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Friday, August 26, 2011

My love/hate relationship with polyester.

No, I'm not talking about the famous leisure suits of yesteryear such as this:

Photo from

I'm speaking of the much more tasteful and updated poly's of today, the non scratchy ones. The ones that you'd have a hard time recognizing as polyester... unless you smelled them.

Yes, you read correctly. I said smelled them.

It all began with a certain deficiency of mine and my dh's survival instincts colliding. (Personally, I think child number five was very much a part of the equation as well.) My particular deficiency results in my iron getting used on a quite infrequent basis. I don't dislike ironing, mind you. When I was a high school student I'd often tackle my mom's gargantuan pile of items that needed pressing. It might have had something to do with them blocking my own use of the ironing board... but, no matter, I tackled them.

I think what I dislike about ironing is not the task itself, but rather the compulsion I feel once I have drug out the necessary tools to find everything that really *should* be pressed and them. With 7 people in my household that adds up. Fast.

While I really enjoy seeing my 6'5" husband dressed up in a suit and tie, I do not mind at all avoiding ironing his long-sleeved dress shirts. You see I'm 5" on a tall day. That means when this vertically challenged woman irons his shirts I have sleeves puddling on the floor when the ironing board is at a good height for me to complete the task. That means I must first make sure the floor is swept and even mopped, if need be. Polyester is far easier. :)

I adore polyester because unlike my children (*cough*) it always behaves beautifully. It never walks around with a scrunched up face and always has a pleasant expression. Facades, however, can be quite deceptive.

My husband has two polyester shirts that he is quite fond of wearing. He's a pretty fastidious guy, but for some unknown reason he draws the line at actually ironing any of this own things. ~shrug~ To each their own. ;) After wearing these two shirts for several months they began to protest, and I began to protest whenever they were near me. They smelled horribly even after being freshly laundered. I any longer. I informed dh I was going to have to burn them, or something. The last time I washed them with other laundry they made the entire load smell so bad that I was forced to rewash it all. I have enough laundry to do, thank you very much, without being forced to re-wash. Being frugal minded I was reluctant to actually follow through with the threat of burning the offending items, because they actually do look nice on dh and it's not the easiest thing for him to find affordable shirts that do not shrink or become misshapen after a wash or two.

I'm happy to say that the shirts can now stay! They are happily hanging in the closet, stench free. (Make no mistake- I am talking about my happiness.) I resolved the issue by washing them in warm water by themselves with liberal doses of my secret weapons for stinky fabrics- essential oil of thyme and white vinegar . I added approximately 8 drops of thyme to the wash cycle and I filled the rinse cycle compartment with vinegar and an additional 8 drops of so of thyme oil. The shirts came out smelling wonderfully with a slight hint of thyme.

Living in the deep south as I do I have found these tools to be ~ essential~ to my laundry care arsenal. :)


  1. Huh! Whodathunk! That's pretty amazing!

    I don't think we have any polyester shirts around here....

    They all probably melted one of these summers past...

  2. I'm pretty impressed as well. I really thought I was going to have to burn them... they were that bad. :)