Works for Me Wednesday: Loving the Laundromat

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It’s Works for Me Wednesday, and as I said yesterday, today’s post is all about the laundry.
I am a single parent with three kids, working three days a week, cramming in as many hours as possible doing any work I can find that pays, as well as trying to get all three of the young-uns where they need to go in their busy lives, while designing enriching things and experiences for them—you know the whine, we all partake of it now and then.

So, laundry. Hadn’t done it in a long time. The summer clothes came out, so we doubled our volume and the mixing and matching possibilities. But, faced with a basement and stair landings and baskets overflowing with crumpled clothes that no one wanted to descend to the dark of the basement to wash and dry, we did the only thing we could do.

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We went to the Laudromat. We piled all the clothes in bags and baskets, took a 32-wash jug of Gain, half a tub of OxyClean powder and a whole bottle of Spray’n’Wash stain remover, plus $45 dollars. Everyone worked together, heaving stuff into the car, into the Laundromat, sorting into machines, putting coins into slots, detergents into wells, you know, all that laundry stuff.

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I kept those kids running! It was a “Because I Said So!” moment, all in loving fun, of course. We were there for five and a half hours, spent all $45 and came home with tons of clean laundry to put away. I could sweep my laundry room floor (operative word: could).

The kids were tired, but they were a lot wiser about the ways of laundry—keep up with it at home, and you gain a Sunday afternoon!

It works for me (and us)!

Do you have any tricks, small or large, for making laundry go faster? Or more pain-free? IF SO, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT. IT’S EASY! I’LL TRY IT!

See you tomorrow!

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Laundry finished! Yay! And did I eat enough blue freezies?!?

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5 Responses

  1. I don’t have any tips for making it go faster or stress free but I do have some great tips for removing oil products from clothing!

    I find that it usually takes 2 washes to remove oil, butter or a tomato sauce made with meat stains (the most common thing I have to remove).
    What I do is, treat the stain with salt or baking power (I prefer the baking power) by rubbing either into the stain, then wash the garment. Then the next step is to treat the washed garment with rubbing alcohol. Make sure you test a small spot on the garment so that the rubbing alcohol doesn’t ruin the garment. Please note that you made need to wait until it’s dry to treat it again, because some stains you can’t see while the garment is wet. Just pour a bit of rubbing alcohol on the stain and let it sit for a while and then wash the garment again.
    Usually, the stain comes out after the second wash. I have used a combination of the 2 ingredients all at once and this technique has also worked. I find that you can treat the stain even if the oil stain is old. It WILL come out. Maybe not on the first wash, just treat it again and you’ll be amazed at how much money you save on buying your new “favourite” clothing.

    Happy Laundering!

  2. When I lived in England, we had a front-load washer that some engineer designed with the “quick rinse” cycle lasting an hour and 15 minutes. No clothes dryer and no car to take clothes to the nearest laundrymat 2 miles away, I became an expert on clothesline drying and radiator drying (on those cold and damp days). In the winter, the laundry cycle took two days. So, I feel that just moving back to Canada has saved me a day and a half of laundry time each week!

    But even here there is always a way to save time.
    * I once read something by that most domestic of goddesses, Martha, that unless they are very dirty,most clothes should not be washed for more than a 4-6 minute cycle as it just wears away the fabric (and cuts into my valuable time). So, I follow that rule very closely.

    * As soon as I hear the buzzer go on the dryer, I am there with clothes hangers in hand. I try to hang as much as possible right away. This greatly reduces the amount that needs ironing, and as my kids do not seem to keep anything folded properly once it hits their drawers, hanging them (the clothes not the kids) solves that problem.

    * Of course, if time is REALLY of the essence, I once knew of a woman who purchased cheap T-shirts, underwear, etc., wore them until dirty, then threw them out. Problably the best customer of the dollar stores. Not advocating that, but I have been tempted!

  3. Further note: Is it a sad testament to what I have become when I can drone on and on about laundry! Is it too late to become a rocker chick?

  4. Hi Janey!

    I’ll try anything, and I haven’t heard of the rubbing in of baking powder and rubbing alcohol. I have a basket in the laundry now dedicated to “clothing with salad dressing or mayo or who knows what on the front that I will have to toss if I can’t get rid of these stains.”
    I will report on my progress.
    Thanks for the detail!

  5. I shall try your hints on some t-shirts that I have given up on and usually only wearing playing in the garden I have found that giving up wearing shoes and socks in the garden help on the laundry but digging is so much harder without shoes.
    My one suggestion for laundry help, that works for a short period of time at home (all the suggestions work for the first few weeks until nobody wants to actually pay attention anymore, until Mum loses her mind and usually my temper!)
    I had 4 large different coloured laundry baskets beside the washer. the white one was so the kids could drop their white or light coloured clothes in that basket, the green one was for coloured shirts and socks etc., the blue one was for blue jeans, and the yellow one was for towels etc. When the basket was full you could just throw that load into the washer. This way, I could wash a full load of jeans and not just the one pair that my daughter absolutely required the next day for school. It is amazing how kids can actually turn on the machine for the one item that THEY need but aren’t very considerate of the remaining family members clothes items. Little children actually are much better at sorting the clothes than the bigger ones but the teens have more fun throwing the clothes from a distance to make “basket shots”
    The system can work with a bit of help as long as you have the available room to line up four laundry baskets.
    Now, if only I could figure out how to get help taking the dried clothes out of the dryer and FOLDED before they get dumped and “smooshed” into the basket!!

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