Spin-Cycle Guru

Cheryl Mendelson spreads the gospel of doing laundry well--and loving it

You might imagine that the author of a book called Laundry is a poor drudge chained to her Maytag. Not so. Cheryl Mendelson has worked as a philosophy professor and a corporate lawyer. Her first book, Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House, was a surprise best seller. Her latest expands encyclopedically on the art and technical tricks of sorting, cleaning, drying and ironing clothes and linens. TIME met with Mendelson:

What made you give up law to become a housework expert? I began to feel very wistful and nostalgic and think there was a great deal to [housework]....

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