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Laundry: The Home Comforts Book of Caring for Clothes and Linens [Hardcover]

Cheryl Mendelson

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Book Description

Oct. 4 2005
For Cheryl Mendelson laundering is the best part of housekeeping. It's full of physical pleasures -- the look of favorite clothes restored to freshness and beauty, the tactile satisfaction of crisp linens in beautifully folded stacks. Good laundering preserves things you love and protects your pocket book. It doesn't take much time or effort. What it takes is knowledge, and "Laundry" is the comprehensive, entertaining, and inspiring new book on the art of laundering.Culled from the bestselling "Home Comforts, " with revised and updated information and a new introduction, "Laundry" is an indispensable guide to caring for all the cloth in one's home: from kitchen rags to bedding, hand-washables, and baby clothes to vintage linens. Mendelson offers detailed guidance on when to disregard labels, removing stains, making environmentally informed choices, sewing, and storing clothing and fabrics. A much-needed antidote to the standard-issue how-to manual, "Laundry" celebrates the satisfactions of ironing, folding, and caring for clothes and linens. Both pragmatic and eloquent, Mendelson provides beginning and veteran homemakers with a seamless combination of reliable instruction, time-tested advice, and fascinating personal narrative.As a farm girl in Pennsylvania, Mendelson -- who is a philosopher, lawyer, and professor, as well as a homemaker, wife, and mother -- received a classic domestic education from her grandmothers, aunts, and mother. "Laundry" combines the best of the traditional lore they taught her with the latest in technical and scientific information. Writing with infectious love and respect for her subject, Mendelson is sure to instill in readers a newfound affection and appreciation for the art of laundering.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (Oct. 4 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743271459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743271455
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 16.1 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #627,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Cheryl Mendelson is a Harvard Law School graduate, a sometime philosophy professor, a novelist (Morningside Heights and Love, Work, Children), and a homemaker by choice. Born into a rural family in Greene County, Pennsylvania, she now lives in New York City with her husband and son.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
105 of 108 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Better off with "Home Comforts" Nov. 7 2005
By Michael Shields - Published on
"Home Comforts" has been so helpful and authoritative that I preordered "Laundry" as soon as it was announced. I was very disappointed to find that it consisted almost entirely of material taken from her previous book. If Cheryl Mendelson feels that she needs to revise "Home Comforts", she should go over the entire book and bring out a second edition.

If you already have "Home Comforts", you don't need to buy "Laundry"; and if you don't have "Home Comforts", you need to buy it. But I see little reason to buy "Laundry". I am returning my copy.
75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chapters 14-28 of Home Comforts now reissued in hardcover Oct. 8 2005
By R. Webster - Published on
Laundry is simply recycled and slightly refined material from Mendelson's Home Comforts. If you already own Home Comforts, I would skip Laundry (or if you must have it, wait until the paperback comes out, likely some time next year). If, however, you don't care about food storage, bathroom cleaning, domestic employment laws, fireplaces, resilient flooring materials, "other components of household dust," and you just want a well written, thorough, up-to-date guide to clothes and linens, then Laundry is a fine purchase, worth the current price.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expansion and Improvement Oct. 21 2005
By Anonymous - Published on
Laundry is an expansion of a chapter of Home Comforts, true, but that expansion could be very worthwhile to someone interested in really organizing their home-laundering process (which sounds pompous, but that's what it is when you toss all that stuff in the washer). While it's true this isn't a necessary text it's certainly a noble contribution, and Mendelson's prose is still a delight.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding for fiber artists, seamstresses, and anyone who washes clothes July 2 2006
By CAM301 - Published on
This is an excellent book, that I've been recommending to all my friends. I saw a review of this in the Handwoven Magazine, so I bought it. It not only gives excellent insight to fabric and fibers and their care, but goes in depth on how to do laundry. I never understood the difference between soap and deteregent, color safe bleach and clorox, pre-soaking, enzymes, the different cycles of the wash machine, the impact of temperature, softeners, laundry boosters, etc. This book explains it all. And the section on dealing with stains I've already used multiple times. HIGHLY RECOMMEND FOR EVERYONE!!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not kidding it was inspirational July 3 2008
By Wendy Hemken - Published on
Like most people growing up I despised laundry growing up, however after starting cloth diapering I began to understand the importance of doing it right even if I didn't enjoy it. After picking up this book I not only learned how to do things right but I've also come to enjoy a task I once loathed. I've noticed an increased softness, colorfastness and durability in my clothes after following the advice, and for a penny pincher like me that's been a major boon. I can also shop smarter for clothing, bedding and such thus getting more for my money.

The only things I'd love to see improved are an improved understanding of all the types of cloth diapers out there and how they can laundered and still remain clean, a more detailed as the typical feel of certain materials particularly as they apply to clothing, a comprehensive section on "green" laundering, and the biggest thing-tips on how to get caught quickly without compromising the quality of the work. Also tips on how to pack clothes to keep them well maintained both for the winter/summer change overs and for moving.

Unlike other reviewers I found this book to be essential in addition to Home Comforts because it does have some more information but more so because it is organized in a way that is quick to go through when I'm right in the middle of sorting or going to head out and pick up some dish towels. Also the science of laundry section really helped bring home the facts of laundry in a way that I felt the Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House didn't have time to get into.

Even if you're not a domestic diva this book is a great way to improve the quality of your clothes, save money by keep what you have in good order, as well helping you make the best purchases when you're out (after all how can you call saving money if you spend $5 on something that will last two years and look bad in one as oppose to spending $20 on something that will last ten years and look good the whole time). Penny pinchers, the fashion divas, and domestic queens will all find this book vital (despite the feminine pronouns it's a must for men too).

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