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  • FIRST POST
    • Austin Allegro
    • By Austin Allegro 15th Feb 08, 4:22 PM
    • 1,445Posts
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    Austin Allegro
    Radical laundry reduction
    • #1
    • 15th Feb 08, 4:22 PM
    Radical laundry reduction 15th Feb 08 at 4:22 PM
    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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    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 19-02-2008 at 6:13 PM.
    'Never keep up with Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper.' Quentin Crisp
Page 1
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 15th Feb 08, 4:43 PM
    • 3,401 Posts
    • 20,760 Thanks
    purpleivy
    • #2
    • 15th Feb 08, 4:43 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Feb 08, 4:43 PM
    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.
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
  • mary43
    • #3
    • 15th Feb 08, 4:52 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Feb 08, 4:52 PM
    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
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 15th Feb 08, 6:12 PM
    • 36,860 Posts
    • 474,377 Thanks
    pigpen
    • #4
    • 15th Feb 08, 6:12 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Feb 08, 6:12 PM
    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.)
    08/11/2018 51894.38 (2.41% int.)
  • ravylesley
    • #5
    • 15th Feb 08, 6:18 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Feb 08, 6:18 PM
    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
    • By purpleivy 15th Feb 08, 6:19 PM
    • 3,401 Posts
    • 20,760 Thanks
    purpleivy
    • #6
    • 15th Feb 08, 6:19 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Feb 08, 6:19 PM
    Well, as I said, it's what's acceptable to us that matters! Children vary a great deal as well, as you described.
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 15th Feb 08, 6:27 PM
    • 36,860 Posts
    • 474,377 Thanks
    pigpen
    • #7
    • 15th Feb 08, 6:27 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Feb 08, 6:27 PM
    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
    Originally posted by ravylesley
    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.)
    08/11/2018 51894.38 (2.41% int.)
  • ceridwen
    • #8
    • 15th Feb 08, 6:34 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Feb 08, 6:34 PM
    Austin Allegro

    You sound like a "simplifier" in the making - might teach us a few lessons in fact!
  • mary43
    • #9
    • 15th Feb 08, 7:27 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Feb 08, 7:27 PM
    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 ?
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 15th Feb 08, 7:38 PM
    • 36,860 Posts
    • 474,377 Thanks
    pigpen
    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.)
    08/11/2018 51894.38 (2.41% int.)
    • flutterbyuk25
    • By flutterbyuk25 15th Feb 08, 7:40 PM
    • 6,986 Posts
    • 35,495 Thanks
    flutterbyuk25
    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..
    Originally posted by pigpen
    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!) *
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 15th Feb 08, 7:52 PM
    • 36,860 Posts
    • 474,377 Thanks
    pigpen
    2 wear nappies (which frequently leak!!.. out-pee'd rather then inefficient) and we tried that but the boys.. with their autistic spectrum disorders wouldn't sleep or settle and the girls were appalled.. DD1 does do this now.. she decided she felt 'safer' with them on once she started menstruating..
    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.)
    08/11/2018 51894.38 (2.41% int.)
    • flutterbyuk25
    • By flutterbyuk25 15th Feb 08, 7:59 PM
    • 6,986 Posts
    • 35,495 Thanks
    flutterbyuk25
    2 wear nappies (which frequently leak!!.. out-pee'd rather then inefficient) and we tried that but the boys.. with their autistic spectrum disorders wouldn't sleep or settle and the girls were appalled.. DD1 does do this now.. she decided she felt 'safer' with them on once she started menstruating..
    Originally posted by pigpen
    I get your thinking now! Sorry I didn't know whether you had kids etc (as I don't usually pop on this board!) and thought it was a bit odd.

    But I can imagine it's easier for you to change them everyday.
    * Rainbow baby boy born 9th August 2016 *

    * Slimming World follower (I breastfeed so get 6 hex's!) *
  • mary43
    pigpen - don;t worry.........your lad will get out of this phase.........they normally do. I had two sons and the youngest was totally different Often its a girlfriend that makes a difference.
    Sadly in the case of the lad we're looking after at the moment he realy couldn't care less and I've found the more I say about it the worse he is.
    He does have a bath every day though...........obviously working on the principle that if the body's clean the rest doesn't matter.............lol
  • csarina
    When I was working I used to change my blouse every day, but wear it for two days if you see what I mean, I always hang my clothes on hangers outside the wardrobe at night, if it smells 'sweaty' next morning it goes in the wash..................OH had a clean shirt everyday........I hate ironing shirts, so glad he is retired and only wears a shirt occasionally.................

    I only change our bed every second week and the duvet cover once a month, just turn it over.....we have a bath each night before we go to bed.

    Now I am retired I wear a tee shirt for a couple of days, so 2 or 3 a week, trousers for a couple of days, then they get a change. We both have clean pants on every day, but wear nightshirts in bed, so no smelly bottoms.......OH wears his vest for 2 days then it goes in the wash.............theoretically, now we live in sheltered housing I could change the sheets every week, but then I would have to iron it.............forget that........................

    When we go on holiday, I take pants etc that dry quickly, we rinse socks and knickers out each night when we go to bed and I use a spud masher in a bucket to 'posh' clothes, and a salad spinner will spin water out of socks and pants... we take a weeks clothes with us and we can manage for 3 - 4 weeks like that.........it just takes organising.

    Foot note: my youngest son had the smelliest feet this side of heaven.......he had to take socks with him to change into at lunchtime when he was at school..........nothing we did made any difference, then suddenly he got a girlfriend, and started washing his feet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by csarina; 15-02-2008 at 8:58 PM.
    Was 13st 8 lbs,Now 12st 11 Lost 10 1/4lbs since I started on my diet.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 15th Feb 08, 9:10 PM
    • 20,439 Posts
    • 34,009 Thanks
    Spendless
    Pigpen - so do you wash all PJs every day, or just the PJ bottoms?

    I started a thread about how much laundry I had sometime ago and for a while I seemed to get on top of it. I was doing things like throwing in wash a full Beavers uniform that had only been on son 1.5 and I also started changing the kids from school, so I could salvage what school uniform would last another day before they spilled their tea over it. We've slipped back into bad habit s recently and I need to get back on top of it again.
  • Olliebeak
    I think that making the kids change out of uniform as soon as they come home from school really helps to keep the laundry down. I always did it with mine and they could get 2 days out of a uniform most of the time (barring accidents at lunchtime!). For some strange reason, my daughter doesn't bother and then wonders why she has to provide a full clean uniform EVERY day!

    If their school has a choice of colours for shirts/blouses (ie blue/white; grey/white) I would always go for the colour rather than white! Maybe have white for when it's school photo day! Same with socks - grey or black rather than white AND always buy the big packs of socks that all match so no problems when odd ones go missing (if 2 go missing - one from each pair - at least you STILL have a pair left!) lol. It's also a good idea to suggest to the school that they should have the kids wear a protective garment when doing art/crafts - even if the parents buy them personally, the teacher could at least encourage them all to wear them. My grandkids have come home with sweatshirts/polo shirts ruined with paint and glue that won't come out.

    I always wash my underwear every night (by hand) when I'm staying somewhere other than home. A good rub with the towel, and it normally dries on the radiator overnight.

    I wear a white blouse/navy skirt for work and of course need a clean blouse every day. But I have 2 navy skirts that I rotate each week - 2 days then 3 days alternately. If I spilt something, I would just sponge clean that particular bit of fabric immediately and wear again - unless it was something 'stinky'! Dgd2 (3 months) 'got me' one afternoon last week before I had a chance to get changed for the evening - what a little angel !

    As we have showers every morning, I don't throw the towels in the wash every time. We each use our own towel and hang it up to 'dry off' afterwards. Obviously, if showering after hard or grimy work then the towels would be changed immediately. But under normal circumstances 1 bath sheet will do for 2 showers.

    I do change teatowels everyday and dish cloths - prefer those to be really hygienic as they are used around our food preparation - dish cloths get soaked in a bleach solution at night before being rinsed out and thrown into the laundry for the next wash!
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Feb 08, 11:55 PM
    • 5,729 Posts
    • 40,425 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    My kids wear underwear to bed so pajamas tend to be changed once a week.

    We all have clean socks and underwear every day but outer clothes only get washed if they look dirty (ie have stains that cannot brush off, or sponge off) or smell perspirey.

    Tops tend to get worn twice normally, but trousers/skirts can last 3/4 days if we are careful (well mine and OH and DD anyway, DS1 and 2 get covered in stains somehow so usually need a complete change of clothes every day! How do they manage it

    Sheets get changed once a week and I never iron anything except school shirts or OH shirts for work. Everything else just gets smoothed out when damp and creases fall out with body heat (honestly ours do! )

    I stopped ironing after DS2 was born as 3 children under 5 years of age and a workaholic OH meant I would have gone mad otherwise!

    Even with the minimum washing that I do, the washing machine is on every day, but otherwise I think it would be on twice a day!
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
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    • HariboJunkie
    • By HariboJunkie 16th Feb 08, 12:18 AM
    • 7,160 Posts
    • 45,822 Thanks
    HariboJunkie
    My kids come home with their school uniform already dirty so changing them into clean clothes would just mean another set of dirty clothes after tea.

    They wear their underwear under their jammies so jammies last 2 or 3 nights.

    Bedding changed once a fortnight.

    Towels used for 2 days then washed.

    OH's and my clothes are worn until they are dirty.

    Washing machine is on once a day, twice when the bedding is changed.
    • Churchmouse
    • By Churchmouse 16th Feb 08, 12:29 AM
    • 2,974 Posts
    • 20,708 Thanks
    Churchmouse
    HJ, I'm so pleased to read yours come home from school dirty. Not one of my four boys ever came home with so much as a school tie that could do a second day (well not until they were a good deal older!!!Like 17 ) I positively encouraged staying in uniform to save another set of clothes

    Even now with 4 supposed adults in the house I do a minimum of two washes a day Where on earth does it all come from
    You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
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