laundry 201

I really should create a tag for "I was told to blog about this."  Because I was told to blog about this. 

And after last week's escapades with illnesses and kids and ugh it was just so gross all around you guys, yeah, laundry was DONE.

Here's the thing: I love Martha Stewart.  I also love ironing. (I know I'm weird, my mom doesn't get it either.)  I am also deeply deeply lazy, and insanely clumsy.  Thus, I know something about laundry.  I'm no Jolie Kerr, but I do all right. 

First off, you should already know the basics: separate darks  and lights, never machine wash bras, etc.  If you don't know this, well . . . . really? Come on, now you grown! This is laundry 201, not 101, yo. 

So, here's the starting points for Laundry 201: 

  • USE LESS SOAP.  The handy little measuring cups the detergent comes with? Bullshit. Use half that much.  Don't you think the manufacturers want you to buy more soap? Yes, yes they do.  Do you need that much per load? No, you 100% do NOT.  When you use that much soap (and really, it's detergent, not soap, but that's a whole other thing), it becomes hard to rinse out.  Harder still if you have hard water, in fact.  When you don't fully rinse out your detergent, it stays in your clothes and attracts dirt.  VICIOUS CYCLE, my friends. So use less, you'll be happier.


  • FABRIC SOFTENER IS THE DEVIL. It's the worst you guys. THE. WORST. Sure it smells nice (some of them), but it also is essentially oiling up your clothes. Both the kind you use in the washer and the dryer sheets. And what did I say about dirty clothes attracting more dirt? Yep.  And if you absolutely must use it, don't EVER use it on your towels--you'll add a layer of grease to them that's hard to wash out and they won't be as absorbent. You want soft clothes? Use white vinegar in the rinse. It won't smell, promise. 


  • BORAX IS YOUR FRIEND.  Stinky clothes? Gross stains? Biological issues or mold? Add a scoop of Borax to the wash.  It's a mineral that is an excellent laundry booster and zaps smells like you wouldn't believe. (And if you have ants, it'll kill the lil bastards without hurting you).  I find it better than vinegar and baking soda for stain and stink, and lord knows I love me some vinegar and baking soda.


  • SHAKE OUT YOUR CLOTHES. Spin cycles throw your clothes up against the walls of the washer. For the love of god, shake them out before throwing them in the dryer! If you don't, and just cram them in there (AHEM JBB), it's magical thinking to assume the dryer will take care of things for you. It won't.

I haven't even touched on hand washing clothes and how Woolite is also the devil. I'll get there.  I'll get there.

Man, I do like how this post makes it look like I don't have random yogurt smears on the shirt I'm wearing right now (thanks to the littles).