People with more than two children? You are my heroes for so many reasons. Today, though, our focus is laundry.

There are only four people in my house, and two of the aforementioned people barely qualify. They have a difficult time acting like people – or civilized people, anyway – for one thing. And more pertinent to our discussion is the fact that their laundry, though plentiful, is not particularly voluminous. In other words, their clothes are tiny.

Still, I do laundry every day. On Christmas Eve I exchanged Facebook messages with my friend Tina from Life Without Pink – and we talked about laundry. I was in the midst of a load of towels. On Christmas Eve. Because laundry does not recognize the holidays. Or birthdays. Or I’ve-had-it-with-washing-all-these-clothes days.

If I don’t do laundry every day things get mighty out of hand, mighty quickly. The thing about children is that while their individual pieces of clothing may be small, their dirt is large. Extra large. Aside from their day-to-day clothing disasters (art class, I loathe you), we also have sheets, towels, blankets, and loveys. (We have three bunnies and rotate them so Bunny can have a bath now and then. Shh. Don’t tell P. I’m sure I have him fooled into thinking it’s one, self-cleaning Bunny.)

And then there’s my husband. If an article of clothing touches him for more than 28 seconds, he believes it’s dirty. Me? I air out my clothes, particularly if it’s denim or delicate, like cashmere. It is not good to wash your stuff too often, because eventually it destroys the fabric. Mark does not care about his fabrics. If he does wear a pair of jeans more than once, he announces it to me and expects a ticker tape parade of appreciation.

I don’t have time for parades. I’m up to my eyeballs in laundry.

So you people who are washing for more than four? You do deserve a ticker tape parade. As soon this load of sheets goes in the dryer, I’ll take a few minutes and cut up some paper to throw at you.

Clearly, laundry is a major part of my life, and that’s why I’m so excited to now be a Purex Insider. Whether you’re washing for one or for seven (or more, God help you), Purex is working to develop new, natural products to make life in the laundry room less painful. As part of the insider program, I will get to test new products and help Purex spread the word about their laundry innovations.

A picture of new Purex Complete Crystals Softener

Last week I received a sample of the new Purex Complete CrystalsTM Softener. I cannot tell a lie: I was a bit skeptical. It’s been years since I last used a traditional fabric softener, because I prefer to use as few products and chemicals as possible on my laundry. We use dryer balls to fluff our clothes, and while I’m happy with the outcome, I do occasionally miss the results that can only be achieved with a fabric softener: a light, fresh scent and undeniable fluffiness.

One of the reasons I do not typically use a fabric softener is because of the oily residue they leave. Traditional softeners coat your laundry in oil, making towels less absorbent and reducing the effectiveness of wicking materials in your workout clothes. Let’s just focus on the words oily residue for a minute. Yuck.

(This reminds me of Sixteen Candles, by the way, so every time I write oily residue, I picture Long Duk Dong shouting, “She at the church. She getting married to oily bohunk.”)


Anyway… Because Purex Complete Crystals Softener is 92% natural and completely oil free, there’s no oily residue. The crystals are safe to use with towels and workout clothes. As for the results, our clothes were much softer than usual. That was hard for this dryer ball devotee to admit; Purex is clearly on to something with these crystals.

Purex Complete Crystals Softener is also extremely easy to use. You put the crystals in the washer – right in there, not in a dispenser or anything – and then wash as usual.

The sample I received was Fresh Spring WatersTM scented, and I liked that it was not fruity or floral. The only downside: for a typically unscented household, I found the smell to be overwhelming. I did a double rinse on the load I tested, and once the clothes were dry the scent was not overpowering at all. I still think I will try using about half to three-quarters of the recommended amount of the product next time.

(A different take on the scent: Mark didn’t notice it, even after helping me fold the test load. Yes, I know – he’s a gem & does frequently help out with our piles of laundry. Anyway, when I mentioned this post he asked, “Did you use the product yet?” So that tells you something. It’s possible I’m just very sensitive to smells. Based on the fact that when pregnant I could identify a hazelnut latte from 50 paces, I’d have to say that yes, I’m sensitive.)

Ready to try some of these magic crystals for yourself? Purex Complete Crystals Softener is now available at Wal-Mart (as of December 28), and will soon be available at other retailers. The cost will range from $3.99 to $5.99, depending on the retailer.

Lucky you, though, you can win a Purex Complete Crystals Softener e-coupon. Two readers will get an e-coupon, so leave a comment below to be entered for a chance to win.

So. I wonder…

:: Do you spend half your life in the laundry room? Any tips for conquering the never ending pile of dirty clothes?

:: How do you feel about the occasional Purex product review appearing on Wonder, Friend? Are you cool with this?


One more thing:

You may have noticed it’s the last Wednesday of the month, and if you’re very astute you remember that it should be Blogroll Schmogroll day. Due to the holiday chaos, I’m taking a little break. Blogroll Schmogroll will resume in 2011.

If, however, you came here today expressly looking for new blogs to check out, have I got a deal for you. My friend Gigi at KludgyMom put together this amazing list (yes, I’m on it, but I swear I would say it’s a great list anyway): The 50 Best Chick Bloggers of 2010. So go check it out. You will not be disappointed. Did I mention I made the list?