Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hey, Slob, Did You Know Your Washer Stinks?

Thank you, P&G, for pointing out yet another problem that never used to exist. And thank you, especially, for giving us a miracle product to combat this new problem.

Yeah. Did you know your washer stinks? In fact, the worst offender is that super-pricey uber-amazing HE machine on which you spent thousands of dollars! Yes, it is particularly susceptible to the Stinks! Oh my! What to do? Fear not, Bad Housekeeper, we have chemicals for that.

It's not enough you have to shell out mega-bucks for Tide. It's not enough to have a high-efficiency washing machine. Nope... these thing will not ensure that you ahve a stink-free laundry room. Apparently, Tide alone will not keep everything smelling good. No, apparently, we are now in danger of some horrible residue building up where, for decades upon decades and washing machines used for years without incident, there never was a problem before. See, HE machines use LESS water, so there is the terrible danger of stuff not getting washed away. So now we need Tide Washing MACHINE Cleaner! To use more water to clean the machine! Thankfully, Procter & Gamble is around to provide this! SHEW!!!

I could not find exactly WHAT chemicals are in here from my casual search. I do know there were bad reviews for it on their page and they did try to answer away or deflect them. I do know they say that everything must be removed from the machine and this product shouldn't actually TOUCH any clothing. Some sort of "powerful oxygenated bleaching system"... hmm, sounds fancy. I know it leaves a fake fresh clean scent behind to reassure you that all is well and the Stinks are gone.

What I suspect is that this is another case of creating a product for filling a niche that 1) they kinda sorta made up and 2) could be fixed, if it DOES exist, by much more natural means. Cheaper mean. Say, like, white vinegar. Or baking soda. (Not at the same time, of course) But here, they suggest you 1) waste water and 2) use chemicals. I'm not surprised. Well, I was. But only for a bit, then I moved quickly to dejected resignation. Yes, this product will sell. It will sell very well.

Ya got us again, P&G. You clever dogs, you. I tip my hat. And I'll be waiting for my smelly-dryer product next. Oh yay!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why Does Everything Come in Plastic?

Now, intellectually, I KNOW why. But I still think.feel/say it countless times a day. Remember some decades ago? I do. There wasn't that much. There really wasn't. Stuff came in cans. In glass. In paper. But oh the miracle of plastic. It's so light! It's so cheap! We can save money using it instead because it's so cheap and it weighs so much less that we can save money in shipping too! So I know. I'm not being naive. It's just My Lament. How far does it have to go before the rubber band snaps back? I don't know how much more time we have.

And you can hardly avoid it. There are things I feel I need but there they are, in a plastic container. We really have to search for the alternative. There is a lot I will not buy, because it's in plastic. But those of us who do that are few and far between. (And already reading this. Hah.) Why can't more people think about it? How do otherwise perfectly intelligent people still accept a plastic bag at a store? How can otherwise perfectly intelligent people NOT realize they need to carry reusable bags? Reusable bottles? How do otherwise perfectly good parents still indulge in plastic crap for their kids? It's that whole "recycling" thing, isn't it? I've discussed THAT to death, that it is really a complete fallacy, a sham, a pretty lie we tell ourselves to sleep better. What is it going to take to change this? How much cancer, how much waste, how much sickness, how much death?

I do not have the answer. So, daily, I lament, Why does everything have to come in plastic? And why does everyone have to be so cavalier and blithe about it? How is this not at emergency proportions?

The "unincorporated" areas of Los Angeles County just had the plastic bag ban come into being. Why not all of LA? Why not the whole country? And why do people get angry and fight it like it's some infringement on their personal rights? You have the right to bear plastic... nope, not in the Constitution. Why DO we have to even BAN things instead of people knowing enough and better to just NOT do it?

Yeah, I know, I'm just ranting at this point. It's where I am right now. I'll be better sometime. Surely. Right? Right. Just about the time I go a whole day without seeing someone carrying a plastic bag home from a store.


Ahh, the laundry room of our small apartment complex. My love/hate relationship with said room. I enjoy having multiple washers and dryers to get stuff done quickly, and I know I might miss that when I am in my own house with just one machine. (Nah. Not really. I won't miss it at all.)

The funniest thing about sharing washers with a dozen or so other people is that EVERYONE else uses chemicals and we do not. This was particularly obvious to me today when I went down to the dungeon, soap nuts and baking soda and quarters in hand, to be faced by a whole array of almost-empty bottles of Tide with Downy on the utility shelf.  It's hard to guess why. There are multiple plastic jugs of nearly-gone goo on that shelf at all times. It's like that's where detergent goes to die instead of getting to the landfill (ocean). Being thrifty, I would use the last of it all, but I don't put smelly clingy chemicals in my laundry anymore. Did someone leave those bottles there because they will use the last of all of them? Like I used to do... filling them with water to get the last nasty bits and every last penny? I thought I would hasten the process for whoever left these there by emptying all the dredges into one bottle.

Now, I NEVER used Tide back in the day. I find it to be way overpriced. So being in such close contact with it was a new experience. I'm older and wiser and I see even more clearly how they get us. I put a little water in the bottle to swish it around then transfer from bottle to bottle. Imagine my surprise when I notice that a little water really doesn't do it at all. There was still SO much product stuck to the inside. I swished more. There was no getting that crap outta there. Now, they charge you for this part too. But you can never use it. And the fact that it clings so disgustingly to the innards of the disgusting plastic bottle... think how it clings to clothes. To skin. To cells. And then it clung to MY skin, just from handling it a little. I washed them and they still reeked of all those chemicals.

Well... I don't know why all those nearly-empties were there. I doubt the owner will thank me much for trying to consolidate said bottles. I enjoyed re-learning why I like that my clothes smell like nothing. And that I am not wasting money on built-in waste, designed specifically by the company who makes the stuff. (You do realize, of course, that the lines on the measuring lids are completely misleading, right?) I'll dream of my own washers that will never know the ick of chemicals within their shiny parts. Hell, maybe I'll go back to the hand-crank thing. We already air-dry a lot of our clothes, by-passing the dryers that stink of other peoples' dryer sheets...

Nah. Those new machines are just too pretty. I'll still look longingly at them in Home Depot until such time as I can be fascinated by my own in my cozy clean bright SMELL-FREE laundry room...