Laundry man.

I’ve been a very lazy ass the past two days. Waking up at 12:30 in the afternoons, moping around my room with 30 minutes excursions to the shopping mall opposite and more moping around my room.

Today, after waking up at 12:30 in the afternoon again, I was determined to do something. Never mind the fact that tonight was movie night and I could have gone down to watch “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” and made some new friends at the same time. But I’ve watched that movie twice and I had something important. Something essential that have been put off for almost two weeks.

That, my friend, is laundry.

As I am writing this, I’m waiting for my clothes to finish their sauna in the dryer. Pretty boring wait. First I waited for 30 minutes for my colour load to finish their washing and then I have to wait another 30 minutes for my whites to finish their cleaning. There are two washing machine in my washing area but some bloody joker poured powder detergent in the other one and just left it there. So my only option is down to one washing machine. And a very long wait.

Aside from the waiting and waiting and being very hungry (I haven’t had dinner and its 8:15pm), everything went fine. With my clothes. In fact this is kinda huge thing for me cause… psst… this is my first time doing actual laundry in my 2o+ years on this earth.

Yep, first time laundry man. Cherry popped.

Actually, I did do washings before and I did use the washing machine before. But those are very limited experiences, especially when it comes to doing actual laundry.

The times I used the washing machine was limited to washing rags, towels, tea-clothes and the likes. The proper experiences with the washing machine were at my grandma’s house during my three year stay there and during a Lunar New Year stay at the Ongs’ place. Even then, my job was limited to loading and unloading the machine.

Looking back, I did find it rather funny that I’ve never really learned to wash laundry. I’ve doing housework like sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning toilets and toilet bowls, washing dishes, changing bed-sheets, and even washing my own shoes.

Yep, I wash my own shoes. I’m very anal when it comes to shoe cleanliness. Hell, ask my brother or my grandma, they’ll agree. Armed with a toothbrush, powder detergent or shoe soap and a pail of water, I’ll clean my 3 pairs of shoes manually. I’ve heard that some people just throw their shoes in the washing machine and let it do its job but I can’t never comprehend that. Washing machines are for clothes, towels and sheets; i.e. laundry. Not for cleaning shoes where you step onto dog/cat/bird/human poop. And I usually give my shoes a very thorough wash every 4 months.

That’s to say, I’m pretty adept at household chores and can even do basic cooking to keep myself alive. In fact, when my parents asked me what was my biggest worry, I didn’t say food (my area is like a foodie’s paradise), I didn’t say housework. I didn’t mention any of that. In fact, I told them my biggest worry was laundry.

Yep, laundry.

In fact, its rather ironic that I know how to iron my clothes but not how to laundry. When I was young, either my mom or the maid (or sometimes dad) would do the laundry for me. As I lived with my grandma, I insisted that I learn how to my own laundry but grandma didn’t allow me for fear of me ruining the machine or the clothes. So I was delegated to the role of loading and unloading the machine or putting the clothes out for sun-drying.

Consequently I never learned the basics of laundry: sorting out the clothes by colour/fabric/dirtiness and the temperature of water and subsequently the drying part; to put in the dryer or to not put in? That’s the problem.

The second part is rather easy, with high-tech washing machines and detergents. Most of the time, its a no-brainer. You throw your clothes in, pour the detergent, choose your washing cycle and wait for the next 30 to 45 minutes. The majority of the work is done by the machine. Even the temperature is chosen by the machine.

But it was the first part of that flummoxed me. I’ve heard the old warning of never mixing your white garments with your red socks/underwear/panties/shirt, lest you want to come with a load of permanently pink garments that would have done the Pink Ranger proud.

It didn’t help that clothes come in different fabrics and certain fabric or not suited for machine washable. Adding to the confusion is that some clothes could only be hand-washed or certain colour loads could be mixed with whites as long as they’re ‘colour-fast’.

The internet with all its information overloaded my brain with all sort of tips and advices. Further advices from mom and grandma swirled the cauldron of confusion in me.

It took me two days to shift through the advices. The reason why it took me so long cause I was such a lazy ass (as mentioned before) and there was just too much information. But slowly and surely (nice cliche) I found what I needed.

Majority of the websites advised to separate the whites from the colours. Sure, that’s pretty easy. But what if I have a t-shirt that is mostly white but with logos or writing on it? What if I have a red and white striped t-shirt? What if I have a grey pair of socks? Do they go with the colours or with the white? Some said to put this in the white pile (at own discretion). Some said to put this in the colour pile (at own discretion). Okay, this is not really helping a novice laundry man like me. How can I trust my own discretion? But trust I did and the red/white striped t-shirt ended up with the colours while the grey pair of socks and mostly white t-shirt ended up with the whites. While I ended up praying that nothing could go wrong.

Some website added that if I really wanted to play safe, I could create a third pile and put all the light pastel colour shirts and the grey pair of socks together. But I didn’t want to make three loads of laundry and waste 9 dollars on just washing clothes. So two piles it was.

Everything was…. ARRGH! OMFG!

Everything came out fine. No bleeding, no Pink Ranger shirts, no destroyed shirts or pants. Phew. Excuse the exclamations, I was just too happy.

Drying was another matter. This time I just followed two advices, the first one on the clothes care label (read that, very important and helpful!) and mom’s advice. Those clothes with care labels not recommending tumble dry ended up in my toilet drip-drying or on my bed (if its not that wet) flat drying.

Those with labels recommending tumble drying, ended up in the dryer with the lowest heat setting (had to paid 3 bucks). The advice from mom was to dry your clothes using the machine’s lowest heat setting to prevent the risk of shrinking or scorching the clothes. After about 15 to 20 minutes, when the clothes are about 70% dry, take the clothes out and then leave them to air dry for the next 20 minutes. Viola, clean laundry! And this minus the need of ironing your clothes too.

So after an approximate hour and a half, I finally cleaned my two weeks worth of laundry and now have them airing in my room. The smell of clean laundry wafting through my room is indeed, the sweet smell of accomplishment for me.

P.S. Put half a cup of baking soda (also known as bicarbonate soda) with your detergent if you are using top-loading machine. A quarter a cup if you are using front-loading. The reason is that the baking soda helps the detergent to work harder and helps to get rid of any foul odours. Trust me, it works. My socks came out smelling cleaner.

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