Life-Altering Laundry Tricks!


Unless you’re living at Buckingham Palace and have a royal launderer, you’re likely dealing with laundry challenges.

So many requests have poured in for laundry tips and tricks, so I thought I would share a few of my favorite ones with you.

Life-Altering Laundry Tips

1) Always launder your towels and cloths separately from your clothing.

Towel material, also referred to as Terry, is very abrasive (relative to softer clothing) and thick by design, and when that rubs against your clothing during the wash and dry cycles, it agitates the fibers and creates those little tiny balls, referred to as pilling.  If you separate your towels and cloths into a separate load, this won’t happen anymore!

2) Forgot about your load of clothes in the wash and now that wet wad of laundry stinks?

It’s annoying when that happens to say the least, and is certainly fixable if you know the right trick, so here it is.  What has happened is mildew has started to form, which leads to that smell.  You need to get rid of the mildew to eliminate that smell.  Simply  re-wash the load with a cup of plain white vinegar (which will kill the mildew), ideally on the hottest setting the garments can handle, and then run though the load once more with laundry detergent and a cup of baking soda and then dry as usual.

3) How to prevent #2 from happening

If you are prone to making this very common laundry mistake, what you can do to prevent that funky funk (ahem, ok, that mildew) from growing in your laundry, just remember to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your washing detergent at the beginning of your wash.  Lavender oil possesses anti-mold properties and will help ward off that stinky mildew smell for a few days, trust me, this works!  When I found out about this, I felt like I had learned one of the world’s best kept secrets.  It’s magic.

4) My laundry detergent recommendation

On the note of point #3, I was introduced to ATTITUDE products when I initially started our cleaning company, and ever since had fallen in love with their products.  I am particularly a fan of their Lavender Grapefruit HE laundry detergent for this very reason, it’s chock full of lavender essential oil, so I get to skip the third point and still forget my laundry for a few days, and you are all none the wiser.  I also love it because it is vegetable-based, and dye free.  It’s not scented with anything aside from essential oils, so there is no lingering scent on my clothing when the laundry is dry.  I am crazy about the stuff.

5) Do you have a s stinky washing machine?

If you notice that your washing machine smells on the regular,  you can try a few things.  Understand though, the reason your washing machine smells is because somewhere, mildew is growing.  So to identify and remove the sources of mold, here’s what you can do.  Firstly, use less detergent and fabric softener, especially if you have a front load washer.  Because less water is used with these machine, the scum from the detergents and other washing products cling to the sides of the machine.  That creates build up, which harbors mold and mildew leading to that awful smell.  If you have a top load wash, check (remove the cap) the agitator, as it may be growing a huge colony of mildew that you were totally unaware of.   Your fabric softener ball could also be the source of this bad smell, as it harbors mildew as well.  Finally, mildew thrives in moist, dark environments (exactly like your washing machine when not in use).  So, to combat this, I always leave the door of my washing machine slightly ajar, that way moisture dries and doesn’t allow for mold-loving conditions.  If the machine is dry, no mold can form, and no dingy smell can linger.

6) Fabric softener alternatives

If you want to move away from using fabric softener, there are a few things you can try.  Fabric softener is designed to ‘smooth’ out roughness on fabric  and reduce static cling.  Instead, you can add about a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle for top loading machines, or 1/4 cup for front loading.  You can even add this to the fabric softener tray if you have one, and you can add some essential oils if you wish for added anti-bacterial properties!  Vinegar helps wash away the mineral deposits that can stiffen clothing (which helps clothing feel naturally softer) and is also somewhat anti-bacterial.  You’ll find your clothing is softer and feels better when you use vinegar, and you won’t have the heavy scent nor waxy feel of a fabric softener.  Your clothes won’t smell like vinegar either, so don’t worry.  While it isn’t the greatest at removing static cling, you can use dryer balls in your dryer to reduce the static cling instead.  I make sure to have 3 in the dryer and I use these regular dryer balls for all kinds of washes, and these Ulat dryer balls for my cotton only clothing.  If you wash synthetics separate from natural fibers, you’ll notice a marked reduction in static cling as well.

So, I hope that scratches your laundry itch, at least for now!  What are your favorite laundry tips, or do you have any laundry-related questions that I can answer in an upcoming post?

laundry tips and tricks

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.