Run an empty load with hot water and use a cup of vinegar instead of detergent. Make sure you clean out the detergent cup and around any seals or gaskets. Once the cycle has run, wipe out the inside of the machine with a water/vinegar mix, and let it air dry with the door/lid open. Vinegar’s safe for clothes, so you don’t need to worry about rinsing or re-cleaning it before your next load of laundry.
If you try all that and it doesn’t work, repeat using half a cup of bleach instead. As always, I think bleach is generally overused and underdiluted, so save this only for if the vinegar doesn’t work. As bleach will discolor your clothes, either run another empty load or one with whites when you’re done.
You have a bunch of clothes sitting around. I know you do. Whether they’re clean and piled in a basket, or dirty and on the floor, or probably a bunch of both, they aren’t where they belong. Take 20 minutes to put that shit away. Clean: in drawers, hung up, or folded and put away. Dirty: in the hamper (or even better, in the washer). Vanquish the floordrobe.
Sweat stains are caused by the aluminum in antiperspirants mixing with your sweat and adhering to the fabric of the shirt. There are very few effective antiperspirants on the market that don’t use some form of aluminum and I DON’T WANT TO HAVE THE ANTIPERSPIRANT FIGHT: USE THEM IF YOU WANT, DON’T IF YOU DON’T, I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL TURN THIS BLOG AROUND.
Anyway. Don’t use bleach. Bleach will make yellow stains more yellow. I swear by Oxi-Clean. You can add it to the wash, or make a paste of it and apply it directly to the stain before washing.
As far as prevention, if it’s not prohibitively hot, consider a fitted undershirt, which will take the brunt of both the sweat and the discoloration. No need to get fancy; a 6-pack of men’s undershirts in your size will do just fine. Otherwise, be diligent with treating stains and washing your shirts as soon as possible. The longer you let them sit, the worse the stains will be.
I still have quite a lot of laundry I’m going to need to wash. Some of it - like the extra bedding and shit - I’m going to pack away in anticipation of our move. And I’m kind of limited as to how much I can get washed, because of the fact that I have to use the laundry racks in the living room, and filling those up means it usually takes about 2 days for everything to dry.
But I actually have a laundry room now. YOU CAN SEE FLOOR!
To recap, this is what it looked like last year, when I first jumped on the UFYH bandwagon:
It got better and worse to varying degrees over the past year plus, and then I got help to finally go through it all. And this - this is what it looks like now:
Everything we’re keeping is in the baskets and boxes you see (I’ve run out of baskets, so boxes are better than nothing), and even then, some of it (odd socks and stuff C1 still has to try on to see if it fits or not) are still gonna get tossed.
I ended up throwing out over 20 garbage bags full of stuff. Not all clothes - my kids pretty much treated the room like one big garbage can - but still. TWENTY BAGS.
We even had enough time to get started on the girls’ rooms. They’re not done yet, but we managed to make a really good start on them. We’ll work more on it next week.
So, it was the day after Fall Finals, and after ten or eleven long weeks of ignoring the beast of my room, I finally allowed myself to sort of face the collective mess and just reality in general:
My room wasn’t just a sty, my room was completely and totally fucked.
There’s a lot of pictures coming, so I’ve put the rest of the story and the fucked-room evidence under a fancy little cut.
I think I may have finally figured out how to unfuck the laundry. We have six people in this house; that usually means that I have dirty laundry in piles throughout my house. I can never seem to get it under control.
This week I started trying to get a handle on the laundry, and it seems to be working. I try to wash and dry at least one load of laundry a day, two if I can. Each child has their own laundry basket. Clean clothes are sorted into the appropriate basket, and when it’s full (usually after one or two loads) everyone is responsible for putting away the clothes in their basket. (Little ones get help.)
This method seems to be working. I can actually see a point in the future where I will have the laundry under control enough that one or two loads a day keeps it done, without piling up.
Do one load of necessary things. Set a timer so you know to go put stuff in the dryer. Once it’s done in the dryer, PUT IT AWAY.
Then get to work on your floordrobe. Use your timer to remind you not to neglect the laundry.
So the Invisible Corner in our house is actually an Invisible Room — the laundry. It’s such an invisible room that I took a before photo of the bit I thought I was tackling:
and it was only after I started that I found two whole other areas (under the laundry trough to the right, and on top of the freezer to the left) that needed unfucking too.
And, okay, it doesn’t look like much in the photo, but all that crap had been there for most of the nine months we’ve lived here. I had no idea what was in the green bag (ancient, dead cleaning supplies and a random box, all BINNED). And there was an amazing amount of soap scum under it all. *cough*
RoomCorner Unfucked! \o/
You want to avoid getting hotspots. I use the timed dry function, set it for 20 minutes, take the comforter out, shake and fluff it up, put back in, and repeat until dry. Cue 20 people telling you to throw clean tennis balls in there too, but if you’re taking it out at short intervals, that’s unnecessary. Also, who has clean tennis balls hanging around?
ETA: The whole point about the tennis balls was that if you’re taking the comforter out and fluffing and rearranging it, they’re unnecessary. As in, you don’t need them. And continuous heat, even with magic dryer balls, can still cause hotspots and scorch your comforter.
Not really. Your best bet is to catch it before the dryer, and run it through a rinse/spin cycle with a cup of vinegar where you’d normally use liquid fabric softener. If it’s been through the dryer, you can air it out, in direct sunlight if you can, but it’ll still probably be a little musty. And most other methods will likely just mask the funk.