Laura’s Laundry Tips — Save Water and Money!
January 29, 2009|Comments (20)
Guest posts rock. Particularly when they have everything to do with reducing your impact on the earth by conserving water and reducing impact on your budget. Singing sweet anthems of money-saving, satellite-realigning, and the wonders of the LG front load washer. Laura, my darling wonderful friend tells all. Need I say more?
High Efficiency (HE) washers, I could write volumes on these wonderful machines. I have been the proud owner of an LG for a year now. But with all new technology — questions arise. I will try to answer some of the more frequently asked questions and give tidbits of information I have gathered over the past year.
To use a HE washer correctly, first you have to understand how they clean. Instead of submerging the laundry in a large tub of sudsy water, the tub has been turned on its side and the laundry tumbles in and out of water with a little cleaning agent added. That’s right, the water does the cleaning not the soap. Not much water either, only about a gallon is used in a normal load.
If you see bubbles (suds) the clothes through the window in the door, then you know the clothes are not being cleaned properly. The bubbles sit on top of the water creating a cushion of air and preventing the water from penetrating the dirt to wash it away.
I’ve used about every type of HE detergent on the market except for the pricey natural/organic ones like Seventh Generation and Method… I can’t afford them. All Small and Mighty, Free and Clear is the only one I like of the commercial detergents. The clothes aren’t as stiff but it still creates some suds. Tide (all types) is the absolute worst!! Our clothes felt stiff and the washer had a greasy film. I’ve recently made the laundry soap on this site, with the personal attention of Lacy and her kitchen, and I have fallen in LOVE!!! My clothes are clean and my men don’t smell like tropical flowers.
To make sure the homemade laundry soap would be safe (I’m a bit paranoid when it comes to my washer), I found the Fels Naptha bars at a local Publix, packed everything in the car (baby, too), and headed to Lacy’s for her expert help. It was super easy to make. The next evening I went to use the detergent and called Lacy in a panic… the soap had hardened. It looked like the fancy ice ring in a holiday punch. After calming my fears, Lacy talked me through breaking up the gelled soap. I found that it was easier for me to fill a used and clean gallon jug and add an extra 2 cups of hot water. This way I can shake the jug to completely mix everything. I only add about 1/4 of a cup to normal loads and about 1/3 cup to heavy loads.
I also use white vinegar instead of fabric softener. The vinegar helps to keep the washer clean and makes clothes very soft. I do add a little bit of softener to sheets and towels, about a teaspoon with the vinegar, but it’s only because I’m addicted to the smell. I no longer buy dryer sheets, I add a sponge soaked in fabric softener (wring out any excess).
The most important thing that I have learned from owning my LG is to keep the seal clean! You have to wipe down the inside of the washer with a damp cloth to remove any residual dirt. Also if the washer isn’t running, keep the door open. Mold and mildew can grow overnight and cause the washer and your laundry to smell horrible!
I hope that I’ve been able to answer any questions ya’ll may have had, if not post them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.
Posted by Laura Bailey: Southern belle, mom to the charming Will (click here to gaze adoringly), and friend to the author of this blog.