DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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16 June 2014

Cleaning the laundry




I've been trying to find the time to clean out my laundry and finally got to it yesterday. I scrubbed the sink and bench, cleaned the floor and went through all my products to make sure they were necessary and usable. I went through the rag bag and it was getting low so I found an old towel, cut it up and added the rags to the bag. I threw out some old soap I had in a container. I didn't know it was there; it was rancid. Note to self: don't hide soap, it doesn't last, you silly girl. 



It's not pretty but it's a working laundry so I just need it to be serviceable and productive. I do a fair bit of work in the laundry. As well as storing all my cleaning ingredients, I also use it to store my cheese fridge and to dry out and then store homemade soap. There is a 15 litre bucket in the sink that I use for soaking, which I do a lot of, and on the floor are two buckets and mops. And for Madeleine who emailed asking about mops, I use a cotton mop and bucket most of the time but also a more modern sponge/squeegee mop that I use with a handmade terry cover over the squeegee head. It gets into the corners better than the cotton mop does, although the cotton mop is much easier to use. I don't know what it is about the modern squeegee-type mops. I find they're difficult to move around on the floating floor we have. Do you have that problem?



The main thing though is that the room where all my cleaning is based, is now clean and ordered. There have been few changes in that room over the years and one thing will always remain the same: the work we do in our simple lives is easier if our work spaces and supplies are organised. I'm still making laundry liquid in preference to laundry powder because I can use it for so many other cleaning jobs. Still using oxy-bleach to soak whites and stubborn stains. Still using vinegar and bicarb for general cleaning. I never dry clothes in a dryer, always on the line outside, I'm still washing exclusively in cold water in a front loader. I still hate ironing. I will never go back to commercial cleaners. When the homemade cleaners cost so little to make and they do a better job, using less chemicals, why would I change? I find that as I age, my asthma is getting worse. I think that going back to high chemical cleaners might do me in.



My next task during the coming week is to move all the shopping bags I have in the laundry. The long term task is to remove the old dryer. Even though it still works, it's now 33 years old and I haven't used it for a long, long time. We bought it to dry our new babies' nappies. I hope they'll accept it at the rubbish dump's recycle shop. It's either there or the museum. ;- )


25 comments:

  1. Can I say that I hate ironing too! It's linked to a time when I was pregnant with my 3rd child and terribly nauseas. I will do all other jobs around the house quite happily and willingly, but will avoid ironing like the plague ;))

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  2. hi Rhonda, could you use your clothes dryer to store chicken feed in or something thats what we did with our old fridge :-)

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  3. Hi Rhonda,

    thanks for answering my question. I also have the same issue with the squeedgee mop on the wooden floor, and I thought it was because my floors are very warn/refinished in natural, non-shiny wax. There's nothing like a tidy laundry, or any work area, really - it's much more likely I'll feel like doing the job!

    Madeleine.x

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  4. It looks wonderful - so tidy and purposeful.

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  5. Just organized mine as well. I put all my soap and lotion making supplies in plastic bins and then added chalk board labels to them. Now I can see what I have instead of digging in a box. So nice when things are clean and organized!

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  6. Oh to have a laundry! Our washing machine is located in the bathroom, which works, but it would be lovely to have a proper laundry one day. There's not a spare cm of room on this property so it couldn't happen here but one can dream :) I find being organised makes everything so much easier. You've got to make the good choice the easy choice, whether it be treating your clothes respectfully by properly soaking and cleaning, or making healthy meals from scratch. Being organised and prepared makes that happen.

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    1. The washing machine in the bathroom is a great idea, dirty laundry can go straight in the washing machine. undress for a shower no need for a dirty clothes basket as the washing machine is right there.

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  7. You post reminded me that I am running low on my laundry liquid. I wish we had more sun today to dry my laundry outside, it takes couple of days to dry clothes inside :( I guess I just have to put up with a clothes rack in my living room for the next few days :) By the way, Rhonda, how do ypu clean your front loader? I have noticed a grey-ish/yellow-ish film growing on the other side of the metal cylinder, the one in which clothes are washed; and mould starts growing on the sealing band, I guess it has to do with damp condition of our laundry room, because I always make sure I wipe excess water inside the washing mashine and leave all compartments open to dry. Despite of all my efforts I still get mould and biofilm. I cleaned it once with rag dipped in bleach, then put on a hot rinse cycle, but it did not help much and I woner if you could suggest better options, please? Many many thanks,

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    1. I always leave the door open after the washing is finished and even when the machine has died out, I just push the door to and leave it slightly open. Every so often I run an empty eco cycle (30 minutes) with a cup full of vinegar. We've never had any problems but once you get mould in a system it is difficult, but not impossible, to remove.

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    2. I use white vinegar instead of fabric conditioner. Keeps the washing machine shiny & clean.

      Best wishes,
      Angela (south England) UK

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  8. Hi Rhonda great post! Thanks for the suggestion of oxy-clean added to my homemade soap. really has helped whitening the clothes, as has drying outside again.

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  9. I think I have the younger sibling to your dryer ;) Mine is 25 years old and also hasn't done any work in a looong time.
    cheers Kate

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  10. I laughed about the ironing! My great-grandmother, when she moved to the "new" house from her 250-year-old log house, found baby clothes on the bottom of the pile. Since I was a little girl, you can surmise that the "baby" was 50ish...

    I mop using a microfiber cloth on my mop head. Then, I use a spray bottle with my cleaner, wiping behind with the mop. Easy peasy, no mess to clean up, and the microfiber picks up all the little bits on the floor I may have missed with the broom. Wish I could take credit for this bit of brilliance, but my Sissie worked it out after watching the hospital janitorial staff clean. They changed the microfiber with EACH room! Talk about clean!

    When will your next book be out, Rhonda?

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    1. Hi Matty. That's a good cleaning method with the spray bottle. The remaining four books will be published early next year. The topics are milk recipes - cheese, ice cream, yoghurt etc, baking, vegetable gardening and frugal living. I've only got one left to write - the baking one.

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    2. That is super, Rhonda! I hope you are going to include your lovely bread that appears to have some kind of seeds on it (maybe they are poppyseeds??) You have had the picture on the blog several times. It is a huge loaf and Sooooo beautiful! I long to try it, hot, with butter! :)

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    3. Yes, I'll have a few bread recipes as well as bread rolls, scones, cakes, biscuits etc. and I'm simplifying the bread baking method so that it's as close to fail safe as I can get.

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  11. Perfect timing! This is the job I had planned to do today. It's amazing what gets "lost" in a cupboard under the laundry sink ... We had an old dryer that was my parents for some years, basically a metal box with a shelf inside, and hot air blowing from below. My husband repaired it many times but eventually it died and we bought a tumble dryer, which we use as little as possible, but we are glad to have it. We have no undercover clothes hanging area and Sydney winter days are sometimes just not long enough to dry some items. Now I'm about to hang out some clothes for the second day, hopefully they will dry today in the sunshine.

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  12. Rhonda,
    Would you mind posting a picture of your rag bag? I love the idea of having a bag that hangs instead of a box hidden away in a closet.

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  13. Hi Rhonda
    Could you freecycle your dryer? That way someone else will do all the removal too :)

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  14. Just finished painting my laundry room and organizing the shelves in there. I have never had a laundry room or a washer before, having had to haul my laundry for 30+ years; until last Friday. I bought a beautiful new Speed Queen washer. It is a top loader, as I do not like front loaders for the mould problems, and it is made in America; which counts as I live here. I am very happy right now.

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  15. You have inspired me Rhonda, I am off to give my laundry a good going over :)

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  16. Thank goodness for Mum who does the ironing cheerfully! I do not iron. Ever.

    Rhonda I'm intrigued by the stainless steel appliance on the right in the first photo. It's not a toaster oven is it? You wouldn't have a toaster oven in the laundry. Oh is that the cheese fridge??

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    1. It's a wine fridge I use as a cheese fridge, Rose. Bought at aldi a few years ago for $79. It does a great job. Next to that is my scale.

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  17. Love the idea of a separate laundry! My washer & dryer are in an alcove in the kitchen with cupboards above them. The cupboard holds a bit of cleaning supplies, cat food, and butter & cottage cheese containers (for sending bits home with guests). The large bucket with my laundry soap is in the hall closet with my vacuum cleaner and snow boots - I have things a bit scattered but no way to gather it all together. It works for me for now.

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  18. Oh how I would love a Laundry or Utility room as they are usually called in the Uk. My washing machine is in the kitchen along with the homemade powder which we also use in the dishwasher. I also use white vinegar as a fabric conditioner and have never had problems with mould/smells.

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