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The changes of life

No, I’m not talking about that change of life.  As much as I’d like to save a fortune on feminine hygiene products, I’d love to have another kid at some point.

The changes I’m talking about today are the household items that we use and change out.  I’m not here as an expert, but rather a curious observer who is interested to hear if our practices might be similar to yours.  Feel free to weigh in with your family’s habits.

Sheets
We change our sheets once a week.  I accidentally typed in once a month, and then I puked in my mouth a little bit and thankfully caught my error.

Due to Troy’s severe allergies, we have a mattress protector to keep dust mites away from his precious skin.  I call it “the nerd guard”.  When we got our new mattress in 2009, I spent the extra money to get a top of the line mattress cover that isn’t really plastic, but protects just as well as plastic.  The old protector we had rustled any time you moved around.  I was so sick of feeling like I was sleeping on rubber sheets.The mattress protector and pillow surrounds gets washed once a month.

Comforter
Back in October, I got the world’s warmest comforter from IKEA.  This thing is HUGE, and as I found out, too huge for even our large washing machine.  Now, I put it in the dryer every two weeks on hot for an hour (ah, the electricity.  It hurts.) to kill any allergens.  I’ll need to take it to a laundromat or something to really deep clean it.

Bath (shower) towels
Every four to five days.  Troy likely thinks he uses the same towel for months at a time, because I just change them out with fresh ones without consulting him.

Kitchen rags
I used to be addicted to bleach wipes, and then I paused to think of the huge ecological issue with these things.  Not to mention the freaking cost of those things!

I weaned myself off of them, and use rags and homemade surface spray now.  I have terrycloth washclothes from Target.  They can be kinda hard to find.  They’re usually around the bath section, on an end cap, and have a white ribbon holding them together.  They come eight to a pack for about $5.99 ish. I buy three packs for a total of 24 rags (math is hard).

I replace my kitchen ones every year, and then they are regulated to junk/bathroom cleaning rags.  When I buy new ones, I buy them all the same color, but different than the previous group’s color.  Why?  So that if Troy is folding towels (I laugh at the thought), I only have to say “the gray ones go in the kitchen”.  I don’t wash kitchen and bathroom rags together (puke!), but if they weren’t color coded, my new kitchen rags would end up downstairs with the bathroom cleaning rags.

Gotta work smarter, not harder people.

In a typical day, I’ll probably go through about three to four washclothes in the kitchen, and two to three hand towels.  I cook and clean a lot, so they get quite a work out.

Rather than walk myself downstairs to the washer, (first world problems) I keep this bucket near my fireplace, which is in fabulous rag tossing distance from my kitchen.  I found the bucket at a garage sale almost three years ago.  There is a woman who lives a few blocks away who stages expensive homes when they are on the market.  After the house is sold, she hosts big garage sales and sells all the never-used products.  I’m sure her fancy clients would be horrified at the second life of their previously never used wine bucket for their Town and Country staged BBQs.

The contents of said bucket get washed when the bucket looks like it threw up rags.

Underwear
We’re supposed to change these? (edited to add: you all know that is a joke right?  I change my underwear at least once a day!)

Bras
Despite Carrie’s mom calling boobs dirty pillows, boobs aren’t really dirty.  Hence I probably wash my bras once a month.  If that.  Did I just say that?

Jeans
I tend to wear my jeans three or four times before washing them.  Unless someone wipes a booger on them.  TROY.

Oil
The dealer where I bought my used car recommends every 5,000 miles, and since I have 13 full-service oil changes for free, I listen to them!  Every oil change comes with a car wash, a vacuum, and a free latte for me.  Deal!

Toothbrushes
We have a Sonicare Elite that is really old, and no longer even has an “on/off” button on it.  You have to stick your pinkie finger in to the body of the brush to turn it on.  But it works, and my teeth feel crazy clean, and people often compliment on my white (non-bleached) teeth.  Like a commenter on this post about homemade marshmallows.  That’s right folks, I’m tying clean teeth in to a post about sugar fluff.

The Sonicare heads get switched out every six months.

Contacts
So…um, I have a total crush on my eye doctor.  He’s like 50, and stuff, but we spend the entire time quoting 70’s movies and laughing.  We’re likely too busy cracking up for him to even really pay attention to my eye exam.  Every two years, I go in and I declared blinder.  My last visit went like this:

Doctor: How are your eyes Sarah?
Me: Well, about 3 months ago, my vision either got worse, or I had a stroke.  Either way, I can’t see for meerkats.
Doctor:  Yikes, let’s get you some new contacts to test out.
Me: Thanks doc.  And can I please borrow your towel, my car just hit a water buffalo.

Ahem!

Anyway, I have monthly contacts, but since I rip them out of my eyeballs the second I get home, and wear my glasses, I tend to um stretch how long I should be wearing them.  Let’s just say that my insurance will pay for one years worth of contacts, every two years, and um, I’ve never paid for contacts before. 

My glasses are from 2000 when I graduated high school, and I can still see awesome in them, despite the fact that they’re pretty scratched.

My sewing machine needle
I once read a blog post where the author recommend you change your needle with every new project.

I wanted to ask her if she had a money vault like Scrooge McDuck and went swimming in it every night.

I have changed my needle all of twice, and that is because they broke both times.  Likely from lack of changing.

Bathroom hand towels
Can someone explain to me how a four year old (almost five year old) can read Harry Potter with literally no help from an adult, but cannot for the life of him hang the hand towel back up in the bathroom?  Between the top of the vanity looking like a baby seal had a seizure in my sink, and the hand towel wedged in the space between the vanity and the door (how does that EVEN HAPPEN???), I’m tempted to completely remove the hand towel from Jack’s bathroom.

That being said, those get thrown in the wash every two to three days.

Anyhoo, I’ve literally aired my dirty laundry.  Now it is your turn!  Do our habits match up to yours?  Are we weird?  Are YOU weird?

Yo yo, head’s up, this post might contain affiliate links which help to support my site. And my canning, seed buying, and aggressive saving habits.

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19 comments on “The changes of life”

  1. Late to the game, but here goes:

    Sheets and bath towels, once a week, give or take a day or two.

    Dishrag and dish towels – every day. They get tossed in their own basket to be washed once a week together with a smidge of bleach.

    I wipe down the bathroom and toilet once a day-ish. These rags ALSO have their own basket. That grossness in not touching ANYTHING else. No way. They get washed when the basket is full. They are white terry cloth so that I can wash once in hot water and soap, then do a second rinse in cold water and bleach. Must kill those germs!

    Undies get washed separately. I usually run the load with the white rags after, so I can bleach out all the underwear and rag poop germs from the washer.

  2. Sheets – about every 2-3 weeks. quilts – once or twice a year unless they are covered in cat fur. Comforters – they are down so i have to send them to our ‘green’ cleaners. usually once a year when i am putting them away for the summer.

    Towels – um, every 4-5 days maybe? if you have washed yourself properly you are really just drying off so they don’t need to be washed every time you use them. that was something that took a while to get my hubby used to. he comes from a small family and his mom washes stuff everyday. i grew up in a large family and we would be doing 2 loads of towels every day if we did that.

    Kitchen/house rags – i ended up writing RAG on them in a sharpie to get hubby to stop trying to put them with the regular towels. he still misses the point sometimes.

    Underwear/socks – every day.

    Bras – during the summer, every other day. the rest of the year – well, let me just say i am no longer embarrassed that i go 5 days or more before washing them!

    Jeans – i just washed jeans that i think i wore about 10 times in the last 2 weeks. i only washed them because i changed the litter box yesterday. a good pair of denim doesn’t need to be washed unless they are dirty or smelly.

    oil – every 3-5k miiles. we keep our vehicles a long time (working on 10 years now with my Jeep) so we want to keep up with everything.

    Toothbrushes – i change them every 3-6 months.

    Glasses – my current pair are 4 years old but i really, really need bifocals. so when the tax refund hits the bank, my butt is going to BJ’s for glasses. I just bought a pair there for my son and they look great (and cost less than half of what i would have paid anywhere else)

    Sewing Machine – i am a quilter and usually replace it every other quilt. usually.

    Bathroom Hand Towels – varies. usually when funky.

    Facecloths – after each use. otherwise they get that gross smell. messes up the wonderful ‘line dried’ scent!

    ketchup and mustard bottle – the first time i took the cap off and rinsed them, hubby couldn’t believe it! yes dear, the cap comes off to clean the crap that is stuck to them.

  3. I loved this post for some reason. I guess I like to know others “dirty little secrets”

    -Sheets- washed weekly to bi-weekly. I shoot for weekly, but life doesn’t always happen like that
    -Comforter- I “sun bleach” it once a month. Our dogs are allowed on the bed so we get new bedding once or twice a year.
    -Bath Towels- maybe twice a week? Once it doesn’t smell fresh, or if I need it to clean up a mess or fill up a load of clothes I’ll wash them.
    -Kitchen Rags- I go through 2-3 a day. Lots of kitchen rags.
    -Underwear- I change it three times a day seriously. Before work fresh pair. Then before the gym/ after work fresh pair. Then after my evening shower fresh pair. I have a thing about clean undies.
    -Bras- I wash them if them are feeling stretched out or funky
    -Jeans-UMMMMM… I honestly have gone a month or two without washing a pair of jeans that I’ve worn daily. Good jeans aren’t meant to be washed often.
    -Oil- HAHA I originally thought frying oil (which I change after 3-5 fryings). Then I realized that it was car oil. My car tells me when I need to get the oil changed- every 5000 miles
    -Toothbrushes- Every 4-6 months. My husband is hard on toothbrushes
    -Contacts- I wear disposables. I wear them until they are uncomfortable. I was told that as long as I took care of them that it was ok
    -Sewing machine needle- I’ve replaced sewing machines more often that I have replaced needles. LOL
    -Bathroom Towels- when they get funky
    Bonus
    -Dog Bowls- I wash twice a week. I swear I’m the only person who does this. Most people NEVER wash the pet food bowls.

  4. Great post.
    I should wash my sheets more often.. I would like to wash them every 1-2 weeks but that doesn’t really happen. They probably get washed every3-4wks. (I can’t stand laundry). Everybody has their own towel and is responsible for washing it. I wash mine when it doesn’t smell fresh any more. Comforter gets washed at the end of winter when I put it up for the season. I wash the hand towel when it looks like it needs it. Rags (old cut up clothes and refereed to as snot rags in our house) are used for snot, painting, floors, cleaning the bathroom, car/bicycle repairs. Just about everything and if it is tooo gross to wash then they get thrown out. Kitchen towels get thrown downstairs to be washed when they have ended up on the floor (dang oh kids). Dishrags get thrown down there after it sat in the bottom of the sink too long and I think it is gross. I don’t understand why ppl can’t put the dishrag back up on the sink spigot.

    Note: I only do my own laundry, all the bed linens, and kitchen towels and rags. I told hubby I would be happy to do his laundry if he carried is laundry downstairs. Which he never did. And then he complained one time too many on the timeliness on how I got the laundry done. So he can just take care of it him self. As far as my girls go (1st and 3rd grade) I refuse to do their laundry also… I lost it a couple of years ago after multiple times of seeing clean clothes come down in dirty laundry baskets. I warned them twice and then lost it on the 3rd time and told them they could take care of their own laundry.

    I try to convince my girls they should change their underwear daily 😉

    I wash my bra when it doesn’t smell fresh anymore. When I get home from work I often change into a double sports bra.

    Jeans I wear multiple times until they don’t smell so nice.

    Oil is mostly changed every 5000mi

    Toothbrushes get change out every 6mon when we go to the dentist and at Xmas because Santa brings super cool ones for the girls.

    Used to wear contacts then started working in a clean room and had to wear glasses then changes jobs and didn’t want to deal with contacts.. then eyes got better to the point that I don’t have a restriction on my drivers license. So now I only wear prescription sunglasses.

    Sewing machine needles.. what.. those things can be changed??? haha I only change when it breaks. But then again I don’t’ sew that often and I am sewing on a circa 1950’s Dressmakers machine.

    Speaking of the change and feminine hygiene.. When I had my tubes tied, I also had an ablation done (so no more monthly for me, can we all shout HELL YEAH!!) I think an ablation was about the best thing I ever did even if I almost choked on the bill. But I saved all the product for when the girls reach that age.

    Now here is an interesting survey question for you. What do you call the evening meal of the day.. What is for supper tonight?

    Yes I always wash new clothes before wearing them.

    • My DH calls it supper–but his family is from Texas. We always called it dinner, mom is from Kansas and dad is an Okie. He also says I have a weird accent, even though I grew up in Oklahoma and the biggest part of my family is from there. Though some of them could still speak German, so that may explain it. (I’m fourth generation)

  5. Off topic, but you started your post with feminine hygiene products – have you ever used the Diva Cup or Moon Cup? Sometime issued me the Diva challenge and I’m not sure I am brave enough. But you are brave, and fit the eco-sensitive/frugal/crazy requirements to have used one, so I thought I would ask.

    • I tried the Diva cup. I gave it a valiant effort, too. I fought with the damn thing for a year and a half, each month thinking “I have got it right THIS time” before finally giving up. I was disappointed. It seemed like such a GREAT idea.

    • http://www.ruby-cup.com/en/

      Help a girl stay in school, save money, reduce waste. idk about you but this product screams buy me 🙂