Back in August, I blogged a bit about my experiences in hand-washing clothes and dishes. Here is the promised update.
Hand-wishing dishes continues to be easy. It’s almost soothing as chores go . . . and it’s not like I really have a choice. I do have a choice about my laundry, however, and while I haven’t come to regret my decision to hand-wash, I have definitely learned a few things:
(1) A little fabric softener goes a long way. For the first month or so I was washing my clothes by hand, yes, they got clean but I definitely noticed some articles were less comfortable than before. Invested in some fabric softener. Problem solved.
(2) No harm in rewearing clothes! I already tend to rewear jeans and overshirts, but really, unless you’re doing some very physical activity or your clothes legitimately get dirty, you’ll save yourself some time and energy by rewearing clothes. Also, repeated washing is part of what wears clothing out, so that’s something to consider, too, before you put some once-worn article in the hamper.
(3) Sorting is way more important. You want your whites to stay white? Wash them separately. Anything darker than light gray does not belong in the load. And you might want to invest in some bleach (I haven’t yet, but I don’t own much white clothing either).
(4) If you don’t stay on top of your laundry, things can get very tricky with the hand-washing. Actually, in this case the problem was not the washing (bathtubs are pretty spacious) but the drying. I don’t really have enough space to dry the double load of laundry I did last week. In fact, without some creative use of chairs and closet space, I’m pretty sure I’d still be buried under a pile of slowly mouldering clothing. That’s the major convenience of a washing machine/drying set-up. Minimal work on your part and little to no interference with daily life. You can put it off if you want. Not so here.
(5) Conditions are important. It’s hard to dry clothes in high humidity. I’m also finding that with no heat or air conditioning running, things take longer to dry. Whenever possible I put heavy clothing/towels out on the porch to get some sun.
One thing that hasn’t been a problem is my clothing getting stretched out of shape. Some people caution against hand-washing for that reason. Now, it may just be harder to tell on hippie clothing, but so far, so good.
This week: a spot of political conversation, reading lists, online arts recs, and a mildly uncomfortable discussion of resuable products for women. Happy Monday!