Saturday, March 27, 2010

Simple Solutions Saturday- The Cleaners

Saturday is my slow down day, my day to take it easy and relax. My day to take a break from my usual housework and responsibilities, and instead focus on reconnecting with my family and with those things that truly matter to me. The weekends are a really special time for me.

I blog seven days a week. I have readers from across the globe, people that would like to know what is going on with my life and get ideas to improve their frugality, regardless of what is going on in my day to day life. I've taken it upon myself to blog seven days a week, and when I can't be at the computer one day, I set the timer on blogspot so that my posts will appear, even if I cannot be currently at my computer. I also have noticed that I do have the fewest readers on Saturdays.

I've decided make my weekly Saturday post be reflective of my relaxed mindset on the day. Simple Solutions Saturday will be my latest series. I've had many ideas to share with you that, in a sense, do not seem "worthy" of a whole post. However, they are ideas that I wanted to share, as they make my life easier and save me money. My answer is to make these posts be my "Simple Solutions Saturday" posts. Simple ideas that, once incorporated, can only benefit your life.

My first Simple Solutions Saturday- The Cleaners

Did you know that, in the whole time I've been married (and most of the time before I was married as well), I never once brought my clothes to "the Cleaners"?
I know some people that every single week, cart off all their button down shirts (and some "white collar" and "blue collar" people wear them every day, or nearly) to the cleaners, for a washing and ironing? At a cheap place, that costs only one dollar per shirt. That one dollar really adds up, because if you have 7 days of the week and 4 boys wearing button down shirts, this can easily be 28 dollars a week that is being spent on washing and ironing alone, that can easily be put to much better uses.
Even more expensive than the regular wash for these button down shirts is the cost of dry cleaning.
The only thing I have ever paid to be dry cleaned was my wedding dress. (Ok, and also a borrowed gown that I wore to my sister in law's wedding, borrowed from a "rental place"- the cost of the "rental" was paying for it to be dry cleaned.)
Don't get me wrong, I do own clothes with the label "dry clean only".  I just don't bother to dry clean them; I wash them myself at home.
I haven't yet met an item that truly needs dry cleaning.

Dry Cleaning at Home

If your clothes warn you that they are "dry clean only", this usually means that the clothing company is trying to save their hide, and warn you that there is the tiniest, slightest, chance that your clothing will be "irreparably damaged" if touched by water.
However, I'll wager that you would be better off pocketing the money for the dry cleaners and instead washing the clothing at home. The hardier stuff can be washed easily in the washing machine, on a cold setting. If you're really worried about the clothes getting ruined, you can wash it by hand, in the bathtub or in a big basin with a bit of laundry soap (the powdered stuff works just fine).

You may be concerned and say "But what if the clothing gets ruined? I don't want to risk even the slightest possibility..."
Did you know that dry cleaning uses such harsh chemicals that you may end up paying through your nose... for the dry cleaners to ruin your clothing with their chemicals? I've seen holes that have been caused via dry cleaning. Rather save your money and risk your hand washing ruin the clothing, than pay a lot of money and risk the dry cleaners ruining it.

As for those button down shirts? Wash them yourself, shake them out, and hang them to dry. If needed, iron them out yourself. Why pay a dollar per shirt, when ironing a shirt takes less than 2 minutes? Even better, they do sell wrinkle free shirts that cost a bit more, but will save you money when you don't need to pay for frequent ironing.

Do you ever bring clothing to "The Cleaners"? Do you feel that it is worth the cost?

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