Sunday, October 28, 2012

These Boots Are Made For Laundry

These boots are made for laundry
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots
Are gonna wash off doggie doo!

That’s right ... I do my laundry using polka-dot rubber boots.  “But that’s crazy,” you may say.  Well, let me give you the background and reasons why ...

Five years ago I finally bought an eco-friendly front-load washer (costing over $700!).  Then last year, my washer stopped spinning and the repair would cost me almost $300.  I thought this is ridiculous – big ticket appliances lasting less than 5 years?!  So I did a little online research and discovered I can easily wash my clothes in my bathtub by “stomping” on them (think “I Love Lucy” + grapes) – and voila, my new “washer” was born.  The hardest part is wringing the clothes by hand so I can then hang them to dry.  Yes, the heating element on my 5-year-old dryer also died so I hang my clothes to dry.  I still use the dryer to “tumble” the dried clothes which helps to soften them (line-dried clothes tend to feel rough, especially towels, so tumbling them in the dryer on no heat for 10 minutes cures that).

Why would anyone be crazy enough do their laundry by hand?  For 3 Important Reasons:

1.  Save the Environment:  Basically, I use no electricity to do my laundry except a very small amount when I use hot water (one of these days I’ll invest in a solar water heater) and when I run the dryer for 10 minutes on air only.  So doing laundry by hand generates an extremely low carbon footprint!  I also make my own inexpensive, non-toxic laundry soap (mix 1/2 borax + 1/2 washing soda – not baking soda; use 1-2 T. per load).  And ditch the fabric softeners (they contain too many chemicals and VOCs).  Instead, add 1/4 cup white vinegar to your rinse water (the vinegar smell goes away once the clothes are dry).

2.  Great Exercise:  Have you tried stomping on clothes or wringing wet clothes by hand?  It’s a great workout for the muscles of your core, legs, arms and hands!

3.  Save Money:  Because you’re hardly using any electricity, you save money.  Because you’re not buying new appliances or getting older ones repaired, you save money.  Because you’re making your own non-toxic laundry soap/fabric softener, you save money.  And because you’re getting a good workout without joining a gym, you save money!

So there you have it ... 3 great reasons to do your laundry by hand ... or should I say by feet?  J

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