My love affair with the washing machine

13 Ways To Make Doing Laundry Like Taking a Bubble Bath

Some girls love bubble baths, but I love laundry. Some days, I go hunting through the house for sour-smelling clothes that I can transform into lavender-scented bundles. Trust me; transform your laundry room into an aroma-scented haven, and you’ll transform your life. Soon, you’ll relish laundry day as that one non-hectic day of your whole week. The fruits of your labor will permeate closets, dressers and linen closets for weeks. Seriously; how can you not LOVE a machine that does all the work that your Great Grandmother used a washboard to do? (And learn how to ban ironing and wrinkles here.)
  1. The first step is to eliminate all artificial scents from your laundry supply shelf. This includes dryer sheets. Google the health effects of artificial air fresheners, and chemical dryer sheets and look at the list of toxins.
  2. Invest in some pure essential oils from the health food store – scents that not only have a heavenly aroma, but also are actually good for your body, and repel fabric-eating insects. Lavender is a great one to start with.
  3. Next, disinfect and deodorize your washing machine so that your clothes will not absorb a lingering musty smell. You can do this pretty easily by pouring two cups of vinegar into your machine, and run a full cycle — without any clothes or detergent. If your water is very dirty, let the agitator run for 8-10 minutes, open the lid and let the vinegar sit overnight. In the morning, empty the basin and run the washer through a complete cycle with two cups of vinegar. Do this every six months to eliminate soap scum, and musty smells.
  4. Basic soaps: Stock your laundry room with Borax, Epsom Salts, distilled white vinegar (not apple cider vinegar), and for tough stains, plain, unscented Tide Detergent and Oxy Clean. If you have a high efficiency washer, skip the Borax and buy only the unscented HE deterge rent powder. Borax creates too much “suds,” the major failure of HE washers.
  5. Scent your laundry: Open your jug of distilled white vinegar, and drop in 30-40 drops of your favorite essential oil. French laundry mistresses have used lavender for centuries. Let the oils permeate the vinegar for about a week before using.
  6. Open your box of Borax, (or HE detergent if you have an HE washer) and pour the powder into a clean empty container with a lid. (An empty oxy-clean bucket will work.) Drop 20-30- drops of essential oils into the Borax, and stir thoroughly to mix the scents. Cover and let the scents mix for about a week before using.
  7. Basic laundry soap: If you have a regular top loading washer (one that doesn’t require HE soap), for each load, add ½ of the amount of detergent you usually use, combined with the other half of Borax. If I’m washing whites, I’ll also add a ½ cup of oxy clean. (Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer.)
  8. Add 1/2 cup of scented vinegar to each load along with the detergent. It fights germs, keeps your colors from bleeding, and deodorizers your laundry.
  9. Use your scented vinegar in place of your fabric softener in the Rinse Cycle to eliminate static cling, remove pet hair and complete dissolve and rinse away soap.
  10. To get REALLY white whites – -try this. Fill your washing machine with hot water and one or two cups of oxy clean. Add your laundry and let the machine agitate. Then, lift the lid and let the laundry soak in the oxy clean water overnight. In the morning, let the wash run itself through.
  11. Buy some doggie toys at the grocery store — the kind with balls and pokey things, for about $1.00. Use those as dryer balls (that sell for about $20). They do help lift the laundry and help things dry faster — I also throw one in the washer.
  12. Ring around the color: Make a paste with 2 parts white vinegar to 3 parts baking soda, and let set for 20-30 minutes.
  13. Picked up a plastic-coated wire and made a new clothesline. Sleeping on a pillow line-dried in fresh air is as warm and cozy as a chocolate chip cookie. If you haven’t indulged in this little luxury lately, I think it’s time you tried it again – if your local authorities will allow it.

21 comments to “My love affair with the washing machine”
  1. Thank you for those tips! I had been using white vinegar as a rinse for a while, but stopped because i missed the fragrance of fabric softener on my clothes. I never thought of putting essential oils in it! I will try that!!!

    I can’t believe how excited I am about these laundry tips!

  2. Boy – great ideas! We are both so allergic to soaps that we can’t have a lot of “stuff” in our wash. Including oxy clean. We are both allergic to it. Funny too because it’s made here. We were at a party with the creators once and had this whole conversation about the hives we got. So, they definitely KNOW it can happen! 😉

    Happy TT

  3. I love the photos – they look so fresh and summery.

    I really need to run some vinegar through my washing machine. It’s vile in there.

  4. You are absolutely amazing. This post made me feel like rushing to the store to stock up on everything so I can do my laundry! And if you knew me, you’d know that NEVER happens. So much so that DH does the laundry in the house. Thank you!

  5. The soaking overnight is the only thing I miss about my top loading washer! I have used borax, just cut the amount to 1/8 cup. Seemed to do the trick, with out too many suds.

    Thanks for the tips, now I need to go find some lavender oil!

  6. that’s a great list – thanks for all the good ideas.

    and, it’s a crime that there are places where outdoor laundry lines are banned. all kinds of wrong.

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  10. I use Oxy Clean for the shower floor when it gets moldy. Just sprinkle some all over the shower tiles and then place wet paper towels on top. Let it sit overnight on a day when you have nowhere to go. Sweep it up into the trash can the next day and rinse the rest down the drain! Your shower floor will sparkle!

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