No, I’m not coming clean with a new “Dear Dick Launders” column.
Launder verb \’lön-der, ‘län-\
1: to wash in water
2: to make ready for use by washing
3: to sanitize
Related words include cleanse, purge, purify; bleep, blip, cut (out), delete, excise, expunge, gut, x (out); black out, repress, silence, suppress; censure, condemn, denounce; examine, review, screen, and scrutinize, none of which have anything to do with this topic.
Seems a lot to do for a towel and washcloth.
Did you ever wonder why you need to wash (launder) a washcloth? Or a dishrag?
Consider how you use that wash cloth or dish rag. First you submerge it in water to thoroughly wet it. Perhaps simultaneously, you pour on or rub in some soap.
“A soap micelle has a hydrophilic head that is in contact with the water and a center of hydrophobic tails, which can be used to isolate grime.”
Bang the cloth around on bones or dishes for a while. Rinse it out. Maybe lather and repeat. Rinse again. And then wring it dry before hanging it up.
Where have I done that before?
Just exactly what happens when you launder that wash cloth? First you submerge it in water to thoroughly wet it. Perhaps simultaneously, you add soap to the mix. Bang the cloth around on rocks for a while, rinse, and wring dry.
Wait. I did that before you snatched it for the happy washing machine. And yet we need to do it every day?
Really? Every day? Twice?
Next week, we’ll take on towels which spend their entire lives shuttling between mopping up clean water from squeaky bodies and getting beaten on rocks.