Monday, April 24, 2017

Can YOU Fold A Fitted Sheet?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I did something the other day that made me laugh. I recommended a detergent. I never thought I'd see the day when I got excited about laundry. 

Laundry has fallen to me in our family. For a while I waited until it was absolutely an emergency, then did like five million loads. (Remember, there's only Jonathan and me. But the laundry piles up like crazy.)

Now I am in the do-it-once-a-week mode, which is only three loads. Whites, colors, and the other stuff that I don't know what is.

At one point in my life, I had a person who did the laundry.  It was heaven. I loved her. She ironed the sheets. She ironed my white t-shirts.

You'd think it wouldn't make a difference, but wow. It does. And then--
She moved to Florida.

When we were in Italy, I bought gorgeous gorgeous towels at Frette. I had them shipped home, then I washed them. They shrank into wizened twisty out of shape un-towel-like things. I called the Frette store in Boston, and explained my distress and dilemma.

Oh, the salesclerk told me. You have to IRON Frette towels.

Yeah. Like I'm gonna do that.

But I do love folding laundry, it's so soothing and so rewarding. You start out with a random basket of stuff, and then up with nice folded organized nice-smelling clothing. A big sense of accomplishment. Especially when I can fold a fitted sheet so it's not all puffy and weird. Which is--sometimes.

(There's a video about sheet-folding secrets, which I'll try to find.)

How do you all feel about laundry?   

HALLIE EPHRON: What I feel about laundry is probably unprintable. I haven't got the patience to fold, though I do love the results.

Fortunately early on I had the good fortune to turn my husband's underwear pink. Then a black crayon found its way into the dryer and, well, another mess. So he does all the laundry except for mine which he lets me turn any color I like.

Iron towels? You gotta be kidding.


INGRID THOFT: I don’t have strong feelings about laundry, but my husband does, which is why I’m the laundress of the house.  He doesn’t mind getting it in and out of the machine, but folding it is a skill he claims he can’t master.  This, from a software engineer, but he gets a pass because he does plenty of other things around the house.

 When I do laundry, I always think about my mom, sisters, and friends who do laundry for a household of more than two people.  How do they have time for all the other chores of life?  I feel like I spend too much time doing our everyday laundry, which is then doubled by our workout clothes.  I can’t imagine keeping multiple people in clean clothes.

As for ironing, my mom visited a couple of years ago and asked to use my iron.  When she was done, she said, “You haven’t ironed since you moved here?” I scoffed.  Of course, I’ve ironed.  “And you resealed the iron in the box with shrink wrap?” she wondered.  Oh, that.  Maybe I haven’t ironed in a while!

JENN MCKINLAY: Laundry has caused a weird division of labor in our house. When I was home and the hooligans were half-sized, I did ALL the laundry, most of the cleaning and cooking. Then when the writing took off even though I was home, I simply didn't have time to maintain it all so now all the household chores are shared. As for the laundry, Hub does our clothes, the Hooligans do their own clothes, and I do the odds and ends (sheets and towels). I don't iron them. I sort of wish I did iron them because I actually enjoy ironing - don't judge me! - and I bet the sheets and towels would be amazing with a good steamed press. Alas, no time.

HANK: I love it, too. I just don't do it anymore.

JENN: I do sneak into the Hooligans' rooms and refold their laundry because they haven't quite mastered the folding yet and wrinkly clothes bug me. Shh, don't tell!

LUCY BURDETTE: I'm the laundress in our house too. It is a satisfying job, at least temporarily, until things get dirty again! Last fall I became disgusted with our yellowing whites, and Googled how to fix that without using chemicals. There was a complex recipe involving baking soda, Borax, and white vinegar (maybe some other things too.) I tried several loads and different recipes, but nothing worked. I think I'm going off to buy that stuff Hank suggested, chemicals be damned! Unless someone has the secret of those whiter whites??

PS: ironing piles up in our house until we absolutely have nothing to wear. Towels and sheets? Not in this lifetime!

RHYS BOWEN: A while ago I was doing a radio interview and the interviewer said," You seem to be a woman of many talents. What don't you do well?"  And I said, "Ironing."
My mother ironed sheets. She ironed my father's underpants.

And me, I only iron when absolutely necessary, as in twice a year. When John and I were engaged, in the first flush of love I offered to wash and iron his white uniform shirts (Qantas)
I returned them to him and he said,"The laundry does them better."
AND I have never ironed a shirt since!

But I don't mind the laundry these days. We have a super high tech washing machine that gets clothes wonderfully clean and uses little water. Only downside...it is so deep that I almost stand on my head and risk falling in to rescue that last sock.

And bedclothes? They come out of the dryer and straight back on the bed.  I can never understand the English insistence on drying everything on a clothes line in the fresh airs on it winds up stiff and rough. Drying with an English towel. Is like running an emery board over the body!

DEBORAH CROMBIE: My thoughts about folding laundry are surely as unprintable as Hallie's. Laundry is the bane of my existence! And there are only two of us! But I cannot keep up with it. Half the time the clean laundry is in a huge unfolded pile on the chair next to our dresser. I cannot fold anything to save my life, especially sheets. Rick is much better at it, if I can just get him to do it. He also irons much better than I do, from years of being a bachelor and having to iron his own work shirts. The funny thing is I actually like ironing. It's very relaxing. Maybe today I'll get to all those piled up pillow shams and tea towels that need a little pressing....

In my fantasy life, I would have ironed sheets. But I've never heard of ironing bath towels. I obviously do not move in the right circles!

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I do the laundry for four, with help from the Smithie (usually) and Youngest (occasionally.) We have an electrical outlet issue where the dryer would hook up, so I line dry everything. I have an extendable line that spools out across the timber crossbeams in my thirty-foot-long family room, two lines outside for summer time, and an old-fashioned "clothes horse" that often goes in front of one of the wood stoves. Sometimes I dream about just chucking things into the dryer, but I do get to feel unsufferably smug about being so green.

With the four of us, plus towels, tablecloths, sheets and napkins, I normally do a load a day five or six days a week. Ironing? Usually at the last minute and only if it's something that can't be hidden beneath a jacket. I've been known to tell the girls, "Those wrinkles will fall right out from the heat of your body." We'll often wait until there are two or three baskets and then one of the girls and I will fold them while watching something on Netflix. That, to my mind, is the great thing about laundry-related chores: it's so easy to do them while listening to an audiobook or podcast or while watching TV.



HANK: How about you, Reds readers? Any laundry secrets? Do tell!  Do you care about having the whitest whites?  Do you just throw everything in together? Are you a hot-hot or a cold-cold?  Do you iron your sheets?  Can you fold a fitted sheet so it is not a puffy disaster? Tell all!


(photo credits: Inge Neilse, Katarzina Bialewicz, rotten cards, kzenon)

103 comments:

  1. Laundry is generally a once a week chore around here. My washing machine has a “tap water cold” setting and that’s what I always use. I add a scoop of Oxi-Clean to the laundry; the whites haven’t gotten dingy yet.

    Most things go in the dryer, but there is a retractable clothesline in my laundry room for the things I think should be air dried.

    As for the ironing . . . well, I know where the iron is and it does occasionally find its way out of the cabinet [usually when I’m sewing and need to press a seam or something of that sort]. The towels and sheets have never met the iron and since my dryer has a magnificent “dewrinkle” setting, I can handle those unexpected wrinkles at the last minute without resorting to ironing . . . .

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  2. Gosh, I haven't ironed clothing or sheets or any of that kind of stuff in decades, but I did buy a new iron a few weeks ago. Why? Because I am a quilter, and those blocks have to get flat somehow. I'd crudded up my old iron trying to press highly starched bunting for our July 4 concert last year. And yes, I know I can clean the sole plate, but the dang thing is 30 years old, and suffered some from the hard water I had out in the country.

    Ironing aside, I love to do laundry. It makes me feel productive with so very little effort. On days when I'm too tired to move, I can still usually manage to throw in a load of laundry. On nights (like tonight) when I'm dealing with insomnia, I can pop a load of laundry into the machine and feel like my sleepless hours aren't a total waste. I'm not so good at folding, though. Like Deb, I have a large pile of yet-to-be-folded/worn clothes, but putting things like that away properly is part of my New Year's resolution list. Maybe I'll get better at it. I can, at least, fold a fitted sheet.

    I do remember doing laundry with my mother and sister when I was a kid. My sister used to read aloud to my mother when Mom was ironing. I liked the heat, and the steam, and the way the wrinkles went away, when I was finally old enough to iron. I also liked sorting and rolling socks, to put away. Does anyone roll socks anymore?

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    1. Oh, I roll socks! I'm not really hot on sock matching, but it is very gratifying when it is all done! Ironing, yes, I agree… Also very gratifying I love that you can really see what you've done, you know?

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    2. If all your socks are the same color and type--black trouser socks, for instance--matching becomes much easier. Or maybe we can turn deliberately mis-matched socks into a fashion statement? But yes, visible results, however they come, are the BEST!

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  3. This topic is clearly some kind of Rorschach test! (Yes, I had to look up how to spell that...)

    I LOVE hanging clothes on the line, and March-November will use the dryer only if it's raining and I have an urgent laundry need. I hang them by category and person, and fold as I take them off. For example, I start with his jeans, then shirts, then underwear and socks. Then same with mine. Then downstairs stuff: dishtowels, dishrags, tablecloths. It's so very satisfying and they smell delicious. And yes, like Julia, I am just a teensy bit smug about using all that free solar and wind power. ;^)

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    3. Do you keep the clothes line up all the time? I can imagine that is a very Zen activity…

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    4. Yes, it's always up in the back yard, full sun. Very Zen indeed.

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    5. There's something meditative about hanging clothes outdoors when the sun shines and the wind blows. Of course, that's balanced out by the times you have to race outside to tear everything down because it's started raining.

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    6. I line dry the sheets, quilts, and towels and in the summer they are completely dry in about thirty minutes. That's what 115 degrees will do of you.

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  4. I like doing laundry but my apartment building has only 1 washer and dryer (for 16 apartments) so finding the right time to do a load is the challenge! Good thing I am an early bird so I usually try to do my load right at 7:00 am (the earliest time allowed). I HATE doing ironing and fortunately my cotton sheets and dress shirts are no-iron (wrinkle free). But I would love to see that fitted sheet folding video!

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    1. Oh, the battle for the machines! So does everyone do it Sunday afternoon? There is a sheet folding video on real simple… Let me see if I can post it. Seriously, even though you watch it, it illustrates that it is exactly how you already do it, but somehow it works when they do it on the video.

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    2. Busiest time for laundry is weekends and weekday evenings. And since we only have 1 washer/dryer, I do HATE it when someone just leaves their clothes in the machines for ages. I am tempted to fling their stuff out...I generally give them an hour.

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    3. You are a really nice person, Grace. I'd donate a spare laundry basket to put unclaimed clothes in, so the rest of the folks in the building could get on with their laundry and their lives. But what crazed landlord would provide only one washer and one dryer for 16 apartments? Had to be a guy who never does his own laundry.

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  5. I love the IDEA of hanging clothes to dry, but I confess I've never done it except for the huge quilt on our bed... it takes too long in the dryer. I wait for the hottest summer day, launder it, and then drape it over chairs in the yard. Dry in a couple of hours. And yes, wonderfully fresh smelling. Then it goes into the closet until November.

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  6. You can't appreciate having a washer and dryer until you've lived without one. My daughter and her husband and two kids live in a NY apartment with no w/d. The dirty clothes have to be walked down the hill to the laundry. And then back up. Needless to say when they visit their car trunk is filled with laundry bags of clothes needing to be washed.

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    1. When my daughter lived in London, they were in a corporate flat, with a baby. I fervently hope the owners of the flat were not cruel enough to assume a child would live there, because the washer/dryer combo machine held the tiniest load possible, and took hours to wash and dry. Poor Christy tore her hair about laundry. Fortunately, the flat came with laundry service for the linens.

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    2. Laundry service! That sounds lovely…
      But poor Christy! It becomes such a focus, right?

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  7. I have three words for you: Downy Wrinkle Releaser. You will never iron again. You can spray it in your fancy tablecloth 10 minutes before the guests arrive and--voila! Looks like you've been ironing all morning. I have no idea why this stuff is not better advertised. I feel they should hire me as their spokeswoman. My mom ironed everything. When I started writing and still also had a full time job and kids she used to marvel"where do you find the time?" And I always answered, "Mom, once you let go of ironing dish towels, vast vistas of time open up to you!"

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    1. How does it work? I mean you wash whatever it is, take it out of the dryer, and then spray the stuff on?
      Wait, you still iron dish towels? I am proud of myself for even holding them…

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    2. No, my mother ironed dish towels--I would never! Yes, the Downy Wrinkle Releaser is a spray that you spray on dry, wrinkled clothes. Stretch or shake them and the wrinkles disappear. It causes some kind of chemical reaction in the fiber to "unkink" it. My husband says a product this good must cause cancer.

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    3. I just burst out laughing. I have to agree, but that sounds irresistible.

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  8. Oh, having one's own washer and dryer is such a delight! When I lived in Washington DC, there wasn't one in my apartment, and it seems like my whole life revolves around getting to the laundromat. All those quarters, and lugging the detergent, and how long it took. And fighting for the machines.
    I am still thankful for ours!

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  9. I just finished the laundry yesterday, getting ready to travel for Malice. And had to launder three beds' worth of sheets, since we had houseguests last week for five days. What a job.

    Egads, ironing towels! Life is too short for such nonsense. Or for ironing most things. I throw everything into the dryer for the 20-minute cycle, then pull out and hang up the things that would otherwise need to be ironed. It works for 99% of our stuff.

    Jenn, I also taught my kids to do their own laundry, starting at age six. There is a certain lowering of standards required at first, but by golly, when they went off to college they knew how to take care of their own stuff.

    Yesterday the New York Times had an online piece about prepping a home for sale, and one thing they suggested was to use a hand steamer to get the wrinkles out of sheets, pillowcases, and spreads. As I made three beds, I thought, "Much better than ironing sheets!" Not that I would ever do anything so insane myself. But steaming? Sure.

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    1. Now there's a thought. I have a steamer, which I got in a flurry of thinking it would work on my clothes. Wow, it is a huge pain! It seems like it wouldn't take very long, but it does. So it is easier than ironing?
      Can you remember anything else the article suggested?

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  10. Put me in the unprintable camp about folding. But having clean clothes is kinda important, so...

    I don't go up and down the basement stairs well, so my job is generally sorting the clothes and lining them up. The Hubby does the rotating. Then he brings them up and we have a folding party. The only thing I refuse to do is socks. I hate socks. Do not ask me why. Early in our marriage, The Hubby did not like how I folded T-shirts, so I wouldn't do his. He has mellowed over time.

    The Girl does her own laundry.

    Ironing? Um...yeah. Again, I ironed The Hubby's shirts shortly after we got married. He re-ironed them. So that was that. When he was in the Army, I wasn't allowed to touch his uniforms (except the BDUs). Well, all righty then. But I also told him not to touch my underwear delicate stuff, so I guess we're even. We don't wear a lot of that stuff any longer, so not such an issue.

    Ever since The Boy started high school, he has to wear a shirt and tie every day. He knows how to iron a shirt (Dad taught him), but he doesn't. Last night at the swim banquet his father said he looked like he'd been hit with a "wrinkle cannon." But usually he wears a sweater over the shirt so he doesn't care. We'll see if this changes as the weather improves.

    My grandmother could fold a fitted sheet into this perfect square package. I wish I'd paid attention when she tried to teach me.

    Mary/Liz

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    1. Part of me wants to hear how a person can fold a T-shirt "incorrectly" ....

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    2. It's more rectangular than square. He tried to tell me it had to do with saving space in the drawer. Probably another Army thing. =)

      Mary/Liz

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  11. When we lived in Atlanta, in the summer it was faster to hang wet clothes on the deck to dry (shirts on a hanger under the umbrella would be dry in twenty minutes). I became addicted to sun-dried sheets. We also paid much higher electric rates 8am-8pm.

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    1. Yes, I Atlanta summers are legendary! Electric rates were higher during the day? Wow. I'm not sure I've heard of that… Weird.

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    2. And I lived in Atlanta from 1977 through 1983… Were you there then?

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    3. Oh, we missed each other! Then, at least...

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  12. I don't mind laundry so much as long as I have my own washer and dryer. Having to drag everything to the laundromat is a nightmare--the people who get there first with a months' worth of clothes and take all the washers and dryers except the one no one ever wants to use. The people who go off and leave their stuff in the washers or dryers until you're tempted to fling it all over the laundromat parking lot. I have both indoor and outdoor clotheslines, so can hang stuff out/up as needed. Hallie, if you treasure your quilts, don't throw them in the dryer. I do love the smell of laundry after it's been hanging outside. And I enjoy ironing even though I'm sure the laundry service/cleaners would do a better job. I do all the laundry for myself and the boys--have tried to teach them, but get these vacant stares--you'd swear they have the IQ of leaf mold. But, hey, when they're on their own and shrink their favorite hoodie to squirrel-size and all their underwear turns pink, they'll figure it out. And the sheet folding--yes, out of necessity--no linen closet, so storage is tight.

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    1. What is the etiquette if someone leaves their stuff in the washer or dryer?

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    2. It depends on whether there's an attendant, whether the person/persons who left the laundry will be right back, etc. These days, I'd probably err on the side of caution (is there such a thing as 'laundromat-rage'?) and find another laundromat.

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  13. Iron towels? As if! But I did iron a huge tablecloth for passover recently...and plan to avoid it in the future! However I find sorting and folding laundry a nice physical but mindless task, just the thing to allow me to think through a writing problem. Or at least, feel organized. And I can fold even very large sheets, too. But not fitted ones. Does anyone remember a big scary machine called a mangle? My motherfed sheets and tablecloths into it and they came out ironed. Then- happy day - no-iron sheets came on the market.

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    1. My mom had a mangle for a little while. I think she decided it really wasn't a labor saving device. I wonder what happened to it.

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  14. What is a mangle? It sounds so dangerous :-)

    And yes, ironing table cloths always seems like it is going to be so simple, and then there are always places that you miss.

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    1. Google "Mangle". We had one when I was growing up. It presses your clothes. We had 5 kids and our Father had to have clean, pressed uniforms every day. It was faster than an iron

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  15. My grandma ironed and starched everything, including blue jeans! I never iron but I do immediately fold stuff and put it away. The thing I really hate is matching up the socks. I solved this problem by safety-pinning pairs together before tossing them in the hamper. The come out of the dryer still pinned and -- voila! -- no need to match them AND the dryer no longer eats socks! I am ridiculously proud of that. LOL

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    1. My grandmother ironed my grandfather's underwear. You can bet that chore wasn't carried on by future generations!

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  16. When I married, he was sending his shirts to the laundry so who was I to stop a streak. I like to iron and my mother ironed sheets, my father's underwear, etc. or in good times, someone else did. Remember, I grew up in Atlanta ( Hank Sorry we never met). Once I achieved a "certain age" as the French say, I send my sheets out and they come back lovely and ironedalthough I have to admit I am an ace at folding, even fitted sheets.

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    1. Oh Atlanta, how long does it take to get the sheets back?

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    2. You can send out sheets? Oh my gosh, you may have just changed my life.

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    3. I take them once a week as I have several sets and they do them in a week. There are laundries that pick-up and deliver for an extra charge. Most big laundries have a mangle for flat work or finish.

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    4. Yes, that does sound pretty great...

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  17. My son was in high school band and his uniform had a lot of fiddly parts that needed to stay white, as did gym socks and undershirts and a couple of other things, so he grew up knowing that bleach exists. However, when he went off to college, he took detergent which promised to Make His Whites Whiter, and I figured that was that.

    Oh no. The Boy's whites weren't near white enough, plus sunscreen stains from football Saturdays. So in a fit of domesticity and completely unknown to me, The Boy bought bleach. And for about six weeks he used it successfully.

    Then came the day he stuck the bottle in the laundry basket to transport it to his dorm's laundry room, and...well, you can see where this is going. Which brings me to why there's a $400 men's department charge on my JC Penney card...

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    1. Ohhhhh… But actually that's pretty cute… Right? Except for the bill.

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    2. Well...HE's pretty cute. (That has saved his life numerous times.) And he's sworn off bleach.

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  18. Have you seen the video on You Tube on how to fold a t-shirt in 5 seconds? I mastered it once, then was never able to do it again, just like fitted sheets - ugh! I bought one of those t-shirt folding boards, and it works very well. Here is the link for the t-shirt folding: https://youtu.be/BAxhr0j0thY

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    1. Oh, thank you, Celia! Perfect. xoxo . And yes, I saw that, where you pick up the corners and kind of twist. Pretty amazing.. But for some reason, I would never do it in real life. Weird, huh?
      Has anyone else seen that?

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    2. Shout makes something called Color Catcher that somehow is able to "catch" all of the color that might fade onto other clothes. I don't was reds and whites together with it or anything like that, but when you have a lot of colors to wash together, it stops the colors from bleeding onto each other. I don't know what I would do without it ~

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  19. I've lived without a washer and dryer several times in my life, and swear I never will again!

    I don't mind doing laundry, except having to go up and down the basement stairs all the time. Still, at least I'm getting exercise, right? I don't mind folding so much. I like the satisfaction of clean and neatly stacked clothes. I have the same problem as Lucy with whites not being white enough, and I hate the smell of bleach. Can't wait to try Oxi-clean ... also, S.W.'s Downy Wrinkle Remover sounds like a magic potion. LOL.

    I only iron clothes for special occasions. I can't imagine finding it relaxing, probably because I'm a bit (or a little more than a bit!) of a perfectionist, and I don't feel that I'm a very good ironer. No matter how hard I try, the clothes don't come out the way I want them to.

    I wish I could be like Julia and Edith and put clothes on the line; it really is so much better for the environment. I don't like the way they come out, though, and I don't know if I'd have the time. Right now when I'm unemployed it would probably work, but I can't imagine it when I'm working full-time with an hour commute each way.

    One washer and dryer for 16 apartments? Eeek! My daughter does her own laundry (she likes doing her own) and I do mine and my son's and we still have spats over whose turn it is with just the two of us sharing. I can't even imagine 16!

    Hank, do you mind sharing your laundry detergent recommendation? If not, no worries! I usually use Tide Free and Gentle because my son and I both have sensitive skin, but I miss the sweet smell of regular detergents.

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    1. Persil! And Oxyclean. Maybe I'm crazy, but I have never seen whiter or cleaner things. (And yes, I love the fragrance too--except for that cloying dryer stuff that is supposed to smell like "rain" or "mountain freesia" and it actually smells like chemicals. )

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  20. Goodness gracious me. I am sitting here knowing that more than a week's worth is waiting for me down in my scary basement. It's not doing the laundry that is daunting. I can fold anything, including a fitted sheet. It is running, and I use that word loosely, up and downstairs all day.

    There are only two of us, but sheets, towels and everything else mean at least four loads if not five. However my whites are white and my colors bright, and at the end of today everything will be folded or hung up and put away.

    Ironing? What's that?

    PS: The first thing I taught my budding adolescents was how to do laundry, and from that moment on, they did their own. So much for their trying on a shirt, changing their minds, and tossing said shirts in the wash. Pftt.

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    1. SO true! It really makes you aware of the consequences..xoo

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  21. For some reason, laundry is one chore I absolutely HATE. Fortunately, my wonderful husband finds it among the less offensive chores, so for 30 years he has been the primary launderer in our home. When we were younger, my friends would often say things like, "Oh, I would NEVER let my husband do my laundry..." and launch into a rant about his general ineptitude. My response was always, "A ruined garment here or there is a small price to pay to never have to do laundry!" And I would leave the conversation shaking my head at how we women can be our own worst enemy sometimes.

    After we were married a few years, he went from a job that allowed casual attire to one requiring a shirt and tie. I said to him, "I know you got a nice raise with this job, and if you want to use some of that raise to send your shirts out I am totally supportive of that. But I need you to know I am not going to iron them." He decided he was fine with ironing them, and for the several years that lasted (before business casual took over the world) he would set up the ironing board in front of whatever sport he could find on TV Sunday afternoon and iron the week's worth of shirts.

    I am profoundly grateful that few clothes actually require ironing any more. On the odd occasion that I do fire up the iron, it's most likely to touch up some minor area that looks unsightly, as opposed to a full-on ironing of the entire garment.

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    2. Yes, I love to iron shirts, too, and that's what I would do, set up the ironing board in front of the TV. That is multitasking that can actually work!
      And agreed! The key of having a partner doing the laundry is that you can never complain, right?

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  22. I don't mind doing the laundry as long as I'm the only one in the laundry room. I don't mind folding clothes either. What I do mind is trying to fold the fitted sheet and I even watched the video and was able to fold it flat on the first try...subsequent tries..a big failure. So my perfect solution is to take sheets off bed, wash and dry and put back on bed. No folding necessary.

    Dru

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    1. I finally learned how to fold a fitted sheet. It really is possible - sort of like a Rubik's Cube!

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    2. Tuck the corners into each other? And then again? And I can't do a Rubik's cube...

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  23. Funny this should come up today. Monday is laundry night for me.

    I get my clothes hung up and folded right away. Towels? They tend to wait a week before I get them folded.

    When I was looking to buy my condo, one of my requirements was that I have my own washer and dryer. I figured they'd be the small stackable ones, but I was very fortunate to get a condo with space for the full size units.

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    1. So nice! But why don't you love folding towels? It can look so nice, and it's easy!

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    2. It's not that I don't love to do it, I'm lazy.

      I want to hang up my shirts ASAP so they don't wrinkle. Then I might as well fold what little is left. But the towels are in their own load, and well, it just seems easier to set them aside for later.

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  24. I love doing laundry like Keebler elves love baking cookies in a tree! Seriously. I love all of it - separating the piles (just three? *scoffs* amateurs), pre-treating stains, washing in my fancy new washers (yup, I said washers. I have two - an extra large one and a mini one underneath Gigant, as I call it) and dryer. My clothes actually get clean now without all the extra detergent concoctions I had to invent. I love folding the warm laundry (except towels - The Man does them because I 'fold them wrong') and hanging the pants including all The Girl's jeans. I love putting the clothes away and ironing them. I am the Laundry Queen. I can get out any stain to include blood (with The Man and The Girl in martial arts for a decade now made that a required skill) and those dark underarm stains.

    Lucy, the trick for whiter whites is to make sure you don't use bleach too often. It will actually yellow whites, especially cotton, despite its purpose. TO make them whiter if they're just dingy, try bluing. It's what out grandmas and their grandmas used.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/1ny8p4le4fkbb9i/Mrs-Stewarts-Bluing.jpg?dl=0

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    1. So according to "Real Simple" you no longer need to separate white items from colors, unless a dark-colored item is brand new. Thoughts, Laundry Sensei Aimee?

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    2. You don't have to separate? Really? Do tell...I would be terrified. Well, not TERRIFIED. But...hesitant.

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    3. None of my men separate their clothes and Hub does mine. They haven't ruined anything...yet.

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    4. My 23-year old son NEVER separates and has yet to have a laundry mishap.

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  25. We must have hung clothes out on a line when I was very small--I have a vague memory--but we had a washer and a dryer by the time I started school. So I grew up with this romantic idea of hanging clothes out on a line.

    Then I moved to Scotland. And in with my ex's German mother and my father-in-law to be. In the dead of winter. The washing machine was a rolling tub that hooked up to the sink with hoses. My m-in-l thought I was a proper idiot for having no idea how it worked. It also had a mangle thingy for squeezing the water out of the washed clothes. Then, I, as the unwelcome guest, was given the job of hanging out all the laundry, usually in sub-freezing weather. Not fun. Taking down dry but frozen clothes is not all that romantic either. And of course everything had to be ironed... It was a relief (for many reasons) when we moved into our own flat and I had to take the laundry to the laundrette.

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    1. that Scottish washing contraption sounds horrible! I had a small portable washing machine when I first got out of college - you had to hook the hoses up to the faucet and put the clothes in the washing compartment, them transfer to a tiny spinner (1 pair of jeans or a couple of shirts) and spin the water out, then back to the washing compartment after spinning everything else to rinse, then spin again - then hang on the clothes line. It was better than nothing, but not a whole lot. LOL I still remember it fondly though.

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  26. I hadn't used a laundromat (laundrette in Brit speak) for years until I spent the month of January in 2016 staying in a hotel in London. There was no way I was paying a fortune to send my clothes through the hotel laundry (besides not liking the highly smelly commercial detergent and not trusting them to not wash everything in hot water). There was really no room to hang hand-washed things in the bathroom, either, so once a week or so, off I went to the laundrette in Earl's Court Road. It's great people watching, for sure!

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    1. SO fun! Yes, that would have been mightily expensive--and risky!

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    2. I did laundry in Bath while on vacation some years ago. There was a little take out restaurant next door so I bought batches of chips and shared with my fellow launderers. It was a great ice breaker and we had a lovely chat as we fluffed and folded.

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  27. I always enjoyed doing my laundry at the laundromat back in my student days. It always felt like found time - nothing else to do but sit and read while the washer and dryer did their thing. And of course, it was enormously satisfying to get EVERYTHING washed, dried and folded and not have to think about it for a week and a half.

    As I type this, I can hear the washing machine going above my head (ours is in the bathroom connecting to our bedroom.) Washday Monday indeed.

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    1. Yes, as a student, it almost felt--responsible, you know?

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  28. When my fourth daughter was born, the other three were ten, eight, and seven. All those little clothes!! So, I declared a family rule that at the age of ten, each child would do their own laundry -- I trained the oldest, and the rule worked.
    Later in life, the girls thanked me -- especially when they went away to college and noticed that many of their friends had no idea . . .
    These days, my husband and I do our own -- and that has been true for a long time.
    Our linen closet is imperfect -- I have a sister in law who can fold fitted sheets FLAT -- but I don't care.

    As I kid, I did the family laundry, starting in seventh grade -- it was very challenging as my mother had a rule that we could only use the dryer (which was in fact in a shed pretty far from the house -- dear reader, I carried wet laundry through the snow) if the temperature was below some number she had (the laundry froze on the line, along with my fingers). I also did the family ironing -- my father's work shirts & my brothers' Catholic School uniform shirts.
    After that childhood, life with my own washer and dryer seems like a picnic!

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    1. Wet laundry through the snow! Whoa. Intrepid! xxo

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  29. I had to look at a You Tube video to figure out how to fold a fitted sheet! There's something satisfying about having a pile of folded clean laundry.
    Ann

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    1. I also learned via You Tube, just last month!

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  30. You would think that being by myself most of the time, laundry wouldn't be a problem, but I've gotten lazy about it, and too often let it build up. The worst part of coming home from a trip is all the extra laundry. My husband does his own laundry, since he has been living in another city for work for some years now. He has a bad habit of throwing everything in together, so I don't let him touch mine. He has ruined a couple of items of mine in the past.

    Folding a fitted sheet? I'm no witch. Hahaha! The other day, I got tangled up folding a flat sheet, and had to laugh, thinking that I might have finally become hopeless. I am prone to letting a few loads of laundry pile up on the guest bed before folding. Ironing? Only when I go on a trip.

    My daughter's household has everyone doing their own laundry, including the teenager, except for the seven-year-old. I imagine she will be doing her own in a couple of years. I wish I'd thought of that when my kids were growing up.

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    1. We WANTED to do it, but Mom stopped us. It seemed like a fun science experiment with all the potions and pouring. Maybe that's why we weren't allowed to...

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  31. In the early years of our marriage we did our laundry together. In fact we had to go to the laundromat since we didn't have a washer or dryer. I hated going; he didn't mind. We got the appropriate appliances and still did our laundry together until I refused to mix my clothes with his. He had a knack for ruining my stuff but not his. I did wash his wallet once or twice early on but he should empty his pockets if he doesn't want everything washed. Right? He has used a laundry service for years so he doesn't have to iron his shirts. I quit ironing too. A few wrinkles won't hurt anything. The iron comes out on rare occasions when it simply can't be avoided. He washes the towels and sheets too as they pile up. He loads too many in the washing machine but I can't really complain about it since he is being productive.

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    1. Oh, how much is too much? I fear I always push the limit, too..

      And yeah, if he doesn't want his wallet washed, don't put it in the hamper. Mos def. xxx

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  32. Late to the party..been folding wash.Jerry has mastered the fitted sheet fold. It's a two person job and helps if you ever folded sails or canvas as in boating. 1st pull sheet tauntly at one end.2nd Pick up other end and tuck fitted end into fitted end.3rd tauntly stretch at 4corners and square off each fitted end. 4th Fold sheet in Half again holding tucked fitted corners. 5th Fold each end to mid-point of sheet (1/4point) 6th Fold sheet in half again...Viola take a bow!

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    1. Wow--very snappy! I love the two person idea. We will try that!

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  33. I have an idea about fixing the fitted sheet problem, but it's worth millions so I'm not going to tell you what it is. (I'm guessing it wouldn't work, either.)

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  34. No secrets to doing laundry. And I'm the stereotypical guy. I just care that the clothes are clean. I'm not impressed by crisp creases or what have you. I figure wrinkles in clothes are just like the rest of me so why bother?

    I'm a little saddened that apparently Ingrid's tale of the resealable iron box means that a crime writer overlooked a rather obvious detail in telling a tall tale about how often she irons. :D

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  35. We, meaning I, seem to do an inordinate amount of laundry for two people. My husband changes his clothes four to five times a day. Writing it down makes him look so self-indulgent, but it seems logical while it's going on. Oh well, we do seem to go through washers more often than most people: one every six years or so; dryers, not so much. I would dearly love my own mangle, the idea of pressed sheets is heavenly, but I just do my best to fold right out of the dryer (the fitted sheets are folded flat-adjacent) to cut down on wrinkles. Delicate flower that I am, I have to use unscented detergent and no dryer sheets. One thing I do like, though, is folding clothes. Whenever I'm trying to think of a headline, I fold laundry. There's something about unhooking my mind and doing something with my hands that seems to make my brain work. Go figure.

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  36. Sending out sheets. My mother used to send out the linens, towels, tablecloths (it was a long time ago), my father's shirts, and heaven only knows what all else weekly. They came back wrapped a huge blue paper jumbo pillow sized package from Consolidated Laundry. Who knew the tradition lived on into the 21st century. How cool is that!

    I don't mind doing the laundry, and I sort of enjoy ironing once a decade when the spirit moves me.That said, hubs helps out by doing his own skivvies - let's just say he didn't care for the shade of pink. Works every time.

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