Am I Dirty?

(191 Posts)
DirtyGirl Mon 16-Dec-02 14:54:35

Not as exciting as the title suggests, I'm afraid, but wanted to get your advice/ views on this...
I like to think I keep my family reasonably clean and healthy, but think I am realistic, and am not a 'laundry fanatic' - particularly since dh & I both work full time and we have a toddler and a baby.
Anyway, had a 'debate' with dh the other day, when I asked him whether he really needed to put his shirts into the laundry after just wearing for one day.
I should point out that we're talking about the thick, checked,Timberland-type heavy cotton sort, which he always wears open-necked with a white T shirt underneath (his company has a casual dress policy)
Well basically his response made me feel as if I was being accused of being a slovenly bitch who didn't wash....
My other general principles include:
- only wash tops/shirts/jumpers (when worn over T-shirts etc) after 2-3 wears, or if visibly dirty/ smell of food/smoke etc
- kids PJs/babygros (bedtime) get worn for 3-4 nights(unless accidents occur)
- kids trousers worn twice (unless visibily dirty, or wet etc)
- kids jumpers/tops - changed daily (always dirty/messy)
- all underwear/ socks changed daily

Is this unreasonable? Am I dirty?
(Have changed my name in case the verdict is a resounding YES, in which case I can safely skulk away in shame..)
P.S. Seemed an appropriate thread, given Persil's sponsorship of Mumsnet?

Bobbins Mon 16-Dec-02 14:57:50

Eugh ...you are gross

Only joking, that all seems more than reasonable to me. Now stop pretending to be Christina Agwee whats her name, and show yourself.

Philippat Mon 16-Dec-02 15:05:51

dirtygirl, only you know if this is appropriate to your family's dirty-ness!

I'd say if dh is suggesting you are.. etc.. then he should do his own washing! My dh wears his underwear for way longer than I would ever do but as he doesn't smell and he does most of the washing I wouldn't dare suggest otherwise.

Other than underwear I rarely wash anything on first wear unless it's dirty or smelly (which is most of dd's stuff). My friends haven't started edging away from me yet...

You could always say you are having an environmental kick...

Lucy123 Mon 16-Dec-02 15:12:14

dirtygirl, I know how you feel. Some people are frankly, obsessed with cleanliness.

I remember being really upset at school when a "friend" sneered at me because my mum only gave me 2 or 3 clean schoolshirts a week. But now I think what the hell!

I wash things probably with less frequency than you, being a big fan of spot cleaning. Pants are changed daily, but not socks unless they're smelly. mmmm perhaps I should have changed my name for this.

Anyway agree that your obsessive-compulsive dh should do his own washing if he wants it done that much. (and sorry to anyone who gets upset about flippant use of psychiatric terms...)

Tinker Mon 16-Dec-02 15:14:45

DirtyGirl - you sound spotless to me. Realised I had worn the same bra for over a week the other day.

Bobbins Mon 16-Dec-02 15:16:53

DirtyGirl> yes I'm sure if washing his shirts was down to him he'd give them a sniff first to see if it was really necessary

Bobbins Mon 16-Dec-02 15:18:50

Tinker...you can get away with that if its black and you're not at the beginning of a relationship

Lucy123 Mon 16-Dec-02 15:21:38

bobbins - what's wrong with the off-white / grey look? I think it's quite sexy.

Bobbins Mon 16-Dec-02 15:24:41

Sarah Kennedy thinks its sexy too apparently. The wittering old mare always used to go on about how she only owned three bras or something. I must stress that I wasn't listening to her out of choice.

Deborahf Mon 16-Dec-02 15:29:10

Hi DirtyGirl - was hoping for a really interesting read, Oh well, back to reality. As far as I can see you are being totally reasonable. My dh has a clean shirt daily - but they are all white and he has to wear tie - so collars get mucky. Otherwise, I'm with you - we all get clean socks and undies daily and I try to limit the rest of the washing to as necessary. As it is there are still shedloads of washing.

Tinker Mon 16-Dec-02 15:29:39

No, she just comes on before Wogan so you have to put up with the luckiest woman in broadcasting.

It was purple and it's been 6 months now.

Philippat Mon 16-Dec-02 15:39:38

Bobbins, how many bras do you have? Are you one of those co-ordinated women who's knickers always match their bras? (in which case I'm envious but also saddened). Three doesn't sound that dreadful to me (unless she doesn't wash them ever).

Rhubarb Mon 16-Dec-02 15:41:30

My dh does his own washing, even has his own laundry basket. This I insisted on so he is under no illusions that I am his mother. We both do dd's washing. So if he wanted to be squeaky clean, that would be up to him, I wouldn't interfere and wouldn't expect him to interfere in my standards of cleanliness either! I have the same principles as you dirtygirl, so maybe that makes us 2 dirtygirls! I tend to wash jeans etc after about 4-5 days, t-shirts after 2 wears, underwear every day. I've no idea what dh does, but I have seen him sniffing his clothes so my guess is that he has the sniff 'n' wear policy, i.e. smells clean = is clean, smells dirty = maybe one more wear!

If your dh were mine, I would think he was taking the p***!

SoupDragon Mon 16-Dec-02 15:47:08

All sounds fairly normal to me.

My standards have dropped considerably since having children as I now operate a two tier dirty system 1) does it need washing or 2) Can I get away with scrubbing at it with a baby wipe. Obviously this only applies to outerwear, knickers get washed after 1 wear, bras after a few wears and socks when I can find another pair.

The boys tend to wear their outer clothes "until they get dirty" which can be anything from 1 wear up to, ooh, sometimes 3 or 4 if I'm lucky.

Oh, what have I come to! Discussing dirty laundry! Dear god get me out of here...

Demented Mon 16-Dec-02 15:55:52

Doesn't sound unreasonable to me Dirtygirl. In our house everyone has clean underwear every day, the kids have clean clothes every day, apart from vests (I suppose that is underwear ), DS2 (6 months) can have several sets of clean clothes a day and DS1 is just a bit clarty so cannot get away with anything except his vest and sometimes PJs for more than one wear. DH and myself have clean tops everyday, although if my DH wore his shirt over a t-shirt I would ask him to wear the shirt two days as well, trousers and skirts get three or four wears. I must confess I only have two bras and do not change them everyday. Perhaps if I ever get to a place in my life when my boobs don't change size with the wind I'll buy more bras!

Demented Mon 16-Dec-02 15:57:29

Soupdragon, just misread your post I though you said bras get washed after a few YEARS!!!!

JanZ Mon 16-Dec-02 16:01:40

More than reasonable. I'm with Lucy123 on this - only knickers (mine - my dh puts his into the laundry basket when they're good and ready!!) are put into the wash after a day's wearing. Socks only go in when they need to (usually a couple of wears).

Ds's PJs only get washed once a week unless he dirties them. His trousers/dungarees, socks and tops/bodies are worn for two days (recent bit of advice from my best friend - wear things for two days on a row - it's one less thing to think about) unless they are visibly dirty (sometimes trousers can last longer!). Jumpers usually only last a day - but if they do survive a day RELATIVELY clean, will usually be put on again the following day.

I would agree with Phillipat - if your dh wants his shirts washed more often (and presumably ironed, if they are heavy duty!) - then he should do them himself!

My own big bugbear is handwashing jumpers. It's amazing how long a wool jumer can last before it NEEDS to be washed! (sometimes they even get liberated from the wash basket for one more wear!) It's also amazing how many jumpers will survive the wool cycle on the washing machine, even if their label says "hand wash only"! However, I can't quite bring myself to put my two cashmere jumers in the washing machine - and they really DO need to be washed...... !

Bobbins Mon 16-Dec-02 16:01:56

Phillipatt> I've got about 6 bras..but I probably only wear to if I'm truthful...ALL my underwear is black cos I can't be bothered faffing around looking for matches of a morning. of course there are quite a few faded pair of niks that would never see light of day in front of partner.

I use the sniff n'wear policy myself, and I avoid buying anything that potentially would need ironing

Bobbins Mon 16-Dec-02 16:07:37

Sorry...don't use sniff n' wear policy on nickers...that would just be WRONG

Philippat Mon 16-Dec-02 16:14:46

JanZ - use febreeze on the jumpers! saves me a fortune in dry cleaning (obviously you have to clean them eventually, particulary if you have a young child - febreeze just doesn't work on weetabix...)

sobernow Mon 16-Dec-02 16:52:56

I do all the laundry in our house and have had to start washing almost everything after one wear as I'm usually smeared in yoghurt, snot and rice pudding by 3.30pm. Dp is fastidious and will only wear shirts, jeans, jumpers etc once before they go in the laundry basket. The dds have clean stuff on every night as they are covered in the aforementioned along with me.

I have wondered what would happen if I told dp to do his own washing - the theory I wholeheartedly support but the practice would be a nightmare.

When dd1 was about 14mo, she walked past the doorway with a pile of her clothes, head hanging down and sighing. It was very funny, but I was also mortified.

Philippat Mon 16-Dec-02 17:03:12

sobernow, no offence, but you do way too much for that man and he doesn't appreciate you enough (course I've never actually met either of you..). I think you deserve a)a medal, b)a holiday, c)a very large diamond.

WideWebWitch Mon 16-Dec-02 17:19:41

can't wait to read this whole thread later when I've got time. But dirtygirl, whoever you are, no you're not disgusting at all. Underwear worn once in our house (and with ds' I do smell it sometimes if I'm not sure! If it's smelling OK I assume it's clean) Will come back later. Thought this thread was going to be about something else too

RosieT Mon 16-Dec-02 17:44:25

Wow, this thread's seeing nearly as much action as the Cherie Blair/world politics one – and I'm pleased to feel it's one I can contribute to without having perused all the weekend papers (sorry to sound so trivial, but at the moment, what with Christmas and everything, I just don't find the time). Anyway, Dirtygirl, think your approach to the whole laundry business is eminently sensible and not at all dirty – sounds much like my own although I'm not rigourous about everything if the ironing looks as though it's piling up. Sobernow, I tried the 'do your own washing' experiment with dh some time ago (on his mother's advice) with disasterous results. He was very good at putting stuff in the washing machine, but invariably would have left it there for weeks at a time, and on several occasions I found myself trapped in a house filled with steaming radiators full of scrunched up black clothes and badly positioned jeans – depressing, to say the least.
I know it's not very modern, but I find the pragmatic approach works best in our house – let everyone do what they're best at. DH is very good at shopping and doesn't seem to get stressed by Sainsbury's moving things to remote and unfamiliar aisles (as I do), so that's what he does.
On the other hand, what about kids and baths? Every night or once or twice a week?

SoupDragon Mon 16-Dec-02 17:48:10

Demented, that's how I mis-read DirtyGirl's post too

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