How much time do you spend in your laundry room?
Between the sorting, the stain removal, the stuffing-into-the-washer, the re-stuffing-into-the-dryer, the hanging up and the folding, I estimate that I spend an average of seven hours a week in mine.
Thankfully, I’d already had one child before we built our current home, and I knew that Mount Saint Laundry would be a nightly beast of burden. Armed with this intel, we turned our four-bedroom home into a three-bedroom to accommodate a second-floor laundry room.
It’s not gargantuan by any stretch (about 6.5′x10′), but it does sport a double-wide closet and a linen closet along one wall. Until this week, however, those were the only really functional aspects of my laundry room.
Other than a cheap plastic laundry tub and a drain in the floor, our laundry room was bare bones and builder beige until we furnished it with our Samsung washer and dryer (so chosen because of the notable vibration-prevention technology that makes them ideal for upper-level laundering) – and it’s been like that since we moved in nearly three years ago.
I’ve spent just about every day of those last three years dreaming of a nicer space but spending time and resources on the rooms that people actually see, arguing that the rooms in which we live should be the priority.
If I spend seven hours (or more) each week in my laundry room, I am living in it!
From a new folding table and a luxe marble backsplash to smart organization and a feature wall, read more here about my laundry room facelift! My good friend Erika from Kismet Interior Design worked with The Home Depot Canada on a wallet-friendly project – most of which you could do yourself if you’re a bit handy; see all of the “after” pics and find out which home-reno products are helping make my laundry life easier. And find out how she managed to keep us on budget, too! Erika also shares some easy-to-follow design tips for your own laundry room.
One thing that will make or break you in the laundry room is your detergent. I’ve been trying out several “natural” brands lately – some of which I included in my cloth diaper comparison post – and I want to tell you more about the method brand’s baby laundry detergent in the Sweet Pea scent. A big thank you to method (via High View Communications) for sending me a bottle to review and several more for the laundry room staging.
If you’re using a major or private-label (store) brand laundry detergent, you’re probably used to using a minimum of a quarter of a cup of liquid for every load. When you switch to a brand like method, you can expect to use far, far less. Think in teaspoons and tablespoons rather than cups. Where method’s laundry detergent wins big is in how little you need to do the job – we’re talking four small pumps for the average load. You’ll wonder if it will get the whole load clean, but don’t be tempted to use more (unless you’ve really stuffed your washer full, in which case method recommends using a maximum of six pumps); it will get your clothes spic and span.
method Baby Laundry Detergent in Sweet Pea smells fantastic. I’m generally not a fan of manufactured scents (I don’t even wear perfume, instead favouring essential oils), but this is subtle and just smells fresh and clean. If you could bottle that perfect new baby smell, this might just be how it translates commercially. I prefer Sweet Pea to method’s new Spring Daisy scent, incidentally.
It works with every temperature, and with any machine (high-efficiency front loaders or old-school top-loaders).
This is going to sound super-shallow, but the bottle’s aesthetic – not to mention its tiny footprint – is nice enough that you really can keep your bottle (and spares) on display as part of your overall décor. It’s tall, slim and sleek with colours that will blend with any palette. And you’ll really appreciate its size if your laundry room is down the hall, 30 floors up or in an offsite laundry mat.
Because method’s laundry detergent is “8x concentrated,” it has some pretty positive environmental impacts compared to the typical big brand: it gets sudsier using less water; is a plant-based biodegradable formula; and it’s housed in a recyclable bottle that uses 36 per cent less plastic, was produced with 33 per cent less energy and made from 50 per cent recycled plastic.
This detergent is easy to find without having to scour specialty health stores or online retailers.
You can use the method Baby Laundry Detergent on cloth diapers. When I read the ingredient list, I consulted with method specifically regarding its cloth diaper-friendliness. The team assures me that there’s no reason this detergent can’t be used on cloth diapers. I used it religiously for more than a month for the purposes of this review and it got even the ickiest diapers clean and did not negatively impact absorbency. (Well, as far as I can tell; I don’t have some geeky instrument that measures diaper absorbency.)
One of the things I love love love about the detergent is its dispenser. Aside from the pump, which helps prevent you from using more than you really need, it has this bent “straw” inside that – when you’re running low – ensures you get every last drop. The only downside to this feature…?
I kind of wrecked the pump trying to get the “straw” to bend in the right direction. I still haven’t figured out what I did wrong.
Phenoxyethanol. This is one of method’s Baby Laundry Detergent ingredients and it’s a controversial synthetic agent that’s used as a preservative – very commonly in cosmetics and in baby wipes. While method’s website will tell you that it’s “non-toxic and readily biodegradable after photo-oxidization,” that’s not the whole story. Some information suggests that “repeated exposure” has been linked to something as inconvenient as contact dermatitis and as serious as neurotoxicity. Of course, this is all non-conclusive and other experts will tell you that the issue is with high doses of phenoxyethanol. It scores a 4 on the Skin Deep Test, which is considered safe, but it’s on many watch lists, so I would encourage you to read more about it if you’re concerned. That said, method doesn’t bill its laundry detergent as anything other than “95 per cent plant-based,” so I while I don’t believe they’re intentionally misleading consumers, I think it’s important to point out controversial ingredients so you can make informed choices.
At about 34 cents per load (there are 50 loads in every $16.99+ bottle), this detergent is on the pricier side. It’s definitely more expensive than brands like Tide, and even slightly more expensive than Seventh Generation, which packs 66 loads into a bottle that costs about the same. The good news, of course, is that you can re-use your method bottle (that is, if you didn’t destroy it like I did; see gaffe No. 1) and just buy the 85-load refill bag, a system for which Method is well-known.
So…where can you buy it?
- Shopper’s Drug Mart
- Canadian Tire
- London Drugs
- And for U.S.-based retailers, check out method’s where-to-buy page
DISCLAIMER: The Home Depot Canada very generously provided Kismet Interior Design with a gift card to shop for all of the products to renovate my laundry room. The founder of Kismet Interior Design is a good friend of mine and very generously donated her time and design expertise. Huge thanks to both of them for this incredible gift.