Thursday, March 30, 2006

Doing Laundry

The thought occurred to me the other day: Is there a right way to do laundry? And if there is, am I doing it that way?

Here is how I do laundry:

Step 1: Gather clothes
Step 2: Shove in washer
Step 3: Pour in soap
Step 4: Select cycle
Step 5: Turn washer on

Occasionally there will be additional steps. Like sometimes I take out the delicates and wash those separately. Or sometimes I spot check shirts or pants for pen marks or, you know, the occasional wine or soy sauce stain. If I am feeling particularly zany I might even do a separate load of whites. All three of them. (I hardly ever buy white clothes because a) I am clumsy and spill too often and b) I am afraid of bleach and c) I don't like to waste water on a small load of inconsequential white clothes. I am weird. We already know this.)

So, is there a methodology to doing laundry written down somewhere? Is there a right way and a wrong way or is the point to just get the clothes clean in whatever manner you see fit? To me, doing laundry the "right" way is not as imperative as putting the toilet paper roll on correctly (i.e. the paper comes over the top, not under).

And let's not even open the can of worms that is drying the clothes and folding them. I know for a fact some of you have issues with this.

* * * * * *
Car Update: Problem- Blown fuse. Cost- $75. Result- Everything is A-OK.


alissa said...

I always put the soap in before the clothing and let the water mix with it a little - I've gotten stains on my clothing from pouring the detergent right over them before.

gronce said...

If you are using powder:
1. Pour the powder into the empty drum
2. Fill the drum with water
3. Load your clothes

It doesn't matter when you select your cycle.

If you are using liquid detergent:
1. Fill drum with water
2. Add liquid soap just before drum is full
3. Add clothes

Don't overload your washer with clothes or they don't stand a chance of getting clean.

Even though you don't usd bleach, this is helpful to not put soap and bleach in the washer at the same time. They neutralize one another. If you are going to use bleach, add it to your rinse cycle and then run a second rinse cycle sans bleach.

jeopardygirl said...

I have to agree with Alissa and Gronce, put the soap in first. And don't forget to sort--especially if you wear a lot of reds. It's not such a big deal, if you like pink, but trust me, it only takes one time to dye all your whites pink before you figure it out. Good luck.

Mrs. Ca said...

Glad to hear the car issue was relatively cheap and easy. That is always a huge relief. As for laundry - I pretty much do it the same way you do. My husband has laundry issues and I apparently do laundry wrong so he does his own and I am just fine with that. Absolutely fine with that because I really hate doing laundry.

Bill said...

Oh my dear, you have opened SUCH a can of worms – washing AND drying.

The real issue, however, is time. Washers and dryers do not work like microwaves. They take longer than 60 seconds to do their thing. So, you put laundry in the washer and it takes – 30 minutes? 45? 60? I dunno because I always forget it’s in there till three days later when the clothes are all half dry, half damp and crinkled and crunchy. So you have to a least rinse them again, but you forget they are there once more till three days later … and so it goes.

Or maybe you DO remember to put them in the dryer. But there are more clothes in the washer than in the dryer so you can only put some in and you forget the others till three days later, and so it goes.

A proper way to do clothes? I see only two options: 1) surrender and simply be slovenly and smelly in your dirty clothes, or 2) buy new clothes each week and toss the old ones.

Until they start to make microwave washers and dryers.

ocg said...

I start the water and put in the detergent (I used liquid) followed by the clothes, because I too have had it bleach out certain clothes before.

I have found out that my favorite way to do laundry, however, is to go with a couple of girlfriends to the laundry mat (each taking our own cars, packed to the gills with dirty clothes) and do it all at once, over a couple of spilt bottles of Cooks Champagne...


Bob Merrick said...

Ironic that the fuse probably cost $3

sandra said...

That's how I do laundry (and don't buy whites for the same reason)

EB72 said...

I once wrote a very long post on this very subject.

Bre said...

How lucky for you that I just finished my laundry guide for incoming freshman! Even though most of it won't apply, I'll still leave it for you, since I know you're burning up with curiosity:

Separate darks from lights. If you can’t do this, be sure to use cold water to wash your clothes

Be sure to use no more than the recommended amount of laundry detergent listed on the package. Using too much soap can cause the washer to overflow.

Clean the lint trap before drying your clothes. When the lint trap is clogged your clothes dry slower, you eat electricity, and your dryer overheats.

Hang your favorite dark clothes to dry inside-out to prolong their lives.

Lay sweaters flat to dry, this way they will not shrink or pill.

If the washer or dryer is in use, do not interrupt the cycle! If you must remove someone else’s clothes from the machines, do not put them on the floor! Place them in one of the boxes or baskets available in the laundry rooms until you are finished with the machine.

Be aware of the length of the laundry cycles so that your clothes don’t sit in the machines for an unnecessary amount of time.

If you notice a problem with any of the machines, please fill out a work order as soon as possible!

So... there ya go :-P

gorillabuns said...

i do a black (shit load of blacks in my wardrobe)gentle load. a brown/grey gentle load. a white gentle load. a white with bleach warm load. a towel load. kids warm load. kids cold load. and hang 1/2 of it to dry so it doesn't shrink.

actually, most of the time, i put the clothes in the washer to only remember the next day. start the process all over to only forget AGAIN! so, three days/three washings later, i might remember to dry them.

you obviously would never have anything to wear if you lived in my house.

Kevin said...

$75? You got off lucky. Wish my repairs only cost that much. I'm jealous

Mr_Rodacre said...

Sure - single ME out...

I DO have some post-laundry-procrastination issues, BUT at least I know how to fold a fitted sheet. AND I fold my underwear and socks.

This is of course... when I actually get around to folding them... and they aren't in a pile on the floor or still in the laundry basket two weeks later.

The practice has taught me how to be really good at ironing however...

Sizzle said...


It had to be done. The finger had to be pointed. And I will state, for the record, that you are the one who taught me (my whole family actually!) how to fold a fitted sheet.

:) Sizz

goldmoon said...

I do laundry the exact same way. Throw everything in, pour in some soap, switch it on. Done. And nothing truly horrible has happened from doing it this way, so I will continue!

Brookelina said...

I want to be so rich someday that I can just throw my clothes away when they get dirty. Or I suppose I could just hire a maid. That would probably make more sense.

Nihilistic said...

I HATE HATE HATE doing laundry...I sort white and colors, but when we go to the Laundry Mat, M will sort Dark colors, light colors, whites and towels. I just can't be botherd with all that. And he folds weird! Laundry has become more of a watch, point and laugh part of our relationship than anything it seems...

Solonor Rasreth said...

Laundry? Meh, whatever way you want.

Toilet paper? We are obviously of incompatible minds, and there can be no reconciliation. War is inevitable. All is lost. Calamity and damnation. Dogs and cats living together.

Mikey said...

The only difference between is I use liquid soap.

JustRun said...

I hate laundry but I'm totally anal about it. Separate darks, lights and whites. Let the soap mix/dissolve before you put the clothes in. Put nice things in a garmet bag, blah blah blah. Maybe I wouldn't hate it so much if I didn't go to all that trouble.


sue said...

I have a totally different routine, as I have a front-loading washer and cannot possibly put the water in before the soap before the clothes. Can't happen.

I must use special soap, too, so it doesn't suds too much and kill the machine (or the environment?) - guess I didn't read the package well enough.

I do,however, sort. I have my Hubs' work clothes (hot), my jeans - the everyday uniform (cold), my whatever-I-wear with the jeans pile (warm), the delicates (cold), the whites (hot, a booster like Biz but not chlorine bleach), the towels (hot), the sheets (hot), the rugs (cold), the puppies bedding and toys (hot)... thank God I don't still have 4 children at home. That was a whole other category of sorting AND at least three loads of

Drying? Rugs outside on the deck railing. I used to hang out laundry on nice days, but no clothesline in the new house, so that's out now. But I don't mind folding nice, warm, good smelling clothes. Not so fun if they're cold. Sweaters, lay out if they're recommended. That's it!

Actually, I don't mind laundry now in the new house it's on the main floor and I don't have to go to the dungeon anymore to do laundry. Makes my life much easier... I swear it's almost my favorite room in the house now.

Oh, gee... didn't know you were getting an essay here, did ya? :)

Party Girl said...

Here's a thought I have (almost) every time I do laundry.

Why do we put our newly cleaned and April fresh all warm and post-toasty clothes in the exact same basket that just held those same clothes that were all wet, smoke-filled, beer covered, sweaty, stinky, sat in the hamper for weeks piled on top of each other before I found the time, money and energy to wash them, clothes?

I mean, are they even really clean if I'm just putting them back in the same basket?

GirlGoyle said...

Only thing I do differently is separate the colors from the whites. Whites was HOT! Color was COLD. I usually add soap before I add clothes seeing that the washer loads water from the bottom.

As for the toiletpaper I have to say it's one of my pet peaves. I hate, hate, hate, rolls of paper feeding from the top. They never rip correctly and they hand off to the side and stuff. I like mine to roll from the bottom because the segments come off in neat cuts and then the lose paper lays snug and neat against the cabinet/wall. Aaaah. I feel better now. OCD - what can i say?

GirlGoyle said...

Oh...and for the love of God...will someone PLEASE invent a clothes folder. I don't mind doing laundry...load washer - walk away. But i have no time for folding shit and the stuff just keeps multiplying faster than i can fold.

jenny said...

I will pay you $1,000 (Canadian) if you teach me how to fold a fitted sheet.