XLTL high-efficiency top-loading washer and dryer, GE
Image courtesy of GE Appliances Image by: XLTL high-efficiency top-loading washer and dryer, GE<br>Image courtesy of GE Appliances
There's more to laundry these days than just sorting colours. Here's the latest buzz in fabric care.
1. Fabric softener can save you money
Under a microscope, cotton fibres aren't all that dissimilar from strands of human hair. What's more, they're both at their most vulnerable when wet, which is why we use conditioner on our hair after shampooing. In the laundry cycle, that conditioning role is fulfilled by fabric softener. More than just perfuming your clothes and making them softer to the touch, fabric softener lubricates fabrics at the fibre level, reducing the damaging effects of friction in both the washer and the dryer, ultimately extending the life of your go-to garments.
2. "High-efficiency" washers aren't a fad
If you've still got a traditional agitator-method washer, you're officially in the minority. According to Jennifer Schoenegge, a clothes-care product manager at GE, high-efficiency (HE) washing machines now outnumber conventional washers in North American households. This is great news from an environmental standpoint, as not only can HE washers do up to four basket loads in a single wash but they also use half the water of standard models.
3. Not all high-efficiency detergents are equal
High-efficiency washing machines use cooler water than traditional washing machines; as a result, they require different detergents than agitator-method washers. Unfortunately, Schoenegge says some detergents that market themselves as being suitable for use in HE machines are simply repackaged versions of original formulas and can result in degradation of garment fibres over time. Look for detergents branded "HE Turbo," which offer protection against damage caused by cold-water washes, and collapsible suds that break down over the course of the wash and rinse clean in a single cycle. It's also important to avoid under- or overdosing detergent by measuring it according to the manufacturer's guidelines.
4. Dirty laundry doesn't always look dirty
In fact, "70 percent of the soil on your clothes is invisible—but it's there," says Margarita Bahrikeeton, global research and development leader for P&G Fabric Care. The tricky thing with these invisible stains (which are largely caused by oils from your body) is they attract even more dirt from the filthy water sloshing around inside your washing machine. Over time, Bahrikeeton says this dirt can degrade the contrast in your clothes, casting a "grey veil" over the entire garment that affects our perception of the colours. Although there are new detergents on the market containing polymers that claim to stop dirt from redepositing during the wash cycle (Tide Pods, for instance), you can take matters into your own hands by regularly washing your washing machine itself.
Add pattern to your floor without breaking the bank.
A rug can help define a space, ground a room and add much-needed colour and pattern, but they can be super expensive! So, we went on a search for fabulous but frugal rugs. With many budget-friendly options, these websites prove you don't have to empty your wallet to add some patterned goodness to your floors.
Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel has a sophisticated selection of rugs in a variety of patterns and colours. Afraid to order a rug online? Order a 12 inch by 12 inch swatch to try before you buy.
Our top pick: Olin grey striped dhurrie rug
West Elm’s offerings (in mostly muted tones) include a stunning selection of custom rugs. Want to see how the rug will look in a styled space? Click on the #mywestelm photos below the main rug images to see photos shared by West Elm shoppers.
Our top pick: Ashik wool rug.
This online-only shop has a huge selection of over 10, 000 rugs in endless shapes, sizes and patterns. With free shipping over $75 and an excellent return policy, you don’t have to fret over making the wrong choice!
Our top pick: Zanzibar multi area rug
Land of Nod
If you are in the market for a rug for a child’s bedroom, playroom or family room, Land of Nod has your floor covered. Their selection of colourful, geometric and neutral floor coverings means there is something for everyone. You can order a small swatch to test a rug’s colours and pattern at home.
Our top pick: blue indoor and outdoor rug
They are known for their on-trend selection of geometric and kilim rugs in the prettiest selection of colours. Make sure you check back often for new styles.
Our pick: Pala textured loop rug
This site has over 200, 000 rugs in stock, with 75% off retail prices! Every rug includes free shipping and a 30 day return policy.
Our pick: Monaco rug (available in 10 colours)
Making minor, yet meaningful changes to your lifestyle can help you become a significantly healthier and happier person. Our health expert shares five tips on sleep, nutrition and fitness to help you achieve these goals.
"Why does she look and feel so good? I think I want what she's having!" If you find yourself thinking like this it might be time to adopt some new habits.
Image courtesy of WalkTop/Fitneff Image by: Image courtesy of WalkTop/Fitneff
Use these tools to get moving at your desk and save yourself from sitting disease.Getting exercise at work isn't exactly easy. Many of us have day jobs that require long hours of sitting in front of a computer or standing at a counter, and that's not good for our hearts and muscles. In a 2015 analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian researchers found that sitting for prolonged periods of time was associated with a higher risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and about a 15 to 20 percent increased risk of dying from any cause. And unfortunately, though exercising after hours is healthy, it doesn't counteract the effects of a long sedentary day.
Have you ever gotten so focused on something at work that you forgot to get up for three hours straight? Sometimes we all need a reminder to get up and stretch our muscles. This app lets you pre-program reminders to take short breaks for exercise. The one-minute workouts rotate through 45 different exercises, all of which can be done without even leaving your desk. Just select whether you want a workout for sitting or standing—there's even an option for in-meeting moves!—and follow along through the tension-relieving exercises. 1 Minute Desk Workout, available for iPhone and iPad, free.
Treadmill desks are destined to be office staples in the future, as we learn more about the dangers of long-term sitting. Why not ask your employer to invest in one now? Whether you work at home or in a professional space, switching from a chair to a treadmill is one of the best ways to prevent sitting disease. Plus, working while moving isn't the productivity killer you would expect; after all, the point of a treadmill desk is to avoid getting into a sedentary slump while you work, not to work up a sweat. You'll find it's easy to keep a steady pace while you prep for a presentation, and the movement may even boost your creativity. WalkTop Treadmill Desk (adjustable to fit most treadmills), $479, walktop.ca.
If you need to sit all day, the least you can do is perfect your posture and build your core while you do it. A stability cushion is slightly wobbly, so it requires you to engage your inner abdominal muscles for balance and use your back muscles to sit up straight. Whether you perch on the cushion for an hour or eight each day, your core will benefit from a little extra engagement. Stott Pilates Large Stability Cushion, $85.50, well.ca.
Wearable tech is making waves in the fitness world, and for good reason: When you have a physical reminder to move literally attached to your arm, it helps you carry your fitness goals into every area of your life—including the office. Wearing a fitness tracker can give you the initiative to take the stairs, go for a noon-hour walk or even just take more trips to the photocopier to get your daily steps in. Bands like the Fitbit let you chart your activity for the day, so you can see when you're sedentary and make a plan for improvement. Fitbit Flex, $100, fitbit.com.