If you are wondering what is the big deal in laundry and why anyone would write an article on it, you obviously have never washed a single clothing of yours in your life. You would be blown away to know how much of calculations go into each of the washing cycles. If you are like me who has been there and done that, then take a break and read this article. It will be a good laugh for you.
Laundry – the activity of washing clothes seems to be a simple task for a naïve eye. But it is far from that. Housewives, being the majority who handles this duty, has to deal with a multitude of emotions and physical challenges every time a load needs attention.
She is a woman on a mission. She wants her family to wear clean clothes. White uniforms, spotless collars, dirty socks, coffee stains on a favourite shirt, all need her attention and she strives to give her best. All of which are usually taken for granted and goes unnoticed. But she is not faltered. Her reward is simple and she is happy when she gets the expected results from washing.
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Have you noticed the woman of the house folding clothes? The love you see in the simple action is priceless. The gentle caress of the little one’s dress, a touch in the cheek and feeling the softness of the fabric, smelling the crispy clean shirt of her man, her reward lies in that. She is happy with a job well done.
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You would think that science has favoured the modern housewife. It has given her the washing machine, which automatically washes, rinses and dries the clothes with just as much as a fingertip movement. WRONG. It is all a façade. The actual work in laundry begins way back from pressing those buttons.
Let Us See The Steps Involved!
- Take a stock of all the dirty clothes to be washed. This involves scouting around the house, under the couch, over the chairs and lying on the floor.
- Sorting. You can’t just chuck them all into the machine, can you? There are the coloured ones, white ones, delicate ones, extra dirty ones, ‘I need immediately’ ones…you can see where I am going right. You have been there.
- And now for the biggest challenge – STAINS. It is every housewife dream to have at least one load without stains. But it is just wishful thinking. There have to be stained. First, you have to look for it. yellow stain in the white uniform shirt (mind voice – no more mangoes for snacks), mud stain in uniform pant (mind voice – why are they having PT on the day they are wearing white?) What is that red stain in shirt collar? (mind voice – Let him come home). So, each and every stain gets special attention and corrective measures. (for both clothes and person!)
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- Now after taking the strategic decision on which group is a priority, you load them into the machine. Here optimisation checks in. You must load the correct amount of clothes. Too much will conk your machine and under wash the clothes. Too little means more loads and waste of electricity and water. So, we check and recheck the number of clothes, their density, etc and finally put them in.
- So now we switch on the machine, right? Wrong again. Now, even the simplest machine of these days come with so many options that rocket science may not have. Why can’t they ‘have a simple ‘ON’ or ‘Wash ‘option? No, no, no no no…. there is the quick wash, 30, 60 90-degree wash, mixed load wash, delicate wash, hot wash, just rinse and spin, cotton wash, colour clothes wash, hygiene wash …. the more expensive the machine is, the more complicated it gets!… What are you trying to do to our minds? After applying logical reasoning (and I hated competitive exams) and finally choosing the correct option, it is time for the detergent.
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- I can write a full-on article on washing machine liquid. I mean it. Have you ever shopped for a washing machine soap? There is a whole aisle dedicated for that. And how are we supposed to choose what is the right machine liquid for me and my machine? (Yes, I did say for me, because it must suit my budget, right?) The serviceman who fixed the machine said to go with one particular brand alone (God knows why) otherwise it will spoil the drum. The ads in the media give me other ideas.
- Choices, choices. First, you have to choose between powder or liquid. Then you have to choose between front load and top load (I have never figured how it would make a difference). Then you have companies that say the stains will vanish and others that say the colours will stay. Should I just mix them and use? Finally, wisdom prevailed and I bought the one that said but one and gets one free (he he!)
- Now the wash cycle is over, it is time to take to take your laundry out. Sorry, wrestle it out is a likely term. Parting the entwined clothes requires special visits to the gym. Finally, you decide whether the weather is good enough to hang them outside or inside, you are finally done.
- Oh no! not yet dear. You have not wiped the machine. Yes. You have to wipe the drum with a dry cloth to prevent the formation of mould and keep the door slightly ajar for few minutes to get the odour out. Of course, if you forget to close it, it may become a good hiding place for unwelcomed guests and you can imagine how the next wash will turn out!
Well, dear friends, as you can see, laundry is not a child’s play. You need a certain amount of ingenuity, logical and analytical skills that need to applied time and again in each and every wash. So, whenever you put on your freshly laundered dress and smell the pleasant fragrance of cleanliness in your clothes, thank wholeheartedly the person who has endured so much for you. It is not only a physical chore for them but an emotional journey as well.
Or do it yourself!