Stinky, smelly, sensational soap.

April 11, 2013

IMAG0011Lo’s laundry on the line. Or a Target promo.

I appreciate my washing machine. I really do. I love not having to lug my foul-smelling wardrobe to a lavanderia every week. I love not having to deal with laundry leering.  And I love that if I am missing key undergarments, it is because they are still in my laundry basket and not because somebody stole them (ew). I realize its luxury and I appreciate it.

But my washing machine is not the most industrious. Sometimes after a whole wash cycle, my clothes will look no cleaner for the wear, and worse, after hanging on the line, they are smellier than when they went in. Considering how incredibly much I sweat here, the after stench is really quite a feat.

As I cruise into the homestretch, my clothes are especially reflective of how far along I am in my two-year commitment in Paraguay. With the excessive bodily perspiration, bug spray showers, and lack of rigorous washing (um, who has the discipline to scrub each article of clothing by hand every week? Not me…), it is clear I am nearly home as I am looking rough these days. Stains, holes, stretched out threadbare fabric—I feel like a walking thrift store…and not the cool vintage hipster kind.

I anticipated this. I purposely brought an endless stash of cheap Target essentials and an assortment of other older items that I intend to wear out (and boy, have I) and leave here. But somewhere along the line, I got attached to one certain grey v-neck. It was soft, comfortable, matched with everything…and apparently was part security blanket? Ahem, anyway. Even if it made me look scrummy, I wore it every chance I had.

That is until it marched into battle against one of my many cooking frenzies. It emerged unvictorious with a large oil stain prominently where girls should especially not have oil stains. Although I tried every home remedy–dish soap, baking soda, Windex, vinegar–no solution was successful in removing the unsightly splotch. So with a heavy heart, I dumped it into a bag for future donations, where it sat for many weeks.

Then someone alerted me to coconut something or other; the common Paraguayan remedy for laundry woes and tarnished duds. I hunted down the unmarked brown bar of soap at my local grocery store and excavated the grey tee from what I hoped was premature extinction.

I tore off the plastic wrapping, removed the caramel-colored bar, and because it was soap and I was curious of its scent, took a huge whiff.

And just about PASSED OUT. By the beard of Zeus, that thing was rank! When I managed to stop gagging, I set to work scrubbing and trying to breathe into my armpit (I know, what an alternative). Though now dubious of its cleaning prowess (how could something so putrid actually sanitize my clothes?), I nonetheless attacked long-standing stains on my jeans as well. I tossed the vestments into the washing machine and attempted to remove the stink from my hands.

When Washy McWasherton completed the cycle, I pulled out the clothing and lo and be told indeed, miracles from the heavens! Aghast avast ahoy. NO STAINS.

Well played, turd soap, well played.

Lora bday 018Dude. This towel is “clean,” fresh out of the washer. But pre-miracle soap.

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