Friday, August 29, 2008

my laundry quirks

It started out cloudy today with more rain on the way and folks, I'm home! So you know what that means, don't you? I get to spend the day being a homemaker! And how do I define being a homemaker? Playing, fluffing, nesting, shopping, organizing, rearranging, eliminating, thrifting and the usual sewing, crafting and scrapping, if I so choose. Notice I didn't mention vacuuming and dusting, which is more commonly associated with the art of homemaking. Well, my significant other has the market on those tasks. But he did lovingly encourage me to pick up the house while he was at work and being the dutiful homemaker that I am, I will oblige such a request. I mean, it's the least I can do. It is Labor Day weekend.

So, we had another huge storm last night. An electrical storm like no other! Constant strobe-light lightning with a thundering drone that went on and on throughout the whole storm. Not your usual loud cracking thunder. I have never heard such a sound where the thunder was non-stop! Rather eerie but also very exciting.

Speaking of homemaking, have I told you that I pride myself in being a Master Laundryman? I know, sounds lame. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of my laundry regime. So I thought I'd share with you some of my tips.. ok, more like quirks. You may even find they border on obsessive/eccentric.

- I wait to do laundry till I have a full black load... or a full white load... a full blue jean load... a pink, orange and red load... a dark delicate load... you get the picture.

- I do not wash clothes daily. Never have, never will. In fact, I do laundry more like every week or two, so that I can accumulate those full loads.

- I also do not mix stiff, heavy fabrics with soft, delicate fabrics. The stiff fabrics would break down the delicate fabrics and cause pilling. (small balls of fluff on the fabric) A big no-no.

- I only use the dryer for five minutes or so to take out the wrinkles. Then I hang up everything. And I use those IKEA rounded hangers that avoid giving you that pointy-shoulder look. Not fond of that look.

- items such as towels, socks and such are in the dryer till dry. A must. So they're soft & fluffy.

- I hang all my delicate unmentionables on hooks so they stay fresh and pretty. Nothing compromises a bra like a hot dryer.

- I love hanging clothes out on my clothesline. Especially my whites. Nothing whitens whites like the sun. I have never used bleach or whiteners of any kind. And my whites stay so crisp and white.

- I only use cold water in my wash... along with a short spin cycle so as to avoid misshaping the fabric.

- several years ago my sister-in-law Carol turned me on to MAGIC SIZING when ironing. And that has made ironing so much easier! And finding an extra-wide ironing board at a thrift store has made ironing go so much faster!

- I am known for being able to remove any kind of stain known to man. Seriously, it's a challenge I welcome and invariably conquer every time I am faced with the toughest of stains. The key is to work whatever you use into the stained fabric, let dry and then wash. I use a mixture of OxiClean, Dawn dish soap, and whatever detergent I am using and apply that mixture to the stain. Also, soaking the entire item in OxiCleam works like magic every time.

- lastly, when I do laundry, that is all I do. Otherwise I am apt to forget to take out a washed load, or remove a partially dry load from the dryer to hang up. Therefore I exclusively do laundry only.

So I can hear you already... "Linda and her family must have a lot of clothes to be doing laundry every two weeks!" Not really. They just last a real long time. I only buy quality brand clothes at 50 % off clearance racks or from thrift stores. I try to stay away from trendy clothes so my wardrobe can mix 'n match from year to year. Here in Phoenix we can wear some of our clothing pieces year round, which is why I am pretty passionate about keeping my clothes in tip-top shape. I can honestly say that they look as good as new because of the way I take care of them. Yes, I actually have clothes that I've worn for many, many years.

So, there you have it. I hope some of these tips inspire you to take the extra time needed in caring for your clothes. And in this economy, every little helpful hint can hopefully make your money stretch a little bit further.

I will leave you with my collection of miniature Camping Clothesline. Enlarge and take note of the cute art work and also that they're made in West Germany. These were most likely a County Fair give-away or a freebee from your local Natural Gas Company (the pink one).
How cute are these tiny, plastic, colorful clothes pins!
Hey, I found one for sale on eBay HERE!
I only paid a quarter for each of mine.


Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Oh Boy Linda, please don't watch me do the laundry. I separate whites/lights/darks. Throw them in and let them go. Whites get hot water, the others cold. That's about it. Then into the dryer. I do LOVE my new FRONT LOADER though. It's GREAT

Debbie Kay said...


I can't blog right now, I need to go and do my laundry.....just like you do!!! Love your sweet are one of a kind my dear sister.


Debbie Kay

Amy T Schubert said...

you are an inspiration to inspiring laundrymen everywhere.

except - these aren't quirks. They are more like tips.

Quirks would be about how you have to run the load 2x instead of just once. :)


Miranda said...

Shawn, Tyler, and I thank you profusely for making our clothes awesome!!! I am inspired every time by the story of you getting tar out of Shawn's jeans. Makes me misty a l little bit. You inspire me.

serenitymeadow said...

Thanks for all these great tips. I am going to rethink how I do my laundry now. By the way that is a great haircut you have.

Lizzie said...

Oh my! You would cringe and buckle at the knees watching me to laundry! The most separating I do is "baby stuff" verses "grown up stuff". Other than that, you might find a dark sock in with white towels, and a pair of jeans in with sheets... who knows! My sorting method is what I can hold in one armload to carry to the machine. Hee!

Liz said...

Hi Linda!
Thanks for visiting my little charm school. Your name is in the hopper.
Good Luck!


It has been a while since I saw your blog. You have spiffed it up and it looks great. I do my laundry pretty much the same way. I find that that I can do reds oranges and pinks all together and they keep their color nice and crisp. Thanks for the tip about using the dry for only 5 minutes. I will try that.

Lucy said...

Wow. You are the Laundry guru!! I wish I had the space to separate everything as you say, you'd slap my hands if you saw how I mix Thank you for all the tips!

Skerrib said...

Those are fantastic tips! I've heard great things about the Oxy-Clean. We even have some--now I just have to get motivated enough to use it.

I've got a word for things like dusting & vacuuming--CHORES! Chores are maybe a small part of homemaking, but by no means all or even half of it. I don't like chores. I quite enjoy homemaking.

Sandy said...

Linda, will you do MY laundry? LOL.
Actually you and I do a lot of similar things. And I do NOT do laundry every day. I can't imagine.

Great tips!

kristen said...

Love the tips and I have been wanting to hang up most of mine stuff so this might be the perfect weekend to get started!