Laundry 101

Doing laundry; it’s not as easy as you think.


Washing clothes is one of those life long chores that we all have to do unless we have someone else to do it for us. Since most of us are faced with this ongoing task, it’s imperative that we learn to do it in a timely, organized and diligent manner.  Here’s how.  

First, obtain the following items before attempting the washing process. A washing machine (Clothes washing can be accomplished by hand if you have a nearby river with suitable cloths beating rocks, otherwise, go with the machine.), detergent, and of course, dirty clothes. 

The process of choosing a detergent can call for a BS degree in home economics or at least a series of evening classes. There are liquid soaps and powders, with or without bleach, scented or unscented, with or without color protection and/or allergy-free-ness. I recommend thinking through all of these things before leaving home so that your legs don’t cramp up from standing too long in one spot in the grocery aisle. 

Next, you must consider the burning laundry question, “To sort, or not to sort?” If you are a homemaker who prefers to have your white clothes still white and not pink after washing, then sorting is the way to go. But, if you’re a college student, especially a guy, not sorting laundry is part of your identity. Always wash your baby blue shirt with the red socks. Not only will you achieve that sketchy looking wardrobe favored by the college student but, upon returning to your parents home, you may also receive the sympathetic mom response of her grabbing your clothes and washing them for you. 

During the washing process, if you want the soap to be evenly distributed, then add the detergent to the water and agitate it a bit before adding the clothes. This agitation can be achieved by your hurling insults at the soapy water or you can just turn on the washing machine and it will do the work for you. 

Next comes the drying process. No matter what you do, your clothes will dry; you simply choose the method: clothes dryer (my personal favorite), clothesline (not for the faint of heart), forgetting them for three days while they slowly air dry into an undesirable mass in your washing machine (not for the faint of nose).

Last but not least, if you do use the dryer method, you will have to decide whether to remove your clothes immediately and fold them to prevent wrinkles or just dump them in the laundry basket or on the floor. This decision can only be determined by your wrinkle tolerance level. Those with a high wrinkle tolerance, i.e. college students, just dump away and think no more about it. After all pants are pants. They’re going to wrinkle as soon as you sit down in them so you might as well get a head start. 

So wash on, oh doers of laundry. May your wrinkles be random, your underwear remain white and all of your socks end up with a mate.

Janna Lewis Shacklett March 27, 2012 at 01:53 PM
This is a very accurate instruction on proper laundry techniques. I appreciate your amazing insight into the world of stinky socks & dirty underwear. Thanks for helping your family stay clean through the years. Janna S.
Carol Frey March 27, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Thanks Janna. Laundry are us!


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