Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Laundry Essentials

We picked up a few laundry essentials recently.  Once we were restocked I thought it would be a good time to talk about necessities in the laundry room.

One of the items we restocked was Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator.  I know, I know.  Your are saying to yourself, "The detergent will take care of odors in the laundry."  And, most of the time that is true.  But there are instances where you need a little extra boost to get rid of particularly strong odors.  Baxter recently had an upset tummy which lead to a soiled blanket and mattress pad in his condo.  We needed an extra boost of Febreze Odor Eliminator when we washed his blankets.  Cooking odors go everywhere.  I will many times use Febreze Odor Eliminator on clothes I have worn while cooking.

The next item we restocked was Calgon Water Softener.  Hard water is a problem throughout the United States.  Some areas are worse than others.  A capful of this added to the wash cycle helps remove hard water minerals which make dirt cling to clothes.

The third item we restocked was Downy.  Good old Downy.  I prefer the scent of original Downy over any of the exotic scents they have added over the years.  And I prefer Downy over any of the multitude of fabric softeners on the market today.  Tried and true and never lets me down.  I have been tempted to stray, but I have not.  You can never go wrong with Downy fabric softener.

Number one in our arsenal for in-wash stain fighting is Clorox2 for colors.  All colored clothing which may have set in stains can and should receive a capful during a regular wash cycle.  Maybe not every wash cycle. But every few cycles.

For whites, I use this tried and true Clorox bleach through the built-in bleach dispenser.  But I use this very sparingly.  Too much bleach will turn clothes yellow.  Too much of anything is not good.  The other reason I have read which causes clothes to turn yellow after bleaching is that there may be too much iron in your water.

Since we sometimes have trouble with yellowing from chlorine bleach, I use a product called "White Brite." This comes in powder form.  This is a wonderful product which does not cause yellowing of whites.  Just follow the directions on the bottle for the specific size load you are washing and your white clothes will look stellar when you remove them from the washer.

For pre-treating stains before placing the clothes in the wash cycle, I use this Shout Action Gel spray and Resolve in the form of a stick, in much the same style as a stick of deodorant.  I have had good results with both of these.

For Dry-Clean only fabrics with stains, I use Guardsman Professional Strength Dry Cleaning Fluid.  Just follow the instructions on the can and you will be fine.  I don't use this often, but it is good to have in your inventory just in case there is a need.

For the everyday wash, I use Cheer.  Years ago the advertising campaign referred to this as "All Temp-A-Cheer.  I have used Cheer for many years with great results.  I have recently stumbled on this Woolite Everyday.  The byline on this is "Keeps Clothes Looking Like New Longer."  Maybe.  Maybe not.  The jury is still out on this one.

And, of course, for fabrics which need special attention, there is Woolite and Woolite for Darks.  I have an antique tablecloth given to me by my aunt and it is washed in Woolite on the Gentle Cycle.

Finally, when all the laundry is done, it is sometimes necessary to run a cycle to clean the washer.  I have a top loading washer which is not one of the new high efficiency models.  The new high efficiency models have been know to emit a strong odor after several uses from the build-up of rinse water and detergent on the drum.  This can be a problem with top loaders as well.  I generally leave the top open after a wash cycle to allow the drum to thoroughly dry.  But after a few loads I will run a full drum of hot water and add the Washing Machine Cleaner to the cycle.  It helps to clean and remove build-up on the drum.

So there you have it.  These are the items we use at Crest Avenue in the laundry room to keep our clothes and washable fabrics fresh and clean smelling.

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