Friday, March 21, 2014

Farmer laundry

I am home this morning since it is too frozen to harrow and I am spending my time catching up on laundry. I laugh at laundry commercials where they are touting bright whites and keeping colors new. Farmer laundry has different goals and problems.

The first important step is sorting. I do not wash my farmer laundry with the regular dirty laundry. That would contaminate regular clothes with potential poo, grease, oil, diesel stains. Then there is just dirty or really really dirty. I usually don't bother sorting colors and white when washing my work clothes. They are all nearly the same color, dirty.

Farmers pockets may contain, nut, bolts, cotter keys, grease rags, grain, hay, and other potential hazards for the washer and dryer. Plus I may need that tractor key the next day. ;-) I usually empty pockets and then check them again.

Then comes the stain pretreat, and of course we buy the gallon size stain remover. This is liberally applied on the worst spots with hope they will be at least somewhat cleaner when laundry is done. Some laundry is so bad, its pretreated and left outside for a couple of days in the rain. One time my husband suggested burying a jacket that was accidentally doused in diesel, because that is what his mother/grandmother would do. I read a farmer's wife blog where she just tossed anything her husband ruined with fuel or grease (that would show him) Good work clothes are expensive. What a waste! Accidents happen, equipment is dirty, it is part of farming!

Farm clothes always require the heavy duty cycle on the washing machine. Sometimes an extra wash may be required. When it comes out of the machine, if it still has a fuel or grease smell, I will air dry it. If it is still stained but doesn't smell, its good enough for me. Most assuredly, my "clean" clothes will have dirt, grease, or oil on them after 5.2 seconds of work. Why stress about bright whites. Farming life is dirty!

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