Economical, Cooler Use of Your Dishwasher

When the weather is hot, use your dishwasher in the late evening, and turn off the heated drying feature. The glasses and dishes will dry naturally overnight. Your place will not heat up as much, and because heat has a bad effect on polymers, rubber and plastics, the items made with those components will last much longer without it.

©M-J de Mesterton 2010

From The Clothes Line: Elegant Survival of Your Clothing

The Clothes Line, an Elegant Survival Original, Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006
The Clothes Line, an Elegant Survival Original, Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006

Clothes dryers are energy-wasters, and will ruin your clothes as well, through fiber-loss and shrinkage. Hand-washing and line-drying your shirts will extend their lives. I use Zote soap and a microfiber cloth to rub dirt out of cuffs and collars. Underarms need special attention, too. I use a microfibre cloth instead of a brush because it is more gentle on the fabric, while strong enough to grab what I like to call “café crud” from cuffs. You don’t need a fancy contraption for clothes-drying; a five-dollar investment in a clothesline from Walmart, and a packet of wooden clothespins for about three dollars will do. Having a couple of trees to hold your clothesline at each end is lucky indeed, but in their absence, wooden posts can be installed.

When travelling, pack a small piece of Zote or Octagon bar-soap for hand-washing dainties and shirts in your quarters. The shower is a nice place to hang them; they will likely dry overnight, and probably not need ironing.  You might pack a couple of clothes-pins as well.

The sun and Zote soap both act as  fabric-brighteners, and your clothes will have a clean, fresh scent if treated to a sun-bath.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2009

M-J’s Home-Made Microfibre Dust-Mop

Because Swiffer-type cloths are expensive, and not re-usable after a certain point, I now use large microfiber cloths for dusting furniture and floors. They pick up just as much dust and hair as the aforementioned product. Large microfiber cloths are available in bulk at Sam’s Club, in blue, yellow, chartreuse and orange. They’re soft and washable. Here is what I devised today for dusting floors and cars–it leaves those disposable electrostatic gadgets in the dust: M-Jeanne’s Home-Made Microfiber Dust-Mop
Take three large microfiber cloths and lay them on top of each other, at varying angles. Center your stack of cloths over the end of an old broom/mop stick, and then, a couple of inches from the end of stick, strap them on with a tightly-pulled, heavy-duty plastic cinch (available at Sam’s and office-supply stores).  (UPDATE, 2016: I now use these wide rubber bands instead of cinches–they are durable and reusable.) Invert this assembly and run it around your floor, under furniture, or over your car. Clean the mop by shaking it outdoors. You could even use a lint-brush on it. When it gets too dirty to be useful, the cinch can be cut off and the cloths released for machine-washing. Repeat construction process after they are dry, using a fresh cinch (I use multipurpose ties/cinchos by Thomas Betts).

 

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