Showing posts with label Clothing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clothing. Show all posts

Mar 16, 2010

How Much Laundry Soap Do You Really Need?

According to Consumer Reports, many Americans use too much laundry detergent - primarily because the measuring cups that come with the soap are difficult to read.
"'If the lines aren't clear or are hard to see, it's easy to overdose and use too much detergent,' says Pat Slaven, a program leader in our Technical department who conducted the detergent testing. 'Plus, for all the products we tested, the line for a medium load—the most commonly done load—is less than a full cap, which makes it easier to use too much detergent.' The line for a maximum load is also typically less than a full cap."
Not only does using too much laundry detergent mean you have to buy detergent more often, but according to CR, it can cause lint and soap deposits to develop inside the washing machine - which might cause mold and could restrict filters, resulting in mechanical failure. With high-efficiency washing machines, CR reports, using too much detergent can lead to over-long wash cycles and mechanical failure.

But is laundry detergent even necessary? According to MSN, the answer is usually no. In one reporter's unscientific tests, all her clothes came out just as clean without detergent as they did with detergent.
"Minor stains that I thought would come through unscathed actually washed out. A pair of fluffy cotton socks, which I wear around the house and patio as slippers, was pretty grimy when I put them in the washer. They came out looking exactly the same as they do when they’re washed with detergent.
The socks, which are three or four years old, always have a little gray on the bottom -- no amount of detergent or bleach gets it out. If anything, they actually look a little better than the last time I ran them through the washer.
Peeking into the machine during the wash cycle, I found that the water looked exactly as dirty as it does when I’ve added detergent, only without the suds. The rinse cycle ran clear as tap water."
How can this work? Because modern washing machines clean primarily through their agitators, not through detergent.

I'm not quite ready to give up detergent for really dirty clothes (baby poop and caked on mud, for example), but I was already using only a few tablespoons of laundry detergent for most loads. So I tried this experiment myself and had similar results to the MSN reporter. Wow! Imagine the cost savings! And since laundry detergent is to blame for many rashes, eczema, and dry skin, there could be additional savings from using lotion and Cortizone-10.

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Jan 16, 2010

Dollar Stretching Saturday: Saving $ on Kids' Clothes and Shoes

Imagine a retailer that will replace your children's clothes or shoes if they wear them out before outgrowing them. Seem like a fantasy? It's not. Good ol' Sears offers this deal through their KidVantage program:

"You want the kids’ clothes and shoes you buy to last—especially in today’s economy. That’s why KidVantage Club members get this great guarantee: if the kids’ clothes or shoes you buy at Sears wear out before they’re outgrown, we’ll replace them for free. You’ll get an identical item, whenever possible, or a similar item of equal value in the same size. Please note that you must present your receipt to replace worn-out national brand clothing and shoes."

There is no fee to join KidVantage, although you must sign up for the program before you can take advantage of the guarantee. There is also no time restriction on the guarantee, and KidVantage members also earn regular discounts. Learn more at Sears' website.

(Of course, if your kids have lots of clothes and shoes, they probably won't wear them out before they outgrow them. So buy your kids fewer clothes! This will also make laundry easier to handle.)

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Oct 24, 2009

Dollar Stretching Saturday: Bras

Does it seem like your bras don't stay well-fitting for very long? Here's a tip that can really extend the life of your bras and make you more comfortable, too.

When you buy a new bra, choose one that fits well when it's fastened on the last hook. That way, when the bra inevitably stretches, you can adjust the hooks and it will still fit well.

According to MyIntimacy, most of the support you get is from the band, not the straps, making this little precaution even more important. For more bra fitting and life-extending tips, check out

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