So today I’ve been informed that I’ve been doing my laundry all wrong. To no fault of my own (obviously) as I haven’t done my own laundry in ages and don’t know my Persil from my Fairy. In NYC, apartments don’t come with washing machines (at least the rentals don’t!) and I live nowhere near a laundromat for DIY spin cycles. So I, like many New Yorkers, drop off my clothes to be separated into whites, darks and colors, washed and then folded neatly into a tight pile and packed up in plastic for a nominal fee. Aside from having to rush home on a week night to pick up the pile before they close at 7p.m., and then lugging it up 5 floors (it works out quite well if you put it on your head, Balinese-style), it’s a great time-saver and doesn’t really cost all that much more than it would if I did have machines nearby.
Still, over here in London, I was delighted to be able to save both time and money by doing my washing at home. In Attempt No. 1, I just did whites and unbeknownst to me, loaded the machine with liquid softener.
And nothing else.
So essentially my clothes came out soft, but intense-smelling and I guess not-so clean. In Attempt No. 2, I tried one of those little plastic pouches, which I tossed into the machine as opposed to the drawer on top. My clothes came out stiff as a board and more wrinkled than a Shar Pei. (Also, not nearly as cute.)
I learned all of this after sheepishly admitting to two colleagues that I was going back to Waitrose to exchange an unopened box of detergent pouches because I didn’t like the smell. (I had been using the leftover Persil from the previous tenant. When I saw them on sale at Waitrose, I jumped the gun and replenished before realizing the smell made me gag.) In showing them what I’d used while searching for new options, they quickly informed me that the liquid from the first time was, in fact, softener, and the pouches — gross-smelling as they were — will do the cleaning, but not the softening. In essence, I needed to use both. (Am SO missing good ‘ole ALL from America and it’s all-in-one action.)
After sniffing a few other options, I settled on the below:
Here’s to Attempt No. 3.