laundry http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5355/all en-US 8 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laundry-4148922-small.jpg" alt="laundry" title="laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've gone shopping for clothes lately, you know that making a few new additions to your wardrobe can involve dropping some serious cash. I mean, who decided that regular button-up oxford shirts are worth $45 each? And on what remote mist-covered island are monks weaving denim that makes jeans worth $155 a pair? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-frugal-fashion-makeover-ever-refresh-your-wardrobe-for-25-or-less?ref=seealso">Refresh Your Wardrobe for Under $25</a>)</p> <p>As the price of clothing goes up, so does my interest in doing whatever I can to stay out of clothing stores. But regardless of how much you spend on your clothes, making them last longer is just a sound part of good frugal strategy. Thankfully, there are some very effective steps you can take to help keep your duds looking good and wearing well.</p> <h2>1. Buy Quality</h2> <p>First, let me stress that higher quality doesn't always have to mean a higher price tag. To help your clothing last longer, start by learning how to spot better made products. Check the fabric content, the quality of stitching, and look for reinforced seams, and dense weaves. Within the parameters of your budget, begin to consider each piece of clothing you buy as an investment and choose pieces that will last year after year. (see also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-wardrobe-basics-for-women-that-are-worth-investing-in?ref=seealso">Wardrobe Basics Worth Investing In</a>)</p> <h2>2. Rotate</h2> <p>If you're like me, you tend to gravitate toward a few select clothing items and just wear them to death. But this approach can lead to a threadbare wardrobe in no time at all. Rotate shoes, suits, jeans, and other pieces to let them air out, avoid wear and tear, and give them a break from the constant wash and dry cycle.</p> <h2>3. Treat Stains Fast</h2> <p>Stains are a part of life, but the faster you treat them the less likely they are to permanently turn your clothing into abstract art. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0037KMI0K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0037KMI0K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Stain pens</a> and wipes are easy to use and convenient to carry in your purse or the glove compartment of your car. If you're treating a stain on-the-go, just make sure to follow the directions carefully and then pre-treat more thoroughly and launder quickly when you get home. Not sure how to treat different types of stains? Check out this <a href="http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/pdf3/stain_removal_basics.pdf">handy stain removal chart</a> from Martha Stewart Living. And for stains on clothing that are specifically grease and oil-based, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">review these stain removal tips</a>.</p> <h2>4. Wash Less Frequently</h2> <p>Some items like socks, underwear, and swimwear should get a thorough washing after each use, but other items don't really need it. Instead of automatically tossing jeans, sweatshirts, and sweaters in the &quot;to-wash&quot; pile after a single wear, spot-treat any stains, let items air-dry, and fold. You can usually get three or four wears between washing.</p> <h2>5. Use Less Detergent</h2> <p>Follow the amount guidelines on most detergent bottles and you'll be sudsing your clothes to within an inch of their lives. Remember, more detergent doesn't equal cleaner clothes. On the contrary, too much soap makes it difficult to get a thorough rinse &mdash; and that makes it much easier for dirt and oils from our skin to stick to fabric. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes?ref=seealso">5 DIY Laundry Detergents</a>)</p> <h2>6. Lighten the Load</h2> <p>As tempting as it is to make laundry day shorter by stuffing the washer to the brim, crammed loads can damage our clothes. First, overstuffed machines don't clean and rinse clothes as effectively. Second, when machines are packed too densely, clothes rub together constantly during the wash and rinse cycles and that wears out fabrics.</p> <h2>7. Avoid Over-Bleaching</h2> <p>Chlorine bleach is caustic and will damage nearly any fabric in the wrong concentration. Make sure to use the right amount of bleach and dilute it properly with water. Typically, bleach stains on clothing result from washing machine bleach dispensers that aren't rinsed out completely, accidental spilling and splashing, and bleach that's added to laundry in the wrong concentration. If you're unsure how to whiten and brighten safely, check out the specifics on <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Bleach-Your-Clothing">how to bleach your clothing</a>.</p> <h2>8. Read and Follow the Care Tags</h2> <p>It's important to read the care instructions on clothing carefully and choose the <a href="http://laundry.about.com/od/laundrybasics/a/watertemperatures.htm">correct water temperature for laundry</a>. Hot water and extreme dryer heat can set untreated stains and cause shrinking and discoloration in some fabrics. When in doubt, hedge your bet by washing in cold water and air drying or drying on a low heat setting &mdash; it's much less likely to damage fabric. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener?ref=seealso">What's in Your Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softener?</a>)</p> <p>If you need proof of how the wrong laundry cycle can chew up your clothes, take a trip to your local thrift store. Sprinkled throughout the inventory of good used clothing, you'll find the inevitable &quot;oops!&quot; item &mdash; the men's XL wool sweater that looks like it was tailored for a toddler (no doubt the result of an unfortunate machine wash-and-dry mishap). When I see these items, I can't help but cringe a little for the original owner who surely kicked himself as he opened the dryer door.</p> <p>New clothing is like anything else we buy &mdash; it represents an output of our cash and cash is essentially a token of our time and labor. With retail prices creeping up in this category like most others, caring for our clothes is really just for caring for our budgets and bottom-lines. Every good year we can get out of a shirt, a fleece pullover, or a pair of skivvies, is money in the bank.</p> <p><em>Have you had a regrettable laundry moment? What tips and tricks do you use to help your clothes last longer?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Style clothing clothing care fabric care laundry Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:24:16 +0000 Kentin Waits 1129221 at http://www.wisebread.com The Greatest Frugal Fashion Makeover Ever: Refresh Your Wardrobe for $25 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-frugal-fashion-makeover-ever-refresh-your-wardrobe-for-25-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-greatest-frugal-fashion-makeover-ever-refresh-your-wardrobe-for-25-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wardrobe-3888494-small.jpg" alt="wardrobe" title="wardrobe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="172" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're all busy. When you're busy, it's hard enough to do basic things like eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise. Keeping up a quality wardrobe that lets you show off who you are in a fun, refined way often falls by the wayside. If money is an issue, it's even easier to let things slide, since browsing when you can't buy anything is just plain depressing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wardrobe-makeover-for-moms">10 Steps to Update Your Look on a Budget</a>)</p> <p>But all of us in need of a revamped wardrobe are in luck, because it's cheaper and easier than most of us think (or, at least, easier than I thought!) to refine your look and make sure you're saying what you want to say every time you get dressed.</p> <h2>Before You Shop</h2> <p>One of the best ways to revamp your wardrobe is to start with what you have. Think this is backwards? Let me show you how it works.</p> <p><strong>Analyze Your Wardrobe</strong></p> <p>Before you do anything else, look through your whole wardrobe. This means everything, including the clothes you have stashed away in the back of your closet. Look even at items that are too big or too small, as they can give you clues to what you like and don't like. Then, put all the clothes you don't like or that don't fit into one pile, and prep the rest for laundry.</p> <p><strong>Deep Clean Your Clothes</strong></p> <p>Depending on the age of your clothes, what they're made of, and your usual washing practices, you may need to do different steps here. The idea is to make your existing clothes look as good as they possibly can. Bleach your whites, and treat for armpit and other stains. Make your colored items pop and your dark items look crisp. Wisk DeepClean Power Blasts are known for helping with this project, but you can always treat stains with a Tide pen and add OxyClean to your detergent for all around cleaner clothes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">Defensive Laundry: 9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <p><strong>Revamp Tired Items</strong></p> <p>This can mean any number of things. Cover holes or stains that you can't get out with applique, patches, or handmade flowers; or <a href="http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=522554&amp;page=1">mend them</a>. Go over the stitching on boring items with a contrasting color, or add ribbon. You can even shorten or remove sleeves, change a hemline, or <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/sewstacie/39-ways-to-reuse-restyle-and-rewear-your-old-t-s-9gri">restyle a T-shirt</a>. When it comes to revamping your clothes, you're only limited by your creativity.</p> <p><strong>Trade-In Time</strong></p> <p>Find a local consignment store that has items you'd like to own, and take in any clothes that you own, but don't wear, for a trade-in. Keep in mind that many consignment stores are choosy, and will only take clothes that are in good condition, made by name brands, and/or in the particular style that the store specializes in.</p> <p><strong>Host a Clothing Swap</strong></p> <p>If you like your friends' clothes, and you're all around the same size, host a clothing swap. There are <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/clothing-swap-party-exchange/">many ways to do this</a>, but the gist of the idea is that everyone comes together with the clothes that they don't want anymore and everyone gets to shop from the other closets. Anything not taken home is generally sent to a thrift store or donated elsewhere.</p> <h2>Shopping</h2> <p>Once you've done everything listed above, it's time to do a bit of shopping with your $25. It will help if you decide what you are looking for before you go, so you don't end up spending money on something you don't like or that will not be useful to you.</p> <p><strong>Shopping Second-Hand</strong></p> <p>One of the best ways to find quality clothes at a much-lower-than-retail price is to buy items second-hand. This takes some extra time and energy, as you often have to look through hundreds of items that you don't want to find a few that you do, but you can often buy several name-brand items for less than $25. Be sure to go to thrift stores when you have some extra time, so you won't feel hurried as you browse the racks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store</a>)</p> <p><strong>Jewelry</strong></p> <p>If you generally feel good about your wardrobe but you just want to spice things up a bit, jewelry can be just the thing. <a href="http://www.moddeals.com/list/womens-necklaces">$25 can get you a decent statement necklace</a>, or a couple pairs of new earrings or a new bracelet. With a limited budget, you won't be able to buy a lot of jewelry or even whatever you want. With some patient searching, though, you should be able to find a piece or two that will help you say what you want to say with your clothing.</p> <p><strong>Scarves</strong></p> <p>Scarves are similar to jewelry in that they can change or enhance a look without much effort on your part. Again, you won't be able to buy many scarves or even every scarf you want, if you're on a limited budget. For <a href="http://www.overstock.com/Worldstock-Fair-Trade/Purple-Blue-San-Antonio-Scarf-Guatemala/4015370/product.html?refccid=2BRFHM4GU4ML4OCIV6KV5KM4KQ&amp;searchidx=20">interesting choices</a> (and often lower prices) try an ethnic market. African, Indian, Mexican, Native-American, and Asian markets often sell scarves in fabrics and prints that you won't find elsewhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-accessories-to-kickstart-your-style">Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a>)</p> <p><strong>The Skinny Belt</strong></p> <p>A simple skinny belt, in black, white, brown, or grey, can add versatility to many outfits. Belt a shirt or a dress under the bust, at the waist, or low around the hips, for three <a href="http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/fabuless-fashion-the-power-of-the-skinny-belt/">entirely different looks</a>. Experiment with what you like best and what looks best on your body. You may find that you like the belt worn several different ways, or you may prefer one or two. Either way, you've added versatility to your wardrobe.</p> <p>Revamping your wardrobe on a budget takes some focus and intentionality, but you'll feel better about the way you look when you're done. Don't be afraid to take your time so that you can figure out your style and what looks good on your body, and buy accordingly. Happy hunting!</p> <p><em>What are your favorite, frugal ways to freshen your look?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-frugal-fashion-makeover-ever-refresh-your-wardrobe-for-25-or-less" class="sharethis-link" title="The Greatest Frugal Fashion Makeover Ever: Refresh Your Wardrobe for $25 or Less" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Style accessories laundry new wardrobe Thrift shopping Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:24:32 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 981038 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Dryer Sheets http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-eco-friendly-dryer-sheets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-your-own-eco-friendly-dryer-sheets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid-5242638-small.jpg" alt="bed" title="bed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not only is this laundry solution seriously smart, it is also awesomely eco-friendly. For only pennies, you'll have dryer sheets that can be used over and over and over again. What makes these dryer sheets better than their store-bought counterparts is they can be personalized with your favorite scent and are free of any toxic additives. Along with leaving your clothes feeling soft and fresh, they'll smell clean and ready for wear. And once you try them, you'll wonder why you never made them from scratch in the first place.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Homemade-Drain-Cleaner-30796532">RELATED: Homemade Drain Cleaner</a></p> <h2>What You'll Need</h2> <ul> <li>1/2 cup of vinegar</li> <li>8 drops tea tree or other essential oil</li> <li>Sealabe container</li> <li>Cotton cloths</li> </ul> <h2>Directions</h2> <p>1. Start by cutting your cotton cloths into smaller sections. I used inexpensive dish towels from the dollar store, but old tee shirts or linens would work wonderfully too.</p> <p><img width="350" height="350" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/dryer2.jpg" alt="Dryer sheet ingredients" /></p> <p>2. Mix together the vinegar and essential oil in a small bowl. Vinegar is a natural softener, and the essential oil gives your clothes a gentle, natural scent. Pour the mixture over the cloths until they are dampened but not soaked. Keep in a securely closed container.</p> <p><img width="350" height="350" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/dryer3.jpg" alt="Making dryer sheets" /></p> <p>3. To use, simply remove a sheet from the container, squeezing any excess liquid back into the jar, and toss into the dryer. To reduce static cling in clothes, reduce the heat temperature of your dryer. When clothes are dry, simply place the sheet back in the jar for use later.</p> <p><img width="350" height="350" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/dryer1.jpg" alt="Homemade dryer sheets" /></p> <p><em>Photos: </em><a style="text-decoration: none; color: #888; border-bottom: none;" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Make-Cleaning-Wipes-29438958"><em>Sarah Lipoff for POPSUGAR Smart Living <br /> </em></a></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Putting on soft clothes that just came out of the dryer is great — but traditional dryer sheets are filled with chemicals. Instead, make this eco-friendly version. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img width="300" height="95" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Clean-Your-Stainless-Steel-Sink-30688216">How to&nbsp;Clean Your Stainless Steel&nbsp;Sink</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Homemade-Leather-Furniture-Cleaner-30606503">Homemade Leather Furniture Cleaner</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/DIY-Dishwasher-Baking-Soda-Bombs-30594360">Clean Your Dishwasher With a Baking Soda Bomb</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY Green Living Home dryer green cleaning supplies laundry Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:24:32 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 980712 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Washing Machines http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-washing-machines <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-washing-machines" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laundry-1717477-small.jpg" alt="laundry" title="laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The washing machine is a staple appliance in any household because of our need to keep our clothes fresh and clean. But while many of us are familiar with the use of a washing machine, what happens when we have to purchase a brand new one for our homes? There are a number of factors to consider when purchasing a new washing machine, and this list is here to help you figure it out.</p> <h2>What Is a Washing Machine?</h2> <p>A washing machine is an appliance that is used to wash laundry. The process includes immersing and agitating dirty clothing in water mixed with detergent and/or bleach. There are two main types of washing machines: top-loading and front-loading machines. Top-loading machines are the least expensive of the two, but also do not wash as well and use up more energy. High-efficiency models help mitigate this problem, but these come with a higher price tag. Front-loading machines perform better and more efficiently than top-loaders, but they&rsquo;re also more expensive.</p> <h2>Best 5 Washing Machines</h2> <h3>Maytag Maxima XL MHW7000AW</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BJMKH5Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJMKH5Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="186" height="200" align="right" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/MTMaximaXLMHW7000AW.jpg" alt="" /></a>The most highly rated front-loading washing machine on Consumer Reports, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BJMKH5Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJMKH5Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Maytag Maxima XL MHW7000AW</a> was well-reviewed in washing performance, energy, and water efficiency. With a carrying capacity of 4.3 cubic feet, it can fit a very large load of laundry and has a number of automatic controls to ease the washing process. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BJMKH5Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJMKH5Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $1,079 on Amazon Marketplace</a>.</p> <h3>Samsung WF210ANW</h3> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10926682?sid=bguidelink&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Ftracking.searchmarketing.com%2Fclick.asp%3Faid%3D1068615263&amp;cjsku=326990-149-WF210ANW"><img width="186" height="200" align="right" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/SamsungWF210ANW.jpg" alt="" /></a>While the usual trend is that front-loading washing machines are typically more expensive than top-loaders, the <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10926682?sid=bguidelink&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Ftracking.searchmarketing.com%2Fclick.asp%3Faid%3D1068615263&amp;cjsku=326990-149-WF210ANW">Samsung WF210ANW</a> offers front-loader efficiency without the hefty pricetag. However, while the Samsung does comply with Energy Star standards, users agree that it is only mediocre in terms of washing performance. Its noise and vibration levels are also not top-of-the-line and it has a relatively large cycle time. <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10926682?sid=bguidelink&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Ftracking.searchmarketing.com%2Fclick.asp%3Faid%3D1068615263&amp;cjsku=326990-149-WF210ANW" target="_blank">Currently $699.00 at Lowe's.</a><img width="1" height="1" border="0" src="http://www.tqlkg.com/image-2822544-10926682" alt="" /></p> <h3>Whirlpool Duet WFW97HEX</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004B987Y2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004B987Y2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="180" height="200" align="right" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/WhirlpoolDuetWFW97HEX.jpg" alt="" /></a>Well-reviewed at both Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004B987Y2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004B987Y2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Whirlpool Duet WFW97HEX</a> is known for its Precision Dispense Ultra system that allows you to select detergent concentration and water hardness, giving you great control over your laundry. Users agree that it tackles heavily dirty laundry with ease and is highly efficient, saving you both water and energy. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004B987Y2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004B987Y2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $1,410.99 on Amazon</a>.</p> <h3>LG WM2650HRA Front Load Steam Washer</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007GD1CK6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007GD1CK6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="172" height="200" align="right" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/LGWM2650HRA.jpg" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007GD1CK6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007GD1CK6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">LG WM2650HRA Washer</a> is considered by many users to be a great front-loading washing machine at a price that does not break the bank. With a large carrying capacity of 3.6 cubic feet and 9 different washing programs, this LG can take care of just about any laundry load. Additionally, users find the special steam cycle to work on even the toughest stains. However, best plan ahead if you intend to use the steam cycle &mdash; it takes at least 2 hours to finish. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007GD1CK6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007GD1CK6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $817.99 on Amazon Marketplace</a>.</p> <h3>LG WT4801CW</h3> <p><a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11054902?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.searsoutlet.com%2Fd%2Fproduct_details.jsp%3Fpid%3D83850%26mode%3DbuyUsedOnly&amp;cjsku=WT4801CW"><img width="165" height="200" align="right" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/LGWT4801CW.jpg" alt="" /></a>A Consumer Reports Best Buy, the <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11054902?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.searsoutlet.com%2Fd%2Fproduct_details.jsp%3Fpid%3D83850%26mode%3DbuyUsedOnly&amp;cjsku=WT4801CW">LG WT4801CW</a> is considered the best top-loading washing machine available. Not only is it highly efficient, it doesn't suffer from the performance problems of its fellow brethren, all the while maintaining a reasonable price tag. Users of this LG also note that it is quiet and easy to use. The biggest complaint against this washing machine is that it is not the most gentle on clothing, and laundry can get tangled or wrinkled after being washed. <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11054902?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.searsoutlet.com%2Fd%2Fproduct_details.jsp%3Fpid%3D83850%26mode%3DbuyUsedOnly&amp;cjsku=WT4801CW" target="_blank">Currently $599.93 at Sears Outlet.</a><img width="1" height="1" border="0" src="http://www.ftjcfx.com/image-2822544-11054902" alt="" /></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-washing-machines" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Washing Machines" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best washers buying guide laundry product reviews washer washing machine Thu, 16 May 2013 10:24:31 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 973810 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Out-of-Fashion but Totally Frugal Old Tools http://www.wisebread.com/10-out-of-fashion-but-totally-frugal-old-tools <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-out-of-fashion-but-totally-frugal-old-tools" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4622574783_822f4c92f9_z.jpg" alt="typewriter" title="typewriter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all love the convenience that modern technology affords, but that convenience often comes with a hefty price tag.</p> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to pay top dollar for newfangled devices, however. You can save a sizable sum by swearing off appliances and other tools with batteries and cords in favor of their old-fashioned counterparts that only need a bit of elbow grease to get the job done.</p> <p>Time to get nostalgic then. Here are 10 such tools. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-10-items-to-borrow">The Best 10 Items to Borrow</a>)</p> <h2>1. Push Reel Mower</h2> <p>This early lawn mower design makes me laugh because it&rsquo;s probably one of the most dangerous devices ever made. I&rsquo;m sure some fingers and toes were lost in the '50s and '60s due to curiosity and negligence. But if you're smart enough to know that you shouldn't stick your digits anywhere near spinning, exposed blades, you'll be OK. The push reel mower is powered by forward motion, so you're saving money on gas versus a modern-day push mower or an extremely expensive riding mower. Plus you'll get lots of exercise trying to push it around the yard to get the job done. This frugal device is not for the faint of heart &mdash; it's a serious workout. Bring water.</p> <h2>2. Washboard</h2> <p>The first thing I think of when the image of a washboard pops into my head is &ldquo;Emmet Otter&rsquo;s Jug-Band Christmas;&rdquo; I think it was a beaver who used this tool as his instrument of choice. While you&rsquo;ll be hard-pressed to find a washboard outside of an antique store, this is a frugal tool that I can totally get behind. A lot of my clothing is delicate &mdash; wools, cashmeres, etc. &mdash; so I sometimes prefer to wash single items by hand. The washboard can help release the stains much quicker than trying to scrape them out with your fingers or a quarter (and don&rsquo;t act like you&rsquo;ve never done the latter).</p> <h2>3. Eggbeater</h2> <p>While it&rsquo;s called an eggbeater, this device is a multipurpose beater that preceded your handheld electric mixer or that coveted Kitchen Aid. I&rsquo;m not sure why it was even used for eggs in the first place &mdash; a fork works just fine to beat eggs in my house, as I&rsquo;m sure it did for the pilgrims &mdash; but the beater came in handy for other mixtures (like cake batter) that required more beating gusto than a fork can produce. While the old eggbeater is frugal, it&rsquo;s also a tool that requires strength and stamina. Have you ever tried beating anything with this device? After about 30 seconds you&rsquo;ll realize why it&rsquo;s extinct.</p> <h2>4. Paper Maps</h2> <p>Confession time &mdash; I have never used a paper map to get anywhere because I don&rsquo;t know how to read a paper map. Does anyone, really? The only examples I&rsquo;ve seen of people using paper maps end in them arguing and crumbling it up &mdash; which is not a sign of people who are getting along fine with the map. (Besides, by the time I reached driving age, MapQuest was invented.) The benefit to paper maps over your phone or GPS, however, is that there are few errors. Paper maps are painstakingly created so they&rsquo;re virtually perfect, whereas today&rsquo;s technology can malfunction and send you off course.</p> <h2>5. Meat Grinder</h2> <p>If you want to avoid paying premium prices for ground beef, invest in a meat grinder and turn cheap cuts of beef into hamburger patties with just a few cranks of the handle at home. A meat grinder is ideal for any kind of meat that you want ground up, and some versions have an attachment so you can turn ground meat into homemade sausages. Throw those puppies on the grill, and you'll definitely wow the crowd with your culinary skills.</p> <h2>6. Payphone</h2> <p>Are you as surprised as I am when you see a payphone? And when did they all disappear? It was like some covert government operation eliminated all the payphones one night while we were sleeping. In any case, the payphone is infinitely cheaper than your cell phone when you compare how much you actually talk on the phone by how much you pay for it. The base rate of my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kick-that-cell-phone-contract-save-with-a-prepaid-plan">cell phone plan</a> (just to make calls) is $46.99 a month. Last month I talked for 42 minutes total, which means that I paid $1.11 per minute. If I didn't like texting so much or reading Wikipedia at night under the covers while my husband is snoring, I'd definitely drop my mobile plan and seek out a payphone when I need to make my two phone calls a month.</p> <h2>7. Typewriter</h2> <p>There are plenty of arguments on why the computer is superior to the typewriter, but if you have no use for the Internet and you don&rsquo;t mind producing documents spotted with Wite-Out, by all means return to using the typewriter and save. Plus, a typewriter has that retro-cool thing goin' for it. It's also the perfect device to use if you want to be crafty with gift tags or individual thank-you cards.</p> <h2>8. Floor Sweeper</h2> <p>Dyson does an excellent job of making a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/upright-vacuum-cleaners-buying-guide">vacuum cleaner</a> look sexy; people think I&rsquo;m crazy when I ask for these newfangled products for Christmas. (Yes, I might be the only boy in the world who is happy to receive appliances and cookware as gifts.) However, if you don&rsquo;t want to spend upwards of $400 dollars on that brilliant ball design, a floor sweeper will pick up all the same crud from your abode for much less. Other benefits include no cord to trip over or wrap up and no noisy motor to send your dogs into a tizzy.</p> <h2>9. Abacus</h2> <p>One of my Facebook friends suggested this old-fashioned-but-frugal tool, and I agree 100%. Anybody who was in high school in the late &lsquo;90s knows that most modern curriculums required a high-priced, huge calculator designed by &mdash; for the most part &mdash; Texas Instruments. (I should have bought stock in that company 10 years ago.) The truth is, though, my purchase of that calculator was a major waste of money because I couldn&rsquo;t care less about any kind of math beyond basic arithmetic (and because I mostly used it to play games in math class). I didn&rsquo;t need algebra, calculus, or trigonometry then, and I sure as heck don&rsquo;t need it now. Long live the abacus and its simple, cheap system of teaching us how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.</p> <h2>10. Can Opener</h2> <p>Another confession &mdash; when I was living on my own for the first time, I had no idea how to operate a manual can opener. It was foreign to me because I grew up with an electric one. But just because I didn&rsquo;t know how to use it doesn&rsquo;t mean that I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s a valuable tool. In fact, I think an electric can opener is probably the most useless modern device mention on this list. I also think it was invented by the laziest person on the planet. Comparably, how much faster does an electric can opener open a can than a manual opener opens a can? Like five seconds? Come on. I&rsquo;ll stick with the thing that costs $3 instead of the one that costs $30.</p> <p><em>Time to chime in. What other old fashioned, frugal devices can you think of? Do you still use any of them instead of the modern devices? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-out-of-fashion-but-totally-frugal-old-tools" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Out-of-Fashion but Totally Frugal Old Tools" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home cell phones cheap tools laundry lawn mower Fri, 15 Jun 2012 10:24:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 935064 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Save Up to $1,500 a Year on Laundry http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-up-to-1500-a-year-on-laundry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-up-to-1500-a-year-on-laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5938737375_d0f1cc8b9f_z-1.jpg" alt="Save Up to $1500 a Year on Laundry" title="Save Up to $1500 a Year on Laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on saving up to $1500 a year on laundry, steps to take after a job interview, and how to save on utility bills.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://beingfrugal.net/2012/03/15/save-up-to-1500-a-year-on-laundry/">Save up to $1500 a Year on Laundry</a> &mdash; Save around $200 a year by making your own laundry detergent. [Being Frugal]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Steps-Take-After-Job-Interview-2871452">5 Steps To Take After A Job Interview</a> &mdash; After a job interview, remember to take time to do some self critiquing of your performance. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://canadianfinanceblog.com/8-tips-how-to-save-money-on-utility-bills/">8 Tips: How To Save Money On Utility Bills</a> &mdash; Ditch your dryer to cut back on your utility bills. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2012/03/20/cheap-ways-to-relieve-your-aching-back/">Cheap Ways to Relieve your Aching Back</a> &mdash; Give your back some relief by getting up and moving around every 45 minutes. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2012/03/20/seven-times-not-to-use-coupons/">Seven Times NOT to Use Coupons</a> &mdash; Don't use coupons to buy something you wouldn't normally want or need. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.newlywedsonabudget.com/2012/03/spring-cleaning-for-two/">Spring Cleaning with a Spouse</a> &mdash; When cleaning with your spouse, resist the urge to reclean something your spouse has already cleaned. [Newlyweds On A Budget]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/career/working-while-traveling-getting-stuff-done/">Working While Traveling: Getting Stuff Done</a> &mdash; If you have to work while you travel, make sure you bring a priority list with you so you remember to complete the most important things first. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://steadfastfinances.com/blog/2012/03/19/7-smart-tips-for-teaching-your-kids-about-money/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SteadfastFinances+%28Steadfast+Finances%29">7 Smart Tips For Teaching Your Kids About Money</a> &mdash; Teach your kids about money by encouraging them to be entrepreneurs. [Steadfast Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/03/suggested-tips-on-receipt.html">Suggested Tips on Receipt</a> &mdash; Have you noticed that on your receipts, sometimes suggested tips show up at the bottom? [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-access-fresh-local-produce">How to Access Fresh, Local Produce</a> &mdash; Head to your local farmers market to pick up some fresh, local produce. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-up-to-1500-a-year-on-laundry" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Save Up to $1,500 a Year on Laundry" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips laundry Wed, 21 Mar 2012 10:24:26 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 913085 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Other Green Cleaners Already in Your House http://www.wisebread.com/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5507117873_5570caedd2_z.jpg" alt="man staring at lemon" title="man staring at lemon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've probably heard of the amazing cleaning properties of baking soda and vinegar. However, did you know that you probably have several other natural green cleaners in your home? These lesser-known household cleaners are better for the environment, effective at cleaning, and easy on your wallet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">30 Household Products Vinegar Can&nbsp;Replace</a>)</p> <h2>Borax</h2> <p>Borax is the natural salt of boric acid and is mined in places like Death Valley, California. It is a 100% naturally occurring substance and is a useful all-purpose cleaner in the home. However, unlike other natural cleaners like vinegar or baking soda, it is not entirely harmless. A significant dose of the chemical can be toxic, so keep the box of Borax stored out of reach of children and pets (just as you should keep laundry detergent out of reach &mdash; it's toxic if ingested).</p> <p>That being said, Borax is mild enough to use for all sorts of household purposes without harm. I usually mix it with a drop or two of liquid soap and use it to scrub the scum off my bathtub and bathroom sink. It works better than commercial cleaners, without the fumes, bleach, and caustic chemicals. It&rsquo;s also non-abrasive. In fact, it&rsquo;s so mild that I usually just give my bathtub a scrubbing while I&rsquo;m in the shower and rinse off any leftover Borax with the hand-held shower head, something that would be downright dangerous with a commercial cleaner.</p> <p>I also add a couple of tablespoons to my laundry to boost the cleaning power of my detergent. Borax helps to remove stains (it makes a great pre-wash soak for stained clothing), and by softening the water, helps the detergent to work better. My Canadian friends rave about <a href="http://www.mcguirenaturals.ca/proddetail.php?prod=Bar025&amp;cat=10&amp;PHPSESSID=ce512641c3abe65744789c624a52ee64">McGuire Naturals&rsquo; organic stain removing stick</a>, in which the first ingredient is &ldquo;enhanced borax.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s perfect for children&rsquo;s clothing on which you don&rsquo;t want to use artificial perfumes and dyes.</p> <p>Borax is a natural insecticide and can be used to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen">keep the ant population down</a>. It can also help keep your drains clear when used regularly &mdash; pour some Borax powder down the drain and follow with boiling water. You can also mix it with water and vinegar to make a great window-cleaning solution.</p> <h2>Castile Soap</h2> <p>Castile soap is a fancy name for organic vegetable-based soap. It is a mild and gentle biodegradable soap that comes under a variety of brand names (most commonly, Dr. Bronner&rsquo;s pure liquid soap). Soaps are generally made of natural ingredients (as opposed to detergents, which are synthetic), and are thus better for your health and for the environment.</p> <p>You can use Castile soap to clean laundry &mdash; although soaps are not as effective as detergents if you have hard water, they also won&rsquo;t wear out fabrics as quickly. Try using it with a few tablespoons of Borax or baking soda to up the stain-fighting factor and to soften the water. Dilute soap with water to clean floors and counters. Mix Castile soap with baking soda to scrub stains off of dishes, sinks, bathtubs, counters, etc. Mix the soap with water and vinegar to make your own spray cleansing solution. You can use it to wash dishes and even to wash your car!</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve also mixed soap with water to spray on the leaves of my plants &mdash; this helps to get rid of unwanted pests and insects.</p> <p>Pure Castile soap is cheap and it makes a natural and gentle body wash. Buy unscented liquid Castile soap to shampoo your dog; it&rsquo;s organic and won&rsquo;t irritate his nose with synthetic perfumes. And because pure Castile soap is biodegradable, it makes a great camp soap for your next camping trip.</p> <h2>Rubbing Alcohol</h2> <p>Most people have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in their first-aid kit, and it works really well at getting off the sticky gunk left after peeling off a store label. However, be careful as rubbing alcohol is a very strong solvent and may damage the finish underneath. I use it to clean the gunk off ceramics and the glossy covers of books. It can also work as a spot cleaner to dissolve ink stains in clothing and fabrics. Use it to clean greasy fingerprints off of telephones, keyboards, and printers (it disinfects them too).&nbsp;</p> <p>Be careful to avoid exposure when using rubbing alcohol; try not to breathe in fumes, and wear gloves to prevent hands from drying out. Rubbing alcohol is toxic if ingested, so keep it out of reach of children. It&rsquo;s also highly flammable, so don&rsquo;t use it near an open flame. In spite of being quite a strong and irritating solvent, it has a <a href="http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703198/ISOPROPYL_ALCOHOL/">low impact on the environment</a>.</p> <h2>Hydrogen Peroxide</h2> <p>Again, raid your first-aid box for cheap and natural household cleaners. Hydrogen peroxide is great on cuts, but did you know that it also kills mold and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew">mildew</a>? Dilute one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water, and spray it on moldy grout and tile. Rinse off an hour later.</p> <h2>Lemon</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-alternative-uses-for-lemons">Lemon juice</a> is a great natural, non-toxic cleaner that cuts grease really well. Wipe mixing bowls with a slice of lemon before beating egg whites to ensure no trace grease ruins the fluffiness of the eggs. Rub a slice of lemon over a cutting board to help clean and disinfect. Grind up a few wedges of lemon or some leftover lemon peels in the sink garbage disposal to clean out grease and get rid of bad smells. Wipe sinks and fixtures with lemon juice for a nice shine.</p> <h2>Cornstarch</h2> <p>Sprinkle cornstarch on a carpet and allow it to sit for 30 minutes to absorb dirt and odors before vacuuming. It works the same way as a dry shampoo for your hair, as it absorbs the grease, then brushes right out. Cornstarch can help remove fresh stains from fabric or carpet &mdash; make a paste of water and cornstarch, apply it to the stain and allow it to dry, then brush it off or wash it out. This works especially well for stubborn grease stains.</p> <h2>Club Soda</h2> <p>This party staple works especially well to treat fresh stains. As soon as a spill occurs, pour club soda over and blot with a towel.</p> <h2>Salt</h2> <p>Plain old salt can shine up tarnished brass and copper. Rub the surface with salt and vinegar or salt and lemon juice to bring it up to its original shine. Sprinkle salt on a fresh wine stain and the salt will help draw the stain out of the fabric.</p> <p><em>What&rsquo;s your favorite all-natural cleaner?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Other Green Cleaners Already in Your House" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living Home green cleaners household cleaners laundry Mon, 05 Mar 2012 11:36:18 +0000 Camilla Cheung 909703 at http://www.wisebread.com Toxic Laundry: What’s in Your Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softener? http://www.wisebread.com/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laundry_on_the_line.jpg" alt="Baby socks line drying" title="Baby socks line drying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fabric softeners, dryer sheets, fabric sprays...and now laundry crystals. Most American laundry rooms are beginning to look like home chemistry labs. Liquids, gels, foams, and fragrances are mixed and remixed in a never-ending (and quite ironic) search for &ldquo;freshness.&rdquo; It makes me wonder what, exactly, our clothes and linens are going through that requires them to so be thoroughly and aggressively treated. Are all these products really necessary, or have we wholly embraced some trendy loft full of marketers&rsquo; whiteboard dreams? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <h2>The Chemicals</h2> <p>Some of these products are actually harmful to our bodies. According to the EPA and industry-generated Market Safety Data Sheets, fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain a laundry list (pun intended) of dangerous petrochemicals that are often used in untested combinations. There are enough toxins and carcinogens in most of these products to make Erin Brockovich stand up and take notice. Here are just a few:</p> <p><strong>Chloroform</strong></p> <p>In fabric softeners, chloroform is a solvent and aromatic agent.&nbsp;</p> <p>Potential dangers: Chloroform is an anesthetic, neurotoxin, and carcinogen. It's on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list. Inhalation of chloroform fumes depresses the central nervous system. In high concentrations, chloroform may cause headache, gastrointestinal problems, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of the respiratory tract, and loss of consciousness. It aggravates kidney, liver, heart, and skin disorders.</p> <p><strong>Ethyl Acetate</strong></p> <p>Ethyl Acetate is a solvent used in the manufacture of dryer sheets &mdash; it disolves easily and leaves behind only a pleasant smell.</p> <p>Potential dangers:&nbsp;This narcotic is also on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list. It irritates the eyes and respiratory tract, and may cause headache, anemia, and damage to the liver and kidneys. Prolonged exposure may lead to defatting of the skin and dry or cracked skin.</p> <p><strong>Linalool</strong></p> <p>Linalool is an alchohol compound that has a pleasant flower-like smell and is often used to scent dryers sheets and fabric softener.</p> <p>Potential dangers: Linalool is a narcotic that causes CNS disorders and can cause respiratory problems and impair motor activity.</p> <p><strong>Phthalates&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>In dryer sheets, phthalates are typically part of the &quot;fragrance&quot; ingredients. Phthalates help scents last longer.&nbsp;</p> <p>Potential dangers: Phthalates are getting more and more attention in the European Union and in the U.S. as the scientific community explores the health effects from long-term exposure. Phthalates are additives used in the manufacture of children's plastic toys to make them softer and more flexible. They're also a common ingredient in wide range of cosmetics and scented products. Phthalates have been linked to breast cancer, allergies, and reproductive system problems.</p> <p>To find out what other chemicals are in your fabric softener and dryer sheets, check out the article in Natural Life Magazine <a href="http://www.naturallifemagazine.com/0608/softener.htm">Are Soft Clothes Really Worth It</a>?</p> <p>This toxic recipe of chemicals isn't doing our clothes and linens any favors either. Fabric softeners are designed to be absorbed into the fabric&rsquo;s fibers &mdash; creating a lasting fragrance and softness. But over time, these chemicals build up in our clothes and the residue can attract dirt and grime. Why are we buying laundry products that make our stuff dirtier? On towels, fabric softeners interfere with the natural absorbency of cotton and can make that plush bath sheet about as an inviting as polyester pantsuit.</p> <h2>Fabric Softening Alternatives</h2> <p>If you want all the benefits of dryer sheets and fabric softeners, but don&rsquo;t want to invest in a hazmat suit to get them, there are alternatives. To soften fabric, add a quarter cup of baking soda to the wash cycle or a quarter cup of white vinegar (don&rsquo;t combine with bleach) to the rinse cycle. For more natural commercial products, check out Seventh Generation&rsquo;s Natural Lavender Scent Fabric Softener that uses vegetable products instead of chemicals to soften fabric. A Canadian company, Maddocks, has created a reusable dryer sheet called Maddocks&rsquo; Static Eliminator &mdash; it&rsquo;s non-toxic and hypoallergenic.</p> <p>I'm no scientist, and of course every consumer should to do his own research on these chemicals, but the more gunk and goo I pour into my washer and the more perfumed sheets I toss in the dryer, the less clean I feel. Water, a bit of detergent, some good old fashioned agitation, and a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/line-drying-your-laundry-frugal-or-foolish">line dry</a> takes care of most things. Save yourself a few bucks and guard your family&rsquo;s health in the process &mdash; shut down the laundry lab and consider experimenting with some kinder, gentler options.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener" class="sharethis-link" title="Toxic Laundry: What’s in Your Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softener?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Consumer Affairs Green Living chemicals green cleaners laundry Fri, 27 Jan 2012 10:48:21 +0000 Kentin Waits 874624 at http://www.wisebread.com Absolut Repurposing: 17 Uses for Vodka http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/absolut.jpg" alt="Girl with vodka bottle" title="Girl with vodka bottle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In college, I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. In a place where you can buy a liter of some of the finest vodka for only $3 and street stands sell bottles of the drink for 50 cents, it's no surprise that I came across some odd uses for the vodka while abroad. Here are ways (besides drinking) to make the most of it. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors</a>)</p> <h2>Household Cleaning</h2> <p>Did your in-laws just call giving you a 10-minute warning that they're on their way over &mdash; and you're all out of cleaning supplies? For the following remedies, mix one part vodka to three parts water in a spray bottle for any of the following cleaning methods. Then let sit and wipe clean with a damp cloth.</p> <p><strong>1. Shine and Polish Most Surfaces and Jewelry</strong></p> <p>Porcelain, glass, chrome, stainless steel, and most metals can be polished with the help of vodka. (Always be sure to test an out-of-sight spot on any surface you're unsure of.) And don't try to clean any sensitive jewelry, like pearls, opals, and porous jewels with vodka.</p> <p><strong>2. Remove Soap Scum</strong></p> <p>Whether it's on your bathtub, shower, sink, or faucet, soap scum can be easily removed with vodka.</p> <p><strong>3. Clean and Kill Mildew</strong></p> <p>You know the pink mildew that builds up on your bathroom caulk? The vodka's alcohol will kill it.</p> <p><strong>4. Clean Mirrors and Windows</strong></p> <p>Vodka works wonders in removing everything from toothpaste to hairspray from your mirrors and things like kids' fingerprints and dog-nose prints from your windows.</p> <p><strong>5. Remove Glue (and Other Sticky Stuff)</strong></p> <p>When the price tag glue on your newest purchase stubbornly refuses to budge, dab a bit of vodka on it and let sit for a few minutes before rubbing off with a wet washcloth. It even works on bumper sticker adhesive.</p> <h2>Plants and Pets</h2> <p>Vodka is useful for cleaning and killing problems caused by plants and pets.</p> <p><strong>6. Kill Weeds</strong></p> <p>Dandelions can be killed with the help of vodka. Mix a half a cup of vodka and four cups of water in a bottle and thoroughly spray the weeds in your yard. Make sure the sun is bright; the alcohol and sun will work to dehydrate the weed and kill them for good.</p> <p><strong>7. Kill Pests</strong></p> <p>Next time you trap a bee in your windowsill, spray some vodka/water on it to kill it. And aphids can be killed on plants by spraying the plants with a well-diluted vodka solution (one teaspoon of vodka for each cup of water is best).</p> <p><strong>8. Remove Pet Odors</strong></p> <p>If your cat or dog stunk up your carpet, spray the spot with one part vodka to four parts water, and let dry.</p> <h2>Laundry</h2> <p>Vodka dries without an odor and is extremely useful in doing your laundry. Here are two ways it helps.</p> <p><strong>9. Remove Stains</strong></p> <p>Treat ink, lipstick, and grass/plant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt">stains</a> with a bit of vodka. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before throwing in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry.</p> <p><strong>10. Clean Mildewy and Moldy Towels</strong></p> <p>If your bath towels, washcloths, and kitchen towels are smelling a little rank, put a half to full cup of vodka in with your regular wash to remove the smell.</p> <h2>Personal Hygiene</h2> <p>You probably don't feel the most hygienic after drinking too much vodka, but the alcohol can actually be used in several hygienic ways.</p> <p><strong>11. Use as a Toner</strong></p> <p>Most toners contain a large percentage of alcohol. So, if you're in a pinch, apply vodka to your face with a cotton ball before showering.</p> <p><strong>12. Cure Dandruff</strong></p> <p>Cleanse your hair with a mixture of rosemary and a few tablespoons of vodka to prevent and cure dandruff.</p> <p><strong>13. Make Mouthwash</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://ecosnobberysucks.com/2011/04/simple-tasty-home-made-mouth-wash-recipe/" title="mouthwash recipe">mouthwash recipe</a> calls for vodka, baking soda, water, Stevia, and herbs. I've also seen similar recipes that omit the baking soda and Stevia, and instead use cinnamon, vodka, and water. Try experimenting to find the best proportions for you. Just be sure to avoid swallowing.</p> <h2>Medicine</h2> <p>These are at-home alternative medicine treatments. Always consult your physician before trying to treat an ailment with a non-prescribed treatment.</p> <p><strong>14. Treat Earaches and Toothaches</strong></p> <p>In Russia, mothers used to put vodka in their children's ears and mouths for earaches and toothaches. I would never try this on my kid, but if the dentist can't see you until tomorrow, vodka treatment might be worth a try.</p> <p><strong>15. Treat Cold Sores</strong></p> <p>Supposedly, by treating your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-and-treat-cold-sores">cold sore</a> with a bit of vodka, the alcohol will dry up the sore.</p> <p><strong>16. Relieve Jellyfish Stings</strong></p> <p>If you're at the beach and would rather avoid a <a title="Friends: &quot;The One With The Jellyfish&quot;" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICUwFfadp00"><em>Friends</em> moment</a>, grab the vodka and pour it over the sting instead.</p> <p><strong>17. Relieve Poison Ivy</strong></p> <p>If you've brought vodka on your camping-trip-gone-awry, use it to remove the plant's oils that cause the reaction.</p> <p><em>Have you ever used vodka for something other than drinking? What for? And did it work?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka" class="sharethis-link" title="Absolut Repurposing: 17 Uses for Vodka" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Home alcohol alternative uses cleaners laundry vodka Tue, 24 Jan 2012 11:24:24 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 875789 at http://www.wisebread.com Defensive Laundry: 9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laundry2_0.jpg" alt="Man doing laundry" title="Man doing laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="130" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As an avid thrift shopper, I see first-hand the wreckage that bad laundry habits cause. The extra large virgin wool sweater that barely survives the dryer as size 3T, the nice white cotton shirt that met an early death from a red wine stain &mdash; these are all preventable tragedies. Since we spend some serious cash on our clothes from time-to-time, let&rsquo;s make them last by exploring a few defensive measures we can take in the laundry room. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">More Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stain Removal, STAT</h2> <p>Stains are part of life. Treating them quickly and correctly is half the battle in preventing that $30 shirt from becoming an expensive dust cloth. Carry a stain removal pen for treating spots on-the-go, and then retreat and launder quickly when you get home. Check the garment again after the wash cycle to make sure the stain&rsquo;s history. If it&rsquo;s not, treat again before tossing in the dryer.</p> <h2>2. Read Carefully</h2> <p>It takes an expert hand to instinctively know how to launder each type of fabric. The rest of us need to follow those care instructions closely. If that sweater says &ldquo;dry clean only,&rdquo; don&rsquo;t assume a cold wash on the gentle cycle will do the trick. With a little experience, you&rsquo;ll begin to see which care instructions can be bent without jeopardizing your clothes.</p> <h2>3. Divide and Conquer</h2> <p>Sorting clothes before washing not only protects the color; it protects the fabric too. Sharp zipper teeth, rivets, and snaps don&rsquo;t do any favors for delicate fabrics or knits.</p> <h2>4. Bag It</h2> <p>Mesh bags are great for protecting your delicates in the washer. They also work as organizers for socks and baby clothes that can easily get lost in laundry Never-Never Land.</p> <h2>5. Less Is More</h2> <p>We&rsquo;re too much in love in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-more-detergent-make-for-more-clean">detergent</a> and fabric softener. Over time, these detergents settle into the fabric of our clothes and leave them stiff and dingy.</p> <h2>6. Lighten Up</h2> <p>Over-stuffing your washer&rsquo;s basin may be a quick way to get more laundry done, but it&rsquo;s not good for your clothes. Heavy loads cause friction between fabrics, which wears clothes out faster. Items in overstuffed machines get less agitation too &mdash; which means less thorough cleaning.</p> <h2>7. Cool It</h2> <p>For some fabrics, hot water can cause shrinking and make those temporary stains permanent ones. Read your clothing labels carefully and when in doubt, wash in cool water. High heat in the dryer can also set stains and prematurely wear fabrics. Use cooler dryer settings or line dry items for fabrics you&rsquo;re unsure about or for those favorite items you want to take extra-special care of.</p> <h2>8. The Bleach Teach</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s unavoidable &mdash; chlorine bleach not properly diluted will damage any fabric. Make sure to use it sparingly and properly to brighten those whites. Always use your machine&rsquo;s bleach dispenser to slowly mix the bleach with water, or fill your washer with water first and let the bleach agitate for awhile before adding your clothing. This approach will help prevent those yellow bleach stains on whites.</p> <h2>9. Light Starch, Please</h2> <p>The debate about the level of damage starch can cause to fabric rages on. When ironing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-dress-for-success-and-still-spend-less">dress shirts</a> err on the side of caution, and use spray starch sparingly. Focus on those unruly sleeve cuffs and collars instead of starching the whole shirt.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite tips and tricks to keep your clothes in tip-top shape? What have years of defensive laundry methods taught you that our readers need to know?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer" class="sharethis-link" title="Defensive Laundry: 9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Home Style clothes laundry laundry detergent Fri, 25 Nov 2011 11:00:33 +0000 Kentin Waits 796159 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Save on Laundry http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-on-laundry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-on-laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3650140317_afdb773305_z-2.jpg" alt="Save on Laundry" title="Save on Laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on ways to save money on laundry, the best coupon sites for busy moms, and actions that affect your credit score.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://financialhighway.com/6-sneaky-ways-to-save-money-on-laundry/">6 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Laundry</a> &mdash; Save money on laundry by skipping the softener. [Financial Highway]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/best-coupon-sites-for-busy-moms-0">Best Coupon Sites for Busy Moms</a> &mdash; If you are a mom and don't have a lot of time, be sure to check out Retail Me Not. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stackthechips.com/surprising-actions-that-may-affect-your-credit-score/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+StackTheChips+%28Stack+The+Chips%29">Surprising Actions That May Affect Your Credit Score</a> &mdash; Closing your unused credit cards may affect your credit score. [Stack The Chips]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Company-Volunteer-Ideas-11753305">7 Steps to Giving Thanks at Work This November</a> &mdash; Start a &quot;thanks giving&quot; initiative at your office by rallying your troops. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/holiday-gifts-for-travelers/">Holiday Gifts for Travelers</a> &mdash; Trying to get a gift for someone who likes to travel? Consider giving him or her a travel journal. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2011/11/the-10-hardest-retirement-decisions.html">The 10 Hardest Retirement Decisions</a> &mdash; One of the most difficult retirement decisions you will face is deciding where to live. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/ways-to-diversify-manage-stock-market-risk/">8 DIfferent Ways To Diversify And Manage Stock Market Risk</a> &mdash; Diversify and manage stock market risk by diversifying across industries and sectors. [The Digerati Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/smart-spending/best-day-week-buy-everything">The Best Day of the Week to Buy Everything</a> &mdash; If you need to buy something, opt to make your purchase on a Monday. [Mainstreet]</p> <p><a href="http://zenhabits.net/unrisky/">The 8 Habits of Healthy Living</a> &mdash; Live healthy by reducing your stress and exercising. [zenhabits]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/6-ways-to-destroy-nervousness/">6 Way to Destroy Nervousness</a> &mdash; To destroy nervousness, stay positive and assume the best. [PickTheBrain]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news/2011/10/credit-karma-ckchat-2">Credit Karma #CKchat</a> &mdash; Don't miss Credit Karma's weekly #CKchat at 12pm PST! They will be giving away prizes!</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news">News &amp; Events Calendar</a> to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-on-laundry" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Save on Laundry" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home best money tips laundry Wed, 02 Nov 2011 10:00:14 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 772482 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Save Money on Laundry http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-save-money-on-laundry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-save-money-on-laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4628962092_0b497fb89f_z.jpg" alt="washing machine" title="washing machine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's that time of year again. The kids are heading off to school, and you have to pay a little more attention to the laundry. Your hampers will be overflowing with sports gear and school clothes in no time, but getting your kids' clothes clean doesn't have to be expensive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big" title="16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer Without Spending Big">16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer Without Spending Big</a>)</p> <h3>1. Wash Less Often</h3> <p>You don't have to wash your clothes after every wear. Depending on the item, you can go days before it has to be tossed in the hamper. For example, you only need to wash your jeans every four to five wears. And certain tops can be worn up to three times <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-do-less-laundry" title="10 Ways to Do Less Laundry">before washing</a>. Consult the <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing-care/laundry-guidelines-winter-clothes-00000000045374/index.html">Real Simple When-to-Wash-it Handbook</a> for more information.</p> <h3>2. Wash Only Full Loads</h3> <p>You may use less water when washing a half a load versus a full load, but you are using the same amount of energy. Don't waste it. Always fill the washer before starting it up.</p> <h3>3. Wash in Cold Water</h3> <p>Up to 90% of the energy used to wash your clothes is just to heat up the water. So wash them with <a href="http://www.seventhgeneration.com/learn/blog/get-out-hot-water">cold water</a>, and you'll be saving cold hard cash.</p> <h3>4. Use Shorter Wash Cycles</h3> <p>Unless your clothes are filthy, skip the heavy-duty cycle in favor of a shorter cycle. This will help you use less energy and save money in the end.</p> <h3>5. Use Less Detergent</h3> <p>Be careful how much detergent you are dumping into the washer. Most of us fill to a line on the cup that we can barely see, and some of us skip the cup all together. You only need about a &frac14; of a cup, so read the directions on the bottle of detergent and don't waste your cash by wasting detergent.</p> <h3>6. Skip the Dryer Sheets</h3> <p>I don't use dryer sheets. After my daughter was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, I tried to rid our home of anything that carried a chemical odor. (Even if your dryer sheets smell like lavender, they aren't actually made of lavender.) I didn't want her little lungs inhaling chemicals all day long. I haven't missed them one bit.</p> <h3>7. Skip the Dryer</h3> <p>Even in the colder months, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/line-drying-your-laundry-frugal-or-foolish" title="Line Drying Your Laundry: Frugal or Foolish?">hang your clothes to dry</a>. You can use drying racks or your shower curtain rod. I've even been known to throw damp clothes over the top of a door. Any time you can skip using the dryer means you are using less energy and spending less money.</p> <h3>8. Remove Lint From the Dryer</h3> <p>If you do use the dryer, make sure you keep it clean. Don't forget to clean the lint trap and the dryer vent, too. It is a money hazard when lint builds up in these two spots because moist air can't escape and the dryer has to work harder.</p> <h3>9. Avoid the Dry Cleaner</h3> <p>If you can, avoid buying clothes that are dry clean only. But don't fret if you get home from the store and find that all of your daughter's must-have back-to-school clothes are dry clean only. Some of them can be hand washed in the sink and hung to dry, while the rest can be tossed in the dryer with a little <a href="http://www.drycleanerssecret.com/">Dry Cleaner's Secret</a>. It only takes 20 minutes to clean up to five garments, so don't leave them in longer than you need to.</p> <p>And there you have it. Clean clothes at a fraction of the cost &mdash; and more money to spend on you. Happy laundering!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> You have to do laundry, but that doesn&#039;t mean you have to spend a lot on it. Learn how to clean clothes at a fraction of your current cost. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This post is by Nancy Flanders from our sister blog, Parenting Squad. Visit <a title="Parenting Squad" href="http://parentingsquad.com/">Parenting Squad</a> for more parenting tips and news:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/9-ways-to-save-money-on-halloween" title="9 Ways To Save Money On Halloween">9 Ways To Save Money On Halloween</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/five-tips-for-enhanced-communication-in-your-relationships" title="6 Tips For Enhanced Communication In Your Relationships">6 Tips For Enhanced Communication In Your Relationships</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/the-home-from-school-paper-rush-6-organizational-tips-for-families-of-primary-students" title="6 Organizational Tips For Parents of Primary Students">6 Organizational Tips For Parents of Primary Students</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/the-relocation-challenge-keeping-kids-and-grandparents-connected-across-state-lines" title="Keeping Kids And Grandparents Connected Across State Lines">Keeping Kids And Grandparents Connected Across State Lines</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-things-to-consider-when-choosing-a-guardian-for-your-child" title="5 Things to Consider When Choosing A Guardian For Your Child">5 Things to Consider When Choosing A Guardian For Your Child<br /> </a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/parenting-squad">Parenting Squad</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home cleaning clothes laundry Wed, 07 Sep 2011 10:24:15 +0000 Parenting Squad 696863 at http://www.wisebread.com Line Drying Your Laundry: Frugal or Foolish? http://www.wisebread.com/line-drying-your-laundry-frugal-or-foolish <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/line-drying-your-laundry-frugal-or-foolish" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clothesline.jpg" alt="Red clothing hanging on the line" title="Red clothing hanging on the line" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="169" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ve had the joy of using a new HE washer and dryer for the past year, but life wasn&rsquo;t always so plush. In fact, there have been times more recently when I have washed by hand and line-dried &mdash; out of necessity, not due to a love of energy conservation. I will admit, however, that line-drying has made sense in some instances, and the perks cannot be replaced by any mechanical means. But is it for everyone and every situation? Here are some facts on the perks and put-offs of letting it all hang out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kilowatts-a-killer-tips-for-air-drying-clothes">Kilowatts a Killer? Tips for Air-Drying Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>Line Drying Saves Energy</h2> <p>According to the website <a href="http://www.fypower.org/res/efficient-appliances/clothesdryer.html">Flex Your Power</a>, it costs California residents nearly &ldquo;30 to 40 cents to dry a load of laundry in an electric dryer and approximately 15 to 20 cents in a gas dryer.&rdquo;&nbsp;That may not seem like much, but if you have a large family or work a dirty job, it can really add up in costs and drain on the system. Line drying, however, is free after getting the line and pins.</p> <h3>But...</h3> <p>In less-than-ideal situations, you can use more energy line drying. Laundry exposed to the elements has a higher chance of getting soiled again (bird droppings, dust from vehicles, an unexpected rain shower), and may need to be re-washed. Be sure to carefully monitor the weather and conditions of your drying area to avoid having to rinse and repeat.</p> <h2>Line Drying Smells Fabulous</h2> <p>There really is nothing better than the scent of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-uses-for-sheets">clean sheets</a> on laundry day &mdash; provided they are free of chemical perfumes and have been allowed to stay in the sun for at least an hour. While the causes of your laundry smells will vary by location, sun-dried clothing generally rocks.</p> <h3>But...</h3> <p>On the other side of the coin is the laundry that can become stinky from being outdoors. Laundry hung near cattle operations, certain bodies of water, or high-traffic areas, for example, will take on the scent of the air around it&hellip;and that may not be a good thing. In addition, pollen, dust, and mold spores can adhere to laundry dried outside and cause sickness in those with sensitivities. Even if you personally aren&rsquo;t bothered by these allergens, bringing laundry into the home after being outside can wreak havoc on others living with you.</p> <h2>Line Drying Can Extend the Life of Your Clothes</h2> <p>As Andrea already discussed, there are many things you can do to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">make your clothes last longer</a>. Line drying can be one of those things, especially if you are concerned about keeping your dainties dainty. Shrinking is never a problem with drying on the line, and you won&rsquo;t run into dryer snags or melted Sharpie pens, either. Anything left in pockets can pretty much stay there when hanging from the line.</p> <h3>But...</h3> <p>While line drying can extend the life of things like blue jeans and t-shirts, it can also stress out other items. Certain hand-made or dyed items may bleach in the sun, and sweaters may fall victim to birds (which have been known to pick a thread for a nest.) Depending on the area, bird droppings can permanently stain light-colored clothing (especially if you are located anywhere near a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">mulberry tree</a>.) There is also the matter of clothing thieves, which I have not encountered, but who are certain to exist.</p> <p>If you need another reason to carefully consider line-drying, how about the fact that it could make you a criminal? Some have dared to compare the simplicity of hanging laundry with the art of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-raise-backyard-chickens">keeping chickens in your backyard</a>, and laws abound to keep those criminal driers in check. (In all seriousness, you should always check to see if it is legal to hang your clothes. Housing authorities, especially, have more laws concerning this than other populations.)</p> <p>I&rsquo;m all for line-drying under the right conditions. You won&rsquo;t catch me doing it in subzero temps, and I tend to save my best towels for the dryer &mdash; I&rsquo;m not a fan of the exfoliating properties of crunchy towels. I do understand why it&rsquo;s a good thing for many, however, and for at least four months out of the year, it is my go-to method.</p> <p><em>Do you line dry? </em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/line-drying-your-laundry-frugal-or-foolish" class="sharethis-link" title="Line Drying Your Laundry: Frugal or Foolish?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living Home clothesline laundry line drying Mon, 01 Aug 2011 10:24:17 +0000 Linsey Knerl 642662 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stained_shirt2.jpg" alt="Cleaning a stain off a shirt." title="Cleaning a stain off a shirt." class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Oil is a worry in more ways than one. Not only is it rapidly rising in price and taking more each week from our budgets, oil is also the source of one of the toughest stains to remove from clothing, fabrics, concrete, and more. But it doesn&rsquo;t have to be.</p> <p>Armed with these handy tips, you can at least bring down the oil stain in a fight. Bringing down oil prices, well that&rsquo;s another matter entirely. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dropping-the-price-of-gas-to-250-a-gallon-in-a-week">Dropping the Price of Gas to $2.50 a Gallon in a Week</a>)</p> <p>Note: The key to all of these tips is to treat the stain as quickly as possible. The longer you leave it, the tougher it is to remove.</p> <h3>1. Cornstarch and Dish Soap &mdash; Fabric</h3> <p>Lay your item of clothing on a flat surface and liberally sprinkle cornstarch over the stain. Let that soak in for at least 30 minutes, but one hour is preferable.</p> <p>Next, rub dish soap into the stain (use a nail brush if you want to get into the fibers). Finally, wash using the directions on the care label. Air dry.</p> <h3>2. Hair Spray &mdash; Fabric</h3> <p>I have no use for hair spray on my head, but for years I have used it as a cheap fixative for charcoal drawings. However, it&rsquo;s also a fine stain-removal tool. Spray the oil or grease stain liberally with hair spray; it should take quite a lot of it out instantly. Then, wash and air dry.</p> <p><img width="605" height="403" src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5070/5661568909_50e66935be.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h3>3. Cheez Whiz &mdash; Fabric</h3> <p>Really? Yes indeed. I saw this one on &quot;The View,&quot; and the stain guru swore by it.</p> <p>You don&rsquo;t even need to let this one sit. Just apply some of the goopy Cheez Whiz (or a generic version) onto the oil or grease stain and smear it in. Then throw your garment in the wash, and it should take the grease right out.</p> <h3>4. Shampoo &mdash; Fabric</h3> <p>It makes sense. Shampoo is designed to get grease and natural oils out of your hair. So why not your clothing? Just grab a little of your usual shampoo (or go out and buy some for greasy hair if you, like me, don&rsquo;t have any hair) and rub it into the stain like a pre-treatment. Then wash as directed. It should work like a charm.</p> <h3>5. WD-40 &mdash; Fabric and Concrete</h3> <p>Among the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/almost-2000-uses-for-a-can-of-wd-40-1">thousands of uses for WD-40</a>, stain removal is up there as a very effective use for this versatile product. And most of us have it in the garage, a place where oil is more likely to get on our clothing.</p> <p>Just spray the stain with WD-40 and let it soak for around 30 minutes. Then rub in a little dish soap and wash as directed.</p> <h3>6. Cornstarch and Dry-Cleaning Solvent &mdash; Fabric</h3> <p>Once again, lay your item of clothing on a flat surface and liberally sprinkle cornstarch over the stain. Let that soak in for at least 30 minutes to one hour.</p> <p>Next, place some kitchen towels on a counter, and place the item of clothing, stain-side down, on the towels. Proceed to blot or pat the back of the stain with a rag soaked in dry-cleaning solvent. Replace the paper towels frequently as they absorb the oil.</p> <p>When you have removed as much of the stain as you can, apply a little laundry pre-treatment solution. Then wash as directed, and air dry.</p> <h3>7. Waterless Mechanics' Soap &mdash; Fabric</h3> <p>There are several brands available, including Kutol, Gojo, and good old Lava.</p> <p>Rub the stain with the dry soap for several minutes, allowing it to penetrate the whole stain. The grease-cutting properties of the soap will help to break down the oil stain. Leave it for 30 minutes, then repeat. Finally, wash as directed and air dry. Simple Green is also good for this.</p> <p><img width="605" height="473" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2517/3751829200_803ec4fd1b.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h3>8. Coca-Cola &mdash; Fabric</h3> <p>I have covered <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">the many uses of Coca Cola</a> before, and stain removal is a great one. There is actually some caramel food coloring in Coke, but not enough to do any staining damage. At least, not if it&rsquo;s left on for just a few hours.</p> <p>Simply pour some Coke onto the stain and let it soak for an hour or two. Then wash as directed and air dry. Your oil or grease stain should be completely destroyed, and there will be no sign of the Coke, either.</p> <h3>9. Coca-Cola &mdash; Concrete</h3> <p>The first step is to soak up as much oil as you can. Use old shop towels, rags, holey tees, or socks you plan to throw in the garbage; it&rsquo;s all good.</p> <p>Next, take a 2-liter bottle of room-temperature Coke and pour it all over the stain. If the stain is well-covered and there&rsquo;s plenty of Coke left, save the rest for another day. Now let the Coke sit on the stain overnight, at least 8&ndash;10 hours. The acidic properties will help eat away the oil stain.</p> <p>Soak up the Coke with more towels, and use pressure with a blotting movement to help pull the oil from the concrete. Then, using a stiff-bristled brush, apply some dish soap and hot water to the stain.</p> <p>Now, rinse with warm water. The stain should be history.</p> <p>(By the way, it doesn&rsquo;t have to be Coke. I&rsquo;m not a brand loyalist if I&rsquo;m pouring it all over my floor, and the basic properties are the same.)</p> <h3>10. Lestoil &mdash; Fabric and Concrete</h3> <p>Oil to fight oil? Absolutely! Manufactured by Clorox, Lestoil is used to fight grease and oil stains on contact. It&rsquo;s usually found in hardware stores and has a very strong smell, not unlike paraffin. Simply pour Lestoil onto the stain and let it soak for 20 minutes before washing. Or, if you&rsquo;re washing a huge greasy load, add some to the wash. It&rsquo;s also good for removing stains from fabric on sofas, chairs, carpets, and concrete driveways. As always, test in an inconspicuous spot before applying to a place in full view.</p> <h3>11. Aloe Vera Gel &mdash; Fabric</h3> <p>Let it soothe away your stain-removal headaches. Soak your soiled clothing in water, then vigorously rub aloe vera gel into the stain. Wash as directed, and air dry.</p> <h3>12. Dishwashing Detergent &mdash; Fabric</h3> <p>You see ads all the time boasting the grease-fighting power of dishwashing detergents. From the tablets to regular liquids, they are formulated to cut through the grease and get your dishes and cutlery free from stains and residues.</p> <p>So take some dishwater detergent to the stain, rubbing in the liquid or powder. You can also add a tablet to your wash; this is very effective for oily mechanics' clothing.</p> <h3>13. Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) &mdash; Concrete</h3> <p>You can find this at any good hardware store. It&rsquo;s a chemical, so please use gloves and safety glasses (although believe it or not, TSP is an approved food additive).</p> <p>Mix 1 oz. of TSP with &frac12; cup of talcum powder and 1 cup of warm water. This will make a good paste, which you should apply to the oil stain with a trowel or other spreading tool. Wait for the paste to harden, then brush it away. If the stain is still there, repeat with a diluted TSP mixture of 1 gallon of to warm water with 1 cup of TSP. Scrub it into the stain, let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water.</p> <h3>14. Pressure Washer &mdash; Concrete</h3> <p>If all else fails, a good solution is a high-pressure washer. These can be expensive, but there are alternatives. There are nozzles you can buy for regular hoses that convert them to high-pressure sprayers, but these will never be as effective as a washer with air compression.</p> <p>So, consider renting one from a local hardware store. They are cheap, and you can get a lot done with them, including removing other dirt and stains around the home.&nbsp;There&rsquo;s a good how-to video for this right here:</p> <p><embed width="560" height="450" wmode="opaque" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://embed.5min.com/158067495/" name="FiveminPlayer"></embed></p> <p><a href="http://www.howtodothings.com/video/how-to-clean-a-concrete-driveway-and-remove-oil-stains ">Watch video.</a></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips" class="sharethis-link" title="14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/life-hacks/general-tips">General Tips articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY General Tips Home garage grease laundry oil stain remover Thu, 05 May 2011 10:36:44 +0000 Paul Michael 536493 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Do Less Laundry http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-do-less-laundry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-do-less-laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4306096236_663ff32b8e.jpg" alt="Smelly clothes" title="Smelly clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's be realistic. Doing less laundry means wearing clothing more than once. It does not mean buying a new wardrobe and donating the dirty clothes to Goodwill. Sparing clothes from the wash for as long as possible means clothing will last longer, and you will have more time to devote to your favorite hobby. Here are ways to keep your laundry out of the washing machine for as long as humanly possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <h3>1. Spot Check</h3> <p>Carry around a good spot detergent (like the Tide pen, which happens to work magically) and troubleshoot as you go. If you don't have a fancy Tide pen, you can always use regular detergent or even dish soap. Make sure to rub liberally and rinse out as well. Use warm water, as cold can set the stain.</p> <h3>2. Smell Check</h3> <p>If it doesn't smell funky, hang it back up and re-wear it. If it smells and you still want to wear it, do the rest of us a favor and Febreeze it. Thank you.</p> <h3>3. Freeze Jeans</h3> <p>The theory behind this is that the frozen temperature kills any bacteria that causes smells. You can spot treat for any specific stains beforehand. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clean-jeans-right-without-going-to-the-dry-cleaner">CLean Jeans Without Going to the Dry Cleaner</a>)</p> <h3>4. Hang Clothes</h3> <p>Sometimes you can end up washing clean clothes because no one can remember if they were worn and thrown on the floor, or just thrown on the floor. Keep clean clothes off the floor.</p> <h3>5. Designate Everyday Wear</h3> <p>Have a house outfit. Wear the same thing around the house for your chores. Change when you go out in public. Make it something comfortable, but you may also want to make sure it's relatively acceptable, in case you need to sign for a package or have an unexpected visitor.</p> <h3>6. Wear an Apron</h3> <p>This will save your shirt. Have an apron for cooking and cleaning that only gets washed, or wiped down, every week or two. Think of all the spaghetti sauce stains and bleach spills that can be avoided with one simple apron. Hang it in the kitchen, and use it daily.</p> <h3>7. Handwash Clothes</h3> <p>Things like bras and panties are great hand-washed in a small basin in your bath tub or sink. You can be fancy and use something like Woolite, or dish soap. I've washed a lot of unmentionables in Dawn. Just don't mention it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kilowatts-a-killer-tips-for-air-drying-clothes">Tips for Air-Drying Clothes</a>)</p> <h3>8. Don't Wash Towels</h3> <p>There's no reason to wash a towel that was only used to dry off your clean body. Think about it. Towels can be hung and dried and washed less than once a week. Just make sure they are hung so that they don't mold.</p> <h3>9. Shower Before Bed</h3> <p>If you shower before bed, instead of in the morning, your sheets will last longer.</p> <h3>10. Have Outside Clothes</h3> <p>Have a gardening outfit, or other dirty-job outfit, that stays by the door and gets washed minimally.</p> <p>Stretching your laundry means stretching the life of your clothes. Stretching your clothes means stretching your dollar &mdash; and we could all use a little more flexibility in our finances these days.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Step away from the spin cycle! Here are ways to keep your laundry out of the washing machine for as long as humanly possible. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>This is post by Sonja Stewart from our sister blog, </em><a href="http://www.parentingsquad.com/"><em>Parenting Squad</em></a><em>. Visit Parenting Squad for more parenting tips and news:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/homemade-playdough-recipes-and-how-to-survive-the-clean-up"><em>Homemade Playdough Recipes, and How to Survive the Clean-Up</em></a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/13-fun-baby-shower-decorating-ideas"><em>13 Fun Baby Shower Decorating Ideas</em></a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/3-good-reasons-to-have-a-c-section"><em>3 Good Reasons to Have a C-Section</em></a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-combat-speech-delays"><em>How to Combat Speech Delays</em></a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/over-the-counter-cold-flue-medicine-what-is-safe"><em>Over-the-Counter Cold and Flu Medicine: What is Safe?</em></a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/parenting-squad">Parenting Squad</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/home">Home articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home chores clothing laundry Mon, 18 Apr 2011 10:24:06 +0000 Parenting Squad 525499 at http://www.wisebread.com