When doing my laundry at home in New York, I attempt to time it with the weekly showing of the show Blackish in order to incentivize myself. I also bring some sort of book to make me a better writer/person and always set it aside to play spades. It’s not bad, but it’s not good and it is definitely solitary. As an endless and inevitable part of modern life, I’ve always wished laundry could be a bit more fun. Enter Man Repeller and AG Jeans very first Laundry League! Designed to turn a chore into a full-on event, Laundry League brought MR community members together at San Francisco’s Laundré to hang out, eat some snacks, shibori die some socks and do their laundry!
Not only was it our very first Laundry League event, it was our first MR event in San Francisco. While there, I fell in love with the city and our very cool readers who live there, and I’m also now fully enamored with Ariana Roviello, the founder and CEO of Laundré, who took time out of her very busy schedule to answer some questions at the event about laundry, sustainability and like, life, ya know? I learned so much! Did you know you’re supposed to air dry (or use the lowest drying setting possible) your athletic wear? The heat makes it lose its stretch! Ariana was a font of knowledge about how to be a more Earth-friendly laundry-doer as well. The three facts that have been burned into my climate-change-obsessed brain are as follows:
- Front-loading machines use way less water than top-loaders, so opt for those when you can.
- Use a natural detergent because not only are the ingredients more Earth-friendly, a lot of mainstream detergents leave a film on your clothes that will force you to wash them more.
- Invest in a set of dryer balls and you will cut down on drying time and reduce paper waste from drying sheets.
AG Jeans was a natural fit for the first laundry league, as they’re committed to building a more sustainable and eco-conscious business. They’re in the process of installing new water filtration systems that allow their factories in L.A. and Mexico to recycle 100 percent of the water used in denim and ready-to-wear products. They’ve also partnered with Boxed Water to cut down on plastic water bottle waste and will donate a portion of all profits from the AG X Blanda capsule collection to Water for the People.
I also asked some of the folks at the event about their most memorable stain stories, and after they graciously obliged to my nosiness, I rounded up some of the best tips of how to deal with such stains, should they (or you) find yourself in a similar situation.
“My college roommate Molly’s brother was on active duty — he’d done several tours — and he was soon due home for good. Before he left he had purchased this beautiful, white, faux suede, La-Z-Boy chair. He loved watching games in it — it was a storied chair. So they brought it out for his return. It was going to be a big surprise.
So I’m visiting them, sitting on the chair and saying things like, “Yeah, this is really a nice chair!” It was a wonderful chair. And then I get up and see that I’ve bled all over the chair. Before I got my IUD, I had really heavy periods, and I bled through my tampon, through my pants, all over his gorgeous white chair. His ‘welcome back from the war’ chair. And they couldn’t even actually hide how pissed off they were. The mom was just livid. And I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m so sorry, what can I do?’ So what she did, because she’s a crafty woman, is she got it out with a baking soda water mix, but it was a big embarrassment. It was bad, it was very, very bad.”
Pro tip: Baking soda is a good one! If it’s color safe, hydrogen peroxide is another good option. Spring into action the moment you notice for the best results.
“I had this silk shirt I got from my mom not too long ago. I was in Italy recently and I spilled red wine on it and freaked out. I asked my aunt what to do, but we were drinking so she was not giving me any helpful advice! I had to put salt on it and…I don’t know. But luckily it was easy to camouflage by sticking into my pants, so it ended up being okay.”
Pro tip: To get stains out of silk, lemon juice or white vinegar diluted with water are the top go-tos! For red wine in general, never wipe the stain or use hot water. Club soda, salt — I had a caterer friend of mine who swore by white wine and dishwashing liquid combined with hydrogen peroxide. These are good options depending on the fabric and where you are when you spill.
“Not a particular incident, but more like a life-long challenge: Toothpaste stains are pretty standard for me. I brush my teeth the way someone would bathe their dog after it gets sprayed by a skunk, so it gets everywhere on my mouth and clothes and I still think that if I just wipe it off carefully with my fingernail, it’s like it never happened and I am always wrong. Help me, please.”
Pro tip: Aside from investing in a bathrobe, a little bit of an eco-friendly detergent mixed with warm water and some gentle blotting should help you get it together.
“One time at work I had a huge client meeting, and we’d been preparing for it for months. Halfway through we were walking to lunch, and all of the sudden a bird poops on me and my white patterned dress. Just like all over the front of it. I realized it at the time, but I was too embarrassed to tell people that I’d just been pooped on. So I popped into a restaurant and explained my situation to the hostess and went to clean up in the bathroom. I got the actual poop out, but then my dress was totally smeared. So I had to drive home and change and come back and then I felt incredibly awkward cause now I had to do the presentation in a totally a different outfit.”
Pro tip: A mid-day costume change sounds so glamorous! I know it is tempting to get the bird poop off ASAP, but if you can wait until it dries a little (ew) it’s easier to remove it without it smearing into the fabric. Let it dry, remove it gingerly and wash the garment ASAP after.
“I have this white linen dress that I took with me on a vacation to France over the summer. Very glamorous, beautiful, easy breezy, like one of my favorite things. Makes me feel like I’m living my best life. At one point I ate a chocolate croissant, and the chocolate oozed out and stained all over the pocket on the front of the dress. I didn’t realize it though, so I walked around for hours with this huge stain down my front. When I got to the house that evening I was like, oh no, my favorite dress, what do I do?! No dry cleaner for miles; it was just us in a laundry room with detergents that we couldn’t read because I speak such bad French. I really didn’t know what to do besides rinsing it out with water, but that didn’t do anything! I would love to know next time what you should do because we were in the middle of nowhere in a tiny town there’s no time to go.”
Pro tip: For linen, the trusty club soda comes in handy here, as does rubbing alcohol (test to see if it messes up the color of your garment before treating a large stain). For removing chocolate stains generally, use a similar method as with bird poop (ew) and try to scrape as much off as possible before rinsing with water and treating with detergent.
Photos by Kameron Richie