The place where sustainability and trepidation meet

Up until a few days ago, I’d only been brave enough to try my homemade laundry detergent and homemade dryer balls with loads of sheets and towels.  It’s not that I don’t trust myself, but after last week’s tiny hiccup with the gaseous wool dryer balls, you can understand why I had been waiting to throw my whole wardrobe into a homemade cycle.  As with every natural experiment I conduct, I knew there was going to be some horribly negative side effect, and I just had to wait for it to present itself.  After the passing of the gassy blue wool balls, I knew I had landed safely away from the smelly and the nasty.  At least I hoped so, but I had to press on anyway.  Despite turning my underpants inside out, Febreezing the pits of my shirts, and wearing sweatpants and a blazer to work several times, I eventually did run out of clean clothes.

With much trepidation, I did a load of laundry that contained more or less everything in my wardrobe.  The wash cycle was a huge success, but I wasn’t fazed; I still had to deal with the dryer balls that smelled like….well, you know.  Luckily, the purple dryer balls didn’t seem to present signs of gas, so I only used those and set the odorous blue ones to the side (probably never to be touched again, regardless of how their open-air recovery goes).  Lo and behold, my clothes came out of the dryer fresh and clean and without any lingering intestinal air scent!  I know it may not sound like much, but I’m going to take it as a win.  For even more freshness, I’m going to add a few drops of essential oils to my yarn balls next time.

The second plus for dryer balls – aside from sustainability – is that they are supposed to drastically cut down on drying time.  Unfortunately, I have no conclusive evidence of that at this time, but I plan to conduct one of my good, old-fashioned, not-at-all-doomed-to-fail experiments to test this theory, so there’s more to come on that front.  But, in the meantime, I’ve found an even better way to cut down on dryer time – something still cheaper than dryer sheets and more sustainable than yarn balls: Air.

That’s right, I’ve gone 100% old-fashioned, grandma’s podunk backyard and hung a clothes line.  I put two on our back porch and strung one down the basement, in case of rain…or winter.  Of course, nothing’s as soft as the dryer, so everything comes off the line stiff as a board – especially towels – but after dealing with No Poo hair and homemade deodorant, wooden laundry is a cake walk.  So far, I love air drying – I just can’t wait for summertime, so my clothes will have that sun and cut-grass scent!  At first I did feel a little exposed with all my unmentionables flapping in the breeze for the entire alley to see, but as Albert Einstein said, “Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, showing off your bagged underpants from Target comes easy.”

More Mother Nature’s Maid Service


4 thoughts on “The place where sustainability and trepidation meet

  1. As a member of the generation that grew up without clothes dryers, I can say that another benefit of your clothes becoming board stiff from air drying is the skin exfoliation that takes place when you put those air dried clothes on. BTW — I love the Einstein quote. He has a lot of them, but I’ve never heard that one.

  2. Another down side to air dried towels – their absorbency is compromised – at least until you use them a few times and they begin to soften up (course by then its time to launder them again and so the vicious cycle continues). I love the romantic notion of bedsheets flapping in the breeze on a bright sunshiny day too – but just the thought of carting loads of wet laundry up the basement steps and outside to the yard – and I’m tossing them in the dryer quicker than you can say -“20 Mule Team Borax.” But – you’re young – so embrace the experience !! Maybe you could try stringing some lines outside your upstairs windows and hanging your wash out like Brother did in old town Nice. Before you know it – clotheslines will be strung up across Newport like Christmas lights on 34th street!!! Anyhow – continued good luck with your challenge – I’m enjoying your escapades. PS – And who knew Einstein shopped at Target –

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