Gray is the New Black
I love to buy black clothing. Part of it is because black goes with everything, but also because I have awful OCD. That means when I’m standing in the store, and the blouse or dress I like is offered in multiple colors, I cannot decide. So, I just choose the black one. Black is a basic color and goes well with mostly everything so selection is always quick and hopefully painless, for me.
Although I love wearing black clothing, I do notice I’m replacing my clothing more often. The blacks just don’t stay black. I always thought I was washing my clothes too too often, but then after a little research, I realized it was the hard water.
This took me to the laundry room where I do most of my reflective thinking. It’s also where I get away from my family. They can never find me in there because I don’t think they know where the laundry room is in our home.
Is Gray the New Black?
After I did a little more digging I got a much better understanding of why my black things began to look washed out or almost gray and the whites were looking dingy or yellow-ish. What I found is that hard water actually has quite a few different affects on your clothing regardless of the color or fabric makeup.
Dingy, yellowing or graying whites
Your whites take on some yellowing from bleaching; however, white clothes that are continuously laundered in hard water will eventually yellow. Think old newspaper.
White or gray streaking in dark clothing
All I can say here is think teenager. Add teenager to hard water and you can break the socks in half…eventually.
Worn through clothing
Leggings are a cool easy wearable. But after they’ve been washed numerous times, you’ll begin to notice they are more transparent than when you originally purchased them. Think Kardashian.
Why is This Happening?
I took a look at my washing machine and noticed hard water scales in certain spots and in thinking about it, realized the same calcium and magnesium that were destroying my appliances were most likely destroying my clothes. By leaving deposits in the fabrics, wearing the fibers down, and discoloring, my wardrobe was diminishing slowly but surely.
Ironically, in hard water, most of the laundry detergent used goes to actually soften the water and not clean the clothes. The option here is to add more detergent but alas, you’re spending more money and producing more phosphates which affect the environment. After some more digging the solution, I found, is simple, a water softener.
After about 5 loads of wash and some pretty deep laundry reflection that day, I started to realize just how much money I was spending on laundry detergent and how much I was spending to replace my clothes. Adding more laundry soap to compensate for the hard water for an average of 8-10 loads of laundry a week, and of course, let’s not forget the cost of replacing all the clothing was costing a fortune. I realized that installing a water softener would save me a lot of money as well as time.
The thought of being able to select the black dress each and every time knowing it would always look the way it did when I purchased it just by adding a water softener, made everything so much better. I may even spend less time ‘reflecting’ in my laundry room.