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Lindsay Thompson / Her Campus

Go forth and launder — brave people of the world

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Edited by: Lavanya Goswami

Where is laundry? What is laundry? Why is laundry? The answers to these questions will be made available in this rambling collection of words, written by someone who has an existential crisis when too many unwashed clothes pile up in her room. I'll be giving you laundry tips you did not ask for! As a disclaimer, I will add that I started my journey of doing laundry by hand-washing my clothes, especially underwear. Apparently, these devious contraptions of elastic, wires and cloth need a delicate hand. So no, you can’t strangulate your bra while washing it just because it squeezes the life out of you when you wear it. I also do not cover drying and ironing clothes in this piece.

Tip 1: Get yourself a detail-oriented Yoda 

No, the internet does not count. You need to seek apprenticeship from someone whose hands have actually borne the brunt of harsh laundry soap. Having someone guide you through this process can be pretty cool. Having a shoulder to cry on, when you fail to remove soap lather from your clothes even after a third wash, is great. I had my mother hover over me while I did these Herculean tasks and let me tell you — the entire neighbourhood could hear our shouting matches when I did ‘xyz’ instead of ‘abc’.

Tip 2: Memory wipes and washing machines

I do not know how to use a washing machine, but I do know how to play with it — firstly, can I fit myself inside the clothes drum? Secondly, it has way too many buttons that beep beautifully on being pressed. Front load, top load, detergent, spin, high rinse, dry — mind you, I’m just listing all the available options. I proudly admit that I open up Google and ask a bunch of questions, every time I have to launder a load. 

Tip 3: Romeo, Juliet and color bleed stains

When two clothes love each other very much, they get together in conflicting passion and leave irreversible marks on each other. Blue and yellow can play star crossed lovers all they want but it doesn’t seem that romantic when you have to bear the noxiously green consequences. Separate your clothes before putting them inside the washing machine. Otherwise, that one garment you bought from the wholesaler at a great deal, will ruin your wardrobe.

Tip 4: Rags to riches

Yes, there is hierarchy among clothes as well. Remember that the fabric matters.

Water is good enough for little old cotton, but don’t you dare use it for silk. Silk needs to be put through a massage of petrol and cloth rollers, creating this very mysterious process called dry cleaning that costs extra money. Bewildering right, that we wash the cocoons of dead insects with the most precious fuel available to humans?

Tip 5: White hegemony

That one colour that everyone has, which makes anything look good and which is the hardest to clean — white. Wearing white on a daily basis is a ballsy decision because nothing soils as quickly as the one flattering white formal shirt you own. You need laundry blue/ blueing to take care of these clothes — the thick viscous liquid you see in the bottles of Ujala or whatever brand the head of the household prefers. If you put too much of this into your load, the clothes end up as fifty shades of blue. Applying vinegar removes these stains so, good luck getting a bucket of vinegar for soaking your clothes. Or you can just resign yourself to wearing them and the sun removes the stains as a blessing on your poor soul.

Tip 6: Stubborn stains and bodily fluids

If your first instinct is to scream and run for the nearest tap when you see a blood stain, you’re on the right track. These stains should be washed with a running stream of cold water as soon as possible and you really have to get in there with a bar of soap, if the stain has dried out a bit. It's a great way for building upper body strength but do be careful with the amount of water you use.

If you make the barmy decision of wearing black on a hot day, you deserve the crusty sweat stains that make stripes on your t-shirt. A good soak in hot water can get rid of these salt deposits, so go ahead — be emo and suffer from a heat stroke.

Greater details and more absurd tips can be obtained from books on doing laundry. They encourage you to go mad scientist while cleaning fabric and maybe, you should. Burn holes in your clothes by using fizzy chemicals, call them ripped and wear your experiments with pride!

Sthitee is a writer of the content team of the Her Campus Ashoka chapter and is in her first year. She is a huge fan of coffee and loves talking about how awesome nature is. Bribing her with pictures of baby animals is very effective and she's always on the look out for book recommendations.
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