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    Myths about Fabric Laundering Debunked

    Myths about Fabric Laundering Debunked

    MYTH #1
    The quantity of detergent needed per load listed on the label of the product is the correct amount

    The folks who bring you huge jugs of cleaning product are in the business of selling product, so they will overstate the amount needed. You can use half or less of what is recommended on the package and then test whether your clothes are clean; there is no need to use more than that.

    When you use their overstated designated quantity, not only is your money wasted but the excess ends up in our water supplies. In addition, your clothes will develop a film from the excess detergent and may even feel stiff. The color of the fabric may be affected as well as the hand-feel. This is especially true of dark colored items and cotton knits.

    When shopping for laundry cleaners try to find those that that indicate they are plant-based. Many popular detergents are petroleum-based and contain a variety of potentially hazardous chemicals, fragrances and brighteners that can be absorbed by the skin and enter the environment through groundwater. 

    These same folks selling laundry detergent are well aware that the quantity suggested is too much and also that it leaves a film unless it is rinsed thoroughly. Since today’s machines are made to be efficient water savers they will not rinse as much as needed to remove the excess detergent, so now these same folks have developed yet another product to sell you: Fabric softeners in sheets and liquid form. Aww, that cute little bear! (see Myth #2)

    MYTH #2
    Softeners are necessary for your laundry to come out soft

    No, they’re not necessary for beautiful, soft laundry! 

    This is Madison Avenue’s biggest dream and they have made millions of dollars selling it to us: they have created cleaners that create a problem and then something else to solve it. Genius! That they have substantially added to the pollution of the world’s waterways is socially irresponsible and reprehensible.

    Fabric softeners coat surface of the fibers with a thin layer of chemical, which have lubricant properties and are electrically conductive. This makes the fibers feel smooth and prevents the buildup of static electricity. 

    The problem is, this is a “coating” the fabrics don’t need!

    Cotton towels should NOT be treated with fabric softener because with repeated washings and dryings, they become softer naturally. Towels that have been softened with fabric softener become less absorbent, so it is counterproductive! 

    On top of that: The containers end up in landfills. 

    MYTH #3
    Sheets don’t need to be pressed

    They will feel much nicer if you do. If you can’t seem to find the time, or just don’t want to, that great sleep experience will suffer. It becomes a lifestyle feature: you either spend the time for the niceties or you don’t. I like to think of it as something nice I do for myself and my guests… The difference is astounding. You really do give up a lot to avoid the ironing. Try it once and see how you feel about it. Once you do, I will rest my case. 

    MYTH #4
    It takes too long to iron

    Not so! If you fold the fitted sheet in half and iron only the center area you sleep on, then fold the flat sheet in half and iron only the top 30” or so, and then do the cases, this shouldn’t take longer than about 20 minutes. 

    If you can get into a Zen-like state while ironing, it can even be meditative... maybe turn on some music… 

    MYTH #5
    Any iron will do

    There are many different types of irons; do yourself a favor and invest in a good one. Generally, the more expensive the iron, the more powerful it is. The smaller ones just don’t have the oomph required for the job. There are several steamer irons on the market (I like my Rowenta!) and these have a large reservoir for water, and enough power to create the required steam to remove all the wrinkles.

    MYTH #6
    Sheets woven from a cotton-polyester blend are no different than all cotton

    Cotton alone is a far superior fabric for sheeting because polyester is cold to the touch and absorbs far less moisture than cotton, so it is colder in the winter and hotter in the summer. 

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