odds & ends·
5 min read
by Leah Ableson | March 29, 2018
Living in New York City has its benefits: Great theatre. Dollar pizza. The bathrooms at the Ace Hotel that are genuinely more beautiful than my home could hope to be. But there are some setbacks.
Besides the common complaints of high rent and notoriously busted mass transit, the lack of in-home laundry also rears its ugly head. Sure, there are laundromats — some that are even open 24 hours — but they come at the cost of time and money, and aren’t always as accessible as one might hope.
I love (most of) you, New York.
This really became evident when I decided to attempt switching over completely from disposable period products to Thinx. At the beginning of 2018 (yes, that really is actually more than a couple of days ago) I decided that I wanted to drastically lower the amount of waste that I produce. From food waste to toiletry packaging, I was adamant about cutting down. I even had high hopes about starting my own composting bin in my apartment!
One obvious red mark on my Sustainability Report Card™ was my use of disposable period products like pads and tampons. After some research, I learned that the average menstruating person will use over 16,800 tampons and pads during their lifetime. That is an insane amount of plastic applicators, wrapping, and cotton/synthetic fibers going into a landfill just from my period. I needed to find a more sustainable solution. As someone who already owned a couple pairs of Thinx and loved them, I decided to make our relationship monogamous.
This brought me back to the laundry conundrum. How would I keep up with cleaning my Thinx at a rate where I could wear them consistently? And how could I do so without wasting a bunch of water, or spending a ton of money? Just hand-washing them didn’t seem to get them quite clean enough, either.
I found the answer in my kitchen, of all the places.
As an obsessive vegetable washer (Everything! Must! Be! Clean!), I treasure my trusty salad spinner. It always gets every inch of dirt off of my produce, super quickly and with no fuss. I started to wonder, could it do the same for my Thinx? It was worth a shot.
I went online and ordered a second spinner (I didn’t use the same one, come on), nabbing one that’s great quality for just 15 dollars on Amazon. In the Prime-sanctioned two days time, I had my new spinner and I was ready to give it a go.
After a day in my THINX, I stuck the dirty pairs into the basket of the salad spinner. Then, I filled up the basin with soapy water and gave it a spin. The results were fantastic. Within ten minutes, I had totally clean undies, ready to air dry overnight and be worn again the next day. With a set of four pairs, I was able to find just the right cadence of washing and drying that I could always have a clean pair ready. The world was new.
Now, in an effort to spread the wealth, I want to share my method of washing my Thinx at home, in a regular ol’ salad spinner (pssst... it also works for bras and undies too):
Give the Thinx undies a preliminary rinse under the faucet.
Put the undies in the basket of the salad spinner.
Fill the basin of the spinner with detergent and cold water.
Add the basket and put on the lid.
Give it a goooood spin for few minutes! I usually do this in my shower, to cut down on any mess. There will be some spillage!!
Then, drain the soapy water and rinse any suds out of the basin and undies.
Fill the basin with clean, cold water. Add in the basket of undies!
Time for another long spin to rinse!
After this spin, I empty the rinsing water. If there are still any suds, I’ll rinse the undies under the faucet once more.
To help the undies dry out, I then give them a spin with no water in the basin.
Finally, I hang them overnight to dry. Usually, they are totally dry and wearable by morning!
Check out the whole process here:
This method has proven to be super quick and insanely effective for me. It usually takes a maximum of ten minutes; it is such a relief to come home after a late night out and know that laundry isn’t some huge obligation. Most importantly, it has single-handedly assisted me with completely switching over to sustainable period products that make me feel comfy and happy.
Don’t let living on a budget or in a laundry-less apartment stop you from trying to go green with your period products. It is possible to cut down on waste and maintain it with, honestly, very little effort. Get back to me in a few months about composting though... I’m still working on that one.
Share your own out-of-the-box period hacks with us below!
Leah Ableson is an NYC-based theatre artist, writer, and creator of things. She loves magic tricks and glam rock. Find her online @leahableson!
by Leah Ableson