Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Works for me Wednesday ~ Laundry

My husband Ken, works as an insurance agent and in that line of work he needs to wear dress clothes. When we were first married I spent a fair amount of time each week carefully ironing all his dress shirts and pants until he shared the secret (which I am sure many of you know) with me of pulling them right out of the dryer as soon as it is done and carefully hanging them up. It has been so nice to greatly reduce my ironing time (I only iron something around once a month now) especially as my life has gotten busier. This method does not work with all fabrics. Somethings just require ironing no matter what. SO we have gotten quite picky about what we buy. For Ken's shirts we only get ones that say "Wrinkle Free". "Wrinkle free" does not mean that they never wrinkle but it does mean that if you pull them straight out of the dryer as soon as it is done drying that it will not be wrinkled. This method certainly works for me!
I also thought I would share some other laundry tips that work for me (They may or may not work for you in your situation).
  • Do all the Laundry in jut two days of the week. I like this because I can haul everything to the laundry room, sort it all out and then just work as fast as I can to get everything done. In the summer when I try to hang a lot on the line I will do heavy items first so that they can have the longest drying time (In Northern MN it takes quite a while to dry clothes, unlike my experience in Kansas and Nevada). This system for doing all the laundry in a big batch is actually not recommended for the septic system but it still works for me.
  • Re-wear clothes. This is something that our whole family does. If something that you have worn is not really dirty, then wear it again another day. We also use our towels for more than a day (you are clean when you use them, so they don't really get dirty). Both of these methods save you time (in doing the laundry), Money (in detergent cost and water if you live in town) and are better for the enviroment.
  • Re-use dryer sheets. This is a very small item but I like noticing the small things too. Dryer sheets usually work for at least 2 loads of clothes. So now the box lasts twice as long. This also saves money and is better for the enviroment.
  • Use aprons. I wear an apron some when cooking but this is mostly for the kids. Mara recently got to quit wearing an apron at meals but the other 3 still do. I have made them big aprons that cover well and do not look like a baby's bib. This has saved us a lot of laundry as they are not always getting their clothes dirty at meals. Much of the time we re-use the aprons many times.
  • Hang up wet items to dry before placing them in the hamper. There have been times that I have not done that and I have found favorite items with mold stains on them (this seemed to happen most with Mara's baby clothes). I think I have finally learned my lesson.
  • Treat spots before they go in the washer. My favorite spot treater is ZOTE soap. My friend Evie -who keeps her kid's clothes immaculate- shared this soap with me. It works very well. The white bar is for white clothes and the pink one for colored. A bar lasts forever so it is very economical.

Those are the laundry tips that I can think of that work for me. Do you have any to share?


Anonymous said...

I love your blog! You have great tips and fun projects. I also live in MN (Twin Cities).

Martha said...

Hey, thanks for sharing about the soap. I am going to try that right away!!
about wrinkles, linen is one that is always wrinkly. but we still love to wear it. :)

miranda said...

I use many of those time and money laundry tips. I think it was enforced growing up, but I don't think I understood most of them until I was on my own. such as: doing laundry all on the same day, re-wearing clothes, and even the dryer sheets. I don't even have to think about most of that anymore. It just comes naturally to me now. I did want to ask if this ZOTE soap is hard to find. I have never heard of it before and I would love to try it. Do you find it with the rest of the body soaps or is it with the detergent?

Angie said...

? good question miranda I was going to ask the same thing. I spend lots of money on spray and wash so that would be great. LMK where we can find it? Please

Angie said...

Oh and I have always taken my clothes out right away b/c I HATE TO IRON! I too have a husband that wears dress clothes every day to work so it is a pain to have to iron all the time. We have started to watch what we buy too so that way I don't have to iron. When we first got together, JR got a note from his boss saying he needed to bemore attentive to his wardrobe b/c all his clothes were always wrinkled! So I guess he just needed a wife to help him in that area! LOL

All in a Day said...

What works for me is that I have four laundry baskets set up in my hallway and the kids are in charge of sorting their own laundry each morning and evening. When the basket is full, I just dump it into the washer. Most days I end up doing three loads of laundry so saving it all for two days of the week wouldn't work for me. I'll have to post something and show a picture on my blog sometime because this would be fun to join. :) I also am interested in the ZOTE bars, if you could give more information.

Britni said...

These are helpful. I'm awful at remembering to finish the laundry. I can always start it but then I have to start again because I never folded the clothes. Oh well.

Betsy said...

Abbi, have you found that Zote works better than Spray n' Wash or Shout? I'm afraid stain remover is going to be a must with a 6-year-old around!

Nikki said...

Very handy tips. I love tips that reduce laundry woes. When it comes to my sons white church shirts, they work best if I hang them on hangers straight from the washer to air dry. I also catch stains this way that I may have missed on the way into the washer.

I'm going to have to check around for that ZOTE soap.

I like all your tips. as usual. :)

Melissa Markham said...

I enjoyed reading your laundry tips. I also removed the clothes quickly from the dryer. I hate ironing!

Abbi said...

Thanks for all your kind comments.
About the ZOTE soap. Actually my friend Evie gave it to me several years ago and it has lasted that long. It is a big bar (and she gave me both types). But I remember asking about where to get it and I believe she said that you can get it at most grocery stores or stores like Walmart. I am pretty sure it is with the laundry soap. I will try to find out for sure and let you know.
As for how well it works: I have not tried all the different varietys of sprays but I have used Meleluca's and another or so and I think ZOTE works just as well if not better.
I hope this helps.

Bridgett said...

You have alot of useful tips. I also use this method since ironing is one of my least favorite chores.

Martha said...

Ironing most be one more of these lost arts. I'm thinking about Earl Larson's blog where he talks about laziness. But being quick about getting the clothes out of the dryer is not laziness! Don't get me wrong. People used to iron their sheets!
Just musing and rambling....
ta ta

Katie said...

Ukranian stain removers don't work very well, or maybe it is just that I can't read the instructions. so I had to learn to do things the old fashioned way. Vinegar is my favorite stain remover now. It works well with fruit stains especially.

Minkydo said...

I used to use dryer sheets twice, but now I just cut them in half and use them once. It's easier than trying to remember how many times I've used the sheet.

Nice blog :)


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