Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Sudsy Wash

If past predictions of the future were to have been believed, we'd all be wearing self-cleaning clothes by now. Sadly, laundry is still part of our regular routine - unless of course you can afford a laundry service! For the majority of us, that isn't within our budgets so we eventually have to do the laundry.

I've never actually owned my own washer or dryer. With only a couple of exceptions, every place I've lived has had on site laundry facilities. Those that didn't, had facilities within a couple of blocks so it wasn't a huge issue.

Laundry, has never been one of my favourite chores - it is a necessity more than anything. Growing up on the farm, meant that doing small or even half loads was a waste of water and power. So, I've taken that advice and added that I will always try to wait till I am running low on things (usually underwear) before I lug it all to the laundry room!

I hate having anything that requires hand washing! Regardless of how cautious and thorough I am, it always seemed stiff or still smelling too strong of soap. To this day, I will gladly barter baking for hand washing of delicates! Heck, I'll even barter baking for ironing!

Over the years, I somehow developed allergies to most detergents. The strong scents and chemicals caused me to sneeze and have itchy red skin. For the last 25 years or so, the only detergent I've been able to use is Ivory Snow!

I am also unable to use pretty much all bleach products. The only real exception I've found is Oxi Clean - a powdered product that I have used for over ten years and LOVE! I wrote about it back in 2009 in a post called "Cleaning Up".

Until a couple of years ago, the building where I currently reside, had the old standard top load washers. They were replaced by front load washers and new dryers. 
Despite the new machines that strongly suggest using liquid detergent, I still used powder as it allows me to more accurately see how much I am adding - you just have to add it to the drum rather than the little slot at the top. If you add powder via the slot, it will eventually clog. 

That was all well and good until a couple of months ago when I couldn't find Ivory Snow powder while shopping. I had to buy the liquid!

The most recent reincarnation of the Ivory Snow packaging is mostly white and light pink - including the print. The pink cap that doubles as a measuring cup, has raised pink lines.

I don't know the manufacturer's criteria for testing ease of use or readability of their labeling, but whoever told them this was a user friendly cap or that their labeling was easy to read either had a passion for pink, had perfect vision or was lying! My fully sighted friends even have trouble reading the label or seeing the lines!
With my limited vision, I certainly can't see those lines so would have to touch them to know how much is in there. This wouldn't be a huge issue, except that there is no sink in our laundry room. The cap would be wet, soapy and sticky to put back on the bottle. Not to mention my soapy finger. I'd have to remember to take a wet cloth with me to wipe both the cap and my hands on it and then throw the cloth in the wash before shutting the door and pressing whichever cycle I want to use - which also locks the door. 
Well, the first time I went down, I forgot a wet cloth. Oh well, I could just pour the soap into the machine's soap slot directly. I'd just do it slowly and carefully. I put the clothes in, closed the door, hit colours and started to pour....

What I didn't know was that the soap automatically starts feeding into the machine once you start pouring - thus never really filling the slot unless you pour really quickly. 
Yup, I'd probably poured 1/3 of the bottle in before I realized what I'd done! There was no way to stop the machine at that point.

OH NO!!! What had I done? There was nothing I could do at that point, so I left the laundry room and came back to my apartment to wait the 35 minutes for the machine to finish.

I had visions of walking back into a laundry room full of soap bubbles!

Thankfully the laundry room was empty of soap bubbles and people when I returned.

I cautiously opened the machine door and saw that there were still lots of little soap bubbles among the clothes. I shut the door and repeated the entire cycle - WITHOUT adding soap in hopes of removing the remaining bubbles and overwhelming scent of the soap!
It worked! PHEW!!

I've only done a couple loads since then and have been EXTREMELY careful adding the soap!

I've also managed to track down the Ivory Snow powder. I had a friend pick up two boxes for me. Since I don't do a lot of laundry - maybe 3 large loads/month - nor do I get things overly dirty, those boxes should last me a couple years at least! I'll keep the liquid for emergency purposes only!
Maybe by then, Ivory Snow will come up with a design that people can actually see, read and be more user friendly.

Yeah, I doubt it either. I'll keep buying the powder - at least that way I know how much to use!

Either way - it will (hopefully) all come out in the wash!


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