When it comes to washing clothes, the process here is totally different from the way it is done back in the States where I come from. Here, clothes are generally washed by hand. Back home, an electric washing machine is almost always the method of choice. My question is this – which is better? Which one gets the clothes cleaner? It’s not an easy question to answer!
This is one area where Feyma and I don’t see eye to eye. Maybe this is another example where what we experienced in growing up is where we still see things as better. For me, I firmly believe that clothes washed in a washing machine come out cleaner, crisper, etc. Feyma, on the other hand has always felt that hand washed clothing was cleaner. To me, I just could not imagine that to be the case, after experiencing both. Her feelings are just as strong, too.
We have a labandera (a lady who washes clothes) who comes to the house a few times per week or so. She hand washes each piece of laundry, and hangs it out to dry. My biggest problem with the labandera (and we have had a number of different labanderas in the time we’ve lived here) is that they don’t pay close attention to what they are doing. They will throw in white shirts along with blue jeans, red blouses or whatever, and suddenly when the white shirt is finished it has patches of red or blue on it. This annoys me to no end. It doesn’t happen with a washing machine (for me anyway) because I take the time to wash the whites together, and the colors in a different batch. Of course, the labandera could do that too, but so far I’ve had a hard time finding one that does it that way.
In addition to the color problems, another thing I find is that the hand washing, at least with the method they use here, is harsher on the clothing. Sometimes, a new item of clothing is destroyed by only 5 or 6 cycles of being washed. With a good washing machine you can use the same shirt for years if you take care of it. The washing process is gentle enough that it does not destroy the item of clothing.
Because I am a big person, it is not easy to buy clothes here in the Philippines that fit me. Sometimes I have to order clothes from the States and have them delivered. Other times, I have clothing made by the tailor. Because it is harder to get clothes, I don’t allow my shirts to be washed by the labandera. I send all of my shirts out for professional dry-cleaning. It’s not that expensive, and generally the clothing is taken care of better than the labandera would do. On pants, I don’t mind, because the local tailors do a good job of making pants for me, shirts are harder for them to get right, though.
One area, though, that I feel is better here is by hanging the clothes out to dry instead of using an electric or gas dryer. I like the smell and feel of the clothing that has been hung outside to dry.
How about you, which method do you prefer? Which method gets the clothes cleaner?
Side note: Today, I put up another Video Blog! This time I am showing the White House on Samal Island. This is where Feyma and I purchased a piece of land and will be building our dream house in a few years. Have a look!