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Episode 7: Doing Laundry without Stretching your Clothes

a very quick, cheap, effective solution
me: nice dress you've got there.
contesse d'haussonville: it used
to be a blue t-shirt. got a little
stretched in the wash.

my billa washing machine has three settings: coarse, vigorous, and psychotic.  it comes in very useful for washing things like burlap sacks,  football equipment, and large rocks.  surprisingly compact, LG's Death Cyclone 3000 efficiently washes, rinses, and spins with the toughest; yet fashionably blends into my billa's homey atmosphere.

i had to learn the hard way, however, not to throw my favourite t-shirts into the DC-3000 unprotected. wash after wash, my t-shirts would get thrashed, get stretched longer and longer, and distort into a frilly wave at the waist area just like a pretty dress.

and it seemed as though my sweater sleeves were being yanked and pulled down to my knees.

that is once i got the mad octopus of laundry untangled after every wash.

just watch the following video which luke martin put together; it was alarming to me that the rest of the billa community was going through the same ordeals with their old-school washing machines:

has all this been your experience too?  it hurts to watch the video almost as much as it does walking into a new acquaintance's billa only to find the same festering issues; clothes which take a week to dry [click for solution], dank-smelling mouldiness everywhere [click for solution], and of course, the mad octopus of intertwined (and badly stretched) laundry [read on].
and in the moment i think to myself, it doesn't have to be like this!! and then go home and quietly blog about it.  anyway,

stop stretching your clothes
idea: laundry bags!

next time you're at any of the super-marts here (like e-mart, lotte mart, etc.), look either for the laundry section or the "dollar-store" section.  in either place, you should be able to find little mesh bags which range from about the size of a small pillow to about the size of a big pillow.  i go for the smaller ones as i think they protect my clothes better.*  the smaller ones sometimes have pictures of bras on them so it's a little awkward to buy them, but i don't care that much. anyway, the bags look like this (see picture on right. the colored strip is a zipper).

now, just follow the instructions below in order to wash your clothes without ruining them in the wash.

step 1: get your clothes

step 2:  put two or three shirts/sweaters in each bag
(two items minimum*)

step 3:  throw the laundry bags into the wash as you
normally would throw in clothes.  and just use your
typical settings, detergents, and softeners.

step 4: it will come out of the wash a tangled mess.  here in
the picture you can see three laundry bags twisted together
with a towel braided through them (but at least it's not three
t-shirts twisted together with your sweater sleeve braided
through them!!). anyway, step 4: untangle the laundry bags
from each other. you'll find that each shirt has formed itself
into a small protected bundle
which has prevented it from
being stretched.

step 5: dry as normal.**
for best results, see how to dry your laundry in hours, not days.

and there you have it!  a very cheap, easy, and effective solution for all your clothes being ruined!!

yay!  no more silly-frilly stretched t-shirts or go-go-gadget arms on your sweaters! 


Smelly Billa 

why wear a dress to school?

Happy Day!

Jo Min Su경기도  평택시, 2010
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* as an additional note, i mentioned above that you should put a minimum of two articles into each laundry bag. the reason is: when the bags are stretched, one shirt goes into each end of the bag, creating two mounds.  as the bags are torn at and twisted together, the clothes remain safe in each end of the bag.  if you put only one shirt in the bag, it might not form itself into a protected little mound.

** btw, beware of your clothes being stretched when hang-drying, especially sweaters and knit things.  the added weight from being wet causes them to be stretched when hanging.  anyway, try drying sweaters, knit things, and heavier t-shirts flat.

(tip: in winter, the locals lay items on the heated floor to dry them.)

*** i've never had a problem but our lawyers here at smelly require me to say: the world is a strange place, so use smellybilla at your own risk.

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