Ah, doing laundry. I spent years dreading and procrastinating this important animal-house chore before I was able to finally look at it as something not groan-inducing, but simply satisfying. And, like almost every other epiphany in my life, I owe this one to my dogs.
So, after yesterday’s discussion of bedding, it’s high time to discuss easy, efficient laundering, because sharing bedding with beloved dogs does create a lot of laundry. For starters, it necessitates changing the sheets often – and nothing causes laundry pileup like a heavy rotation of used sheets and pillowcases.
Years ago, I noticed that my laundry had a distinctly nose-wrinkling odor to it. I didn’t want to blame the dogs, but the reality was that certain odors related to them are inescapable, and only get worse after a few days of marinating in a hamper or laundry bag, waiting to be addressed. Vomit, for instance.
Nothing – not even Numbers 1 or 2 – can foul up the laundry quite like canine upchuck (unless it’s cat hairballs). Of all the other, less or more nasty things they could be doing in your bed, dogs somehow vomit there as often as they possibly can. How many times have you been awakened by a dog standing over you and heaving?
Then there are the stealth attacks. If at first you don’t happen to notice that a dog has barfed on your bedding at some point during the day (perhaps s/he cleaned up the solid evidence, or another dog did the honors), you sure will soon. And if you don’t get the odor of Spot’s spot out, it will set and stay, permeating all your other laundry, including your clothing.
Regrettably, I used to throw away a lot of perfectly fine clothing and bedding due to that maddeningly awful smell, which never seemed to come out no matter how often I washed, or with what detergent, or at what temperature. Aargh! Now, I can spare the environment and my conscience all that needless waste because I know how to remove the sickening scent of vomit. The trick is using an odor extractor.
Notice I said extractor – you’ll find many pet odor “removers” out there on the market, including ones that make “miraculous” claims, but only one can be the best (as Bruce Jenner used to say on those Wheaties commercials). And the best one is called Get Serious, because it doesn’t just mask foul odors with fragrance, it actually works its way into the fabric’s weave and removes the root cause of the foulness.
If you can locate the point on the sheet (or pillowcase, or bedspread) at which the upchuck occurred – even a sheet you’re sorely tempted to trash – pre-treat it with Get Serious, which even works to extract Jurassic vomit particles. But even if you can’t find the original stain, simply add one cup of Get Serious to the washing machine’s detergent compartment, then add your detergent. You’ll be surprised at how clean the laundry smells when you pull it out of the machine – you’ve successfully banished that awful, lingering odor for good. To try this product is to believe it – it will quickly move to the top of your laundry list of prized homekeeping tools.
To get a thorough clean, it doesn’t matter if you use a fragranced detergent or a plain, free-and-clear one; whatever you choose, you can use slightly less of it than you would normally, because Get Serious is in the mix. Incidentally, I prefer to use green laundry detergents because my dogs often like to lick at bedding, and I wouldn’t want them ingesting even trace amounts of heavy chemical residue. My favorite detergent brands are Ecos, Sun & Earth, and Vaska.
And by the way, dogs aren’t the only ones that leave behind odorous emissions in bed. Don’t we humans also sometimes leave, ahem, wet spots, especially when we are enjoying the company of an exciting partner? Get Serious works really well to remove all traces of the human stain, too. It’s that rare “pet product” that really enhances quality of life – even, I daresay, for petless people (whoever they are).
With the tremendous heat and humidity that’s enveloping many parts of the country this summer, it helps to keep extra Get Serious on hand to use on clothing armpits – especially the clothes that get used for aerobic dog-walking. Besides dog vomit, human sweat is the other substance that only gets markedly worse after a week of waiting for wash day. But I’ve managed to extend the life of many b.o.-befouled T-shirts by pre-treating them with Get Serious before they go into the washing machine.
Now, I always add one cup of the stuff to the detergent compartment even if I’m washing my designer jeans and other, non-dog-walking threads. Do you have laundry tips that work? Please share them!