Trina Machacek  So if you go to your linen closet—Wait. Okay linen closet may be an over statement. Let’s just say that nook or cranny where you keep towels and sheets and extra bars of soap and old hot water bottles and hair clippers, table cloths, wadded up cords with the old electric blanket that only works on one side but you just can’t convince yourself to throw it out. Ya sure it’s a linen closet. Snicker, snicker.

So if you go there and pull out a wash cloth, fill the sink with clean water, submerge said washcloth in the water, let it soak up water, slosh it around then wring it out what would you see? Keep in mind that you just pulled out a laundered, clean washcloth. Where only clean freshness should abound.  Well I found in my sink that the water had turned into this milky white, bubbly, thicker than water, water.  Let me back up a step or two to the place where this sleuthing began…

Seems that yet again I was sucked into a conversation that had to do with housewifery. The topic was clothes washing and drying and folding and ironing, (really who still irons?) and then putting the clothes away.  Then it came up about the different detergents lined up like red, orange, white, blue and green soldiers on the store shelves.  Touting pick me, I ‘m freshest, I’m smelliest, uh I mean the best smelling and on and on.  But not one will tell you about the residue that is swished out of your clothes in a sink of clean water. Not like your family will tell you!

Queue the Mission Impossible music I’m now on a mission.   I have been schooled over the years as to the amount of clothes put into a load of wash.  I now know that just because the tub is huge you do not fill it to the top with clothes and expect them to come out clean.  And you do not put his white t-shirts and underwear in the same load with your new red sweatshirt.  I do not know of any husband that has not worn pink under things at least once in his married life! Again, snicker, snicker.

There should be a limit sign on the lid of the machine that has a stick figure holding a mountain of clothes drawn inside a red circle then a big red line across the picture so we all know to dial back the amount put into each load.  But I regress.

I put six wash cloths into my machine, put the dials on super huge, used my regular amount of fresh as a field of lavender on a hillside in some far of country soap and let the chips fall as they may.

After the washing I moved the six items to the dryer and threw in my fresh as a vanilla bean dryer sheet turned that machine on and let the chips fall as they may.  Soon I was bent over taking out six of the freshest little cloths that anyone would be proud to wet down and use to scrub the night off of their face.

Ah, now the test. I filled the bathroom sink half full with clean water and picked, at random, a test subject from the six fresh as the air on the top of a snow covered peak in some Scandinavian country. No human has ever breathed the air there it is so fresh—and let the chips fall as they may. Swish, swish.  And there it was, that milky white, bubbly, thicker than water, water.

So just what do we glean from this?  Raising my hand and waving it wildly I say, “I know I know teacher!”  (Remember those days?)  The price we pay for the freshest, smelliest, (uh, best smelling) laundry–is milky white, bubbly thicker than water, water.  But take heart, just add a little fresh as a daisy hand soap to your wash cloth and tell yourself that is where the residue comes from.

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka.  Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle.  Share your thoughts and opinions with her at