I Went to College for This?


One of the prerequisites for any mother during the summer months is the intimate relationship we rekindle with our laundry room. As Chief of Laundry in our household, I have always known that the dirty and the not-so-dirty-in-fact-really-clean-but-it’s-easier-to-throw-in-the-basket-than-re-hang-in-closet laundry increases ten-fold during the summer months. My biggest enemy would be the towels that seem to breed faster than Michelle Duggar’s uterus. I have been known on a few occasions to tell my children that unless they have been mud wrestling, it is okay to use a bath towel more than once. Honestly, I don’t care if they use toilet paper to dry themselves, just give me a break with the towels. Between beach towels, bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths, kitchen towels and dust towels, I am done.

My son sees no problem with wearing the same shirt day after day, but apparently he requires a new towel after every shower. What I find particularly offensive is that, according to the manufacture instructions, I am not washing them properly by simply adding my basic detergent and a fabric softener. For example, I found these instructions with my latest towel purchase.

Before you use a newly-purchased bath towel, wash it in warm water with laundry detergent to remove any sizing or fabric coating that may be on the fibers from manufacturing. Without doing this first, the new towel will not be effective in absorbing the moisture from your body. When you do this first washing, add about quarter of a cup of Epsom salt or table salt to the wash cycle. This not only helps remove the coating, but will help set the color of the towel.  Add 1/2 cup of baking soda, along with your detergent, to the wash cycle to keep your towels smelling fresh. To keep towels soft, add a 1 cup of white vinegar to the final rinse cycle. Do not add fabric softener to the wash cycle. Don’t wash your towels with other laundry items; if you must, be sure to wash similar colored items together.

Are you kidding me?  My kids are lucky that I even rip the price tag off the towels before I throw them in their bathroom.  If I followed their instructions of proper towel washing it would mean that I spent more time and more ingredients washing bath towels than cooking their dinner.  Can you believe that at one time women were beating their laundry over a rock?  And now towel manufacturers are insisting that we nurture these lousy pieces of cotton more than we do our friendships? Listen, if I purchased expensive towels and didn’t have teenagers in the house, then I would probably follow this advice.  On second thought, I probably wouldn’t. I have more important things to do.  Like read People magazine.

Speaking of laundry.  This is an actual, true life photo of my laundry room exactly twenty-four hours ago.  My son and two of his friends had a “camp-out” in our yard.  Wonderful, fun memories for them. For me? Hearing their loud, semi-conscious cries when the automatic sprinkler went off at    5:30 a.m.  Life is good.

Soaking wet sleeping bags. Courtesy of automatic sprinklers.