Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It Takes Balls to Do Laundry...and Bags

One of my favorite blog reads (you know you're all my favorites, I swear) is always Lady (Buttons) Sings the Blues. She never fails to crack me up. So she was having a wee bit of fun at her hubby's expense on the subject of general lack of cleanliness of the menfolk...complete with haiku. And fun new terminology. I shall now excoriate my hubby to pick up his "gotchies."

And I am so juvenile that I am still giggling over that word. My dad calls them "growlers." Whatever...just don't call them "panties" as my poor mother did the first time M had underwear after potty training - you can imagine my reaction "Agggghhhhh, don't call them panties...undies is ok, but NEVER panties, he's a boy!!!" Ok, maybe I overreacted that time. I mean, the poor woman only had 1 set of twin girls, so she is used to the feminine terminology. (sorry, Mom)

Anyhoooo, so the convo on laundry got me thinking to two new updates to my laundry routine that have actually made my life easier. And I especially want to share because they definitely have a tendency to invoke that "seriously? this really works?" initial response - kinda like smoothie makers - hubby and I scoffed until we really tried it - and they are magic.

Laundry Lifesaver #1 - Dryer Balls! First of all, have you ever heard the tip on putting tennis balls in with comforters, esp down comforters, to fluff them and make them dry quicker? This is like that, to the umpteenth degree. Seriously - they fluff everything - which means no or fewer wrinkles (less ironing, yay) and they dry quicker. I admit that the primary reason I bought these is because I was looking for another item to add to my school fundraiser purchases so the kids had the same number of items ordered. You know how that goes. Imagine my surprise when they actually worked! Small downside - they can make the dryer a bit noisier. But that's why my laundry room has a door on it. If you don't have a Sally Foster fundraiser going on at your school, you can pick up the dryer balls at Bed, Bath, and Beyond...or a billion other random stores like that, I imagine - of course, BB+B does have their lovely coupons.

Laundry Lifesaver #2 - The Bra Bag! Ok, I'll admit it...I'm lazy. I have neither the time nor the inclination to hand wash my lingerie. Into the washer it goes. Sure, I use the super-duper-extra-delicates cycle and I air dry...but still those bras are going in the wash. I tried out that Bra Baby gadget that is the hard plastic shell - and it just didn't work with my bras. Maybe a 36 band size was too big and it works better for training bras, I don't know - but it was a disappointment. And regular lingerie bags just leave them too loose. And then when I was strolling along the Walmart laundry aisle looking for a pet roller to get the lint of my Minnies (long story for another post), I saw these - the Tide Bra Bag. And yes, the link is to Target because I couldn't find them on the Walmart website - like the dryer balls, I imagine you can find this lots of places.

As you can see from the picture at left, it's a 2-chambered bag, so you can wash 2 bras at the same time. I can't really describe it, so I'll use the excerpt from the Tide website:
The padded mesh protects the shape of bras and underwires and prevents delicates from snagging, twisting, stretching or tangling during the gentle wash cycle. The fine weave of our OptiMesh™ material prevents hooks and wires from piercing through, yet allows water and detergent to penetrate for proper cleaning without tangling! All seams and zippers are carefully covered with a smooth nylon material to further protect your fine washables from snags.

Now if someone could just make ironing easier, I would be all there. Gah, I hate ironing... Maybe I should ask Santa for a steamer this year? (the clothes kind, duh - already have the seafood steamer - I do live in Maryland, you know...)


Molly Darling said...

I've been wondering about those dryer balls (heehee, it makes me giggle). And I love that bra bag- it works well and never gets snagged on anything like my other one does.

Anna said...

have you tried downy wrinkle release? i admit, i'm in grad school so my formal/business dress occasions are few and far between, but it's worked for practically everything i've needed wrinkles out of since i went off to college.

Ema said...

I'm giggling too at the balls ...
Seriously the bra bag could be a life saver for me. I have TONS of bras that I wear once and then sit forever in my laundry bin because I don't have the energy to hand wash them. Thank you (as always) for posting this! I love your "housekeeping" and beauty posts, they are informative and funny. BTW, I washed my Minnies and thanks to your directions they came out just fine.

RatsOnParade said...

That bra bag is brilliant! I'd seen the dryer balls out and about too, but I never thought much of them. So nice to hear a true tale from a real person who has actually used them! Might just have to give these a try. :)

Anonymous said...

Love the tittle of the post. Hilarious!!!
Thanks for the bra bag review. I need to go to Target this week to get dog and husband food so I might have to looks for this little laundry item.

Lady Buttons said...

Heehee, thanks for the blog-love Heidi! Great laundry tips, too. I'll pass 'em along to dh, along with a printout of my favourite haikus! :)

Summerilla said...

I was cracking up just from the post title and then the first two paragraphs just had me dying laughing. "Panties".

So I love this post because I've always wondered about all those laundry goodies. I'm going to have to put them on hold a bit - since in NYC you pay people to wash your clothes, all of your clothes. I want a washing machine and dryer again so badly!!!! But as soon as I'm back to the land of washing my own clothes I'm buying them ALL!

Anonymous said...

I love the dryer balls, they really work! I hate ironing to the point where I do not buy blouses for that reason alone, I wear knits instead. I am sooo lazy!

Pamela said...

I use a bra bag, too. I always tell myself when I buy new bras that I will handwash them, but never find the time.
I haven't tried the balls yet though. After hearing first hand from you that they work, I will be picking them up. I can finally toss those old tennis balls!

Genny said...

Have you ever tried MagicSizing for ironing? It does make ironing easier and is wonderful stuff!

DaniBP said...

Great post, Heidi! I'm gonna have too get me some of those balls! (hehehe)
Maybe you should try a steam iron. I have one and I love it. I truly hate ironing, but the steam makes it all okay, much easier. I got mine using my credit-card points reward program, as they are quite pricey (about $300 up here in Canada). They are probably cheaper in the US, most things like that are!
I too cringe at "panties". Yuck.

Anonymous said...

Hi Heidi,

how could I contact you? E-mail/skype/msn?

Hope to hear from you soon!

GingerSnap said...

Tennis balls work as well! I have been using them with my bedding for years :).

As for the steamer- YOU MUST get one, they are literally life changing!!! I scored mine from Walmart for only $50 (conair). It is amazing and really helps with dry clean only items and silky tops!

Em said...

I was just about to buy a bra baby! Well screw that, now I will be running over to target to get the bra bag. Thanks for posting on this!

Em said...

I second GingerSnap: you must get a steamer! I also got mine at target. It is Rowenta and it was $59.99. Worth every penny!!!

Anonymous said...

Heidi, I agree with Anna. Downy Wrinkle Releaser is awesome! It works much better than regular water for smoothing most fabrics without ironing. I love it. I use it on almost everything except button-down shirts, which I still press or take to the cleaners.

HeidiG said...

Molly Darling - glad to supply you with a giggle!

Anna - I can't believe I forgot to mention the Downy Wrinkle Release - one of my all-time fave products - definitely helps me avoid a lot of ironing. I even have the travel size!

Ema - glad you can giggle, too. And glad your Minnies fared well in the wash - i actually partially dried my in the machine, too last time.

RatsOnParade - yep, that's why I wanted to offer my testimonial.

Rosa in DC - would love to hear more about "husband food." Chips & dip??

Lady Buttons - happy to share the love - keep those haikus flowing...

Summerilla - you know me so well, I'm sure you can envision me flipping of the use of "panties." I can't believe you all send your laundry out! Even though I don't love doing it, I would hate to pay and trust someone. Eeeks. Get thee back to the DC area, STAT.

casual-crew - so I'm not the only one who avoids buying blouses in order to avoid ironing? yay.

Pamela - I think the advantage with the dryer balls is the spikies all over. And I can give my tennis balls back to Lucy.

HeidiG said...

Genny - no, I have not tried MagicSizing, but will look for next time I'm at the store - thanks!

DaniBP - oh yeah, you need some balls, hehehe. Thanks for the tip on the steam iron - I will look into it!

Lust in the City - my email/contact is on my Blogger profile page.

GingerSnap - I was definitely a tennis ball fan before I found these. thanks for the info on the steamer, I do need to look into one.

Em - thanks for the info on the steamer as well. That bra baby - great idea, but the actual product...not so great. Hope the bra bag works for you!

Anon - like I said above, I can't believe I totally neglected to mention the Downy. It is magic! And I have been known to use it on a not-too-wrinkled shirt instead of actually going with a full ironing.