What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Friday: Green living.

23 December 2016

In the Wash

I'm not convinced there are a lot of earth-friendly solutions to laundry. There are things that help, like high efficiency washers, and detergents without phosphates, and clotheslines, but at the end of the day it turns out that being alive and walking around on the planet does require a certain amount of resources. So I'm doing my best to use those resources as wisely as possible.

I moved into an apartment without washer/dryer connections, but with a laundry room up the hall. I've never been wild about the great quarter scrounge that apartment laundry facilities require (seriously, folks, it's the 21st century. Card readers, please?), but in this particular case it actually gets worse: the spin cycle on the washers is woefully inadequate, giving me wetter-than-they-should-be clothes at the end of washing, which means that the dryer has no chance of getting them anything close to dry and I have to hang them up anyway.

I thought I was going to have to resort
to this. (I've done this a few times. Wash
by hand, that is. I don't have a scrubbing
board.) Image source: Annie Jenkins
on freeimages.com.
I may not have the monopoly on using resources wisely, but from both earth- and budget-friendly perspectives, there's nothing wise about throwing money and electricity at two hunks of metal that don't do the job they're designed for. 

So I got one of those little portable washers that can hook up to a sink and that lives happily in a corner of a closet when not in use. (By the way, I'm not being paid for this post or a review, although that would be awesome. Just sharing my experience.) After a trip to Home Depot to get an adapter for my faucet, I was good to go.

So far: much like its full-sized high efficiency cousins, this washer does its magic with as little water as possible, even if it is still more than I'd like. Fortunately, it drains into my sink, so I have a pitcher to catch the greywater for reuse. While on the subject of water: since my kitchen faucet was not purpose-designed for washing machines, I can't leave the tap on throughout the cycle, which means I have to wait while it fills so I can turn the tap off, and then when I hear it draining I run over again to switch it back on for the rinse. I'm getting better at recognizing the particular "I need water now!" hum. Basically, I can't turn it on and then leave the house, which is fine with me, because a cycle only takes about 30 minutes.

And my clothes come out clean and as close to dry as I could possibly expect--no wimpy spin cycles here. This little machine knows what it's doing. I hang them up on my clotheshorse and in a few hours I have dry clothes ready for putting away. No fan required, unlike when I was hanging them up straight from the apartment washer.

That's my laundry solution for now. What new solutions have entered your life lately?

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