Friday, November 30, 2007

Day 133 - Wash N' Wear N' Wear N' Wear...

Wearing Clothing Until It Actually NEEDS Washing

Remember last month, when I thought I was so clever to come up with the idea of wearing my jeans twice before washing them? Yeah, well, turns out -- that's a pretty slippery slope.

Apparently, wearing previously worn jeans is like the gateway drug of garment re-use. Because, folks, I gotta be honest, I am checking damn near every article of clothing to see whether or not I can get a second run out of it. My very scientific method for determining the wearability of any garment is: The Sniff Test. Not all items make it to the test lab (there's a difference between "green" and "gross"), but lots do -- like sweaters, sweatshirts, hoodies, and sweatpants.

Surprisingly, most of my items pass their initial post-wear sniff test. They don't always pass the no-coffee-stains-or-toddler-snot-trails test, but they seem to hold their own against the old nose radar. At least, I think they do. If you see me out and about, maybe you could be a pal, take a whiff, and either confirm or refute my results.

What does my rapid decline into pigpen-mode have to do with the environment? Water. And lots of it. Sweaters are bulky. Sweatshirts are bulky. Hoodies, sweatpants and jeans are all bulky. And they all take up loads (pun intended) of space in the washing machine.


If I can get two runs from 8 bulky items per week, I'll save two loads of laundry every month throughout the whole cold weather season. That translates to a savings of over twelve loads of laundry per year: About 144 gallons of water and over 28 kWh saved.

Difficulty Level: 2 out of 5

You always have the fear that your nosedar is wrong and you're walking around smelling like a middle school locker room after basketball tryouts. But, just remember: Those that mind - don't matter; and those that matter - will tell you when you're stinky.


Vera said...

LOL great post. We do this often...I usually will rewear it a few times, especially since I work from home most of the time. DH does this as well, except for his white shirts. I think this stems back to our college days when we were poor and couldn't wash clothes all the time. :-)

Green Bean said...

I'm with ya, girl. Nothing is safe in our house though the kids or my husband will still get something past me into the hamper sometimes and if it sits in there long enough, well, it's got to be washed. I posted a couple weeks ago about how I got 6 days out of a single pair of jeans! :) Why not! Not only is it good for the environment, it saves mom some work.

heather t said...

I do this with things I wear layered. The under-layer gets washed after one wearing, but the top layer gets worn at least twice unless I get something on it. (Which means usually the top layer gets washed too.)

The hard thing for me is jeans. I do wear them twice, but even then, they don't always smell or are actually dirty, or I've only worn them for a couple hours, but they are bagged out from wear. Any way to get them looking a bit fresher without actually washing? (I promise I will not wear them more than three times without washing - that's just pushing the ick factor, lol.)

Burbanmom said...

Bagged out! That is EXACTLY the problem I have! I must have very pointy knees or something, because the pants just start bulge around that area after day two. If I stand sideways it looks like I have grown another ass just above my shins!

Lynn said...

We do this around our home, also. And, of course, the proverbial "sniff test" is the way to go. The irony of it all to me (and I guess I'm showing my age now, but I do have grandchildren) is that my mother was almost anal about this my whole life. We were required to hang it up and wear it at least one more time before it could go in the laundry. I believe she was trying to save herself time, but also in the 50's and 60's many families looked for ways to save $$$ even if they didn't quite comprehend saving the natural resources. Looking back, it was a win-win!

Anonymous said...

Hm. Haven't tried this, but maybe hanging the jeans in the bathroom while you take a shower would help fix the "bag-out" steaming wrinkles out.

Something I KNOW works for making sure jeans fit perfectly in the first place: get them soaking wet, then wear them until they're dry. Getting the fibers wet and then allowing them to dry to your shape kinda locks 'em to the shape you want them to have.

If the jeans fit really well in the first place, they might never bag out...