By Melissa Mc
When I walk down the laundry aisle, my eyes gloss over imagining how awesome my clothes will look once I try one (or more) of the HUNDREDS of products offered. Have you thought about how many bottles and boxes clog the shelves of supermarkets promising gleaming whites, spotless shirts, brilliant colors, germ free bliss? For me, it’s one step short of nirvana. Do you know that Tide alone has 9 different types of detergent (yes, I stood in the aisle and counted – but that’s only the liquid – it doesn’t include powder or their HE versions). Thank you Proctor and Gamble, for giving me all those choices! Let’s see, should I try Tide Coldwater? Color Protectant? With a touch of Downy? Pure Essentials? With Dawn Stain Scrubbers (I thought Dawn was for dishes)? Or least I forget Tide Original or Tide FREE. Do you think they actually change the recipe of said product or do they just change the label for suckers like me who think one bottle is going to transform their life?
Ohhh…and what about laundry additives? Colorox safe bleach? Washing soda? Borax? Zout? Shout? Bluing agent? Bleach? Or that stuff from the loud guy on TV? I’m sure his magic elixir will “kick my laundry up a notch” because when someone’s yelling really loud it must be good! I’m so sucked into this marketing vortex, my DH thinks I need professional help. I NEED that perfect load of laundry. I want my kid’s clothes to be admired and gleaming and white and smelly fresh! Initially, I was a non-fragrant, dye free detergent chick, until my 8 yr old told me how her clothes didn’t smell very good (how dare she question the mistress of laundry!). Currently, I use no fewer than 2-3 types of detergent, depending on my mood. I also caved to the Tide Coldwater scheme, since I’m using more cold water to wash clothes in an attempt to be environmentally-friendly. I buy huge bags of baking soda from Sam’s, because as it says on the bag, “add 1 c. with liquid laundry detergent for cleaner, fresher clothes.” Yeah, I’m sold. Now that I use cold water, I worry about GERMS. Why haven’t they made a sanitizing detergent? So, to offset my germ-o-mania, I’ve added Lysol 4 in 1, to kill germs in my towel and sheet loads (don’t remind me about my earlier environmentally-friendly claim). Finally, they say that vinegar added to the rinse cycle is the answer. A tag line on a website says, “It’s a safe and inexpensive way to boost the power of your detergent and add a little more muscle to your stain remover. With vinegar in the mix, your clothes have never looked better.” Who can pass up a statement like that?
So, there you have it – I’ve come CLEAN – I’ve admitted to my laundry obsession. Do you want my version of the perfect load of laundry? Mix one part detergent and one part baking soda/germ killer – followed by vinegar rinse, then dry as usual. I just ordered dryerballs, to eliminate the use of dryer sheets – the jury is still out. They claim to eliminate static, cut drying time and lint. I haven’t noticed a change in any of the aforementioned. However, I haven’t given them up, yet. I’m not sure how my loads compare to my less obsessive compulsive friends. I’m sure if you stacked my clean clothes against a load done in an, on-sale, no-name brand detergent, without the use of an additive, they wouldn’t look much different. Unless, of course, you consulted Becky Bloomwood.
(No actresses, real or imaginary, were harmed in the writing of this post.)