Anyone remember that great Charlotte Diamond song about the laundry?
So fun. I actually don’t mind doing laundry all that much although if someone invented clothes that would put themselves away after they’ve been washed, that would be awesome.
I grew up living in an apartment where we shared laundry with two other tenants. We had a ringer washing machine, an outdoor clothesline and an indoor drying rack. It makes it sound like I was living like a pioneer in some backwoods place, doesn’t it? But nope, this was Vancouver in the 1970s. I learned how to do laundry on that contraption, terrified that I’d get my fingers stuck in the ringer. That never happened but I did flood the laundry room once when I forgot that I was filling it and the water did some fair damage to the make-our-own-wine supply place that was below us. Ah the good old days.
As time consuming as it was, doing laundry with a ringer washer and hanging it do dry was somewhat environmentally friendly –at least the drying part was. Ringer washers use a lot of water compared to high-efficiency washing machines that we use today.
But I still have a clothesline, in fact, it was a selling feature of our house when we bought it 20 years ago. I love the way my laundry smells coming off the line, especially sheets and towels. It always baffles me why there are subdivisions where clotheslines are not allowed – it seems crazy to me that we prohibit the use of something that is so environmentally friendly just because we don’t want to look at our neighbour’s underwear. I think clotheslines tell a story – I knew that my neighbours behind me had had a baby when little onesies started showing up on their clothesline. I watched those turn into toddler clothes and pre-schooler clothes. I knew their boy had a love for Buzz Lightyear by his sheets. I knew that the neighbours next to them were South Asian because of the brilliantly coloured saris hanging on theirs. When a Mexican family moved in next door with their 15 children (not a word of a lie) their TWO clotheslines were filled with clothing of all sizes!
So while I love my clothes line and use it all the time, I’ve been exploring other ways to be more environmentally responsible in this area. I’ve discovered green washing detergents and non-chlorine bleach that I’m pretty happy with but I’ve also heard about these little guys: soap nuts. Has anyone out there tried these? I first learned about these via Queen of Green. They’re actually a tree fruit that you throw in with your dirty clothes and they act like soap and clean them. I’ve never tried these but am curious about them. You can learn more about them here and also see the Queen of Green’s recipe for her own liquid laundry soap.
What’s your green laundry tip?