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I had always worn an item of clothing only once before washing it. Same with bath towels. I've recently begun inspecting my clothing before automatically throwing something into the hamper. If an item of clothing isn't visibly dirty or less-than-fresh smelling, its get put into the "refresh" pile.
On laundry day, clothing that needs only to be "refreshed" either goes through a short rinse cycle with 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar, or into the dryer with a wet towel and dryer sheet for 5 minutes. And the bath towels? They get reused until I find a reason to have to wash them (usually a bath towel is good for nearly a week.) By Leann D
When the load of laundry is finished and I am ready to wash the next load I use a smaller pail to scoop the water to fill the machine with my saved warm, soapy water. This is great exercise. I also have a wringer washer that I sometimes use if I want to soak something or speed up washing clothes by washing two loads at once. Saving your wash water, if it is not too dirty to use again will save on soap, save on the gas to heat the water and save on water.
I always turn the shirts and sweaters inside out before washing them so the deodorant washes off better and there is less wear and tear on the decals on printed t-shirts. My oldest son actually told me about this. He also said to never dry his shirts because I shrink them so if I use the dryer I always take them out while damp. I also turn the pants inside out for washing.
I mix my soap and water before adding the clothes by setting the level to minimum and after it agitates I reset it to high to finish filling as I add my clothes.
My favourite laundry soaps are Wonderwash, Country Save, Nellies and I often add some Borax or Pink Solution. I recently bought some Ecos from Costco, which is also an environmentally friendly HE laundry soap. In the summer, I hang the clothes outside. Just before the t-shirts are dry, I take a handful of braided hangers to hang them on to make room on my lines for more clothes. The pin marks also seem to disappear. If they don't, a light spritz of water will relax the wrinkle. In the winter, I will fluff them in the dryer and then hang them on my braided hangers to finish drying. I bought foldable laundry umbrellas from Regal Gifts for drying. The t-shirts then go directly into the closets to eliminate folding. I hang the heavy jeans by the bottom of the legs, one leg on each side of the towel rack held by two clothespins. I have two towel racks so there is plenty of room and the bathroom is the warmest room for drying.
I never use fabric softeners as they just coat your clothes and towels and they will not be absorbent. Why wash them if you are going to grease them up again? It also coats your dryer so it is best to "Never" use any at all. Dryer sheets are also the cause of "streaky windows" if you use cloths dried with softeners to dry your windows. My boys have also mentioned that they are not itchy any more since I have quit using dryer sheets. Our family is also healthier and have had fewer colds. Those scented products might hinder your immune system. I know that I cannot sleep if I visit someone's house overnight that has used dryer sheets or scented laundry soap.
In the summer when I am really ambitious, I will even save the rinse water and carry it outside for my trees, grass, flowers and garden. I have also carried out some of the soapy water to splash on the vines on my garage to rid them of aphids. (dishsoap as well)
My house faces north so I tied yellow ropes in the front to use as lines and also in the back of my house. In the summer, I like to mostly be in the front yard and in the fall the sun shines best behind the house so I use my lines in the back yard. Sometimes it is too windy in the front so I'll use the ones in the back. (or visa versa) While hanging clothes I set my basket on a lawn chair so I can shake all of the shirts out, and drape them over the chair ready for hanging. I also have two ironing boards. I keep one handy to give me extra counter space outside for folding clothes. (or even doing vegetables on) You can set it to any height if you are sitting or standing.
As you can tell I enjoy laundry and all of the games that I can play doing it. (My boys tease me and ask me if I am playing my laundry games again, ha ha)
I mentioned "Pink Solution" as one of my favorite products. It can be used as laundry soap, carpet shampoo, jewelry cleaner, added to dish soap to give your dishes a shine like you've never seen and give dishwashing a whole new experience, (it quickly soaks anything off of your dishes) added to dishwasher soap for superb shine again, in the carwash bucket with water to wash a car and have it look like you just waxed it, (I do this often in the rain so the rain rinses the car) (chrome bumpers and hub caps too) wash your white runners to give them that new look again, to wash my boat and boat windows so there is no water spotting, to clean my folding shower doors and marble tub surround, to clean my ceran top stove and other appliances, to clean yellow fur balls off my white carpet, to clean house windows so clean that they are invisible, to make my mirrors glow and my list goes on. It is my number one product that I would not be without! It is safe for any job and the environment.
One last hint of mine is with borax. I dissolve some in a spray bottle with water to use as a freshener for carpets before I vacuum, on the litter box to cut the litter dust and on my furnace filter to freshen the air.
There are websites for all of my favourite products. Easy to search and find. All well worth your while. I can't say enough good things about them.
My favourite dishcloth is the micro fibre cloth with mesh on one side and micro fibre on the other side. It is great for scrubbing or wiping. Their matching tea towels are also the best. I keep some for dishes, windows, and dusting and for the car. I sew two together to make a big one for drying dishes. They are cheap and available at Giant Tiger. Some people don't like them because if you have rough hands or nails they tend to grab.
To keep my hands soft I use rubber gloves to protect them and Beeswax skin cream for a moisturizer. (Beeswaxskincream.com) I use this on my face as well. After many products this is my one "must have". Great for my face, lips, hands and I have even given this as baby gifts for diaper rash prevention and cure. I am getting off topic but this is to keep in line with all of the other products that I use that are healthy for sensitive skin.
I could go on about my pots and pans, mixers, waffle iron, steam iron and flour mills. I will try to find another thread for those. Thanks for reading and I hope that I have given you a few ideas to try or research. I'd be glad to help you find websites or more info anytime. I braid my own hangers and crochet my own pot scrubbers and have hints on those too.
By Joyce from Regina, Sask. Canada
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Everyone that has kids, has lots of laundry! I've got four myself. The kids never wanted to pick up their towels and re-use them. I had to get tricky. I now take the towels they use and hang them over other laundry baskets to dry (only takes a day and I usually layer them), then I fold them up and put them back in the closet, like they've just been laundered! Yep, I have to use the laundromat, so it saves me lots and towels make big loads. They still haven't caught on.
Re-spin your wet laundry for an extra water-removal step. The clothes go into your dryer or hanging out on the line much dryer than if you use just the one spin cycle. This works fantastically for jeans and towels.
When you're doing a load of washing, set the cycle to "drip dry". The clothes will come out wetter (even dripping a bit), but if it is really hot/windy they will dry in adequate time.
A full size dryer sheet is not necessary. I cut mine in thirds and it works fine. !00 sheets become 300.
Another cost saver when doing laundry: when the washer has finished all cycles, reset to the final spin and do again. This extra step will remove all excess moisture possible and cut your dryer time by at least 1/3.
More ways to save money on energy costs:
You can save your clothes wear and tear from the dryer and save electricity on your electric bill by putting a dry large towel in with clothes when you go to dry them. The towel cuts time down in the dryer and makes them fluffier.
When using fabric softener in the wash, I use a fraction of the amount suggested on the packaging and add water to make up the difference. The wash comes out just as soft and nicely scented.
Add a half cup of white vinegar to your wash. It is better than buying Oxiclean type products and better for your machine!
When washing, to save on electric and detergent, use 1/2 cold water and let clothes soak (reduce detergent and add baking soda). Do something else while they soak. They will come out just as clean.
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I gave up using fabric softener 30 years ago. All that softener goes into the water stream. It smells bad. I once had a neighbor who used a terrible artificial rose-scented dryer sheet. I would hang out my wash -- refused to own a dryer -- and the smell of her dryer sheets was so strong that I sometimes had to stop hanging up my wash and wait until hers was done. Gag!