My undies get the cold shoulder (Day 159)…


For years now I’ve washed most of my clothes in cold water, but if I was ever cleaning something really icky — like the bath mat Sophie just pooped on, for instance — I would often use hot water. Somehow, it just got into my head that a hotter temperature would kill off more germs. As well, for whatever reason, the “delicates” cycle on my machine uses lukewarm water instead of cold, perhaps because it’s thought to be more gentle on finicky fabrics like silk.

But enough of this — cold water is just fine, especially seeing as it has plenty of detergent swirling around in it anyway. My precious unmentionables can suck it up and go in a regular cycle (at low water level, of course) with the rest of my clothes and warm up on the drying rack later. And the bath mat? Well, I’ll just have to convince myself it’ll get as clean as it did before… maybe I’ll throw Sophie in there with it.

13 Responses to My undies get the cold shoulder (Day 159)…

  1. emily says:

    May I ask whether you really have a front-loader like in the photo? If so, I’m pleased to know! Switching from a traditional top-loader to front-loader with a good drum is another way to save water and get your clothing cleaner…

  2. I use borax in the wash for kitty related messes. It’s supposed to be safer than bleach and works on colored fabrics. If that’s not green enough for you, some people add baking soda to the wash for ickier items. I personally think borax works better.

  3. sue says:

    So I have a suggestion (not really mine, I stole it from NIM) for a change – hve you switched to baking soda as a deoderant yet? On NIM’s blog-advce, I tried it one da and you know what – it WORKS. Really well. Just dust some on under your arms and youre good to go – I wasn’t much of a believer before, but now I’m a convert – I haven’t worn antipersperant in weeks and no one can tell (well, they know because I’m neurotic and keep asking my friends if they can smell me. They all say no). If you haven’t made this switch yet, its a great one – and easy on the pocketbook.

    Also have you tried any preserving local bounty – we always get extra tomatoes and garlic at our CSA and make and can spaghetti sauce and salsa in the summer (I like to think of the steam as “opening my pores” and “just like having a home sauna”) – it’s a great way that you can enjoy local vegges all year round (and dont get me started on homemade jam – yum!) and I bet you could get your jars on freecycle (thats how I get most of mine)

    Just some thoughts!

  4. Lori V. says:

    I’ve used baking soda for about a year now. I make a really thin watery paste of it though, & apply it in a very thin layer. It stays on better that way for me.

  5. activistmommy says:

    I use baking soda and vinegar to wash with. Cleans well, costs next to nothing, and isn’t as harmful as detergents can be to the environment. 🙂

  6. girlanddog says:

    Don’t forget to buy biodegradable detergent!

  7. ClareSnow says:

    I wash with cold water, but if something has a stain I soak it and/or scrub it b4 putting it in the wash – maybe you could put it in a bucket of hot water (with detergent) over night. I too have toilet accidents from my furry friends, but its my senior “pup” who is incontinent sometimes. Soaking in vinegar b4 the wash to kills any nasties. I also use vinegar to mop the floor if she did it on the floorboards. I’m so glad I don’t have carpet!

    Re: commenters questions on baking soda for deoderant. I’m currently looking for a deoderant. I think I’m going to end up buying something – but don’t suggest anything because I’m in Australia and I want to get something local. I found Avalon Organics’ deoderant in a shop, and I so want it, but I’m trying to stop myself. How do you dust baking soda on your underarm – doesn’t gravity get in the way? I guess making a paste solves that problem. I’m not sure I’m ready for baking soda, I still want a pretty smell.

  8. Bryan says:

    I only ever use cold water to wash, and that includes the kid’s nappies (diapers). I single out the poopy ones and more dirty of the clothes to be soaked (in cold water), and just wash the rest. I make my own washing powder (borax, washing soda, soap flakes). According to an industrial chemist friend of mine, washing the wet nappies with just water and then hanging them on the line will allow the sun to react with the urea to disinfect them. I don’t do that, but am happy for the sun to shine on them anyway. Oh, and I add some vinegar to the rinse cycle every so often to prevent a build up of gunge in the machine.

  9. Deb G says:

    I read somewhere, wish I could remember where, that vinegar kills 80% of the nasties. A cold water soak with vinegar would go along way…. Also vinegar is an odor neutralizer. I’ve always used it for puppy accidents as it keeps them from marking a spot. Borax works great too-especially on a mattress (sigh).

    On the diaper front, isn’t urine sterile?

  10. tourist says:

    Ack! Don’t wash silk in cold. It really does need lukewarm water. Temperature changes shock the fibres and you’ll get runs and it will wear out faster.

    And yes, urine is sterile. Until the instant it leaves the body. As soon as it hits air, it starts to grow stuff, which is what makes the smell.

  11. Best Cleaner says:

    I am thinking about buying a steam cleaner. I know buying v renting depends on how often I use it but is it really worth it to buy. What does everyone think?

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