Radical laundry reduction

Sorry if this should be in another thread – please move if necessary.

I live in a tiny flat without a proper washing machine. I have a mini washer that takes small loads but it’s a bit of a pain, so I decided to radically reduce my laundry usage. As well as saving time it saves money on hot water, soap, conditioner etc. I came up with the following:

Stop wearing vests/tee shirts under shirts. This saved washing seven tee shirts per week. If I feel cold I wear a pullover or a waistcoat.

Wash as you go. I wash that day’s socks and underwear in the basin last thing before I go to bed. This was common practice in the old days for people who lived alone apparently. It only takes about five minutes or so.

Use easycare sheets. These aren’t as nice as percale cotton sheets but they dry quickly and don’t need ironing which is a great advantage, and they last for ages. I change them once a fortnight, which means only one sheet to wash a week. I change the duvet and the pillows round each day to even out wear and soiling – but they don’t really get very dirty. If you’re paranoid about it you could have a shower before you go to bed. If you want to cut down on laundry further, you could ditch the duvet and sheets and sleep in a sleeping bag with a silk liner instead.

Stop wearing pyjamas. Unless it’s really cold I don’t need them, and I live alone so there’s no-one to shock. I put my dressing gown on top of the bed for extra warmth and so I can put it on before I get out of bed.

Turn the tablecloth over regularly and move it round so one side doesn’t get too dirty, or get a wipe-clean one.

Stop using handkerchiefs and use tissues instead. OK costs a bit more but you can get big cheap multipacks in pound shops.

Check if things really need washing or could just do with an airing.

Use a clothes brush and/or sponge for spot cleaning, rather than putting something in the laundry just because it has a few specks of mud etc.

Avoid clothes which show the dirt. I know some won’t agree with this and will say if it’s dirty, it should be washed, but most of the time the ‘dirt’ is inoffensive, like slightly grubby shirt cuffs, so if you can’t see it or smell it, I don’t think it matters.

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Comments

  • purpleivy
    purpleivy Posts: 3,573
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    I would regard all this as sensible advice, but there was a thread some while back where some people were 'sniffy' (LOL! Maybe not the right word!) about people that put something on for a second time!

    The children shower every day and have clean undies and socks. If it's sticky weather then I don't have a problem with them changing stuff, but when it's freezing, if it looks Ok and smells OK, then it probably is! We all know in our own minds what is acceptable to us and what isn't. Neither of the children ever smell, or dh either, so they must have the right balance.

    I don't mind washing clothes that need it, what really gets my goat is when they tidy their rooms and it's easier to put something in the wash, rather than fold it and put it on one side to wear again.
    [SIZE=-1]"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"[/SIZE]
    Trying not to waste food!:j
    ETA Philosophy is wondering whether a Bloody Mary counts as a Smoothie
  • mary43
    mary43 Posts: 5,845 Forumite
    Good suggestions there Austin Allegro

    purple ivy - know what you mean about kids.....esppecially teenagers.........lol They seem to either drop it on the floor and wear it again until even their best friend has something to say............or they work on the wear it wash it principle.
    That really annoys me when the machine gets used (electricity/water) when there really is no need at all.
    Certain things do need changing on a daily basis but not every item of clothing
    Mary

    I'm creative -you can't expect me to be neat too !
    (Good Enough Member No.48)
  • pigpen
    pigpen Posts: 40,824
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    My oldest throws clothes at the wall.. if they fall off they are ok to wear.. if they stick it is peeled off and thrown back in the floor..

    I have to drag clothes off him.

    I am probably one of the worst in our house for changing clothes..

    The children have clean pj's every night.. on the underwear principal.. if you wear it on your bum.. it is dirty after one wearing.. you wouldn't get up in the morning and put yesterdays knickers back on.. so there is no way I'd put the same pj bottoms on either..

    they have clean clothes every day.. they dribble food and wipe noses on sleeves and other such delightful habits children have.

    It is also bit of a gripe with me too that people EXPECT the children to be dirty/have no clothes etc because there are so many of them.. I hate stereotypes.

    Bedding is changed weekly... it never used to be.. but it is now because it is on the flylady list to be done therefore it is done!

    Surely it is easier to wash a vest rather than a cardigan??

    Maybe the difference is there are 10 of us in here.. and only one of you..

    I have been growled at on here before because apparently I wash things 'too often' and 'unnecessarily'.. but each to their own!
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
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  • ravylesley
    ravylesley Posts: 1,105
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    Pigpen I couldnt agree more.I have four kids and two adults in the house and we all wear clean clothes and pj's everyday.Yes it makes a lot of washing but I'd rather do the washing and the ironing than have dirty smelly kids

    Lesleyxx
  • purpleivy
    purpleivy Posts: 3,573
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    Well, as I said, it's what's acceptable to us that matters! Children vary a great deal as well, as you described.
    [SIZE=-1]"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"[/SIZE]
    Trying not to waste food!:j
    ETA Philosophy is wondering whether a Bloody Mary counts as a Smoothie
  • pigpen
    pigpen Posts: 40,824
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    ravylesley wrote: »
    Pigpen I couldnt agree more.I have four kids and two adults in the house and we all wear clean clothes and pj's everyday.Yes it makes a lot of washing but I'd rather do the washing and the ironing than have dirty smelly kids

    Lesleyxx

    I don't do ironing.. but I remember when I was at school and a few 'above average' size families who were treated appallingly because they were 'smelly' .. in the olden days of the twin tub when you washed ervything one day and tried to get it dried the stuff at the bottom went a bit 'stale' smelling before it dried and the children were made to wear stuff like that.. it kind of stuck in my mind.. so now my family is 'above average' sized.. I try to avoid that kind of stereotyping.. probably too the extreme I know.

    I don't think wearing items a second day makes them smelly or dirty.. mine are just grots and nothing is wearable!

    I do wear my jeans 2 days running IF.. and only if.. I'm not going anywhere the second day.. other than school runs.. I'll do those with yesterday gravy on my jumper under my coat!
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
    08/12/2023 £33602.00 (4.81% int.)
  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547
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    Austin Allegro

    You sound like a "simplifier" in the making - might teach us a few lessons in fact!:D
  • mary43
    mary43 Posts: 5,845 Forumite
    My oldest throws clothes at the wall.. if they fall off they are ok to wear.. if they stick it is peeled off and thrown back in the floor..

    pigpen - my eldest was like that when he was in his early teens. He had an artex ceiling in his bedroom and if his socks stuck to it they needed washing........if not then they were ok. He's just the opposite now.

    I have to admit to being a bit of a slob around the house and even if I'm popping to the post office unless I'm liable to call somewhere and have to take my coat off then the jumper I may well have spilt something on will do.....who's going to see me when all's said and done ?
    Mary

    I'm creative -you can't expect me to be neat too !
    (Good Enough Member No.48)
  • pigpen
    pigpen Posts: 40,824
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    Mary.. mine is 17 this year!!! He seems to be getting worse.. I just keep telling myself it will peak at some point and he will improve.. I've been saying this for about 15 years now
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
    08/12/2023 £33602.00 (4.81% int.)
  • pigpen wrote: »
    The children have clean pj's every night.. on the underwear principal.. if you wear it on your bum.. it is dirty after one wearing.. you wouldn't get up in the morning and put yesterdays knickers back on.. so there is no way I'd put the same pj bottoms on either..

    why don't you get them to wear underwear under pj bottoms so then they can wear them for half a week/week at a time. Yes you'll have more underwear to wash but surely that's less than washing sets of pj's everyday?
    * Rainbow baby boy born 9th August 2016 *

    * Slimming World follower (I breastfeed so get 6 hex's!) *
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