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Old 01-06-2007, 01:23 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StirBlue
People who wash their kitchen linens (dish cloths, hand towels, potholders...etc) with their clothing gross me out. No matter how many dryer sheets that they use, there is a telltale smell.
I do think this indicates a laundry problem rather than the necessary results of a disgusting habit. I always wash all the above together with our clothing and I promise you, my laundered things always smell, well, freshly laundered and nothing else.

I do use a pre-wash (sometimes, not always) and a good hot wash for the whites, and if something is ultra-disgusting I'll give it a wash by hand first. But that's all. I think you need to consider the possibility that your washer isn't doing a thorough enough job. I don't mean to be rude or to insult you, but I really don't think a washer which agitates properly and rinses well should leave smelly clothes!
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Old 01-06-2007, 01:31 AM   #42
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In our house tonight, I put the tablecloth, flowers and condiments on the table, before dinner, cooked, then served the plates (blue and white stoneware--use it everyday and holidays) at the stove, and put them in the service pass-through, along with the glasses, cutlery and paper napkins, which DH set on the table. Real tablecloth and paper napkins! (In the old days, my cloth napkins always seemed to disappear. I think they got up in the middle of the night and sneaked out to the garage to have adventures where they weren't supposed to be--hanging around those polishing cloths, having wild parties, and coming back blotchy and sick.)
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Old 01-06-2007, 02:27 AM   #43
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It's not the washer, it's just me. I cannot put unrelated things together in the washer. Not meant to offend your techniques.
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:17 AM   #44
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We don't use our cloth napkins over and I don't use a tablecloth unless we eat in the dining room, even then we sometimes use placemats. I only use the napkins once and the tablecloth once. We aren't nasty, but I just like to put them immediately in the washer after use, therefore, no stains. I've never seen what the big deal is about washing small loads often. I do laundry every day and most of the time never have to do a big load, unless it is sheets. I know people who only do laundry once a week or even some when they start running out of things. I'd rather keep my done all the time than have to think about it. It doesn't require more water or detergent than otherwise.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:28 AM   #45
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I run a treatment plant for a papermill at night. We produce about 30 tractor trailers of solid waste a week to treat tissue paper making waste. This doesn't include the enormous amount of electricty, oil, chemicals, and disposable equipment. Remember, this is just treating the waste of the papermaking process. You also need to figure out the logging, transportation, energy/chemicals/disposable equipment in making the paper, packaging, shipping of final product, and then all the waste it creates in landfills between the waste and packaging/transportation of the waste.

With a cloth napkin you have a similar process, but it occurs only once. Treating water for taps, using a single detergent (or bleach), and the amount of electricity to operate a washer is peanuts compared to the environmental impact of disposable products. That water then goes to a municipal treatment plant, but there is hardly anything to treat with wash water. The bleach evaporates, and the amount of actual BOD involved with "messy" cloth napkins is close to nothing.

Most of the tissue we make is composed of recycled paper, but the paper being recycled came from somewhere too, and it can only be recycled once... sometimes twice.

I also keep a few cloth bags in my vehicle for when I get groceries to avoid consumption of plastic. May not seem like much, but multiplied over 300 million people day in and day out and it has a huge impact!
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:12 AM   #46
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I buy all of what you say, Nicholas, and agree that manufacturing of paper has an environmental impact, although as disposables go, at least it's biodegradable which helps me sleep a bit at night!

However, the creation of nice fresh water flowing through the taps and the creation of electricity for washing, drying, and ironing all have environmental impact as well.

I doubt we're really in disagreement. None of these things should be used thoughtlessly or wastefully! (If anybody has a suggestion for how to wipe a dirty mouth and grubby fingers that doesn't involve at least some negative impact on the environment, I'm open to hearing it!)
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:23 AM   #47
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Nick, you've convinced me of the error of my ways. Guess I'll dig out the napkin rings again...

(Still gonna use nose tissues when I have a cold, though... That is a special occasion...)
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:00 AM   #48
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Yeah, TP is pretty important too. Thats how I know that my employer will always be running and I will always have a job...

I still use paper towels for some things, like blotting the surface/cavities of meats before searing/sauteeing/roasting. Anything that will cause my cloth towels/napkins to stink after a day in my laundry basket sees a paper towel (especially poultry and fish!). A cloth napkin with a teaspoon of BBQ sauce or a bit of food from wiping the corners of your mouth isn't going to smell. Most things have enough salt/sugar/acid in them to prevent bad things from happening anyways.

It does cost a few more bucks at first to buy a few dozen cloth napkins, but I've been using the same ones for about three years now.

One of the worst things right now is baby diapers. You wouldn't believe the problems those things cause! They take up lots of room in landfills, obviously smell terrible, and bring havok to many pieces of equipment. We don't deal with them at my plant as we are primarily Industrial waste (from the paper mill), but I've seen demonstrations of what they can do. We have grinders that are simply two shafts with what looks like interlocking knives up and down them. They sit meshed together in a channel, and all the flow passes through them (grinding up any solids so it won't plug up pumps, smaller lines, etc.). A solid steel wrench will pass through in a split-second like nothing and be turned into shavings. A baby diaper will back-up the entire channel as the grinder jams up, reverses direction, and then continuously attempts to re-grind it before having to reverse direction again. It can take up to half a minute for one to process a single diaper!

The plastic on them has a predicted life in landfills of in excess of 10,000 years... Same goes for most of the other plastic waste we send to the landfills. It's why when I do consume, I usually choose paper over plastic. Plastic is primarily made of petroleum too, so it increases our dependence on fossil fuels, and foreign resources.

Another tip is to look for and choose unbleached paper products over the pristine white ones. Some pretty nasty chemicals are used to bleach paper products. The unbleached are just as clean/sterile. Same goes for colored papers, which are usually bleached before hand (especially lighter colors like yellow or pink).

Anyhoo, just my opinion.
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:58 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrton
I do think this indicates a laundry problem rather than the necessary results of a disgusting habit. I always wash all the above together with our clothing and I promise you, my laundered things always smell, well, freshly laundered and nothing else.

I do use a pre-wash (sometimes, not always) and a good hot wash for the whites, and if something is ultra-disgusting I'll give it a wash by hand first. But that's all. I think you need to consider the possibility that your washer isn't doing a thorough enough job. I don't mean to be rude or to insult you, but I really don't think a washer which agitates properly and rinses well should leave smelly clothes!
I have to agree with you here. I"ve never been big on sorting laundry, other than the obvious color problems. And I've never had a smell problem -- that I know of.

I mean, isn't that what the machine is for -- to clean whatever you put in it? I don't know that I've gone out of my way to put anything "gross" in with with tableware items, but I certainly have washed four cloth napkins (we use place mats, so no tablecloths) with my regular loads.

I wonder whether the IDEA is more the problem than the actual reality. Then again, we all have our own habits that make sense to us and make us feel better, so there you are.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:23 PM   #50
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Nicholas Mosher: Can you please tell me how to get fish oil out of my table cloth?

We also have a lovely silk necktie back from the dry cleaners with fish oil still on it and a note saying it could not be removed.
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