Category Archives: Clotheslines and Laundry

The Top 6 Most Entertaining Laundromats
Posted by June 30, 2017 at 5:40 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry


Doing your laundry has to be boring, right? Around the world many savvy entrepreneurs decided to look at one of society’s oldest and most boring tasks, doing laundry, with new eyes. The end result is a new take on a very old concept.


If you think that laundry day has to be a boring day, then think again. Each of these laundromats has a lot of character and class. Patrons actually look forward to the day each week when they get to go do their laundry because delicious food, socializing or unique entertainment goes right along with their clean clothing.


Whether you’re looking to grab a bite to eat while doing your laundry or maybe even want to play a little pinball, this eclectic bunch of hip, cool and fun laundromats have something to offer everyone. Let’s jump in and take a look at 5 of the world’s coolest and most interesting laundromats.


Fun Laundromat #1-Brainwash Café & Laundromat

The Brainwash Café & Laundromat hasn’t reinvented either concept of the café or the laundromat, but by combining both together in one fun package Brainwash Café & Laundromat has created a memorable experience.


Located at 1122 Folsom Street in San Francisco, Brainwash features a café that is fully loaded. There is everything from salads and breakfast items to soups, finger foods and burgers. Brainwash certainly lives up to its café title as there are plenty of hot drinks from coffee and expresso and even cold beer and even wine.


Brainwash is not the typical laundromat. Not only does Brainwash provide ample washers and dryers but the facility also has a wash and fold service and professional laundry and dry cleaning. If you are in the San Francisco area or are traveling and need to do a little laundry, you should check out Brainwash.


Fun Laundromat #2-Café Laundromat Oslo

Norway has a great deal to offer and its capital, Oslo is considered one of the world’s leading cities. Café Laundromat has built an impressive global reputation by changing up the laundromat experience in a major way. It is built around three core ideas “Eat. Read. Wash.”


Café Laundromat has a huge and tasty menu, hundreds of books to read and plenty of space for doing your laundry. In short, this destination is a true travelers delight! Breakfast and lunch options are plentiful, there is a kid’s menu and a wide array of burgers and pizzas available well into the night. The book shelves at Café Laundromat are very well stocked and stacked high.


The odds are excellent that you’ll find something that you’ll like at Café Laundromat as book offerings range from comics to encyclopedias. Somewhat surprisingly, Café Laundromat sports one of the largest private libraries in the city with over 4000 books! Comfy chairs abound at this Oslo gem.


Fun Laundromat #3-Laundromat Café, Copenhagen

Another Scandinavian country, Denmark has also reinvented the humble laundromat, and in the process elevated it to something unique, interesting and rather inviting. Copenhagen’s Laundromat Café is quirky, charming, expertly decorated and unforgettable.


The Laundromat Café concept has worked so well that since opening in 2004 that there are now 3 locations in Copenhagen and a location in Reykjavik, Iceland which opened in 2011. The Laundromat Café concept works for a variety of reasons. The décor is excellent, there are plenty of machines and there are many different kind of homemade food options. Drink options include everything from coffee and tea to milkshakes and beer. When in Copenhagen or Reykjavik be sure to vest Laundromat Café.


Fun Laundromat #4-Sunshine Laundromat

When it comes to scoring points for creative, you have to take your hat off to Sunshine Laundromat & Pinball, yes pinball, in Brooklyn, New York. It is one part laundromat, one part arcade and one part art museum, Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball infuses laundry day with some much-needed fun!


The beer flows freely and there are a range of special events including New Year’s Eve and Halloween parties. Sunshine customers have commented that the both the pinball and beer selections at amazing. Night owls will want to take note that Sunshine stays open late, often as late as 4am. So, if you have some laundry that simply can’t wait until the next morning then Sunshine Laundromat & Pinball is the place for you.


Fun Laundromat #5-Wasbar

Located in Gent, Belgium, Wasbar like the other four fun laundromats we’ve featured has much to offer. The décor is very pleasant and there is a variety of food and drink options including delicious bagel sandwiches and a brunch buffet.


Wasbar is one of those places that instantly makes you feel as though you are home, with plenty of homemade foods and soups. There is also plenty of room to work at Wasbar so consider bringing your laptop! Wasbar’s greatest charm is that it just feels right and cultivates a warm and friendly environment.


Fun Laundromat #6-Spin Laundry Lounge

Portland is well-known for its focus on sustainability and its various eco-friendly offerings. The laundromat Spin Laundry Lounge is no exception, calling itself “Portland’s Eco-Focused Laundromat, Bar & Café.” The facility has LED lightbulbs and over 50% of the staff bikes to work. Spin Laundry Lounge also makes its water and energy usage transparent, providing numbers on its website. They also make it a point to donate all the lost laundry that comes through the doors to people in need.


As far as the fun part, this cool place offers coffee, beers and local snacks for people while they wait for their clothes to dry. There are also pinball games and sports showing on projectors so people don’t miss their favorite games.



Changing the Old Laundromat Game and Doing It with Style


While we’ve covered five interesting and fun laundromats around the world, there are many more waiting to be discovered. Cologne, Germany’s Cleanicum, Splash Laundrette and Barcelona, Spain and Wash and Coffee in Amsterdam are just three of many additional fun laundromats that could have easily made our list.


Laundromats are changing and adapting to keep step with busier and more demanding lifestyles. In the past, doing laundry at a laundromat was usually a dull or even depressing experience, but thinks to trailblazers like Wasbar, Sunshine, Café Laundromat, Laundromat Café and Brainwash, laundry time is looking up for the first time in, well, just about forever.

7 Creative Crafts to Do with Clothespins
Posted by May 26, 2017 at 1:27 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry Home Living Tips

It probably shouldn’t surprise you that our team at Urban Clotheslines are pretty fond of the clothespins. You might not have given the humble and unassuming clothespin much thought lately and for good reason; after all, your average run-of-the-mill clothespin might not seem too exciting because it reminds you of doing your laundry. But as it turns out these common household objects can be an excellent starting point for a wide range of exciting crafts.


Since clothespins are such a blank slate, but a functional blank slate, it is possible to take the simple clothespin and infuse it with a great deal of artistry and creativity. When it comes to creating great ideas with clothespins, there is no shortage of great ideas. In our fun and festive clothespin article, we are going to explore the 7 top crafts that you can do with clothespins. These crafts are easy, fun and truly are great for kids of all ages. Perhaps, best of all is the fact that clothespins are remarkably inexpensive. This helps make clothespin crafts both a winner for decorating as well as for planning fun art projects.


#1-Characters and Clothespins

Clothespins can be an excellent foundation for kid’s art projects. One reoccurring kids’ clothespin craft project is to create clothespin art work featuring favorite cartoon characters. A good example of a fun clothespin craft for kids can be found over at Glue Stick & Gumdrops.


At Glue Stick & Gumdrops, you’ll find everything you need to create our own very fun Minions clothespin art project. Parents will love the straightforward instructions which are easy enough for almost any child to follow with ease. With just a handful of clothespins, a little paint, glue and a googly eye, you are ready to make some truly fun and eye-catching art! Who would have thought you can make a Minion out of a clothespin?


# 2-Clothespins and Christmas Tree Ornaments?

Everyone is always trying to think of how to make their home look festival come December. From the “why didn’t I think of that department” comes an inventive idea for beautiful and inexpensive Christmas tree ornaments. Using just a few clothespins, it is possible to create some magical, rustic and charming tree ornaments. HGTV has easy to follow instructions for how to quickly build some wonderful looking new ornaments for your Christmas tree or just to decorate your house during the wintertime.


These versatile ornaments look like a snowflake when finished, meaning that they are highly versatile and can be used as a general, all-purpose holiday and winter decoration. Click here to get the easy to understand, step-by-step instructions of building your own clothespin Christmas tree snowflake ornaments.


# 3-The Dragonfly

Whether you are looking for a creative way to decorate your home or want an easy craft for kids, you just can’t go wrong with the “Delightful Dragonfly” clothespin project. You’ve probably never thought of making dragonflies from clothespins, but you’ll love the results.


With just a few items such as a pipe cleaner, scissors, googly eyes and paint, you can make your own festive dragonflies. Imagine decorating your wall with a sea of beautiful, differently colored and designed butterflies. This project is a great way to spend an afternoon and your end result, a gorgeous sea of insects, can really transform a room!


# 4-Let’s Put Some Heart into It!

If you are looking for a way to add a little warmth to your home, then clothespins can ride to the rescue. Now you might be thinking, “how can a bunch some clothespins make my home warmer and homier?” Thanks to the Clothespin Heart Wreath, you can add some instant warmth.


The simple but charming design for the Clothespin Heart Wreath can be completed in just minutes. All you need are some clothespins, a wire hanger and a small chalkboard to use as a sign. Like most of the other projects on our list, the Clothespin Heart Wreath is a great choice for kids of all ages.


# 5-The Snowman Clothespin

A perfect match for the clothespin Christmas tree snowflake ornament is the very cute Snowman Clothespin. Kids will truly adore this clothespin craft. It’s another inexpensive way to decorate your tree and you could even make them for gifts for friends and relatives to spread the festive clothespin joy!


Parents seeking a way to keep their children busy on those long winter days indoors or anyone looking for a unique holiday decorating idea will truly love this stellar option. Click here to see the easy to follow plan, so you too can build you own Snowman Clothespins!


#6-Hungry Fish to the Rescue

Do you have a wall that is crying out for a little extra attention? The Hungry Fish Clothespin craft from Crafts by Amanda can help you quickly and easily transform you room. Everything you need to create your own Hungry Fish Clothespin wall decorations can be found at this link.

#7-Dinosaur Clothespin Craft


Also from Crafts by Amanda is the very fun and timeless Dinosaur Clothespin craft. There are easy to follow plans for 4 different clothespin dinosaurs: Triceratops, Velociraptor, Brachiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Perhaps the greatest thing about this craft is that the directions are very easy to follow but the results are quite impressive. Thanks to this craft, you’ll probably never look at clothespins the same way again.


Clothespins are pretty neutral and easy to find, and that means that they are something of a blank slate for your creativity. If you are looking for a cheap and versatile canvas to express yourself, then you’ll want to check out these 7 wonderful clothespin crafts.


Equipped with just a few dollars of supplies, it is possible to transform an entire wall or room and create an amazing collection of winter and holiday decorations. No matter your age, you’ll find these festive clothespin craft ideas to be a fun way to add some color and life to your space!

The Three Most Inspiring Charities Involving Laundry
Posted by March 19, 2017 at 3:38 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry Environment

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A great charity is all about finding something that is needed, and then taking concrete and proactive steps to address that need. Charity and laundry might not be two terms that you instantly associate with one another, but there are many charities built around laundry and the importance of clean laundry.


Around the world, people are judged by their level of cleanliness. People, such as the homeless, who usually lack consistent access to bathroom and laundry facilities are often face tremendous difficulties with issues such as hygiene. Many charities have been created to address these needs, and the results have been impressive. In this article, we are going to explore a few of the most successful laundry related charities. As you’ll see, inspired people across the globe have taken steps to help the homeless and those in need of clothing. It truly is an amazing thing.


The Story of Laundry Love

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Portland, Oregon based Laundry Love has garnered considerable addition over the years. The idea behind Laundry Love is a simple but very powerful one. The people at laundry love team up with local laundromats to offer free laundry services. The idea behind Laundry Love is that the homeless are treated better when they have clean clothing. There is little denying the logic of this point.


On Laundry Love’s website is a prominently featured and powerful quote from a homeless person, “If I had clean clothes, people would treat me as a human being.” These words were said by a homeless person in Ventura, California to the founder of Laundry Love in 2002. What began as a simple conversation lead to a world changing charity idea.


Since its creation in 2002, Laundry Love has been wildly successful. Currently there are over 30,000 Laundry Love laundromats spread out across the country. These laundromats are providing services to poor people in need on a daily basis. It is estimated that Laundry Love has helped the homeless and immigrants with over a million loads of laundry. In that time, Laundry Love has helped over 750,000 people with their laundry.

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Laundry Love partners with laundromats to provide assistants to those not just living on the streets, but also those living in their cars, shelters, motels and other locations. While the idea is simple, there is no denying its power and potential. Laundry Love has received considerable national attention, including coverage on such high-profile news programs as NBC’s Today.


Australia’s Orange Sky Laundry

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Half a world away in Australia, another laundry charity has been making waves of its own. Orange Sky Laundry. Founded in 2014, Orange Sky Laundry began with the idea of bringing washing machines directly to the homeless. Spearheaded by Lucas Patchett and Nicholsa Marchesi in Brisbane, it all began with an old van, a generation and two washing machines. The end result was Australia’s first mobile laundry specific for the homeless.


Today, Orange Sky Laundry has expanded considerably. Now, there are services operating in 11 locations including Canberra, Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Wollongong, Hobart, Adelaide and others. Each week Orange Sky Laundry cleans an impressive 6.9 tons of laundry.


Helping the homeless get clean clothing is only one aspect of what Orange Sky Laundry does to help the homeless. Orange Sky Laundry is also partnering with local food vans so that the homeless can also get a meal when they are waiting for their clothes to finish being cleaned. Additionally, Orange Sky Laundry is looking out for human health and the environment as their laundry detergents are free of toxic compounds.

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This charity takes donations to keep its operation running. Over the years, Orange Sky Laundry has received a good deal of attention both in Australia and around the world.


Donate Appliances and Clothing Nationwide with Donation Town

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Another approach to helping those in need get clean clothing comes from Donation Town. Through Donation Town, it is possible to donate a wide range of appliances including washers and dryers. Any machine that is functional and not missing parts can be donated through Donation Town.


For those in need, a free washer and dryer can be a life changing addition. Donation Town also picks up appliances at your home or place of business. This really is a charity that makes a ton of sense, as most people have no idea what to do with their old washing machine and dryer when they upgrade to new appliances.


Donation Town also takes clothing donations as well. Over the years, Donation Town has been featured in publications ranging from Forbes and the Washington Post to Mother Nature Network, FamilyCircle and many more. They have a nationwide directory of participating charities so working with Donation Town is as simple as logging into the site, locating a charity in your area and then scheduling a free donation pick up. Learn more about Donation Town by clicking here.


Laundry Charities are Helping Improve the Quality of Life for the Homeless


Laundry charities help underscore that there are many, diverse ways to help the homeless and others in need. Laundry charities, such as Orange Sky Laundry, also highlight how a seemingly simple and small idea, such as laundry vans for the homeless, can blossom and play an important role in our communities.


The problem of homelessness is one that isn’t likely to go away any time soon, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take steps to help make life for the homeless better. Luckily, there are many established charities working hard to help the homeless achieve a better quality of life and the respect that they deserve. In the coming years, we can expect to see many other similar charities pop up around the globe.


Consider getting involved or donating to one of these excellent charities. Having clean laundry is something so many of us take for granted. However, when it comes to homeless people, having clean clothes is a luxury that many simply cannot afford.

5 Amazing Tips to Get Kids Involved in the Laundry Process
Posted by February 18, 2017 at 4:37 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry Home Living Tips


Wouldn’t it be great, really great, if you could get your kids involved in the laundry process? If you handle the laundry in your house, then you already know that the laundry can be a very big and never ending job. Like cleaning itself there are always more dirty clothes. And needless to say, if you have children you have even more laundry to conquer each week.


While you can cut corners, you can’t cut every corner. At the end of the day, the laundry has to get done. Finding a way to get your kids involved in the laundry process is essential if you want to keep your laundry time from consuming all of your free time!


Let’s dive in and explore some tips for how you can get your kids to lend a hand with laundry time. Luckily, there is a lot about laundry that can seem fun and intriguing to little ones if you just use a little strategy and present it the right way.


Tip One-Older Kids Can Do Their Own Laundry

Maybe the single easiest and fastest way to reduce your laundry load is to have your kids do their own laundry. Sounds great, right? Washers and dryers may be a little more sophisticated and complicated than they were a decade or two ago, but that doesn’t mean that your kids can’t lend a hand. Even getting your older children and teens to do their own laundry once a month would give you a well-deserved break!


Now, you might be thinking that this idea sounds impractical and maybe even impossible, but with older children and teens there is no reason that they can’t handle this responsibility. And if they are planning to go off to college in a year or two or three, this is something they are going to need to know how to do for themselves anyhow. You’re teaching them valuable life skills while you get a break. It’s a major win-win.


The time you invest in teaching your kids how to do laundry will be time well-spent. Just be sure that you stay consistent with your demand that they pitch in and help with laundry duties.


Tip Two-Make it a Game

A major hurtle in tackling laundry is an efficient manner is collecting the laundry. Having kids means that more than toys are often spread across the house. Is your home full of laundry scattered all about the house? You might not be able to get your children to handle their own laundry (and of course this isn’t really even an option for younger children), but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get your kids to pitch in and keep their own laundry organized.


Each child should have his or her own laundry basket, preferably in his or her own room. In this way, laundry is kept organized and separated. If you have more than one kid, you can even gamify the process of laundry collection. Who can hang the laundry on the clothesline the fastest?  Who can collect and fold the most laundry of a certain color? Who can gather and put all their socks in their drawer the quickest? You get the idea. Kids love games, and they often love competition with their siblings.


Tip Three-Emphasize the Benefits of Helping You


Simply barking orders at children often doesn’t achieve the desired results. While it may sometimes be hard to believe sometimes, kids can use logic just as well as adults, when they want to at least. Keep this fact in mind when trying to enlist your children in the laundry process.


Point out to your kids that the time you spend doing laundry could be spent doing something else, such as playing with them, taking them somewhere they want to go, cooking something delicious, or helping them out in some other way.


Show them how the small amount of time they invest in helping you with the laundry will benefit them later in some way or another. Just a simple statement like, “Let’s see how quickly we can get this laundry done, and then we’ll all go to the kitchen to bake cookies” can be motivating enough to get them to pitch in and help.


Tip Four-Make Laundry Time, Family Fun Time


Yes, laundry isn’t usually fun. But with a little effort laundry time can actually be exciting, especially for younger children. When you approach the task with some joy and zest, they will mirror your attitude.


Children can help you sort and fold washed clothing, for example. During your laundry time together, you can do things such as play their favorite music or have a television show on in the background that they enjoy. Maybe make up a song about doing laundry that you can sing while you work.


Tip Five-Let Kids Personalize the Laundry Process


Kids, especially younger kids, like to personalize not just objects, but also routines that they do. Try letting your children personalize everything from their clothing hampers to the laundry basket and even their clothing storage areas and dressers. If you decorate their belongings, they will have even more love for using them.


Check out this post for “15 Ideas for Stressed Out Moms” including some ideas how you can decorate laundry baskets as a family DIY project.



Chores Really Do Matter

If you can get kids into the idea of helping you do laundry at a young age, then it becomes a standard part of home life. No doubt it is important for children to focus on learning, studying and growing, but it is also important for children to learn how to take care of themselves in both large and small ways.


Learning how to do laundry and participating in the process may not see like a “huge deal,” but at the end of the day consistently helping you with laundry will help your child grow and develop. Doing the laundry can be fun for children with the right approach. You, as the parent, can make that process a fun and even interesting one for children.


Increasingly, experts are pointing to the importance of giving children work around the house as a way to foster their development. Don’t be afraid to encourage your children to help you not just with the laundry, but with other household activities as well. It just takes some creativity. In the end, you’ll be glad that you did.



7 Reasons Why You Should Reconsider Dryer Sheets
Posted by September 20, 2016 at 3:31 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry

Dryer Sheets are big business. The real question is, however, do you really need them?

It isn’t a silly question to ask, “what exactly are drying sheets doing or accomplishing?” Using dryer sheets has become a rapid for some and even viewed as a traditional part of the cleaning process for others. Yet, the fact remains that dryer sheets actually do nothing in terms of cleaning clothes. The marketed benefit of dryer sheets mostly seems to boil down to the fact that they can make clothing “smell better” and reduce wrinkling, but this is definitely open to argument.

1. Do Your Clothes Really Smell Better? Some Say No.

In terms of making clothing smell better that is of course a matter of opinion and preference. For those with chemical sensitivities, the chemical fragrances used in dryer sheets are definitely not a welcomed scent.

In fact you might be surprised how many people would prefer the scent of laundry hung on a clothesline dried in the sun, over the smell of clothes dried with dryer sheets.

2. Dryer Vents and Chemicals

laundromat-708176_960_720Recently, a University of Washington study concluded that scented products were actually emitting a range of dangerous chemicals from dryer vents. It would seem that scented dryer sheets and other laundry products are actually bad for the environment. The news gets worse, as some of the chemicals emitted were actually known carcinogens.

Researchers have discovered that dryer sheets do in fact contain toxic and hazardous chemicals. Anne Steinemann, a civil and environmental engineer at the University of Washington noted that the exhaust coming out of a laundry machine is in no way regulated and that is very bad for the environment.

The bottom line is that the toxic emissions created by dryer sheets and other laundry products are in no way regulated. Most consumers do not even realize that the issue is a serious problem.

3. Dryer Sheets Raise Your Carbon Footprint

chemicalsDryer sheets take energy to produce and that increases one’s carbon footprint. A range of chemicals are used to produce dryer sheets and once again the production of these chemicals serves to increase one’s carbon footprint.

Even if there was no associated health risks or air quality risks, dryer sheets would still be an unnecessary use of energy and manufacturing resources. Many could go as far as to state that dryer sheets are a gimmick that don’t serve any true purpose. But again, this is open for debate.

4. Air Pollution Concerns


The research is mounting that dryer sheets are bad for humans and bad for the environment. Simply stated, dryer sheets contribute to air pollution and yet are unregulated and largely overlooked by consumers. For decades, consumers have used dryer sheets almost on “auto pilot” without thinking about the environmental or health consequences. A key reason for this is that dryer sheets, like many products, have made their way into the “cleanliness sphere.”

Most of us feel that if a product is a cleaning product that it must be safe because being clean is, after all, good. However, many laundry and cleaning products are in fact loaded with harmful chemicals. Quite often the chemicals contained in these products are not even listed on the ingredients; this of course makes the entire process a rather confusing one. What should you as a consumer do?

5. Dryer Sheets are Not Necessary for Cleaning


Dryer sheets are not a life essential. Worst scientists and researchers have shown that dryer sheets are harmful for people and the environment alike. Dryer sheets are a subtle route to increasing one’s carbon footprint. Your best move is to simply stop using dryer sheets.

Chemicals emitted from dryer sheets and other laundry products may in fact be dangerous. The chemicals contained on these products can be absorbed into your skin and could be very problematic when breathed.

6. Send a Consumer Message

Most of us don’t think too much about our laundry exhaust, but we should. Our laundry exhaust is not like our car exhaust. Laundry exhaust is not regulated in any way, shape or form and until recently this exhaust has received precious little research or attention.

Not buying dryer sheets or chemical based laundry or cleaning products is a way for you as a consumer to send a very powerful message about the kind of products you want. When you skip the laundry sheets, you are doing the planet a big favor, while at the same time protecting your health and the health of your family.

7. Dryer Sheets are an Unnecessary Expenditure 


Finally, there is the economic side of dryer sheets. It can be argued that dryer sheets have, at best minimal value. Many people feel that there is no real reason to use dryer sheets and that they are a waste of money. Added up over the number of loads of laundry that you do in your lifetime, the final cost of using dryer sheets can be significant.

Spending $10 or $20 a year on dryer sheets may not seem like much. But added up over the years, they amount to hundreds of dollars. That means you’re spending hundreds of dollars on a product that may actually be damaging your health and the planet.

It is important to keep in mind that there are safer alternatives for those looking for static guard protection such as all-natural wool dryer balls.

In the end, the so-called “little” decisions do in fact matter. Dryer sheets contribute to landfill waste, pollute the water, pollute the air and may expose you and your family to carciogenic compounds.

So go ahead and say goodbye to the dryer sheets. You’ll be glad you did.



How to Wash Clothes with Poison Ivy
Posted by November 19, 2015 at 8:53 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry Home Living Tips


The bad news is that you’ve been exposed to poison ivy. Obviously this is no fun; poison ivy is a truly unpleasant and painful experience. Its ability to negative impact your life goes beyond the rash. Once exposed to poison ivy, you’ll want to wash all exposed clothing to reduce the chances of experiencing yet more pain!


You are most likely to come into contact with poison ivy or poison oak while hiking or in the woods. One of the easiest ways to avoid poison ivy or poison oak is to stay on pathways, but the simple fact is that when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors you might not always want to stay on the “beaten path.”


Understanding “The Enemy”


Adventuring out into the best of the great outdoors comes with a little poison ivy risk, but there are steps you can take to reduce that risk. At the top of the list is wearing clothing that will protect your skin such as long pants and long sleeve shirts and in some cases even gloves. Of course, knowing how to spot poison ivy and poison oak is an excellent form of prevention. A picture is worth a thousand words. Using an image search tool such as Google Images or Wikipedia to see images of poison ivy and poison oak is very prudent move.


Time for Cleaning

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Once you have come in contact with poison ivy that means you’ll want to wash all of your clothing as soon as possible. The first step is to carefully remove and store any contaminated clothing so that you don’t have to touch them. When you do touch any contaminated clothing using gloves is a smart move. Rather shockingly, the problematic compound in poison ivy, urushiol, can stay active not just for months, but for years. This factor also underscores the tremendous importance of properly cleaning any clothing, including boots and shoes that may have come into contact with poison ivy.


Once you’ve removed poison ivy contaminated clothing, you’ll want to wash the clothing in a washing machine; however, it is very important to avoid cross containing other clothing in the process. This means transferring your poison ivy contaminated clothing directly from your “poison ivy bag” directly into the washing machine and then dispose of or wash the bag immediately. Don’t forget to either dispose of the gloves you are wearing or to use disposable gloves when handing poison ivy contaminated clothing and items.


Use Multiple Washings
When it comes to washing the clothing you should absolutely use soap and hot water. Additionally, you will want to be on the safe side and leave your clothing in the washing machine and perform at least three washings, perhaps even a forth washing for good measure. While this may seem excessive if you’ve ever experienced the irritation and pain of poison ivy firsthand, then you know just how memorable of experience it can be. In short, take every imaginable precaution.


Avoid These Mistakes

Next, don’t wash non-contaminated clothing with contaminated clothing. You will also want to keep the loads small as this will allow the clothing to agitate more easily and increase the chances of removing the rather sticky and persistent urushiol. You’ll want to open up the lid to your washing machine, set your machine and pour in detergent before putting on your gloves and removing your poison ivy contaminated clothing.

A failure to adhere to this step could lead to poison ivy contamination of your machine surfaces.  No doubt this is an easy mistake to make, but it is also one that can serve to spread the poison ivy. There are times to worry about water conservation but when it comes to successfully tackling poison ivy doing a couple of extra loads of laundry is most definitely in your best interest. If you are worried about the extra water used, simply skip a couple of showers!




Keep in mind that poison ivy is an expert at lurking in unsuspecting places. Poison ivy can make its way onto your hiking gear, jackets, the bottom of joes, shoe laces, car interiors, your bike seat, your backpack, your home’s rugs, seats or just about everywhere else. This serves to highlight the importance of immediately removing contaminated clothing and then thinking, quite carefully, about any objects you’ve come into contact with while wearing the contaminated clothing.


It May Be Time to Say “Goodbye” To a Few Garments


If you are thinking that the precautions are quite serious, you are, of course, correct. Considering the pain involved with poison ivy, there are many that feel the best option is to simply bag up and throw away any contaminated clothing. While this may feel wasteful, there is something to be said for this logic.


Ultimately the best choice for dealing with poison ivy contaminated clothing may be to simply say “goodbye” to the items and move on. If this is not a financially viable option then you may want to consider washing the contaminated clothing even more times than the 3 to 4 suggested in this article. Poison ivy is a uniquely painful experience and one well worth the price of even a favorite pair of pants to avoid.


Urushiol is oil-based and quite powerful. It doesn’t come out of clothing very easily and once poison ivy gets into your skin you are in for a rough ride. Remember that poison ivy most definitely earned its poisonous name. It must be treated with respect.

BLUEdot Has Reviewed Urban Clotheslines!
Posted by August 27, 2015 at 8:18 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry Environment News and Events

This summer, the BLUEdot Register did a Carbon Footprint Comparison Study with us, comparing a conventional dryer vs. a clothesline. Obviously the results were going to be great, but if you want to know how great, keep reading.

Photo is CC 3.0 by Michael Gäbler

Original photo is CC 3.0 by Michael Gäbler

First, let’s talk about BLUEdot Register. BLUEdot aims to protect our Earth from climate change in three ways:

BLUEdot RegisterEducating people on how to reduce their own carbon footprints

The BLUEdot site is an abundant source of information on what sorts of energy improvements are happening worldwide. Their blog, Practically Green, is full of everyday tips on living a carbon-conscious lifestyle.

Selling carbon offsets

A carbon offset is an investment in an environmentally sound project. These are often renewable energy farms or environmental restoration projects.

Evaluating the carbon footprints of businesses and products, and helping concerned citizens decide where to shop

When BLUEdot looks at a business’ carbon footprint, it compares their products to more conventional options. In our case, it was a clothesline vs. a dryer.

Want to know how a clothesline compares to a dryer?

We chose one of our best dryers, the Stewi First Lady Rotary Clothesline, to compare to both an electric dryer and a combined electric and natural gas dryer.

Counting all carbon a dryer creates in its lifespan includes mining materials, building the parts, getting it to the customer, all the shipping between those steps… and finally, the carbon cost of each household use. The average American family dries a load of laundry every day, while the average mechanical dryer lasts less than 13 years.

The Stewi First Lady is going to last longer than 13 years, but we had to stop somewhere.

The result? The First Lady creates 99% less carbon over the 13-year lifespan of a conventional dryer. And then it lasts longer.

What we couldn’t factor in are the carbon savings from how much longer your line dried clothes last.

Why we chose the Stewi First Lady

The Stewi First Lady Rotary Clothes Dryer

It dries huge loads.

We didn’t want to cheat by comparing a puny clothesline without the capacity of an electric dryer. The Stewi First Lady has over 200 feet of drying line.

It’s Swiss made.

Same idea: we wanted to compare a dryer that is at least as well-made as its counterparts, and from sturdy materials. A durable build may not increase the lifelong carbon cost though, considering the dryer lasts longer.

It fits a concrete-free ground socket.

You can get a removable Stewi Soil Ground Socket if you need a non-permanent spot for your clothesline. Of course, if you want to cement your ground socket, the one that is included with the Stewi First Lady is a fine choice.

To read more about the Carbon Footprint Comparison Study, visit

The Moerman Single Line Retractable Clothesline
Posted by April 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM under Clotheslines and Laundry

Moerman Single Line Retractable ClotheslineThe Moerman Single Line Retractable Clothesline extends up to 49 feet, and keeping the line taut is as simple as wrapping it around the cleat attached to the casing.
This clothes dryer boasts a PVC-coated polyester core line that retracts tangle-free into a pastel blue case. The high impact plastic case will protect the lines for years. It is unobtrusive between uses, as you may fold it close to the wall or remove the casing easily for storage. Single people or anybody living in small spaces will benefit from this retractable dryer.
All the hardware comes included with this clothesline, including plastic anchors for more fragile walls. All you need is a screwdriver or drill. To install, first remove the mounting bracket from the dryer. In addition to instructions below, Brianna would like to show you how the Moerman Single works in the video:

Screw the mounting bracket to the wall and the screw hook to the opposing wall or post. Now slide the clothes dryer onto the mounting bracket and extend the line to the hook. To keep the line taut, pull out just enough to wrap around the cleat under the case. When you are finished, unlock the line from the cleat, unhook, and walk it back. Swing the casing flush with the wall or take it off the bracket for storage.

The Moerman Compact Single Retractable Clothesline
Posted by April 23, 2015 at 9:06 AM under Clotheslines and Laundry

Moerman Compact Single Retractable ClotheslineThe Moerman Compact Single Retractable Clothesline is the perfect little line for single people or RV dwellers. This 8 foot line retracts into a high impact plastic case for use indoors or outdoors. The chrome plated case blends in with your home when not in use.
The dryer comes with all the hardware included. You will find your dryer and receiver bracket, four screws, and four plastic anchors for those of you who will be using a hollow spot on your wall. All you need is a pencil, a ruler, and a screwdriver or drill. Brianna can show you how to install and extend the Moerman Compact Single Retractable Clothesline in the video below:

Use the back of the dryer casing to plot how far apart you need your screws to go. When you screw in your screws, let them stick out just a bit. Place the large holes of the casing over the screws, then slide downward to secure it.
The receiver bracket screws vertically onto the opposite wall. Remember to place the large part of the center hole near the top. When you extend your clothesline, place the nib in the hole and slide downward to lock the nib in the small end of the hole. Simply remove the nib and walk it back to put your clothesline away.

The Moerman 5-Line Retractable Clothesline
Posted by April 23, 2015 at 8:29 AM under Clotheslines and Laundry

Moerman 5-Line Retractable ClotheslineThe Moerman 5-Line Retractable Clothesline boasts 60 feet of drying space in 5 lines that are 12 feet long each. Couples in small spaces will find this clothes dryer useful. It is also suitable outdoors, as its high impact plastic case protects the lines when you put them away.
The Moerman 5-Line comes with all hardware included. Brianna is here to show you how to install and use this clothesline in the video below:

Just use the holes in the back of the casing to plot where you wish to place your screws. Screw your screws into the wall, leaving them protruding slightly. Now just place your dryer over the screws and slide it down to lock it over them. On the opposite wall, screw in the screw hooks. For any screws that need it, you may use the provided plastic wall anchors.
To extend the lines, simply pull them and hook them onto the screw hooks. Tighten them by turning the knob on the side of the casing, and push it in to lock them taut. To put your lines away, first pull out the tension control knob to unlock, then unhook them and walk them back. Your lines will be clean and dry when you need them.