Saturday, 9 July 2011

Day 6: Holiday Laundry

As I feared, there is no internet access at this conference centre.
The following pages were written daily, however, and uploaded all at once.

I've just had a thought. I've been approaching things the wrong way round. I have been trying to work out how to save money while travelling. But maybe travelling can help me work out how to save money.

Specifically, I mean this: I travelled to Germany in a crush-effect blue top. It was cool and comfortable, and I am minded to travel home in it again. The journey was not too hot, and so the top was not smelly - just a little less than fresh. So I washed it in the sink. At the last minute when packing, I had flung a little travel bottle filled with handwash liquid into my luggage. I filled the sink in my room with very hot water, left the top steeping overnight, then rinsed it once in the morning. Then I hung it over the (cold) radiator to dry, et voilĂ  – by the next morning, a freshly laundered top, sweet-smelling and perfectly passable.

So I ask myself: if this works on holiday, why should this not work on an everyday basis? First of all, is it truly necessary to change our clothing every day? Underwear, yes – but I seem to remember when growing up that all other clothes had at least a two-day cycle, and outer garments even more. Obviously, there are times when an item becomes so grimy and sweaty that it must go straight into the laundry basket. But other items can be worn twice, particularly if they are made of a natural fabric. Or, if they are not so fresh, then they can be handwashed and rinsed out. I used Ecover handwash liquid, and it only seems to need one or two rinses – so no hours spent slaving over the sink. And one sinkful of hot water followed by one sinkful of cold has to be infinitely more economical than a two-hour-long 40 degree cycle.

So I am resolved. Whenever possible, clothes will be worn twice or washed lightly between machine washes. Thank you, Germany!

1 comment:

Jason said...

I should point out here that boys (and other Neanderthals) have been doing this for years - I refer you to the bit in Ghostbusters II where Bill Murray explains the many subtle gradations of the male laundry basket...