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Laundry (and maybe marriage) advice

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 6, 2014
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On a side note, part of me wonders if anyone has ever gotten divorced over laundry. It sounds so petty, but couple of days ago I was pretty close...
 

LisaRN

Ideal_Rock
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3,155
Hope your clothes turn out okay after all the great advice you have been given and the work you put into fixing the problem.


DH has ruined numerous clothing items of mine over the years- even after asking him to leave my laundry alone.. I remember one load of fine sweaters he washed with towels. Finally I just got separate his and her's laundry baskets with the instructions to leave my laundry basket alone. Did he still take clothes out of the washer that were meant to be hung and put them in the dryer? Of course. But he is much better about it now. Just yesterday he removed my down jacket from the washer and did not put it in the dryer. He left it wadded up on the dryer. Bless his heart.
 

PreRaphaelite

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Feb 2, 2015
Messages
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A good test of whether this is passive-aggressive or just misguided doofus-ery is to remove the hamper from the equation. Stop using it for your good things and instead hang them back up in your closet so he doesn't see them unless he's actually looking for them. You'll remember what you wore that week but he is unlikely to. This will show whether he's being dense or being destructive, because no normal person would search your closet for things to ruin. A further test (which is horrible and totally passive-aggressive in return) would be to leave a small bag of Glitter in the pocket of your skirt.... if he washes it, there will be no hiding the results.
 

JPie

Ideal_Rock
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I read about mixing the vinegar and baking soda if neither had worked individually too, and had the same mental image as you.

I think most of the mildew smell is gone today. The vinegar smell though is quite prominent despite several clear water rinses. I am debating using some of this that DH brought home in the hope that it would help: Oxy Clean Odor and Stain Remover. It says it is colour safe. I also made him buy some Borax. But the colour safe bleach sounds like a longer term plan. Good luck! I hope you get vinegar smell out.

On the marriage front, I have repeatedly told DH to stay away from my clothes. This is not the first incident, or even the first this month. We have gone in this progression: 1) please don't wash my clothes - just leave them in the hamper (the shared hamper; after he shrunk every one of my nice t-shirts before we were married), 2) this is my laundry hamper. Please keep your stuff out of it and I will wash my own clothes (after he shrunk stuff of mine that accidentally didn't get sorted out of the pile when he was pulling his stuff out of the shared hamper), 3) Please stop putting stuff in my hamper (after he put a bunch of wet towels onto my dry clean only work clothes that I had in my separate hamper because I knew I would remember to pull them out to dry clean them, resulting in one of my favourite jackets being ruined), 4) Stop f-ing putting stuff in my hamper! (after he shrunk my favourite skirt two weeks ago because he had put sheets "temporarily" in my hamper because it had less stuff in it, then didn't see he had grabbed my skirt when he washed the sheets with bleach on a hot water sanitize setting - and then dried it in the dryer and hung it back up in my closet hoping I wouldn't notice that my midi skirt had turned into a mini skirt that would not zip up), LMAO! Talk about wishful thinking on his part. to 5) This is my hamper. I am putting it in a completely different room so you will never be tempted to put anything in it again. Touch it and die. (which is where he retrieved my clothes from, promised to wash them all in cold water and hang them to dry, and which against my better judgement I agreed to given that I was working over the weekend). If keeping your hamper in a separate room has worked, then I guess the trick is to resist the temptation to let him do your laundry and just live in unwashed clothes until you have time. I'm starting to think that this is either the only way he is able to passive-aggressively communicate his anger towards me or he has some kind of weird compulsion about doing my laundry. Now he is claiming that he forgets his laundry in the washer all the time (which might explain a few things about why the wash machine needs to be cleaned so often, as well as why I can't seem to get my sinus allergies under control despite copious use of antihistamines and steroid nasal spray). I'd be curious to know if you ever figure out which one it is.
Wrote some comments in the quote box!
 

kipari

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
1,614
I read about mixing the vinegar and baking soda if neither had worked individually too, and had the same mental image as you.

I think most of the mildew smell is gone today. The vinegar smell though is quite prominent despite several clear water rinses. I am debating using some of this that DH brought home in the hope that it would help: Oxy Clean Odor and Stain Remover. It says it is colour safe. I also made him buy some Borax. But the colour safe bleach sounds like a longer term plan.

On the marriage front, I have repeatedly told DH to stay away from my clothes. This is not the first incident, or even the first this month. We have gone in this progression: 1) please don't wash my clothes - just leave them in the hamper (the shared hamper; after he shrunk every one of my nice t-shirts before we were married), 2) this is my laundry hamper. Please keep your stuff out of it and I will wash my own clothes (after he shrunk stuff of mine that accidentally didn't get sorted out of the pile when he was pulling his stuff out of the shared hamper), 3) Please stop putting stuff in my hamper (after he put a bunch of wet towels onto my dry clean only work clothes that I had in my separate hamper because I knew I would remember to pull them out to dry clean them, resulting in one of my favourite jackets being ruined), 4) Stop f-ing putting stuff in my hamper! (after he shrunk my favourite skirt two weeks ago because he had put sheets "temporarily" in my hamper because it had less stuff in it, then didn't see he had grabbed my skirt when he washed the sheets with bleach on a hot water sanitize setting - and then dried it in the dryer and hung it back up in my closet hoping I wouldn't notice that my midi skirt had turned into a mini skirt that would not zip up), to 5) This is my hamper. I am putting it in a completely different room so you will never be tempted to put anything in it again. Touch it and die. (which is where he retrieved my clothes from, promised to wash them all in cold water and hang them to dry, and which against my better judgement I agreed to given that I was working over the weekend). I'm starting to think that this is either the only way he is able to passive-aggressively communicate his anger towards me or he has some kind of weird compulsion about doing my laundry. Now he is claiming that he forgets his laundry in the washer all the time (which might explain a few things about why the wash machine needs to be cleaned so often, as well as why I can't seem to get my sinus allergies under control despite copious use of antihistamines and steroid nasal spray).
Oh dear, I'd sure be annoyed as well!!
Very early on DH shrank a cashmere sweater to Barbie size ("it's white,mom told me whites need to be boiled" ) but after my very clear instructions after that incident he hasn't shown any interest in my laundry ... I joked that he did it on purpose to never have to do laundry again (which he didn't!).

Your situation and his behaviour is very odd and I sure understand that you see an underlying problem.
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
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It's hard to imagine how to prevent him from washing any more of your clothes, short of putting a padlock on your hamper. :confused:
 

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 22, 2009
Messages
3,758
A good test of whether this is passive-aggressive or just misguided doofus-ery is to remove the hamper from the equation. Stop using it for your good things and instead hang them back up in your closet so he doesn't see them unless he's actually looking for them. You'll remember what you wore that week but he is unlikely to. This will show whether he's being dense or being destructive, because no normal person would search your closet for things to ruin. A further test (which is horrible and totally passive-aggressive in return) would be to leave a small bag of Glitter in the pocket of your skirt.... if he washes it, there will be no hiding the results.
Never in a million years would i go through the effort of testing my spouse in this way. I would sit him down and have a real adult discussion with him about the issue. If I felt that I couldn’t reach him, I would realize that there are bigger issues than laundry going on and I would act accordingly, but it wouldn’t involve putting glitter in my pockets. This is just too much.
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 6, 2014
Messages
2,457
Wrote some comments in the quote box!
Knowing DH, I suspect this is more of a compulsion to be 'helpful' than a deliberate harming of my things. He is pretty careful (in his own, clumsy and not super successful way) with my other stuff. He's also distracted half the time. Each time we’ve talked about it, his only real explanation was that he was trying to tidy up (or help out) got distracted and did stuff without thinking. So I’m leaning towards doofus.
 

qubitasaurus

Brilliant_Rock
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Dec 18, 2014
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988
I read about mixing the vinegar and baking soda if neither had worked individually too, and had the same mental image as you.

I think most of the mildew smell is gone today. The vinegar smell though is quite prominent despite several clear water rinses. I am debating using some of this that DH brought home in the hope that it would help: Oxy Clean Odor and Stain Remover. It says it is colour safe. I also made him buy some Borax. But the colour safe bleach sounds like a longer term plan.

On the marriage front, I have repeatedly told DH to stay away from my clothes. This is not the first incident, or even the first this month. We have gone in this progression: 1) please don't wash my clothes - just leave them in the hamper (the shared hamper; after he shrunk every one of my nice t-shirts before we were married), 2) this is my laundry hamper. Please keep your stuff out of it and I will wash my own clothes (after he shrunk stuff of mine that accidentally didn't get sorted out of the pile when he was pulling his stuff out of the shared hamper), 3) Please stop putting stuff in my hamper (after he put a bunch of wet towels onto my dry clean only work clothes that I had in my separate hamper because I knew I would remember to pull them out to dry clean them, resulting in one of my favourite jackets being ruined), 4) Stop f-ing putting stuff in my hamper! (after he shrunk my favourite skirt two weeks ago because he had put sheets "temporarily" in my hamper because it had less stuff in it, then didn't see he had grabbed my skirt when he washed the sheets with bleach on a hot water sanitize setting - and then dried it in the dryer and hung it back up in my closet hoping I wouldn't notice that my midi skirt had turned into a mini skirt that would not zip up), to 5) This is my hamper. I am putting it in a completely different room so you will never be tempted to put anything in it again. Touch it and die. (which is where he retrieved my clothes from, promised to wash them all in cold water and hang them to dry, and which against my better judgement I agreed to given that I was working over the weekend). I'm starting to think that this is either the only way he is able to passive-aggressively communicate his anger towards me or he has some kind of weird compulsion about doing my laundry. Now he is claiming that he forgets his laundry in the washer all the time (which might explain a few things about why the wash machine needs to be cleaned so often, as well as why I can't seem to get my sinus allergies under control despite copious use of antihistamines and steroid nasal spray).
So it sounds like putting your hamper in a different place did work.... you just rolled back on the plan of never letting him touch it ever again. I think maybe I'd give it another shot (I.e. never trusting him with laundry, and keeping the hamper well away from the laundry room). The other good plan would be to not let it build up too much, then he cant ruin a large chunk of your clothing simultaneously.

As tempting as it is to conjecture it is passive aggressiveness, it (a) sounds way to subtle for a guy who is that level of absent minded and dense about house hold tasks (he wont use that approach to express passive aggression, as the fate of the households laundry is genuinely something he doesn't personally notice at all), (b) its rarely ever malice behind anything and usually just some form of incompetence....

My husband would do the same thing. I luckily have a maid so I am spared the pain. But I still pull stuff out of the cupboard and groan as the maid hasn't read the washing instructions and it has shrunk or pilled so badly I can no longer wear it (my fault probably for owning a bunch of pure wool and cashmere outfits that hate being dumped in a hot water washing machine load). I figure it is good for me as it causes me to turn my wardrobe over more frequently :lol-2:. Objectively it actually helps me avoid hanging on to stuff beyond it's 'wear by date' as I habitually kept a lot of stuff just because it used to be a good outfit.
 

PreRaphaelite

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 2, 2015
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Never in a million years would i go through the effort of testing my spouse in this way. I would sit him down and have a real adult discussion with him about the issue. If I felt that I couldn’t reach him, I would realize that there are bigger issues than laundry going on and I would act accordingly, but it wouldn’t involve putting glitter in my pockets. This is just too much.
I’ve never had to do anything that dramatic. But then I’ve never been in OP’s situation. According to her, she had already told him several times, so she was indeed concerned that there were bigger issues afoot. I merely suggested a way to determine for sure. It seems you were offended by that, but a person in OP’s situation could easily replace glitter in that equation with a few pieces of fresh kleenex. They would shred up successfully and prove the same point.
 

Rubymal

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
221
I am also newly married and my husband has done this twice in the first month! I just whine and complain and tell him to be more mindful. It hasn't happened since. He also hasn't done any loads of laundry since...hmmm...
 

rainydaze

Ideal_Rock
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Oh man. My DH sometimes wreaks havoc in his efforts to be helpful. I know he's coming from a good place, but it is definitely frustrating when it happens more than once after I have talked with him and been clear. At that point, I take stock and set things up in a way that makes it easy for him not to do whatever it is he's doing that's problematic. (There's usually some good doses of humor thrown in, which also helps.) However you have already done this and then some. I really don't know what to make of your DH's determination to do your laundry and ruin it! Of course you have far more information about the kind of person your DH is, the dynamics between. you two, etc.

The following thought occurred to me, but I wasn't going to post it until I saw your elaboration on how far your have gone to try and prevent your DH from doing this: wash, shrink, and mildew up his clothes and leave him to deal with the aftermath. Yes, I know, talk about passive-agressive. However all of your mature approaches and solid efforts to avoid this from happening haven't worked. If you're absolutely certain he means well and just isn't. getting. it. then maybe he needs to experience the aftermath for himself to truly have it sink in?

Of course, some other over-the-top but more fun ways would be to set up a sensor alarm near your bucket, set up lots of alarms on his phone labeled 'Remove CMD's laundry!' or 'Leave CMD's laundry alone!', put up signs all around your house saying 'Don't touch CMD's laundry!', put up a web cam with motion sensor near your bucket and text him if he goes near it, place your ruined laundry in his drawers/closet space with little signs that have sad faces or 'somebody murdered me', frame all of the receipts of your new clothing purchases and hang them where they are visible to him, 'professionally' invoice him for your replacements, have a funeral service for your ruined clothes and make him organize the 'arrangements' including LOTS of flowers ;)), etc.

I don't know man, good luck! I hope he is just a desperately hopeless but loving, well-meaning DH!!
 

lyra

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 13, 2007
Messages
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In my house of many adults, we each do our own laundry. DH does his, I do mine. Just easier that way. He has "helped" in the past, and did kill some things.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
2,543
I use eucalyptus oil
just a few drops
its good for keeping mildew away
i put a few drops in when i wash the shower curtain
but it also freshens up the washing machine
i have had something similar happen to me when i went away for a week and the other half didn't hang out the washing i had asked him to
it was towels
Poo stinky !!
i rewashed them a few times and left them on the line in the fresh air for a week before rewashing them
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
2,543
I read about mixing the vinegar and baking soda if neither had worked individually too, and had the same mental image as you.

I think most of the mildew smell is gone today. The vinegar smell though is quite prominent despite several clear water rinses. I am debating using some of this that DH brought home in the hope that it would help: Oxy Clean Odor and Stain Remover. It says it is colour safe. I also made him buy some Borax. But the colour safe bleach sounds like a longer term plan.

On the marriage front, I have repeatedly told DH to stay away from my clothes. This is not the first incident, or even the first this month. We have gone in this progression: 1) please don't wash my clothes - just leave them in the hamper (the shared hamper; after he shrunk every one of my nice t-shirts before we were married), 2) this is my laundry hamper. Please keep your stuff out of it and I will wash my own clothes (after he shrunk stuff of mine that accidentally didn't get sorted out of the pile when he was pulling his stuff out of the shared hamper), 3) Please stop putting stuff in my hamper (after he put a bunch of wet towels onto my dry clean only work clothes that I had in my separate hamper because I knew I would remember to pull them out to dry clean them, resulting in one of my favourite jackets being ruined), 4) Stop f-ing putting stuff in my hamper! (after he shrunk my favourite skirt two weeks ago because he had put sheets "temporarily" in my hamper because it had less stuff in it, then didn't see he had grabbed my skirt when he washed the sheets with bleach on a hot water sanitize setting - and then dried it in the dryer and hung it back up in my closet hoping I wouldn't notice that my midi skirt had turned into a mini skirt that would not zip up), to 5) This is my hamper. I am putting it in a completely different room so you will never be tempted to put anything in it again. Touch it and die. (which is where he retrieved my clothes from, promised to wash them all in cold water and hang them to dry, and which against my better judgement I agreed to given that I was working over the weekend). I'm starting to think that this is either the only way he is able to passive-aggressively communicate his anger towards me or he has some kind of weird compulsion about doing my laundry. Now he is claiming that he forgets his laundry in the washer all the time (which might explain a few things about why the wash machine needs to be cleaned so often, as well as why I can't seem to get my sinus allergies under control despite copious use of antihistamines and steroid nasal spray).
Wow !
Poor you
This is why the washouse is strictly my domain in our house
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 17, 2008
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6,482
My husband only did it once. it was where I learned that lovely trick of lysol. anyway I told him next time he'll be buying me a brand new machine. Changed his habits...lol
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
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2,457
I am also newly married and my husband has done this twice in the first month! I just whine and complain and tell him to be more mindful. It hasn't happened since. He also hasn't done any loads of laundry since...hmmm...
That’s the risk! It’s a tough choice between living with mistakes vs him being unwilling to
do anything to help out. It’s the same dilemma with the dishwasher...
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
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@rainydaze thanks for the laugh! I love the notes of “somebody murdered me!” I might do that!

Now that I have calmed down, I can see that he really does try. I work way more than he does (I’m self employed and it often takes over my life) and he tries to pick up a lot of the slack at home. He feels that this is a big part of his role in our relationship (even though there are clearly times when I wish he didn’t). He’s just a bit inept and he doesn’t think these things are as important as I do (not being a woman he truly doesn’t understand that it’s more complicated than just running out to the store and buying 6 of the same shirts of a certain brand and collar size like he does - he has bought the same pants and the same shirts from the same store our whole marriage). When he tries to cook we’ve had some doozies of dinners too. The worst is he thinks he’s good at it and that he’s taking care of me (and he’s pretty proud of being a supportive husband). I seem ungrateful if I complain. Which I want to do often!!!

This week my laundry was left alone. Progress is being made!
 

MissyBeaucoup

Brilliant_Rock
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921
I researched Consumer Reports and Tide is one of the best brands for getting rid of odors. I use a cup of vinegar in every rinse cycle.

My husband is an intelligent person but he could not understand how to wash delicates, how to tell what’s delicate, etc. He doesn’t even know how to work the knobs on the washing machine. (And I pretend I don’t know how to make coffee.) Our fix is that I do all the laundry and he does pretty much all the cooking.

It sounds like your husband is well intentioned and helpful. Enjoy each other and buy new clothes if you have to, lol.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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29,709
@rainydaze thanks for the laugh! I love the notes of “somebody murdered me!” I might do that!

Now that I have calmed down, I can see that he really does try. I work way more than he does (I’m self employed and it often takes over my life) and he tries to pick up a lot of the slack at home. He feels that this is a big part of his role in our relationship (even though there are clearly times when I wish he didn’t). He’s just a bit inept and he doesn’t think these things are as important as I do (not being a woman he truly doesn’t understand that it’s more complicated than just running out to the store and buying 6 of the same shirts of a certain brand and collar size like he does - he has bought the same pants and the same shirts from the same store our whole marriage). When he tries to cook we’ve had some doozies of dinners too. The worst is he thinks he’s good at it and that he’s taking care of me (and he’s pretty proud of being a supportive husband). I seem ungrateful if I complain. Which I want to do often!!!

This week my laundry was left alone. Progress is being made!
Yasss! Progress indeed.

Over the decades I have learned not to sweat the small stuff and if money can fix it then it is (IMO) small stuff. Of course if there is something behind the behavior (ie passive aggressive whatever) then that's a problem. But reading what you wrote I think it is well intentioned on your dh's part. It seems he is truly wanting to take good care of you and he is nurturing and supportive despite the fact it doesn't always pan out the way he intended. Glad progress is being made and just enjoy shopping and getting new clothes if necessary or just if you want to.

Don't sweat the small stuff. Life has a way of throwing big problems at you and you need to be united as a team to make it through. Sounds like he is a keeper laundry challenged and all.


marriagequote.jpg


funny-marriage-quote-1.png


marriagecantlivewithoutthatperson.jpg
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
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6,297
And what is the deal with guys ruining nice kitchen towels (and to a lesser extent washclothes)? My ex would take my nice crate and barrel or Williams Sonoma kitchen towels to wipe up a spill or use as a rag, while ignoring the basket of rags right next to them! I don't understand why this is so difficult.
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
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OP, perhaps order this book for your DH from your library or Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Laundry-Comforts-Caring-Clothes-Linens-ebook/dp/B002XQAARC so he can do his own laundry better and leave the machines in good order for you ... and hold fast to your house rule of "hands off my hamper and my laundry"

And, since your DH is taking care of meals, see if there are any cooking classes in your area?
He might want to just set a timer on his phone whenever he puts clothes in the washer to remind himself. Have him do it Everytime. Cheaper than ruining clothes, washer.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
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2,990
The Febreze laundry additive was truly a godsend when my son was an adolescent who had the task of doing his own laundry.

Although Febreze is now a component of some laundry detergent pods (e.g., Gain Flings), I rarely see the bottles of the laundry additive on market shelves nowadays. But it's available on Amazon:

And the Febreze In-Wash website points you to other online vendors, plus there's a local store search function:
 

kipari

Brilliant_Rock
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And what is the deal with guys ruining nice kitchen towels (and to a lesser extent washclothes)? My ex would take my nice crate and barrel or Williams Sonoma kitchen towels to wipe up a spill or use as a rag, while ignoring the basket of rags right next to them! I don't understand why this is so difficult.
Gahhh, my cleaning Lady does this. She's a gem otherwise, but apparently she cannot see that difference. So frustrating
 

rainydaze

Ideal_Rock
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@cmd2014 I'm glad I gave you a chuckle! And I'm really glad your DH is such a loving partner who just lacks the ability to properly execute the laundry.. errr, I mean, complete the task of laundry. :D

Considering there is nothing sinister in his motives, I would totally be sticking notes everywhere (in his socks, on his desk, in his car, on the door he comes home through, etc. that say things like "Hey, I love you sooo much but don't touch my laundry!" and "You are the best at xxxx, but don't touch my laundry!". I'd also maybe for a day or two say "HEY! Love you so much but what shouldn't you touch?" whenever I walk into an area that he's also in. Now, we operate with that kind of humor and loving obnoxiousness so when I've done that kind of thing, he enjoys it, it's part of our playfulness... and the message usually sticks.

Acts of service is one of my DH's top two love languages. I have to keep this in mind when he's done something 'helpful' that I have to go back over or fix.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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8,879
I've told my husband if he washes my clothing I'll wash his car with something not meant to wash cars. He got the point, he doesn't wash my clothing - he does frequently leave his own clothing in the washing machine, which usually I find before it gets to the point where everything smells but occasionally when I am busy or away somewhere pity help all of us.....

Why some men are too stupid/distracted by their own self importance to remember they put washing it the machine I'll never know. I do most of the washing anyway, I never leave it in the machine, you would think the logical answer would be just leave it alone and let me do it.
 
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