Posts Tagged ‘hot water’

Laundry Day #13

August 16, 2011

Inventory:

Sheets: 6
Pillowcases: 10
Towels: 5
Socks: 8
Underwear: 19

Temperature: Hot

Cost: $6

What have we learned?

Guests came to stay and now I’m washing their laundry. Well, not their laundry precisely, but the laundry left here after they departed: three times my usual load of sheets, pillowcases and towels. Plus socks and underwear—ours, not theirs—because they required a hot-water wash and this was a big one.

If you consider laundry to be drudgery, the thought of washing things soiled by others would only add to your displeasure. I don’t see things that way. Providing overnight guests with clean sheets and towels, and a comfortable place to use them, is part of my role as a host. I wouldn’t object to preparing and serving a meal for company, nor to cleaning up afterward. Why should laundry be different?

Laundry says you’re welcome. The sheets will be clean for you anytime you want to come and stay.

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The Day I Started Running Hot

March 25, 2010

The day I started running hot was the day I read a report that said 100 percent of dust mites could be eliminated from fabrics by washing at temperatures of 140°F or over. Ever since then, sheets and towels have been strictly Normal Wash Hot. Underwear and athletic socks too. I’ve slept better ever since.

But not without misgivings.

The people who support air-drying laundry as a way to reduce household energy consumption also advocate washing in cold water for the same reason. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends it as well. So, while I won’t argue with the fact that heating the wash water accounts for 90 percent of the energy used by a household washing machine, I will say that cold water doesn’t have the same effect on my sheets and towels. Much as I hate to admit it, I make an exception for myself in this regard.

I do what I can to compensate—wash a full load and tumble dry it on a medium setting. I hang dry everything else.

Laundry reminds us that it’s hard to go through life without getting into hot water.