That's a misleading title for an entry that really should be called:
Laundry: Washing and Hanging
I think my method of handling laundry is fairly easy and fairly cheap.
•I don’t automatically toss clothes I’ve worn in the hamper. I certainly don’t re-wear stinky or soiled clothing, but often I’m able to wear a shirt or pair of pants more than once.
•I take off my work clothes as soon as I come home, most times. At first it was just because I liked being in my jammies, but then I realized that it was enabling me to get another wearing between washings.
•Sleep clothes especially can take a few wearings. I even re-wear my "sleep socks," since they haven’t been walked around in.
•I only wash full loads, without over-packing my washer.
•I used to wash once a week. Now that I’m doing almost all hang drying, I find it better to wash more frequently, so that I have enough room on my line and rack for all the clothes.
•Since I wash more frequently, I can get by on fewer clothes. I seem to be wearing the underwear at the front of the drawer and not getting to the ones in the back, due to frequent laundry.
•I use to use the cheapest of the cheap powder. I then got a huge bottle of liquid as part of a product survey, and I kind of liked it. (Don’t voluntarily upgrade….you can become discontented with what used to be satisfactory.) I’m now back to my cheapie cheap powder, but I do have a bottle of the cheapest liquid if I feel like splurging. (What a splurge, huh?)
•The cheapest powder is actually not hard on my clothes, because I use a half measure. Our clothes aren’t heavily soiled: we work in offices. In all my time using less detergent, I’ve been perfectly happy with the results.
•When I use the liquid, I drop the cup in the washer so all the soap is used up.
•I do sometimes use bleach on my whites, maybe once a month.
•I never use liquid fabric softener.
•A couple years ago, the hot water stopped feeding into the washer. It probably wouldn’t take too much effort to fix it, but we’ve been happy with just washing in cold. Cold wash, cold rinse on everything. If I fixed it, I might use warm on towels. I don’t have any kids or immuno-suppressed people in the house, so I’m not worried about germs the way other people might need to be. Colors never bleed, either.
•I use the short cycle almost always. Again, mostly light wear on the clothes, and I’ve been happy with the results.
•If I want to soak clothes, I leave the lid of the washer up and my washer stops part way though. I get to soak without using the soak cycle.
•Doing the short wash and cold all the time, I’ve found that I don’t need to sort laundry. I can wash a blouse with undies with a white towel with a pair of jeans. It’s a madhouse.
•I’ve just moved to line drying all the time, instead of just during the summer.
•I re-spin clothes in the washer to get extra water out.
•For some shirts, work slacks, and blouses, I do use the dryer. This way I don’t need to iron. I know I could hang them then use the dryer the last few minutes, but I’m okay drying one load a week.
•If I have to choose what to line dry as far as space or time limitations, I always line dry the big heavy items: jeans, towels.
•I use a half dryer sheet sometimes when I think of it. The last cheapo off brand box we bought has lasted over a year. Sometimes I reuse them. Our clothes smell fine and don’t cling without them, so I guess I could give them up. But hey, sometimes I like to live it up. With a dryer sheet.
•I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how cool it can be outside and clothes can still dry. I’ve heard over 60 degrees is outdoor drying weather.
•I’ve been pleasantly surprised that clothes can dry in the house overnight.
•Hanging in the house for me means pinning even jeans to a hanger, so that everything is on a hanger, then finding places to hang the hangers. I could get an indoor clothesline; I haven't ruled it out, I'm just not unhappy with the status quo. Shorter items can go on door knobs. I found more things I could put a hanger on than I expected.
•The first time I hung clothes it took a while. I can now do it quickly. I worked at being patient with myself.
•I bought 2 packs of clothes pins at the dollar store years ago, and they are still going strong. I also love them for other uses (closing food bags, etc.)
•I use a small wooden folding drying rack that I bought at a garage sale years ago; I can’t remember the price. This is what I use for socks, undies, dishtowels, and napkins. Line drying has made my underwear last longer-no fried elastic.
•Outside I have a retractable line: on one side of the house permanently mounted, and can be pulled out and attached to a hook on the opposite side of the yard. We’ll take it with us if we move.
•I hang t-shirts and knit shirts and nightgowns on hangers; this gives me more room. If I didn’t have space considerations, I might hang them by pins upside down (under the arms seems to dry faster that way).
•I don’t mind stiff clothes. If I did, or had guests using the towels, I might throw them in the dryer for a minute to soften.
•Line dried clothes smell fabulous.
Whew. I’ve mentioned my unmentionables.
I know there are other methods and strategies. This was not meant to be a comprehensive list. This is just what I do, a gal who has a decent income but who has chosen to live on CA Minimum Wage for a year. A lot of things I had already been doing. On The Challenge I have become much more consistent and paid much more attention.