Monday, June 09, 2008


Everyone who knows me well, knows that I adore rainbow bright colors.. but, not so well known is that I also really love white. You'd never guess because I wear black everyday, but I love white linens.
I paid for part of my college education by working for 3 years at a commercial laundry. The facility had washing machines that did hundreds of pounds of sheets at the same time. I loved the sound they made.. it was almost like the ocean. I loved the feeling of the steam in the air and the smell of stacking clean linens.
It wasn't always pleasant job. I found a turtle and a snake in a bag of lab coats.. and subsequently saved them from being washed in one of the large commercial machines. I actually had some trouble at the particular stop.. Another time I went to pick up lab coats.. I became curious about a stuffed Alligator.. who wasn't actually stuffed. I nearly had a heart attack when he jumped and snapped at me.
I also occasionally picked up the lab coats from a local slaughter house.. I nearly became a vegetarian.. not out of compassion.. just because the uniforms did not smell good lets say.
Anyway, I did love that job. It was one of my favorites and I came to have quite a few opinions about laundry which of all the household chores is still by far my favorite. If you are interested in a few tips.. you can read on..
1. I keep white sheets, towels, bath mats and bar mops in my home. They can all be bleached. While I keep colored towels in all the baths for drying hands and decorative purposes, when I get out of the shower, I want a big, clean, white, fluffy towel waiting for me. I love to fall asleep surrounded by the smell of good, clean, white, cotton sheets. And, for obvious reasons.. bath mats and bar mops are better off bleached.
2. I am opposed to perfumed laundry soap. I know that many people like certain perfumes found in soap, but I find that if I am sitting next people (I have quite a nose.. mind you) I can smell their laundry soap, deodorant and perfume mixing. I find this particularly annoying on men. Most laundry soap perfumes are floral in their base and you don't want to send your son to school smelling like a bouquet. I love Tide Free & Cheer Free & Gentle which only smell clean and do a great job.
3. I am a big believer in Borax and even though we have soft water in our home. I add Borax to every load. It does so many things that it's difficult to list. It's especially great for non-bleach able whites and delicates. It's wonderful for getting that icky smell out of colored towels (you won't have noticed that if you use perfumed soap.. but it's there). If you have a small baby.. it's a must have for spit up stains etc. But, just read the back of the box.. it does all those wonderful things.
4. I prefer dryer sheets as opposed to adding liquid softener for several reasons. Even with the Downy Ball or whatever.. I would mess that up timing wise and secondly... softeners separate the fibers in your clothing.. thus making them soft.. but also reducing the amount of wear you get out of them. So, when I do a large load of the fluffy white towels.. I use a full dryer sheet, but for clothing I only use 1/2 a dryer sheet which is enough to take out the static and soften the clothes sufficiently. Dryer sheets also can leave some residue on the lint screen of your dryer. Lint screens should be rinsed and air dried about every 6 months to increase the life of your machine. I have the same problem with perfumed dryer sheets and use Bounce Free sheets which are somewhat expensive, but if you are buying the box of 120, but getting about 200 loads out of the box.. it's not so bad.