I'm sitting at my husband's computer, listening to my girls play the piano and looking at small girls' artwork….being so happy with hearing everyone getting along and loving playing with each other….and looking forward to the two youngest girls' nap time, when I'll take a nap too!!
Today I've also been doing laundry.
In our Large Family, we generally do at least 6 loads every single day. Around here, not doing laundry for even one day means the Dirty Clothes Beast takes over and threatens to become deeply rooted, so I try not to skip a day. What I mean is, we try not to skip a day!
We don't usually struggle over laundry here. Everyone in this house knows we always have a Laundry Monster. As long as there's always a load or two of clothes going in the washer, my husband is fine. As long as clothes are put away and not scattered about, he's okay.
I usually have one person doing everyone's laundry and folding the clothes from the dryer. I rotate the people doing laundry each week, but sometimes one person does the laundry for three weeks at a time, especially if they're not doing a great job. I have a medium sized hamper in the hallway where everyone puts their clothes. That hallway hamper ultimately gets sorted into three large white hampers out in the garage laundry area. I have a large hamper for whites/light colors, dark colors, and sheets/towels/burp rags.
Now, does this laundry system that works for us ensure that our laundry is always perfectly done and that everything is always immaculately put away?
You must think this is SuperMama's blog!! HA!
We get behind on the laundry almost every single week.
For two weeks now, I decided to do the laundry myself. I needed something to do and I wanted to see if I could slay the Dirty Clothes Beast for even one day. My definition of a good battle with dirty clothes is that all of the hampers in the garage are empty and the washer and dryer are humming along merrily.
We have a HE Top Load washer and a regular old dryer. We had a really fancy dryer to match our really fancy washer, but after two separate visits from the maintenance guy, he advised us to just go to our local washer and dryer store and get a simple dryer. We couldn't keep having the maintenance man out, so we took his advice, and I love our simple old dryer. Here's a little secret for you: I almost gagged when I saw that, to match our washer, we'd maybe be spending over $800 for a dryer!!! I'm super happy with the old dryer we now have and it's not so temperamental and it's easier for the small girls to navigate!
So, let me share my favorite laundry detergent and stuff with you!!
Let's make one thing clear: I'm not one to be making my own laundry detergent. The liquid stuff looks like snot and is slimy and gray, and the powdered stuff makes my nose sting and is messy. I'm a bit of a Laundry Products Snob, and everyone at this house knows this and is fine with this….
The reason I'm a Laundry Snob is because I've tried almost every single product out there. This is true. Most of the products I've tried had dismal and disappointing results.
I'm pretty strict with our clothes. I have to hand them down, so I want them to be bright and look good and not dingy or pilled or feel stiff and scummy….
So I use Kirkland brand laundry detergent for HE washers. It's basically the generic brand of Tide, which used to be my absolute favorite, and which I used for about 15 years until the company decided to mess with a good thing and secretly changed the recipe! I now use Kirkland.
This stuff is amazing and is a fraction of the cost of Tide. I love it and I pick up a bottle every time we go to Costco so we don't run out.
The next thing I use for my laundry is OxyClean.
This white powder is really indispensable to me. I buy a big box at Costco and it generally lasts for over two months. I keep it on top of my dryer and use a scoop in every single load I do. I sprinkle it on top of the clothes, after I pour in the Kirkland detergent. I've tried on several occasions to live without this stuff, but without it, my clothes never failed to be dull and dingy and stains never left, no matter what I did.
For stains, I use OxyClean spray.
This spray is the best thing I've found for stains, no matter what they are. Of course, I try to spray every stain right away, but let's be real here, that hardly ever happens in this house!! But I've sprayed stains on every material with OxyClean and just threw the item into the dirty clothes hamper and forgotten about it, and every stain comes out! I buy two bottles generally and they last over two months each.
We also use fabric softener sheets in the dryer, and I like Up and Up sheets in Clean Linen from Target. Clean cotton or linen is my favorite smell, and these are very subtly fragranced and not overwhelming, and they really do the job for not very much money! As a side note, I don't use fabric softener sheets for towels, washrags or burp rags. I've found that using fabric softener of any kind on these things makes the towel or burp rag less absorbent.
So there you have it! These are the things for laundry that I love and that work the best for me.
Do you have any favorites that you swear by? Share them in your comment!!