Karen the Laundry Nazi (and, the Laundry Meme)

I never thought I was particular about my laundry until I took a trip this past Spring.  I was in the home of two different friends and two different relatives, and, apparently, among my friends & family at least, I’m more-picky-than-average about how my family’s laundry is done. 

Me, well, it seems simple:  I want my family’s clothes to stay looking as close as possible to how they looked when I purchased them. 

I decided to do a laundry meme to find out what everyone’s clothing care habits are.   I really am curious.  NO STONES of laundry judgement are going to be thrown by me to those of you, for example, who don’t sort. 

Though I’m (mostly) happy with my laundry routine, I’m not saying my ways are best.  I have seen, for example, that there are benefits to not sorting.  Namely, the laundry always stays done, because everything that everyone has worn for the day simply goes into the wash.  My dirty laundry tends to pile up until I have, say, enough reds and pinks for one full load.  Sometimes the piles threaten so greatly to overtake the house that one door into/out of the laundry room is completely blocked.  That’s certainly not to be emulated.

(I did find one other laundry meme out there, but it wasn’t detailed enough for my taste.  And it began with something like “Do you do your own laundry, or do you send it out?  What???  Send out ALL OF IT????  Good Lord!  Are there people in the world who don’t wash any of their own laundry????  They obviously live in a different world than I do, and this meme is probably not for them.) 

There are no rules for the meme.  Add, subtract, change questions, tag whomever you choose (or not), credit me, don’t credit me, whatever.  I’m just curious about your laundry!!

  1. In your home, who does the laundry?   I do all the laundry.
  2. Do you sort your laundry?  Yes, certainly.
  3. If you sort, how many different color/fabric type groups do you sort it into?  At a minimum, there are 1) very darks, 2) reds and pinks, 3) extreme whites, 4) lighter colors  (and that 4th category often gets turned into mediums — like light blues & greens, and lights — like yellows & beiges).
  4. Do you hand wash anything?  I used to handwash a lot.  Now, I mostly just put the articles in a mesh lingerie bag and toss ’em in with their appropriate color.  Exceptions are made, but not many.
  5. Are there any articles of clothing that you send out to be cleaned professionally?  Yes.
  6. If you have any clothes cleaned professionally, is that drycleaning?  Or regular laundering/pressing?  My hubby’s button-up dress shirts get laundered & pressed, his slacks get drycleaned.  I have an occasional thing that gets drycleaned.
  7. At home, what detergent do you use?  Any detergent additives that you regularly use?  I absolutely LOVE Melaleuca‘s laundry products.  They work fantastic and are environmentally friendly.  I use their MelaPower detergent and MelaBrite enzyme-based brightener.  (I’m not a Melaleuca salesperson.  I’ve just used their products for 4.5 years and am very happy with all of them.)
  8. What whiteners/brighteners do you use?  With every load of whites and light-medium colors, I put in OxiClean.
  9. Do you use any fabric softeners?  Nope.  When we had hard water, I used to put a cup of white vinegar into the final rinse cycle.
  10. How do you handle stains?  I usually just use Melaleuca’s spray stain remover, but tough stuff (especially baby stains) gets a soak in OxiClean.
  11. Do you use different water temperatures for your different loads?  Yes.  Whites and very light colors get hot, light-medium colors are washed in warm, dark colors in cold.
  12. Do you use a tumble dryer, or do you hang your clothes to dry?  Tumble dry, except for the delicate stuff, and clothes that I specially want to stay looking new, and most everything that I need to iron.  Usually about 1-3 pieces in every load gets rack-dried.
  13. In your home, who folds the clothes?  Me.
  14. Where do you fold your clothes?  (i.e., in the laundry room, at the kitchen table, etc.)  Almost always at the kitchen table.
  15. Who puts the folded clothes away?  I put away all the clothes, except for my 10yo son’s, who does his own.  Sometimes my hubby puts his own clothes away, too.
  16. Do you have a certain day of the week you consider “laundry day”?  Sort of.  I try to do laundry throughout the week, but if it’s piled up, Thursday is when I hit it in earnest.  I try to have all laundry done throughout the house by Saturday night.
  17. About how many laundry loads do you do per week?  About 10-12.  There tends to be more in winter, because the clothing is bulkier and simply more clothes are needed.
  18. Do you iron?  Yes.  I love the look of ironed clothes.  However, I need to get a handle on my ironing habits.  My ironing tends to pile up into a *mountain*, then I have a marathon ironing session every six weeks or so.  It’s a goal of mine for this coming Fall to get that scheduled better.

I tag:  Helen, Erin, MLBAH, Southern Girl, Julie, Melissa and Sarah.  And, anyone else who wants to participate, whether I know you or not, consider yourself eagerly invited!


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on August 17, 2007, in Clothes, Get Organized!, Housework, Memes. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Ugh! the lovely subject. Really, I have a simple system. Every boy has a basket in his room, when full bring it down, it gets washed that day, and sent back to his room to be put away. In my closet I have two baskets, one for darks, one for lights. When full we bring down and wash. I do a load a day, sometimes two, try to come down in the AM with a load. No sorting cause there is no need. This system works because boys clothes are generally dark except for socks and those get holes in them so quick, there is no time for them to get gray. So I do not sort and resort, I just wash and send up to be put away. Simple. Most of my friends do laundry like you. Most have girls and pink stuff. Sheets and towels may get their own load.

    I think a front loader has made my life easier, but that may just be my imagination. Happy washing!!!!

    P.S. we went to IHOP last weekend for a conference. . What an awesome place. Saw the man that offered you a drink…..

  2. Hmm. Laundry. You know, as an exercise in self-exploration, I may well have a go at this meme when I get back from holiday…

  3. How fun! It’s always interesting to me to hear how other people do things like this. I’ll do a post about it. Although I’ve already posted two posts today (I really need to get off the computer and do something else! UGH!) so I’ll put it up tomorrow. 🙂

  4. I love this meme. Thanks for creating it. I’ve posted my answers.

  5. So does white vinegar work pretty well for softening fabric? I’ve never heard of doing that.

  6. Lisa ~ Yes… I’m trying not to think too hard about your washer & dryer. It causes me to envy. 😉 And my former flower girl Bethany was probably an usher for your IHOP conference!!!! Was it the “Growing in the Prophetic” one?

    Michael ~ I’m trying not to be envious of your cottage holiday, too. 🙂 I almost tagged you for this one. I guess I should have!

    MLBAH ~ Looking forward to reading it, when you get a chance!

    Sara ~ Thanks for playing!! Loved your answers.

    Mrs. N ~ Vinegar works *GREAT*. It dissolves the mineral solids and washes away any detergent buildup. Plus, it lends a fresh smell to the clothes. (They don’t smell vinegary at all.) You just have to either run a second rinse (which is what I did — I still do, actually, even though I no longer use vinegar), or be very vigilant to listen to your machine and add the vinegar to the final rinse water.

  7. hello only sometimes clever,

    just dropped by to check out the latest entry in your blog…

    hope all is well.


  8. I found this meme on Entropy’s site and played along! Your sorting sorta sounds like mine! 😉

  9. Oooh, laundry – not exactly my favorite subject but will do…I love the Laundry Nazi reference and Seinfeld flashbacks. 🙂

  10. I’ve done the Laundry Meme too! Aarrgggggggh! Laundry! The bane of my life! I’m glad to have a structured outlet for ranting about it!

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