What do you hate most about doing the laundry? Personally I dislike sorting the laundry the most, mainly because our house doesn't have a designated laundry room. I am however a firm believer in properly sorting the laundry before washing.
Truthfully though, one of my biggest pet peeves is straightening out bunched-up socks, so much so that I sat my family down one day and gave them the straight goods about the socks.
In a 2008 national Ipsos Reid survey, "Does It All Come Out In the Wash? The Rough and Tumble of Canadians and Their Laundry" of 1,012 Canadian homeowners on behalf of National PR/GE, 78% of Canadians dislike stain removal more than anything else when it comes to doing the laundry. If dealing with laundry stains isn't one of your favourite activities, there are countless stain removal guides available on the web. For quick reference, I recommend printing one out that you find easy to follow and posting it on or near your washing machine.
Some Notable Laundry Stats
Roughly 45% of Canadians would enjoy doing laundry more if they had a nicer, newer laundry room, or if they had nicer, newer laundry appliances (39%). 48% wish they had an ultra luxurious laundry room in their home, and some, 18%, even admit that they "are envious of a friend or neighbour's laundry room." Ok, I admit it, I wish I had one of those ultra luxurious laundry rooms. The photo below depicts my very humble laundry corner in the basement.
Only 8% of survey respondents listed laundry as their favourite household task, compared with 38% who named outdoor maintenance and gardening as their favourite chore. This might explain why I quite enjoy hanging my laundry on my outdoor drying line. It gives me an opportunity to watch the different birds that visit the nearby feeders (while about once a year I have to rewash an item that got a bird poop stain on it), or take a peek in the garden to see how my veggies are coming along. I highly recommend investing in an outdoor drying line or rack if you don't already have one. Each time you run the dryer it costs you on average 43 cents per load.
The Yuck Factor
Let's say you have a luxurious laundry room, the latest and greatest washer & dryer, and a pretty outdoor drying line, but you're still having trouble getting your laundry routine under control. Then you might need to consider the fact that clothes and bed linens just get downright gross, even if an item doesn't look dirty. If you wear a shirt only two to three times between washes consider this: two billion dead skin cells, 40 g of body oil, and 1 litre of perspiration is sloughed off by the human body in just one day. How often do you wash your bed sheets? In a survey of American laundry habits, it was revealed that around 7% of men said they only wash their sheets every 6 months, and over 10% of men said "they couldn’t remember the last time they washed their sheets."
Unless you have a full-time housekeeper, chances are you are doing your own laundry. I certainly do my own. There are probably as many different ways to wash clothes as there are people doing the washing. The key is educating yourself about the washing process, stain removal methods, the various types of textiles and fibers, your water hardness, etc.. If you take care of your clothes they will likely last longer.
Last but not least ... Take pride in doing your laundry.
MacLeod, Laurel. “These Laundry Facts and Myths Will Change How You Wash Your Clothing.” The Loop, 21 June 2016, www.theloop.ca/these-laundry-facts-and-myths-will-change-how-you-wash-your-clothing/.
Pryatel, Annie. “The American Laundry Habits Survey.” Mulberrys Garment Care, 1 Sept. 2017, www.mulberryscleaners.com/laundry-habits-survey/.
“Does It All Come Out In the Wash? The Rough and Tumble of Canadians and Their Laundry” Ipsos, Ipsos Reid, 14 Sept. 2008, www.ipsos.com/en-ca/does-it-all-come-out-wash.