Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 12.29.16
Stanstead, Quebec


How to do laundry in 2017

Get the dirt on soap

Your laundry detergent makes a lot of claims. It's going to spin. It's going to tell you it's better than all the other detergents. It might say the other detergents can't get the job done, have no moral fibre, don't have the temperament, are soft on grime. Some might go so far as to suggest the competing brands support ring around the collar.

Don't let your detergent whitewash the truth in a post-clean world. Read the ingredients, make sure they're real, talk to other people with differing detergent beliefs. When it comes to the truth, don't be delicate.

Anyone can do laundry

If you're a man, you may be thinking to yourself, "Laundry is women's work." It's okay to think this. You can even say this out loud, though you may fear being shut down if you do, and rightfully so. But do the laundry anyway. Think it, sure, but do the laundry, because this at least is one step better than thinking, "Laundry is woman's work, so I'm not doing it."

Do the laundry despite thinking it's women's work, because that is a step forward for you. Just do the laundry. Because if you do the laundry, before long you won't be thinking it's women's work any longer. It will simply be "work." That's how change happens. And laundry. Get your sons to do laundry too. And your daughters, for that matter, because lazy teenagers also need changing.

Dark loads matter

Yes, white loads have their problems. Yes, they need special attention. Yes, they're not always the brightest. But in 2017, let's think about the dark loads. Dark loads are five times more likely to end up at the bottom of the hamper. For starters, how about we stop referring to all the other colours collectively as "darks" but rather a diverse array of individual shades, each with its own needs and washing instructions. Dark loads have the right to equal justice and vibrancy.

You're going to lose some socks

People feel we lost an inordinate number of socks in 2016. Beloved socks. Sock legends. Who knows what 2017 will bring, but I can guarantee you that we are going to lose more socks. Hopefully not a lot, but the truth is those socks aren't getting any younger.

It's natural to feel sad about losing a sock, but the important thing is not to see it as some affront to society, some sign that our wardrobe is doomed, rather a normal part of the apparel process. Be grateful for what comfort and warmth that sock was able to give, even it was only for a short time. I think all the lost socks would want us to keep moving forward.

Some people use dryer sheets

Why? you ask yourself. Why would someone use dryer sheets? You can't comprehend it. Dryer sheets smell terrible, so artificial and phoney. They're awful for clothes, destroying the very fabric of your clothing. They're toxic and wasteful, all for a short-term static-free existence. And the dryers themselves are such a waste of energy. You can see (smell) them running in the summertime in houses that could easily run a clothesline in their back yards. It's deplorable. It makes you so angry that people would do that and then flaunt their fake-flowery clothes, not caring that they're making sensitive people sneeze.

But, look, all you can do is keep not using dryer sheets yourself. Stay true to your belief that a little static never hurt anyone. Keep telling your neighbours why you're not using dryer sheets and why they shouldn't either, that there are alternate ways to eliminate static. Some will never turn their back on their cling-free biases, some may even go aggressively alt-softener. But a few may listen. Bottom line, keep doing laundry the way you want to do laundry.

Fold everything

It's tempting when confronted with a laundry basket of dried clothes to pick out your own and leave the rest in a pile for others to deal with. After all, why should you take care of someone else's mess? What's in it for you? But piles of laundry lying around are not only unsightly but also tripping hazards. Fold everyone's laundry, without judgement of their hideous taste in clothes. Sort by owner in neat little piles. Fold unto others as you would have them fold unto you.

Wrinkles happen

Such is laundry.