'Dry-clean only' and other laundry lies debunked by the 'Laundry Evangelist'
BARRIE -- Patric Richardson loves laundry. So much so that he is known as “the Laundry Evangelist,” and has written a book to teach people how to approach the sometimes-daunting task.
According to Richardson, his book ‘Laundry Love: Finding Joy in a Common Chore’ is a complete how-to guide to “wash everything you own.”
While ‘Laundry Love’ is chock-full of helpful tips and tricks, Richardson says the book is also part memoir and includes stories from his childhood growing up in the Appalachian Mountains.
“It’s stories of the women in my life who were important who kind of made me who I am today,” he said.
Richardson has a college degree in fashion merchandising, apparel and textiles and is the owner of Mona Williams boutique in the Mall of America. He is also the founder of the ‘Laundry Camps’ classes that teach people how to “wash the unwashable.”
In his book, Richardson has compiled his best hacks to show people they truly can wash anything.
Here’s some of his best advice.
Richardson says there are “so many laundry myths” people believe which just aren’t true.
“The biggest one is that there are things that say dry-clean only,” he said. “There’s no such thing as dry-clean only -- I believe you can wash everything you own.”
Richardson said it’s not true that some materials, like wool, must be taken to a dry cleaner.
“The farmer has the sheep out in the field,” he said, “And if it starts to rain, he doesn’t herd them into the barn and then run them through the dry cleaner, he just lets them stand out there.”
He said if the wool can get wet while it’s still on the sheep, it can when it’s in sweater form too.
“You can wash anything you own if you use the right products and you know what you’re doing,” he said.
According to Richardson, a family of four should be able to complete all of their laundry in a few hours each week.
While Richardson says you shouldn’t just throw all of your items in together, it’s not necessary to separate everything.
“You don’t have to separate your husband’s clothes from your kid’s clothes [or] the towels from the shirts,” he said. “That’s just way too much.”
He says to sort by colour and you will be “totally good to go.”
Another common laundry lie is that you should be washing your garments in cold water.
What is better, Richardson says, is to use warm water, but to set your machine on the express cycle setting.
“So you bring up the temperature and you bring down the amount of time and that gives you the best results.”
The warm water helps your laundry detergent to “open up and work,” while a shorter cycle keeps your items from becoming damaged, Richardson said.
Ultimately, Richardson said 99 per cent of the time, any mistakes that can happen when doing laundry can be undone.
“Don’t let your clothes be the boss of you,” he said. “There’s no reason to be afraid to do your laundry.”
When it comes to removing stains, Richardson has a whole arsenal of tips and tricks.
Here are some of the most common ones:
Lipstick stains can be removed by spraying the area with a mixture of water and white vinegar, rubbing that in and then scrubbing the area with soap and a brush.
Others messes like blood, wine, grass or blueberries are “all kind of the same stain,” Richardson said.
“They come out with oxygen bleach,” he explained. “Oxygen bleach is totally colour safe, you know you can pick it up relatively easily and you just add it to the wash and it comes out.”
Ink stains, Richardson said, can be removed using rubbing alcohol.
GETTING RID OF ODOURS
If you’re trying to remove unwanted odours from clothing or other items, put vodka in a spray bottle.
“You can spray it in sneakers, you can spray it on hockey gear,” Richardson said. “Vodka will remove the odour from absolutely anything.”
Sometimes even after a wash, gym clothes can still smell not-so-fresh. But, Richardson said if you add a little oxygen bleach to the cycle, your garments will come out smelling as good as new.