Monday, September 27, 2010

Let It All Hang Out! Air Dry Your Laundry for Loads of Benefits

As if moms today (Statistically, women do most of the laundry in the U.S.) need one more task to add to their fractured schedules and miles-long to-do lists, here I am, risking flogging by cloth diapers, suggesting you add one more household chore to the many you can barely get to right now—hang drying your family’s laundry!

But what if I told you that by doing this one activity you could not only save money and go green, but tap into some equanimity and peace, look younger, and tone your biceps all at the same time!

Who said doing laundry isn’t sexy, right?

Here’s the (laundry) scoop. Perhaps the most motivating benefit of hanging your laundry to dry, especially in these pinched economic times, is that you’ll save money. Many U.S. households, depending on where you live, can save between $25-$50 per month on electric bills or community machine fees. And clothes last longer not being subjected to the rough tumble and heat of an electric dryer, so of course you don’t have to replace them as often. But there are dozens more reasons to hang your laundry to dry and here are just a few of them:

1. It's good, moderate exercise that can tone your arms and burn calories. Who needs a gym when you have housework to do?

2. It freshens the air. I put a drop of essential oil in with my laundry, so as items dry they diffuse the scent into our home.

3. In dry winters it provides humidity and eliminates the need for a humidifier.

4. If you hang dry outside the sunlight bleaches and disinfects the items.

5. Stimulating the “effort-driven reward circuit” with hands-on physical activities that yield tangible rewards, like line-drying and cooking your own meals, may build resilliance against depression.

6. In the summer it keeps your home cooler since you don't have the heat of the dryer to be cooled by the air conditioner.

7. It can save time. If you walk away from laundry left in a dryer and return too late, everything can be wrinkled. Not so when you air dry.

8. It's relaxing, meditative and fun!

9. It helps to avoid unnecessary fires. Clothes dryers and washing machines account for about 17,700 structure fires per year in the U.S.

10. It saves energy, reduces pollution, and helps to preserve the environment.


*This post was inspired by Project Laundry List.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Electrolux Eureka Sanitaire SC3683A Commercial Canister Vac - Best Budget-Friendly, Hepa Filter Vacuum Cleaner

electrolux eureka sanitaire hepa-filter canister vacuum cleaner - the bestPeople ask me frequently for vacuum cleaner recommendations and I consistently urge them to purchase the very humble Electrolux Eureka Sanitaire SC3683A Commercial Vac.

I've used many, many vacuum brands and models over the years and for the price tag, I have yet to come across another that even comes close to matching what this little red and black machine can do.

It is hepa-filter ready and performs nearly as well as the highest-end Mieles and Bosches, yet it is lighter than most of them and far cheaper. And please, FORGET those horrendous Dysons. It's clear they were designed by a man who's never done an ounce of house cleaning in his life. When my crew or I see one of them at a client's we very nearly jump ship right then, and by the end of the day we've made sure to convince the owners to replace it with a friendlier, more capable vacuum cleaner. Quite frankly, Dyson's could double as torture devices, they are SO heavy and unwieldy, so incapable of getting into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. It's a shame they are marketed so well.

OK, the Electrolux is not perfect. It's not as sexy as those super high-end dust busters, nor is it as quiet as they are. I also would love it if the electric cord pulled and retracted on its own with the touch of a button, and that it didn't turn over as often as it does when I turn a tight corner, but overall, you really get high performance from this machine. It's the vacuum I use in my home.

If you are determined to go higher-end than the Electrolux, please do, just keep in mind that there is no circumstance that an upright will perform better than a canister vacuum with attachments. Whichever you decide on, remember to purchase the hepa filters and vacuum bags to go along with it. And PLEASE do not buy a Dyson.

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