- Published on Tuesday, 22 March 2016 20:46
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Let’s say that for whatever reason you don’ have laundry detergent. Perhaps you forgot to purchase any when you were last at the supermarket. Or maybe you just ran out and don’t feel inclined to go shopping (who does?). Maybe you’ve just decided to give up on all of those chemical things, soap included, so you are looking for some kind of alternative to laundry detergent. Fortunately, there are viable alternatives. Whatever your reason is for needing an alternative to laundry detergent, there is an alternative listed here.
Going au naturel?
Just deciding to “go without” is a great reason for looking elsewhere when it comes laundry time. The good news in this is that there are plenty of alternatives. Some are a little risky, but used with a certain degree of caution, they’re fine in a pinch.
Soap Nuts. No. They’re not really a nut. Instead, they are a fruit, but don’t get us mixed up in that debate. Regardless of what the plant folks call them, they’re great in your laundry. Soap nuts come from a plant called soapberry, the shells of which produce a soapy effect when they are added to laundry. You can buy them from a website called Naturoli (shameless plug). And not only are they all natural, but they also cost only pennies per load.
Ava Anderson’s Laundry Pods. Another alternative to traditional laundry soap is Ava Anderson’s Laundry Pods, which are a full of natural ingredients that are non-toxic, septic safe, safe for kids and pets, and lots of other cool stuff. Oh, yeah, and they clean your clothes too.
Laundry Soap by Another Name
If you’re not quite that ready for going natural, you can still make wonderful detergent for your wash with, what else, soap. Wow. Bet you thought we had to have a big meeting to think of that one. Fortunately, it’s true. In fact, many people do it all the time. The downside is that is that if you want to do it, you need to be careful, since some products, like dishwasher soap can be damaging to your clothes if you’re not careful and you use too much. A similar approach is to use regular bar soap and grate it up with a cheese grater, then add it to your wash.
The easiest alternative, by far, is to go online and schedule a laundry pickup at The Laundry Center. They know all of the tricks of the trade when it comes to doing laundry the right way. Even better, they offer free pick up and will deliver your laundry as fast as 24 hours. I’d bet your supermarket doesn’t do that.
- Published on Thursday, 17 March 2016 20:38
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If there is one piece of advice that seems to always keep travelers in good stead, it’s to keep things simple.
Probably everyone has had the experience of things being too complicated when on the road. This applies to laundry as much as anything else. After all, when you’re on the road, it’s often to parts you’re not very familiar with and tools you don’t have or even have access to. Quick: you are at a small hotel in Madrid. Where is the closest laundromat? Also, while you are traveling to Europe, don’t you have plenty of other things to do other than laundry?
This reminds us of an incident that took place at a laundromat in Hawaii where a young man, wrapped in a sheet waited until his clothes were dry, at which time he dropped his sheet and proceeded to dress himself in what was his load of laundry. Not only will you probably be better prepared, but you also would have more laundry than just a single change. It’s for all these reasons that you want to keep laundry chores as simple as possible.
In Your Room
The first place that many people turn to while traveling and keeping laundry clean–more or less–is to wash in their room. With a sink, a little detergent, and a traveling clothesline, you are usually in business. Along with a quick-dry wardrobe, you will end up looking pretty spiffy, despite the primitive conditions.
The downside to this is the fact that many hotels, especially in Europe, ask that laundry not be done in sinks. Some bathrooms are even equipped with signs that say, “no washing clothes in the room,” which besides “Don’t pee in our pool” and “Don’t feed the ducks” which is one of the most ignored in the world.
Actually, it’s just a fancy way of saying “We have expensive furniture that we would really rather you didn’t stain and warp with your wet clothes.”
Use a Launderette
Just as is the case with other parts fo the world, there are many launderettes throughout Europe that you can use. These are much like those in America that have washers, dryers, folding tables and maybe a few assorted homeless people in attendance to remind you of home.
The hotel that doesn’t have some kind of laundry service attached to it probably hasn’t been invented yet, so if you really don’t want to visit a laundromat or violate in-room signs, just ask the front desk or concierge for the closest available laundry service.
Most often, these will not only wash your clothes for you, but they will pick up and delivery for free, and often offer same day service too.
This will cover you for your European travels, but if you are still in New York City, the best way to get your clothes really clean, without the hassle, is call The Laundry Center and get your laundry picked up and delivered right to your doorstep, and they don’t use hotel sinks to do the job either.
- Published on Wednesday, 09 March 2016 19:02
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It doesn’t take but a stroll down the detergent aisle of your local market before you realize that when it comes to laundry stain removers, the world is your oyster. The good news in this is that virtually all of them are good at what they do, to one extent or another.
1. OxiClean Max Force Laundry Stain Remover. For an overall good laundry stain remover, OxiClean Max Force Laundry Stain Remover stands among the best. This one is not only good on your clothes, whatever the stain might be, but it’s also great on your upholstery and other fabrics.
2. Tide Stain Brush. If this one was any more fun to use, we might ignore the fact that it’s great on stains too. Seriously. We were tempted to put aside “50 Shades of Grey” to use this one. In fact, we suggest that it be included in the next edition. For laundry disasters, it’s not as much fun, but it does the job quite well.
3. Tide to Go. This one is great for the next time you want to go to a bar and offer to get rid of everyone’s incriminating lipstick stains in exchange for a free drink. Tide to Go is simply a marker sized pen that allows you to clean up stains, even without water.
4. Spray and Wash Dual Power Laundry Stain Remover. Remember Fizzies from when you were a kid? This reminds us of those. With Spray and Wash Dual Power Laundry Stain Remover, all you need to do is to apply it to your stains, and the “fizzies” action does the rest.
5. Spray and Wash Stain Stick. What appears to be a mild-mannered deodorant stick is in reality Spray and Wash Stain Stick. We’re not entirely sure how well this one will treat your underarms, but for laundry disasters, it’s great. It also has the advantage of being able to apply it to your worst stains, then just throw into the laundry hamper for the next time you do your wash. It’s just like pre-treating, but without the hassle.
Don’t want to involve yourself with laundry disasters at all? No need to get your hands dirty. Why not just contact The Laundry Center? If you are looking for someone who really knows how to deal effectively with stains and will even pick up and deliver your clothes for free as well, call them today.
- Published on Wednesday, 02 March 2016 13:46
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It might have been a popular trick to throw a red sock into someone’s white undies while in college, but in the years since, pink undies, or any other types of clothing for that matter, is no laughing matter. In fact, pulling your laundry out of the washing machine and having it be any color other than that you put in can be very frustrating, not to mention expensive. Fortunately, there are several thoughts to keep in mind to keep your laundry from coming out pink unless, of course, it went in pink.
Check Them Out. Before you put anything in the wash, especially new items, check them to see whether you think the colors will bleed. If you have a doubt, wash them separately, at least for the first few times you wash them. If you are still wondering, make sure to read the labels and wash accordingly.
Separate. Separating your laundry, whites, lights and pastels, bright colors, darks, and towels, is always a good idea. Too much work? Separate them as you throw them into hampers after you have worn them.
Minimize Friction. As you wash items over time, fibers tend to break down. This releases dyes and leads to fading. You can minimize this effect by washing like items such as heavy fabrics (jeans and the like) together. Better yet, turn them inside out and wish zippers closed. Using the permanent press cycle on your washing machine is also a good move.
Test For Colorfastness. If you are unsure of the colorfastness of certain items, test them by putting them in a sink full of soapy water for a half-hour. If after that time the water has changed colors, the items will bleed and are in need of special handling.
Don’t Use Salt or Vinegar. There is a common misconception that adding salt or vinegar to your wash will improve colorfastness (thanks, Pinterest), but this is incorrect. A very small group of fabrics set in vinegar, but this is very uncommon. Vinegar does help to eliminate odors but use it sparingly.
Wash In Cold Water. One of the best ways to help prevent your wash from turning pink is to wash everything in cold water. Negative side effects such as a laundry that is less clean will be minimized, and you can usually counter this with a good detergent.
Use Color Catching Sheets. Buy these anywhere they sell detergents, and they will help to prevent bleeding.
Hand Wash. If all else fails, and you are very concerned about colorfastness, hand wash the items of concern. You will have cut the chances of damaging other clothes and left pink laundry to the fraternity guys.
If you are still concerned about college pranks or otherwise worried about pink laundry, why not get your picked up, washed and delivered by the Laundry Center?
Laundry pick up and delivery is free, and you won’t have to worry about anything coming back pink.
- Published on Wednesday, 24 February 2016 16:30
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Do you approach your laundry chores with a certain kind of dread? Are you one of those people who get a sick, queasy feeling when you start thinking about doing your laundry? Maybe it’s that same uneasy feeling that you get when you watch the presidential debates? Ahh. It’s clear now, right? We can’t help you much with your election choices, but when it comes to doing your laundry, we have all kinds of great tips for avoiding laundry disasters. Here are five that we would like to pass along.
1. Read the labels. Manufacturers add labels to many of their clothes because they want to give you the best directions for keeping them looking their best. Unfortunately, they can’t help you unless you read the directions. That tiny label might be hard to read sometimes, but it can make the difference between clean, beautiful clothes, and a wash day disaster. That label gives good directions on what cycle and temperature to wash your clothes on as well as whether they can be tumble dried or not.
2. Separate your clothes. Don’t be tempted to throw all of your clothes into the wash together. Turning all of your clothing the same color of pink might be a great college prank, but it’s no fun outside of the ivy-covered halls. Separate whites, darks, colors, and delicates. Further, new clothes should also be washed separately to keep them from bleeding their dyes.
3. Pre-treat stains. Stains can usually be removed effectively if they are pre-treated promptly and properly.
4. Keep clothes looking better for longer. Adding a detergent booster will not only keep your whites whiter, but your colors more colorful and keep both longer. It’s also a good idea to turn your new clothes–especially jeans and wool items–inside-out to keep them from losing dye or going bubbly on you.
5. Dry your laundry properly. If your dryer has a tumble-dry function, use it. But also be aware that certain items may be too delicate to even tumble-dry. Wool can also shrink in a dryer. The safest way to dry your clothes is to hang them up immediately, allowing them to dry and air adequately. You will get your best result by hanging your clothes on a line. Besides, it’s more environmentally friendly too.
Tired of the whole laundry thing? Let the Laundry Center pickup and deliver your laundry. Not only will your clothes come back their best and brightest, but they will save you from lots time and relieve you of laundry duty.
- Published on Wednesday, 17 February 2016 20:27
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If you are one of those people who are still washing your clothes in warm or hot water, you are with the majority. The truth is that even though there are numerous benefits to washing clothes in cold water, the practice has largely gotten a bad name. In fact, for a fair number of reasons, you would be better serving yourself, not to mention the world, by washing your laundry in cold water.
Studies have shown that more than 60 percent of all Americans wash their clothes in warm or hot water. That’s a lot of laundry, to be sure, but when you come right down to it, laundry washed in warm or hot water isn’t benefiting you or anyone else nearly as much as you might think.
First of all, roughly 75 percent of the energy required to wash a load of laundry is expended in heating the water. That’s a lot of energy spent that will only end up going out the drain. By contrast, not only does using cold water use less energy, but it’s also better on your clothes. Further, by using only cold water for your wash, you save more than $60 annually on your utility bill.
Long Lasting Clothes
If you happen to have a lot of money to throw around, that’s fine, so if you need another reason to convert to cold water in your wash, try this one: your clothes will look better and last far longer if you wash in cold water as opposed to warm or hot. This is because hot and warm water break the fibers of clothes down, which makes them worn looking far sooner than cold water. This does present the issue of the effectiveness of detergents, since most of today’s detergents are made to perform better in warm and hot water.
The solution to this is obviously to wash your clothes in cold water, and for extra dirty clothes that you used to trust to your hot and warm water, simply pretreat them before you put them in the washer. Your clothes will thank you for it, as will the environment.
If your idea of a more refined laundry washing technique is just giving it to someone else to do, The Laundry Center could be your best friend. Not only will they get your clothes cleaner than practically anyone else, but they pick up and deliver your clothes fresh and clean to you once they are done. That’s even easier than flipping a water temperature dial to “Cold.”
- Published on Thursday, 11 February 2016 14:34
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Variety is the spice of life. Everybody knows that. But when it comes to laundry detergents, only a little variety is needed, or so says most people. Ask most homemakers which laundry detergent they like most, and chances are good that you will get a wide variety of answers. One might be better at cleaning than another, but when it comes to their scent, only a few make the grade. These five make the top of most lists.
Tide Laundry Detergent. Tide is made in so many different varieties of scents, fabric treatments, dyes, bleach and other forms that it’s hard not to include it in some form on virtually any list. It’s not the most inexpensive detergent around, but for virtually anything else, it’s great stuff.
Gain. Gain smells so good that it practically calls you from the shelf to do the laundry. Gain is another brand that you want to avoid in favor of the less expensive brands, but chances are very good that you will pick it up only for the smell. Gain’s Joyful Expressions is to die for, and once you get tired of that (if it ever happens), try Apple Mango Tango, Gardenia Delight, Icy Fresh Fizz, Tropical Sunrise, and more.
Purex. When it comes to plain and simple, Purex has everybody beat hands down. It has only one scent to offer, but it’s not bad at all. Making it ever better though, is the fact that it now comes in a 3 in 1 sheet form, which is remarkably easy to use. Throw in a sheet and everything–soap, softener, and anti-static treatment–is included.
Method. For smelling good, another great entry is Method, which also has some other advantages. Not only is it phosphate-free, but it is biodegradable and works great on heavily soiled clothes too. It even comes in a baby-safe formula.
All. All is another laundry detergent that not only smells great but continues to make improvements nearly all the time. Just when you think that you have things like great cleaning power, fresh scent, and other benefits covered, now they add a new, more convenient size.
If you would rather not think about detergent scents or anything else having to do with laundry, call the Laundry Center for your next free laundry pickup and delivery. Not only do they appreciate smelling all of those wonderful odors (of the detergents, not the clothes), they will pick up and deliver your clothes at no charge.
- Published on Thursday, 04 February 2016 14:42
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If your laundry is getting dingy-looking, and it smells a lot like last week’s campaign promises, perhaps you need a new detergent. And if you don’t have the heart to pay–or simply don’t want to–the high prices for detergents, what follows are five great recipes for your own homemade laundry soap.
Powdered Soap Nuts.
Please, don’t ask why they call this soap nuts. It makes us think of the old Euell Gibbons hickory nuts commercials. The truth be told, we wouldn’t eat either one, but the later is greater for washing clothes. Here’s what you will need:
* 3 Boxes, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (55 oz)
* 1 Large Box of Eco Nuts Soap Nuts (approx 8 cups of berries or 4 cups soap nuts pow powder)
* 1 Tub, OxiClean Free or “Baby” (3 lbs)
* 1 Box Baking soda (16 oz)
Run all of the ingredients through a food processor, add to a sack or bottle to dispense. Add one or two tablespoons to your laundry.
No-Grate Laundry Detergent
If you are tired of all the grating that comes with other detergent recipes, try this one. Here’s what you will need:
3 Tbs Borax
3 Tbs Washing Soda 2 Tbs Dawn Dish soap
Combine these products in a one-gallon jug. Pour 4 cps boiling water in the jug. Mix until all of the ingredients are thoroughly dissolved in the liquid. Let mixture cool. Then fill to the top with cold water.
Easy Laundry Soap
OK. Why this one is called “Easy” is beyond us. Let’s just say that it’s easier to make than others. Everything you need to make it is here.
1 Bar (14 oz) Fels-Naptha, Zote Soap
2 Cps Arm & Hammer Super Wash
2 Cps Borax Mix all of this together, and you’ve got a great, and inexpensive detergent.
Homemade Liquid Soap Nuts Laundry Detergent
This recipe is a little more work than others but still is nice. Combine these ingredients:
1 Cup Eco Nuts berries (approx. 2 oz)4 Cups Water1/2 Cup Vinegar (natural preservative)
Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot and bring it to a boil, stirring and mashing the lumps as it cooks. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer, and let it cook for 30 minutes. This takes out a lot of the excess water. After the simmering is finished, put the mixture through a piece of mesh into a clear jar for use.
If you’re really into protecting the environment, this is a safe bet for you. Here are the ingredients:
Washing soda or baking soda
SaltThieves Household Cleaner
That’s part one of this recipe. For packing an extra punch, add these ingredients:
White vinegar or fabric softener
1/2 Tbs of citric acid
This recipe is great on everything but diapers.
And that’s it. If all of these seems like a bit too much work for you, give the Laundry Center a call. With not only making your laundry cleaner than you have probably ever seen it, plus free pick-up and delivery, it couldn’t be easier.
- Published on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 19:20
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It’s a dilemma that nearly everyone faces. No, we’re not talking about who to vote for in the coming election. In fact, it’s probably more serious than even that: which temperature is best for washing clothes? It’s an issue that faces everyone but doesn’t play favorites. Making matters worse is the matter of all the new and different fabrics introduced that all seem to have different washing instructions. What’s the authoritative source? That’s what follows.
When to Use Hot Water. It’s the bane of everyone’s existence. Using hot water might be bad for the environment, but when it comes to certain clothes, it’s the best. Hot water, or that which is heated to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, is the best to use when special consideration must be given to removing germs as well as heavy soil. Granted, it can fade and damage some fabrics, but without those, hot water does do certain jobs very well, and perhaps even best. Before you touch the hot water button, make sure you read the labels on your clothing to make sure you’ve got it right.
When to Use Warm Water. It used to be that warm water, that which is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, was the all-purpose go-to when it came to making a water temperature selection. When in doubt, choose warm water, they used to say. The truth is that there is a certain amount of wisdom in that reasoning. The truth is that most clothes can be safely washed with warm water. Not only does warm water clean clothes well, but it will do so without any significant fading or shrinking.
When to Use Cold Water. Cold water might be the darling of environmentalists, but whether you’re a tree-hugger or not, you’ll be thrilled to know that cold water is great for use on bright colors that might bleed or on delicate fabrics. Cold water, or that which is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, also saves considerable amounts of energy and is an excellent choice, as practically everyone knows, if you want to be more eco-friendly. If you do select cold water, it would probably be best to pre-treat or pre-soak your clothes, especially if they are heavily soiled.
Just as a rule of thumb you might want to keep in mind that the lower the temperature of the water you use, the less detergent you will need. Below about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, no detergent performs well. Regardless, don’t make the water you use too hot either. Washing clothes that are heavily soiled in hot water can set stains. For those clothes that are heavily soiled, pre-wash them in cool water, and then wash them again in hot water. The water you use to rinse with can always be cold without any harmful effects on your load. If you rinse fabrics in cold water, it will keep wrinkling to a minimum, won’t set stains, and will save lots of precious energy.
If the only water temperature you want to deal with is for your bubble bath, why not call the Laundry Center for your next NYC laundry pickup and delivery? Not only will they always use the optimal temperature for getting your clothes cleaner than you have ever seen them, but they will pick up and deliver your clothes for free. If you’re in your bubble bath when we arrive with your laundry, we’ll let ourselves in and leave everything in the front closet.
- Published on Tuesday, 19 January 2016 19:11
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If it’s a part of your plan to become more of a do it yourself “natural” kind of person then we put together a post that will help you do just that.
Here we will talk about how to create your very own laundry washing powder without stepping one foot in a supermarket. The good news in this is that not only can it be done very easily, with ingredients are normally very easy to find and mixing up a batch is a cinch.
Here are the ingredients:
1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap or Zote (available online or in most grocery or hardware stores.
Zote is often available in Hispanic grocery stores)
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
If you want to add essential oils, feel free to include them to your tastes.
Now it’s time to bring out the witch’s cauldron to make your first batch.
If you haven’t grated the Naptha Soap or Zote, you will need to do so with a food processor. Remember that the package of Zote is usually about twice the size of a bar of Naptha Soap, so if you want to use the entire package of Zote, you will need to double the measurement of the remaining ingredients to make the consistency right. A benefit of this, of course, is that you will have a double-sized batch which, if you are going to make a mess, why not go ahead and do it? The ingredients will easily fit into a standard sized food processor anyway, so why not?
Once you have grated the soap, next add the washing soda to the mixture. If you can’t find washing soda, opt for baking soda and oxi-clean instead. Oxi-clean is essentially the same thing, but with added peroxide, which does add some bleaching action, but should be color safe. Baking soda is also half as alkaline as washing soda, so by using baking soda, you will have a gentler soap as a result.
It is important to note that when you include the Oxi-clean, be careful to add it slowly since the peroxide will tend to bubble once it hits the mixture. So if you don’t want a frothy mess, be careful.
On the other hand, if all of this natural stuff, not to mention the chemistry lesson is a little too much for you, try instead using The Laundry Center for your next laundry pickup and delivery. Not only will you avoid the soapy mess, but they will pick up and deliver your laundry wherever you happen to be, even if you’re busy making your laundry detergent at the time.