The laundry battlefield.
Regular readers will know that we live below the line - and have done for many years.
The current rise in the cost of living is causing many, many people unwanted anxiety. Folk are looking for ways to spend less and use less.
One issue I have read a few times is how to launder and dry clothes and household linens as well as saving money.
Here are a few tips from our wee house. (Please add any additional thoughts in the comments and I will publish them.)
1. Don't wash clothing that is not dirty or smelly. There is often a habit in households to wear something once then put it in the laundry bag. Get your family into the habit of hanging up or putting away what is still clean.
2. Wash under-things together. Knickers, pants, socks, t-shirts like vests. I accept some folks don't wear deodorant, but using it can extend the life of a t-shirt that is otherwise clean.
3. Spot-clean. If a piece of clothing has something spilled on it, but is otherwise clean: use a clean cloth, warm water and a detergent, and dab the dirty patch until it is clean. Then either hang up the garment or place it over the back of a dining room chair until the patch is dry. This saves much electricity being used.
4. Don't fill up your washing machine. Have a smaller load, wash on a shorter cycle and/or a cooler temperature. The items will still be clean.
5. Hand wash. I hand wash delicates such as my bras. Warm water with some detergent, soak, rinse, hang up to dry.
6. Really dirty items. Obviously if you play rugby in your spare time, you will have muddy clothes to launder. Put really dirty clothes in a bucket (or a sink) of water and soak them overnight. Wring out the water then put them into a wash.
I hang up laundry to dry. If it's going to be a nice day then I like to have laundry ready to hang out when I get up, I wash it the night before. When I've lived without an outside line, I've used a fold-up clothes airer. When it is raining outside (like this week), I use my clothes airer indoors and have the windows open.
It takes up to 24 hours to dry clothing, with heavy jeans up to 36 hours.
One thing I am doing differently this season?
I have bought an additional fold-up clothes airer.
If I need to clean a duvet or have an 'emergency' load like a duvet and pillows (I have grandchildren and occasionally things can need to be cleaned after 'an accident') I go to the launderette and use a large machine and dryer.
Let me know how you manage the laundry battlefield.