Quote of the Day: Jill Cooper on One-Use Washing


Photo credit: anniebee
A friend of my daughter’s was complaining about how many loads of wash she had to do every day for her small family. When my daughter suggested that she have her family wear the same pair of jeans a second time if they were clean, her friend became angry at the very thought.

The reality is that if clothes still appear clean and don’t smell, there is no harm in wearing them again. I have never heard of anyone dying or getting some exotic disease from wearing their jeans a second or third time or even for a week, but I have known of children who have been needlessly mistreated by grumpy, angry and overworked moms.Do you insist that everyone get a clean towel every time he takes a bath? Why? Assign each person a towel and have him use it two or three times. When you get out of the bath, your body has just been scrubbed down and cleaned (we hope!). You’re getting less dirt and germs on that towel than you are on the sheets that you have slept on for a week or more.

One interesting observation about people who are obsessive about one use washing: It’s not really about the dirt. I have noticed that women who insist on washing everything after one use often allow their children to wear their winter coats and tennis shoes until they are so grungy that you aren’t sure what color they once were."

—Jill Cooper in "Are You Choosing a Dirty House," Living on a Dime

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