Before starting my laundry, I decided it would be best to consult my books. I was certain that one of them would give me the directions about how to do laundry properly. I was not let down. The first book I checked out started their laundry chapter with this quote: "Not too many years ago, the job of washing, drying, and ironing the family laundry was a dreaded chore." Is it not still a dreaded chore? Did I miss that memo somewhere? In order to be a good housewife, am I going to have to look forward to doing laundry? I've got a lot of work to do this year. Good thing it's still January.
Anyway, I've spent the past half hour reading about laundry (I could have spent that time actually doing the laundry...but oh well). They said that you should never keep your washer and dryer in the basement (MOM - I'M LOOKING AT YOU!), and that keeping it near the kitchen is the best location. Don't ask me why...the book didn't tell me. I wonder if that advice still holds true or not. I feel like a lot of people I know have their washers and dryers in the basement, and they've all seemed to do okay so far. I read a bit further and found a section about how to do laundry in an apartment - score! I read the section, though, and I can't do what it says. It says that the best thing to do is to get a small "semiautomatic washer." This can be wheeled into a corner when not in use, and it hooks conveniently up to your sink faucet. Sweet! I so want to try one of those. I can't, though, on account of they don't make them anymore.
The book went on to say that the newest technology in laundering is the combination washer/dryer. You put your clothes in the top, and then the single machine washes AND dries the clothes for you. What!? That's awesome. Why don't we have those anymore? I want one.
Finally I found something in the chapter that I could try. It gave instructions about how to help your bath towels reach maximum fluffiness. Who doesn't want an extremely fluffy towel? Rex is gone for the next few hours to study for an exam, so this is my chance to do a fluffiness experiment. Here's how it is going to work: I'm going to wash a load of towels. I'm going to take two of the same kind of towel, and I'm going to dry one the way we usually do (in the dryer). I am going to dry the other one following the directions in the book: shake the towel vigorously when it comes out of the washer, and then hang it up on a clothesline outside to dry. When Rex gets home, I will present him with the two towels and see if he can detect a difference in fluffiness.
I now have to put this blog post on hold so that I can go wash my towels, figure out how in the world I am going to fashion an outside clothesline, and conduct my fluffiness experiment. I will report my results shortly.
7 hours later...
Okay, I guess I was just kidding about that "shortly" thing. Drying a towel outside instead of in a dryer takes a LONG time! Let me back up and walk you through what happened since I last wrote:
First I washed the towels. That's pretty straightforward. While they were washing, I decided to fashion my clothesline. It's awfully hard to make a clothesline when there is no string in the apartment anywhere. I ended up finding a spare shoelace, but that wasn't long enough. I found some old earbud headphones behind a stack of books. I tied the cord from the headphones around the shoelace, and my "clothesline" was just long enough to stretch across the two rails on our balcony. Whoo hoo!
Once the towels finished washing, I put most of them in the dryer but took one out and hung it on my clothesline. My clothesline wasn't as successful as I thought, however, because the weight of the wet towel broke the oh-so-secure knots I had tied. The towel fell onto the ground. Obviously that stunk because it meant that I would have to wash the towel again, but I figured I would continue with my fluffiness experiment anyway and just wash it again later (probably...).
Since my clothesline was an epic fail, I just set the towel over my balcony railing. After all, it would still be exposed to the sun and wind that was supposed to boost its fluffiness. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but I figured it would do. I noticed too late that a bird had pooped on the railing where I set the towel, which means I am now 100% for sure going to have to wash it again.
The rest of the towels were dry in about forty-five minutes, but my air-dried towel was still soaking wet. Rex came home, we had lunch, got some chores done...and the towel was still wet. Finally, at 5:00 when we were leaving to go to a pizza/football party, I brought in the air-dried towel from the porch and set it next to its dryer-dried twin. I told Rex that I needed him to check the towels for fluffiness.
Rex (who didn't ask any questions about why I asked him for this weird favor) walked up to the towels, rubbed his hands together to prep them, then closed his eyes and began towel testing. I looked at him strangely and said, "Uhhh...Rex? You don't have to close your eyes. The towels look exactly the same, and you don't know what I did to which one." He responded, "I know, but I'm using sensory deprivation. When I can't see the towels, I am more in tune with the differences in their feel and fluff." I married a weirdo.
After a few minutes of testing, Rex said, "The towel on the left is definitely fluffier...but I don't think it's all the way dry yet."
I felt it again, and he was right - it was still a bit damp. It had been over six hours since it came out of the wash! Good heavens. I'm glad it was fluffier, but I don't know if it was worth the trouble. I think I would rather have a slightly less fluff-intensive towel that is completely dry in forty-five minutes. Plus, now I have to wash the air-dried towel again because I dropped it in bird poop. Next time I'm drying it in the dryer.
***UPDATE ON PREVIOUS POST*** Having the toaster in the middle of my kitchen counter is driving me nuts. It's ugly, and I haven't used it once since I put it there. According to the laws of this project, do I HAVE to leave it there all year? I must think on this. Advice is appreciated.