Thursday, October 27, 2011

Laundry Schmaundry - Wash Schmaush

This week I've let you in on a lot of personal secrets.

Now, sista' ya' hafta' wash the clothes. 
That's what this series
Laundry Schmaundry
 is all about.

I know a lot of you don't like laundry
so when you read this series you have about as much excitement
as I do when I read a cookbook.
Wait, I don't read cookbooks!

But, I share because if I can inspire or help you in any way,
it might make the job a little more pleasant for you.
If I help you a lot, maybe you'll make a meal for me
and I won't have to cook dinner.

So, finally, onto
 Momma Mindy's Washing Secrets


Water Temperatures

I always start my cycle on hot water, add the soap, make sure it suds, then choose my temperature.

Hot - only for whites
Warm - lights and towels
Cold - for darks and reds.  Also for anything with urine or vomit or blood.  Isn't it amazing that the ickiest things in life are cleaned up with the cheapest, most available substance - cold water?

For several years, didn't have warm water attached to washer and ya' know what?  My laundry still always got clean using only cold water.  Life is more about making your circumstances work, rather than longing for different circumstances.

Pre-treating stains.

The crucial point here is to get the stains out or nearly out before you throw them in the washer to ensure you get the stains out.

Like my mother before me, I am a huge Spray 'n Wash fan. 

Like my mother before me, there were years I couldn't afford this luxury.  Yet, it is a luxury to some SILK~ Single Income Lotsa Kids~Family.  Yea, I made that up.  SILK sounds better than DINK~Duel Income No Kids~ doncha' think?

So, that's when I started keeping a toothbrush in my laundry room.  Sometimes, I just used a bar of soap for pre-treating.   I'd get the bristles wet, run it over the soap, and brush my stain away.  Obviously, you have to be careful about the kind of fabrics you're running your bristles over.

I also would just dip the toothbrush into the detergent lid to get a little soap.

For ring-around-the-collar, a white collar wife's worst enemy, I sometimes used shampoo. I read once if it works on the grease in the hair, it should work on the grease on the collar.  So, that last little bit in the bottom of the bottle would be diluted with water, squirted on the spot.

I'm a slow learner, but I recently added hydrogen peroxide to my pre-treating routine.  Just watch it bubble away blood.  It's amazing!

Laundry Detergent

I've always used the cheapest of the cheapest soap, and used half the amount they recommend. Secretly, I think it's a conspiracy.  They tell you to use more than you need, so you buy twice as much.

About six months ago, my daughters began making laundry soap for me.  But, that's another blog. 

We have sensitive skin, and soaps with a lot of color and/or perfumes bother us.  We LOVE the smell of them, but it's not worth itching all the time and breaking out in little bumps.

Fabric Softener

Although we love the smell, this is something else I couldn't afford for years, so it isn't a habit.  Besides, I could never remember to run down there to put it in.

When I was visiting my married daughter this year, I used her Downy fabric softener ball and it worked well.  I wanted to sit inside the washing machine and figger out how it knew when to open up because it was the rinse cycle.  Anyhoo, if I ever think about this while I'm at the store, I might actually start using this.


Machines today have a bleach dispenser, which is wonderful.  Pouring a few cups of water down the dispenser after you add the bleach will ensure drops of bleach don't damage the clothes in the next load of laundry you wash.

I also know for a fact that if you don't carefully screw the lid on the bleach jug and set it on top of the washing machine, it will shake, rattle and roll all over the the laundry room.  It could ruin the load of clothes in the washer and the pile of laundry on the floor.

Getting my whites white is the bane of my existence.  For years, I used Clorox bleach.  Now, I'm using Oxy. I've tried pre-soaking, I've tried using them both, I've tried washing the loads twice, to no avail.  This is where I am an utter failure.  I cannot get my whites white. 

Instead, I bought the Teenage Boy black socks.  Works great.  I buy the girls colored socks.  Works great.

Then, the girls decided they wanted to go with the luxury hotel look for their bathroom and bought all white washcloths and hand towels.

Anybody have any good advice on getting whites white?

Washing Machine Care

A dirty machine means dirty laundry.  Dirty and grime can build up along the inside of the lid, along the edge and even along the top of the drum.  About once a week, when I'm washing a load of towels, I take a washcloth and wash down the machine in these areas, then toss the washcloth in the load.

The Washer Woman's Psalm

...Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
...Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
...Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

I love doing laundry, because I love the results.  You instantly see and smell a difference.

The Lord must have that same feeling, when He looks down on His people,  sees the glorious white linen because they're washed in the blood and smells the incense of the  prayers of the redeemed ones wafting in His nose.

And like any good parent, when the garments are defiled, He lovingly washes them over and over and over again.

However, in the Lord's laundry room, there is never a stubborn stain He can't remove.  But He doesn't need Spray 'n Wash, He uses His perfected method ~ Pray 'n Wash.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
 and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


  1. Love the "pray and wash," lol!

    I wash pretty much everything in cold, except for towels and white socks (those i wash in hot).

    I love my Spray and Wash too. I pretreat my little heart out.

    I've always wanted to make my own laundry det. too, but I've read some things about borax and fels naptha soap so not sure that those are safe to use. I can't find any homemade laundry det. recipe that DOESN'T contain borax.

  2. I've had good luck with getting out nasty stains from whites by soaking them in my crockpot with oxy. Spit up and diaper stains even. Thanks for the other tips.


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