Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hillbilly Laundry

One of the things that my husband uses on our farm that I really despise is weed killer. He goes through weed killer by the gallons and has set up a spray kit on his utility vehicle so he can drive around and spray this toxic mess on the weeds growing under the electric fence.

I understand the need for it because the weeds will ground out the fence and the cows will wander, but the weed killers scare me. He also uses pesticides on the hay fields. Those stink, too.

His clothes reek of chemicals on the days he does these chores. He uses a mask so he doesn't breathe in the chemicals but the spray gets all over him and the vehicle. And yes, I worry about his health because of exposure to these things. I worry about mine, too.

At first I attempted to wash his clothes when he got out of them, but I worried about the chemicals in the washing machine. I also needed to wash them about three times straight to get the smell out. And then I would disinfect the washing machine several times before I felt like I could wash anything else in it.

I tried everything I could think of, including vinegars, different detergents, etc., to clean his clothes. Nothing short of a lot of washing - which used a great deal of water - helped.

Finally, though, I figured out what would take care of the problem.

Time. Sun. Rain.

Now when he uses chemicals, I have him strip in the garage. His clothes then go outside where I leave them literally for a week to 10 days. Preferably they have been rained on at least once. I don't have a clothes line (I have too many allergies to use one) so I hang them over the deck furniture (which we never use).

When I do finally bring them in to wash, they no longer smell like chemicals and I can run through a single long wash cycle with an extra rinse. I still disinfect the washing machine afterwards but it is no longer an all-day job.

Just thought I'd pass this along to any other wives who may have husbands who use chemicals of some kind. The elements can be our friend.

(The zucchini in the picture, by the way, came from the garden but are too big for me to use. They will be tossed over the fence. I would never put food I plan to eat next to those chemical-filled clothes.)


  1. Chemicals scare the buh-jeezus out of me! I say 'burn the damned clothes'! LOL

  2. Didn't those kids in India die because the cooking oil their food was prepared in was contaminated with pesticide. You are right to be concerned!

  3. We should be scared by some of these chemicals. Afterall, DDT almost wiped out the songbird and raptor populations prior to 1972, not to mention all the other harm it can do.


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