I hate doing laundry. The hot, sweaty laundromat area of my apartment complex, having to see that neighbor who can’t possibly leave their load of laundry and instead stands there staring at me while I toss my unmentionables into the dryer and I wonder if he takes my panties as soon as I leave the room, I hate waiting around for the exact time the washer or dryer stops so I won’t forget during my errand running time, sinking another dime into this black hole that is my complex fees, and I hate hauling clothes up and down stairs. But I DO have a new meditation method, and it happens to result in my clean clothes.
I decided to take back my days off, take back my money, and moreso, take back my fear of some stranger stealing my panties. After entirely too much hunting online, I pieced together that I could easily wash my clothes in the bath tub using the same detergent I used in the machine, and then line dry using damn near anything strung between two sturdy pieces of whatever. So, how?
Same as with machine washing, cold water is good for dark colors to prevent bleeding, hot water helps get whites whiter, and agitation is necessary for a good clean. I toss my darks or light into the tub, fill enough water to cover them, put in some detergent, and agitate well. I have a stir spoon that I always use to stir up at clothes and then I give them a scrub against themselves and squeeze excess water out of them before putting them into a laundry basket. I half fill another bucket with cool water and take the basket and bucket to where I set up my laundry line, which I’ll describe in a bit. I grab a piece of clothing, rinse THOROUGHLY in the bucket, squeeze to remove excess water. Wringing can damage clothing, and some people use a salad spinner to remove excess water, but I sure don’t. I hang my shirts and shorts on hangers and clothes pin them at the seams to avoid weird clip creases, pants I hang from the legs with the waist band at the bottom, socks I hang from the toes on hangers, undies I hang however I want because they’re mine! Also, I usually hang them on hangers, but that’s on my own terms. A warm day with a slight breeze is the perfect day to hang dry, makes shirts dry in a few hours and pants done in about 6-8. I enjoy washing a load before bed and line drying over night, that way I wake up to clothes that are clean, dry, and smell like morning dew.
My clothes line made me feel genius when I thought it up. I looked online for pricing and availability of commercial clothes lines, but didn’t particularly like any of them. So I went to the hardware store and spent a whole 3$ on light link chain just long enough to span my balcony, a wood screw, and a hooked screw. I screwed one side of the chain to my wall, and attached the hooked screw to the other side. I decided to get fancy and spray paint my chain line turquoise. When not in use, I can take the line off of one side and let it hang, or leave it up and let my friends clothes line themselves on my balcony. Depends on how I feel on any given day.
Once my current supply of commercial detergent is gone, I plan to make my own detergent. I have some recipes, but I don’t want to give recipes I haven’t even tried yet.
So, the verdict? I love this. I love the feel of getting my hands in the water, kneading the clothing, hanging the clothing, the smell, feeling free of time restraints. It’s actually really meditative and puts my anxious mind at ease, being able to care for myself and live mindfully is really awesome. Plus, it’s an awesome conversation piece when I have no other awkward things to talk about.