As a young child, I grew up in a house without a washer or dryer. There was a hand crank old number, that I vaguely recall being used in spring or summer, mostly for bedding that was then line dried. My more crisp memories were though of my mom and sisters, and later me, loading the car with a weeks worth of laundry and driving in town to use the laundromat.Needless to say, clothes were worn multiple times until they truly needed washing and a spot was taken care of swiftly. Hand washing many things was the norm. I can't even fathom how much it cost to keep such a large family in clean clothes. I do have fond memories though of my mom getting time to sit and read one of her Harlequin Romance books, seemed to be shared among the other moms, or reading magazines kept for patrons. A special treat was splitting a candy from the vending machine with my sisters-jackpot if only two of us came and we only had to split two ways.
When my parents built a new house on a back part of the lot and the old farmhouse was tore down when I was 12, a new to them washer and dryer had a place in the house. We got wasteful with this luxury. Washing a small load of clothes instead of waiting for a full load, running the dryer longer than needed, washing clothes that really didn't need washing became some of our new habits and I struggle with that waste still today. Like other areas, I'm adding laundry and the overall cost to keep us in a decently presentable wardrobe, to my cut the waste mantra. My latest washing machine, three years old and has a load sensor so it only fills as much water as needed for the load. However, a full cycle still needs to go through, so the energy waste is just as high even if I've saved water.
Dry cleaning is an area we used to spend a small fortune on when DH wore suits to work. Now, he is a Dockers and Polo/Oxford shirt kind of guy. Still, he has a couple suits used for various occasions and I have a few suit jackets that require cleaning. I always make sure I find a coupon for these cleanings. With my new found thrifting, I bought a few items, pants and a skirt, that say Dry Clean only. I'm not completely daft buying a skirt for $2.00, then spending $8.00 every other week getting it cleaned. I found that a very short cycle on gentle and a line dry, stretching at the seems a few times to keep the shape, works perfectly. I need to iron, a job I detest, to get the crisp look, but it takes me only a few minutes. If I do this with four articles of clothing, twice a month, I've saved $64-minus the minimal laundry costs, every month and still have nice clothes. The strategies I will be trying to embrace are below. Do you have any tips?
My Five Strategies to Reduce Laundry Waste
1. Hang up clothes after wearing if still clean
2. Full loads
3. Shortest cycle possible to get the clothes clean
4. Line or hanger dry most items
5. Start Ironing again