The personal blog of Frank Lesko. Award-winning writer. Non-profit entrepreneur. Activist. Religious professional. Foodie. Musician. All around curious soul and Renaissance man.

See also my professional blog: The Traveling Ecumenist.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Do Hang Me Out To Dry

I decided to stop washing my clothes so much. I had gotten in the habit of just throwing items in the hamper. Questionable item? Toss it. Change shirts halfway through the day? Toss it. I'm sorry but a 'day at the office' does not necessitate a thorough wash with heavy duty laundry detergent. Socks and underwear--sure, they only get a single use. But my pants and shirts can be worn 2, 3 and even more times with impunity. I simply hang them up in my room, and the air over the course of a few days freshens them (not that they need it) for my next use. A little spritzing with an iron brings them back to life.

Its a total win-win-win-win. I'm spending less money on detergent and the laundramat. I'm conserving energy (when I do wash clothes, I am careful to hang them up to dry and avoid using dryers). I'm flushing less detergents into the environment (and using biodegradable ones). I am spending less time at the laundry machines and more time doing whatever else I'd prefer. The best part of it all is that I have experienced no loss of quality of my lifestyle whatsoever, only improvements.

I don't know why, but many of us are programmed to wash clothes obsessively. A single use for part of a day and the item gets tossed into the hamper. Its unnecessary and wasteful. We use much more detergent per load than necessary, and wash many more times than reason would dictate. And we never allow ourselves that nice feel of a pair of jeans that have loosened up after several days wear to really become part of your body, to live and breathe with you as a good companion, rather than the starched floor model we don't know and keep at a distance.


  1. And here I thought I was just a slob. Who knew I was so environmentally conscientious.

  2. Here I thought I was just being European! :-) I totally dig your thoughts on laundry. In the Netherlands, many people don't own clothes dryers. Instead they hang everything up to dry (outside in summer, inside in winter). That's how I did it for 5 years! Now that I live in a household with a dryer, I use it sometimes. But at least half of my clothes have never in their lives seen the inside of a dryer. On a related note, my hairdresser told me that because my hair is so dry, I should only wash it with shampoo once a week. The rest of the time, I should just massage my scalp and let the natural oils do their thing (plus a little conditioner on the ends to liven things up). I tell ya, in my ever so humble opinion, my hair has never looked better! :)