Like many editors here at Bon Appétit, I love an apron. Because no matter how gently I stir the tomato sauce or how carefully I pour the brownie batter, I end up covered in splatters. (Don’t ask me how! I do not know!) And so I love an apron for its selflessness, protecting my sweaters from stains at all costs.
What I do not love is washing it. Laundry may be tiring, but apron laundry is maddening. Yes, the splatters. But even worse, the strings! The pesky strings that knot into oblivion in the washer and dryer, needing to be unraveled, unraveled, and unraveled some more.
Some people say that tying the strings into a bow beforehand helps. Yet the strings still emerge from the dryer in a stubborn twist. Other people say buy a Japanese-style cross-back apron instead. Its wide straps are sewn in, which makes them untangleable. This isn’t solving the problem, though—it’s avoiding it.
So I did what I should have done ages ago: I asked my coworkers if they had any advice about apron laundering. And of course they did. Associate director of social media Urmila Ramakrishnan and senior cooking editor Kelsey Youngman shared the same nugget of wisdom:
After you spot-treat all the stains, tie the strings into a bow, then zip the apron into a(the same sort you might already have for delicates like lingerie).
Just as it protects lacy bras from the tumble of a washing machine, a mesh garment bag swaddles an apron and keeps its strings contained. Ever humble, Kelsey dubbed this method “imperfect but much improved.” I’ll leap to the other end of the spectrum and call it downright genius.
What once emerged as a hopeless tangle now exits the dryer as—get this—an apron. Stains gone, straps tidy, no unsnarling needed. All I have to do is hang it up until the next batch of tomato sauce.