Lifestyle

Do you hate laundry? “Laundry guy” wants to change that

Patrick Richardson is confident that you can see your laundry as something you probably don’t like, not as a chore you tolerate, but it’s “what you enjoy, what you look forward to, and perhaps what you love.” .. His book “Laundry Love, Finding Joy in a Common Chore” and the Discovery + series “The Laundry Guy” are both released this month, claiming that washing will be fun.

Richardson runs a so-called laundry camp from his boutique, Mona Williams, based in St. Paul, Bloomington, Minnesota and the Mall of America. The shop started out as a vintage designer-branded clothing store, but has expanded to sell luxury dry cleaners. Shoppers asked for help in taking care of their clothes, so they offered merchandise and a free laundry class. At the laundry camp, participants learn to “wash what can’t be washed”, such as wedding dresses and business suits.

According to Richardson, laundry, like cooking, can be transformed from work to hobby if it is discussed and celebrated more openly. “So many people are closed laundry lovers, and when they tell me, it’s hysterical because they calm their tone,” he says. “I tell them,’Sweety, you have to shout out and proudly. There’s no reason to hide.'”

Below, we’ll explain how Richardson still hinders him, why he doesn’t like soft finishes, and how to clean a wool coat in the washing machine. Edited excerpt:

How did you fall in love with the laundry?

One of my first memories was handing a clothespin to my grandma. When I was three, Santa brought me a toy washing machine. As I got older, I wanted to manage my wardrobe and started doing the laundry myself. There was a student budget at the university, but it was a wardrobe for dry cleaning only. Thanks to the professor, I learned how to wash. Then I went to work for Neiman Marcus, so I got some of the most beautiful fabrics that exist. It turns out that the best way to care for Loro Piana cashmere is to wash it. So it keeps its loft and its luxury.

How can people start to think of laundry as a love affair rather than an endless chore?

All they have to do is get the right tools and change their mindset. Second, it’s fun, you find it fun. You have a horsehair brush and need to put together a good stain kit: vinegar and water spray bottles (for stains), vodka spray bottles (for odors), and rubbing alcohol spray bottles (spot cleaning) for). Next, you need oxygen bleach and a good detergent or soap. I like soap better than detergent. You spend money on clothes, so you spend a little money on soap.

Has the pandemic changed the way we wash?

It brought people back to home care, and part of it is laundry. I put in my favorite podcasts and disco albums and found it fun. And the parents realized that their children could help. The pandemic reminded us that things need to be cleaned, but it also slowed us down and gave us time to realize that we could do these things while having fun.

Your book says that you hate soft finishes and dryer sheets more than squirrels and mosquitoes. why?

The reason I buy fluffy white cotton towels, black cashmere sweaters, or silk pajamas is because I love their feel. Soft finishes artificially create soft coatings. I want you to feel cotton like cotton.

Have you ever been repulsed by manufacturers of soft finishes and dryer sheets?

Not yet, but I’m looking forward to it someday.

Why should I stop using the dryer and hang my clothes outdoors instead?

It reduces energy consumption, it’s great, but the bigger reason is that it helps make clothes last longer. The lint is that your clothes die slowly. Also, when the clothes are hanging out, you get the scent of that heaven.

What is your worst stain nemesis?

Lipstick or barbecue sauce. I can do that, but it’s a multi-step process. In my book, I refined the division of most stains into one or two steps. You can get the barbecue sauce and lipstick, but it takes 5-6 minutes instead of 30 seconds.

Richardson on the right uses pumice stones to remove pills from the vintage jackets of the “The Laundry Guy” series.


Photo:

Discovery +

For some people, odor is a bigger laundry challenge than dirt. What’s your advice, especially when it comes to cleaning your training wear?

I’m worried about the smell because of polyester. Polyester is one of the finest things ever created, but there is one problem that has never been overcome. It is hydrophobic and dislikes water, and is lipophilic and loves all skin oils and the sweat that adheres to them. oil. After passing through the washing machine with oxygen bleach once, the odor disappears. Because it is color safe, the black yoga pants and black yoga jacket that smell like a locker room have a summery scent. It’s that easy.

The new washing machine has many settings. What do you recommend?

I am using only the express cycle. Your clothes will be clean. If you use really good soap and stain remover, your clothes will be clean and ready in 30 minutes. No 2-hour hygiene cycle is required.

In your book, you say that the washing machine can safely wash wool coats and business suits. Please tell me how.

Easy. Roll it up and put it in a mesh bag tightly like a sausage. Place in the washing machine and rinse with lukewarm and cold water in an express cycle. I use soap, but no detergent. When removing it from the washing machine, hang it and steam it.Make the mesh bag very tight [around the garment] It is important. Felt or shrinkage occurs when wool is allowed to rub itself. It doesn’t feel like it’s packed in a bag so tightly that it can’t be moved. Water still moves through it and cleans it.

Is there a final frontier of laundry challenges you want to overcome?

Dirt that has existed for 70 or 80 years. I can take them out 95%, but the fabric is very old and fragile. If the fabric was brand new, I was able to get rid of those stains 100%. In real estate sales, you’ll find these stains on my beloved vintage napkins and old quilts. I’m reluctant to get dirty leather.

Why is it wrong to pre-treat stains with dishwashing liquid?

Today, dishwashing liquids have a great many technologies. It becomes too acidic and removes dirt, but it damages the fabric.

Share your thoughts

What is your reliable secret to doing the laundry? Join the conversation below.

Write to Ellen Byron (ellen.byron@wsj.com)

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Do you hate laundry? “Laundry guy” wants to change that

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