Posted by: A Part of the Solution | April 8, 2010

Laundry. Lots of Laundry.

Besides keeping the bathrooms sparkling and the floors swept, there’s always lots of laundry to do when running a bed and breakfast. There’s laundry from sheets. There’s laundry from towels. There’s laundry from the luxe bathrobes (at four pounds a piece, I’m pushing the machine to wash more than three at a time). There’s even laundry from cloth napkins, tablecloths and tea towels. And lastly–but not leastly, the laundry which represents our own clothes.

I’m getting into the rhythms of the laundry cycle. I’m learning how many loads I have to plan for and work into the rest of my day as I go about handling other chores. I’m getting automatic about the amounts of laundering agents I use to bring my things out of the machines in a good condition. And I’m almost caught up with doing all the ‘new’ laundry. Every sheet, pillowcase, towel and bathrobe has to be washed before it can be used the first time. Believe me, I acquired better than minimum inventory in my linens–and that’s a lot of laundry to be doing on top of all the other laundry (the actually used stuff).

I use borax to get the clothes fresh without using scented products. I use washing soda to soften the water enough that it doesn’t leave more residue than it clears. I use a couple teaspoons of an unscented detergent to act as my sufactant in lifting the dirt, oils and grime from the laundry. I’m satisfied with my results so far. But I haven’t had any debilitating stains come my way as of yet. I’ll have to wait to find out if my system is any better than adequate.

I still don’t have a clothesline up. I definitely want one before summertime is upon us. It’s been warm enough this past week that I’ve had a good preview of the effects of washing and drying multiple loads of laundry on the temperature in the house. Believe me when I say it gets plenty warm by load number five. So a clothesline is climbing the ranks of my priority do-list, and climbing quickly.

We don’t have the terrible humidity problem of the mid-Atlantic flatlands. This alone will make line-drying a pleasure to me. I grew up hanging clothes in near 100% humidity through about half of every year. I know how long laundry can stay wet in the wrong climate.We have more wind than outright sun here. But wind will dry laundry on a clothesline with less collateral bleaching effect. And it will dry the laundry even more quickly than sunlight alone will do.

It feels good to get fresh sheets onto the beds here. It feels good to lay out orderly ranks of folded towels. It feels good to provide soft, thick bathrobes to  everyone who spends the night. And it feels good to know that I’m developing a routine to keep me on top of the ongoing workload. All I need now is a clothesline and a front loading washing machine.

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Responses

  1. A clothesline, and a summer kitchen. I have the first one, but I dream of the second every time hot weather hits.

    Even cold food sometimes takes heat to create (like a nice pasta salad). And I’m seriously considering figgering out the logisitics of canning tomatoes over a camp fire. Shouldn’t be THAT hard. And not filling the house up with steam in late August…


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