Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Laundry Woes

Big Ag and I have a pretty harmonious marriage.  Some of that comes from marrying later in life; when you marry late, you don't change much and it makes it easier to predict exactly who you will and won't get along with in your advancing years.

But we do have some differences, and some of those differences can happen on the homestead front when you're trying to live a chemical and addiditive-free life.  The latest example is laundry.  

And the difference is this: He wants to stink and I don't.

Before you judge, I will tell you right now that what you just read is probably not what you are thinking it is.  Neither one of us wants to smell of body odor.  We love our showers and we love clean clothes.  But here's where we part ways:  Big Ag likes his shirts to smell "fresh" -- fruity, flowery, and what most of our culture considers a "clean" smell, meaning highly-scented, and I like mine to smell natural, also known as "unscented."

And so our Washing Wars began, where he complained his laundry did not smell like anything and was, in fact, "musty," and I battled back and told him his clothes smelled like actual clean clothes, hung on a line in the fresh air to dry, and that he just wasn't used to that, after years of clothes dried in a clothes dryer with scented fabric softener sheets.

Then he told me someone had hugged him at work and made a face.  Whether or not I think this was his imagination or not was unimportant at this point.  The point was, I'd had enough of the critiquing of our laundry, and the fact that he was uncomfortable.

And so I broke down and bought some in-wash Downey "scent booster" (aka super stinky chemical "dots") which you shake into to your wash, and which gives you shirts you can smell from 50 yards away.  I wash his shirts separately from the other clothes now  -- not a very eco-friendly practice, I know -- but they have the extreme scent Big Ag apparently equates with "clean."  

I try not to focus on the fact that I have no idea what's in these little scent dots, what they do in a septic system, a human immune system, or what they are made of.  I keep them out of 3/4th of the rest of the laundry (his underwear, jeans and socks get washed with our regular, homemade detergent, which cleans just fine but which has no scent), and that is our compromise.

When you homestead as a couple, you will find differences in how you want to live, and this is an example of ours.

The bane of my existence.

And now I'm going to go and throw all the windows in the house open because I just washed a bunch of Big Ag's shirts and our entire house smells like a fruity, flowery, chemical candy store.


  1. We agree on the laundry it's the weeds at the country house that we disagree on. They get very thick up against the buildings there & it takes a long time to string trim. We have to keep them cut back to prevent rodents. He thinks that if he sprays Roundup that they won't come back as strong. I think it only keeps them away for a little while & that they still come back just as thick.

    1. What is it with men and RoundUp? If I allowed it, I swear Big Ag would RoundUp the entire pasture and about 3/4th of the yard. I only allow him to use it where nothing else will do the trick, because I think it's nasty stuff. It's an endocrine disruptor, so I don't take using it lightly. But these guys want to spray it around like it's water lol!

  2. Hahahaha. It kind of sounds like a Seinfeld episode. WHY DID HE MAKE THE FACE, GEORGE? So I'm with both of you. I am no fan of neutral smelling laundry, nor do I endorse chemicals. I add vinegar and baking soda to every load I do and I love it. Things feel so clean and soft. And since I use my herb and citrus infused vinegars, my laundry smells so fresh and wonderful. Also I wash my sheets in salty lavender water which makes them soo soft. I have a weird fascination with laundry, actually.

    1. Well, now you've got me fascinated....infused vinegars...I would never have thought of that! I have been using vinegar in the rinse cycle for years, but after it's hung on the line, the vinegar smell dissipates. But an infused vinegar might be something **I** would like, if a little scent (just a little) sticks around! And what is this "salty lavender water" you speak of? I think you need to do a laundry post on your blog, because I'd love to hear about both! Oh, and I can just hear George's mother saying that lol! Too funny.