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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Laundry Resolutions

By Dr. Laundry January 20, 2011

As the New Year begins, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on the past year and make some resolutions for 2011. By the time our last box of Christmas decorations is packed away, I’ve had plenty of time to look around the house and figure out my to-do list. It always seems that whatever I decide on ends up involving the laundry, and this year is no exception. Here are my 2011 New Year’s Resolutions:


  • Donate clothing that doesn’t fit or is no longer being worn. This sounds simple enough, but it’s actually pretty involved if you want to avoid just throwing things out. First, I go through my husband’s and my closet, and then I work with both of my kids to sort through their clothes. Next, and this is really important, everything gets washed before being donated. That’s because I want to make it as easy as possible for the different agencies that we support to be able to efficiently pass on the items. Finally, I sort the items based on finding the best place to receive the donation. Soccer uniforms (freshened up with Clorox®2 Stain Fighter & Color Booster) and too-small cleats are turned in to the hand-me-down box at the youth soccer club. Kids’ jeans and shirts (stains gone thanks to the Clorox®2 Stain Fighter Gel Pen) go to our local Rescue Mission for families in need. Dress shirts, pants, jackets and skirts are sent to Wardrobe for Opportunity, http://www.wardrobe.org/donatec.html, a great organization in the San Francisco Bay Area that helps provide job-seekers with interview-appropriate clothing and accessories. This year I also have sheets to donate (after washing them with Clorox® Regular-Bleach) to a group that prepares bandages to send overseas. What organizations could you support in your community by donating clean, gently used clothing and household items?
  • Restore a vintage denim jacket. My daughter has been eyeing denim jackets, and I remembered that my husband has an old one that he hasn’t worn in years that could fit her! We pulled it out of the back of the closet only to find it’s going to need some attention before she’ll want to wear it—more attention than I wanted to spare during the busy holiday season! The holidays are over now, and I figure one overnight pre-soak with a couple of Clorox®2 Packs will clean it up beautifully.
  • Stock up on “bleach-friendly” sheets and towels. Years ago, sheets and towels were reliably made with vat dyes and were always bleach safe. More recently, less expensive dyes have been used, but at the expense of bleachability. Fortunately, the tide is turning on this one as more retailers advertise “bleach-friendly” sheets and towels. I just picked up bleach-friendly sheets for my son’s new bed, and now I need to get some for the rest of us so we can all sleep in germ-free, fashionable comfort!
  • Exercise! This may be the stereotypical New Year’s resolution, but after spraining my ankle just before Thanksgiving, and not exercising (but eating lots of great meals and treats) all the way through the holidays, it’s time to get back on track with a regular fitness schedule. I’ll be joining my friend Melissa to walk around beautiful Lake Merritt three days each week, and bicycling. Fortunately, Clorox2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster will keep my workout clothes clean and stain-free!

Here’s wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2011, and keep those laundry questions coming!