Thursday, April 3, 2008

#200 - Crunch Time

Giving Up My Fabric Softener Entirely

As predicted by Green Bean and Wendy, I have quickly become addicted to line drying my clothes. I have gone beyond the drying rack and the garage clothesline and have added a retractable 5 string clothesline in the laundry room. Between those three options and the deck railing, damn near everything in my house is being line-dried.

*WARNING: "Duh" moment straight ahead*

wait for it.... wait for it....

Well why the hell am I still pouring fabric softener in the machine every time I wash towels? That doesn't make sense, does it? It seems silly to "soften" the towels before you purposely "crunchen" them. God, sometimes I hate being blonde.

So, even though my towel softener of choice was Seventh Generation's relatively benign liquid softener, none is always better. Eco-wise, that is.


Back in September, I began using dryer balls to help soften the clothes, but when I still added the fabric softener (just a little) to loads with towels and pajamas. Sadly it has taken me almost two freakin' months to reach the "DUH" moment. Geez, a mind really is a terrible thing to waste, isn't it?

So my savings will be one bottle of 7G Liquid Fabric Softener (and the plastic bottle it comes in) every 6 months or so. That's two bottles of softener per year. Not a ton, but all these little changes help me to chip-chip-chip away at my plastic bottle use until one day soon I'll be down to nothing. How cool would that be? I could go head-to-head in a no-holds-barred plastic-shunning showdown against Fake Plastic Fish. Well, I'm not there yet... but someday.

Difficulty Level: 0 out of 5

Can I give things a 0 out of 5? Well, it is my blog. So, yeah. I can.


Anonymous said...

Oh good grief. Now I've got to worry about you coming up behind me too? But I'm a competitive freak! You do not want to get into a show down with me. It can only end badly.

That said, here's a tip: I use a Static Eliminator cloth dryer sheet. It doesn't soften the clothes, but it does take out the static. You just use it over and over again. They come two to a box. We've been using the same one for almost a year. Don't know when we're supposed to switch to the second one. I'm hoping never.

leslie said...

I am adding "crunchen" to my vocabulary list. It is a verb, right?..."to chrunchen"
It will be right next to "enbiggen", which means to make things larger.
One of the most "enlightening" things to happen when going green is that you have those duh moments, and are able to see things "morer simplier-er".

Eliminating things and processes in our lives that we believe are necessary is truly the simplest way to make changes. Bravo Burbanmom.

Static clothes, especially socks, is a mini science demonstration waiting to happen. Take your static-ey socks into a dark room or closet, and rub your hand over them. You can see the sparks. Cheap thrill, but what the heck.

Chile said...

Vinegar in the rinse cycle still helps remove all the soap or detergent. Here's a tip for softer laundry, if you haven't already sold your dryer.

1. Throw clothes from washer into dryer.
2. Tumble on AIR or FLUFF setting (no heat) for 5 minutes.
3. Hang on clothesline.
4. When dry, retrieve and repeat step 2.

This makes them softer and removes lint and animal fur. :)

Burbanmom said...

Beth -- I'm super-competitive too and I know you would thoroughly kick my ass in a no-plastic showdown!

Leslie -- LOVE the science project idea! Will give it a try with Ethan as he is into "electricity" the way most other 4 year olds are into dinosaurs and Power Rangers.

Chile - GREAT TIP! I just finished folding some of hubby's shirts, including a t-shirt he wore while I cut his hair. Because it had been line-dried instead of dryer-dried, it was still covered in hair. Of course, being the good little wife that I am, I carefully folded it to hide most of the evidence.

Chile said...

You can also use up the last of your fabric softener. Just put a tiny bit on a washcloth and throw it in the dryer with the clothes. Not sure if that would work better when they are wet or dry, but I think it would help get the hair off.

Of course, you know that you can just snap them a few times after you take them off the line, too. That should work for a lot of the lint and for human hair. Does nothing for sticky dog fur, though. One of these days, I'm just gonna shave that pooch!

Anonymous said...

I have to stop blogging drunk. I realized, hours after I wrote my last comment, that it's irrelevant to you because you wouldn't have static cling if you're hanging your clothes to dry. Never mind.

Shannon Hodgins said...

We gave up fabric softner when we realized how many toxic chemicals are added into them. The icing on the given-it-up cupcake is also savings in plastic.

This one was a hard, hard sell to the Husband. He went down flailing with a Downey bottle in hand. One you read about it though it's enough to scare the wrinkles outta ya.