Friday, April 9, 2010

Save money, live greener, and exercise. Woo!

I've been trying to decide what to write about all week. I kept hoping to come up with something especially amazing or enlightening but I guess if I had a lot of those ideas I would have quite a bit more money than I do now.
So instead of writing, I washed my clothes.

Until very recently I had never washed my clothes in anything other than a washing machine and a dryer. In fact, I have gone out of my way to only purchase clothes that I can throw into the washing machine/dryer without having to check tags and decide what has to be line dried or washed only in cold water because I'm lazy and I had just never bothered to learn another way.

Then I moved into my current apartment. The apartment is a wonderful place and I love it a lot but it does have its downsides. For one it is far away from any laundry facilities and the washer and dryer in the basement are... quirky at best. A while ago the washer died completely and since then, has sat in the basement with a big piece of paper taped over the top, "Washer is broken. Will fix as soon as possible." Now two months later I'm not sure I believe the 'soon as possible' bit.

So I went online and I learned how to wash my clothes in the tub. After a few loads I've figured out my preferred way to do it and have started to kind of enjoy it.

1. Start filling the tub with warm or cold water depending on tag instructions.

2. Add laundry detergent. You can use any type or brand that you want but don't put a lot in. I would use 1/4 - 1/2 of the amount you usually put into the washing machine because without a spin cycle, getting tons of soap out of your clothes is a pain and a little soap gets them just as clean.

3. Stir the soap around in the water a bit then add your dirty clothes. Follow the same basic whites and darks rules of washing machines unless you're like me and either only have darks or don't really care.
Turn off the water when you've filled the tub or when you've covered all the clothes in water.

4. Let them soak for a minute. At this point in time I go get a stool from the kitchen, set it up away from the tub, put my laptop on it, and put on a Netflix movie. This keeps me entertained because I get bored with mundane tasks quickly but it also keeps the laptop far away from water or anything that could damage it.

5. This is the fun bit.
Go stand in the tub. I would of course recommend taking off your pants first, or wearing shorts but hey, I suppose its another way to wash an extra pair of pants.

6. Now just walk around. Use your feet to stir up the clothes in the soapy water like a washing machine would. You can march, or dance, or whatever makes you happy and you can watch the movie. Woo!

7. I usually walk around for 5 - 10 minutes. You'll see the water get darker as you get the dirt out and as some of the dyes mix with the water.

8. Drain the water, continuing to mix the clothes either with your feet or with your hands, squeezing out the dirty water as you go.

9. When the tub is empty you are left with a pile of wet soapy clothes. Turn on the tap and start rinsing them under the water, a few at a time. Pull these rinsed clothes out and squeeze the water out of them. Avoid twisting the fabrics whenever possible.

You can save a lot of water by turning off the water whenever you're not using it to rinse.

10. After all your clothes are rinsed and the excess water has been squeezed out you can either hang them around your room, out on a line, or throw them into the dryer.

You save money, water, you get some exercise, and you have a perfect excuse to mez out with your favorite passive entertainment. A fairly productive use of an hour if I do say so myself.

1 comment:

  1. This does sound fun! :) Maybe I'll try it soon!