K and I are being very green tonight, but it's not like we wanted to. Our living room, kitchen, and dining room are bristling with sodden laundry hanging from every available spot drying the old fashioned way.
This whole responsible use of energy started the way every environmental project does, with the smell of death. Last weekend I noticed a faint smell of something like a dead animal in the area of my porch and utility room outside. I never could locate the source of the smell, so I wrote it off as just a temporary thing. It wasn't bad enough to really drive me to search for the source in more than a cursory way.
Later that weekend K and I tossed a load of darks into the wash to get ready for the coming workweek. The only problem was that when I pulled this load from the dryer, I was greeted by the aroma of burnt hair. Yum. That just isn't right. On the positive side, the vague smell of decaying animal was gone.
Letting the clothes air out didn't work, so a few days later (today) it was back in the wash for a second washing while K and my parents searched for the source of the stench in the dryer unsuccessfully (I was getting together some assignments for my masters class that are due tomorrow so I had a legitimate out). When that wash was done we pulled out clothes that smelled like wet burnt hair with a light note of laundry detergent. You could make an argument that it was actually an improvement. I've heard that some cultures dig that aroma.
K and I aren't from one of those cultures, so this time we stuck it back in the wash, switched it to the hot cycle and added in a dash of Oxyclean. When this cycle was done the clothes smelled more or less not burned. Of course we weren't dumb enough to use the dryer again, so we're having to air dry them in the house tonight so they don't get sour, something that seems to happen very quickly around here.
I guess it really wasn't all that enviromentally friendly with the two cold washings, one hot washing, and the one drying cycle, but you can suck it. Your clothes didn't smell like scorched mouse carcass.