softener is washed with a pair of pants that forbids the use of fabric softener. So far, no problems there, either!

It works for me! Do you have any deep, dark laundry secrets?

Be sure to check out Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday articles!


Peanut said...

I agree. I don't have the space to sit around waiting for a load of whites/towels/sheets to build up. All I do is sort darks (to wash in cold) and whites/colors (to wash in warm). Since white/colors seem to add up faster, these just go right in the washing machine, and I have a bottle of shout right beside it, and beside the laundry basket, so that stains get treated right away.
I will try using vinegar as a fabric softener... I've been hearing a lot about that lately!

Anonymous said...

I wash everything in cold. Consumer reports did research and found that you actually don't get anything cleaner by washing it in warm or hot water and you save energy washing on cold. I wash everything in cold and then don't have any issues.

I have only ever separated colors and whites. I have never ever separated individual colors.

Bryssy said...

So awesome, Rachel! I do have deep dark laundry secrets....

I have 4 laundry baskets upstairs and 1 downstairs beside the washer and dryer. Upstairs there is one for RM's clothes, one for whites, one for darks, and one for reds & pinks.

RM's clothes are super treated for grease (how does he get it all over him?) and have to stay away from everyone else's for my sanity.

I make my own laundry detergent and it only takes 1 tablespoon for a small load and up to 3 tablespoons for a large load. I estimate it costs about 4 1/2 cents per load to make. I also use white vinegar in my Downy ball and only wash in cold water.

I hang my laundry out to dry to save time in the summers but end up using the dryer while I'm working.

I have washed reds seperately since high school. It helps keep them from fading. About every 4 or 5 months I gather all of our black (cotton) items that are starting to fade from washing and use black Rit Dye on them. The look brand new!!

I also fold all the clothes as I take them out of the dryer and seperate them in the laundyr basket by person so putting them away is a snap.

Miss Mommy said...

I could not agree more!! I to have totally eliminated laundry baskets and hampers from our house as well!!! I do one load of wash per day with the excecption of one day per week, I do two loads(Also do a bedsheet load in addition to the normal load).

I have forund that if the hampers and baskets are there.....we just keep filling then up to the brim. And a whole day spent on doing wash is just not what I call fun for me....LOL LOL

This way I do a load a day....not a big deal at all!!

Rachel said...

Wow! Thanks for all of the great tips! Bryssy, I would love to see your recipe for detergent--I never thought of that! I do wash everything in cold, and I'm so happy to hear that I'm backed by research!

I put about 1/4 cup of vinegar in the machine's fabric softener dispenser and fill it the rest of the way with water. It seems to work. The Downy ball sounds like a good idea, too.

Thanks for the great comments!

Donna said...

I wash everything in cold water, except the diapers. The diapers get washed on hot/cold...then a separate vinegar rinse cycle to really get the detergent out of them (my daughter will get a rash if I skip this step!).

I like the idea of combining most things...we do that unless we have enough to warrant a dedicated load (all light colors, all towels, or all dark).

In the end, though, no matter what method or system I use, housework makes me itch!

Jen said...

I have given up most of my sorting, too. Liberating, isn't it?

I do run whites through bleach every month or so...

Teresa said...

I like this idea. Laundry is a constant battle in our house. There is a never ending pile of laundry in the basket. As soo as I can get it cleared, more miraculously appears!

Tammy W said...

With a family of eight, there is never lack of a full load!

just another day in paradise said...

You do know the laundry police are coming to get you now, right? (I also secretly, oh so secretly, as if my mom might find out, wash. . .everything together. . .and it's OK!) Loved the tip of vinegar as a fabric softener. Also, your blog has to be good. . .You have a good first name. : )

Rachel K