Today, we’re going to talk about a facet of cleaning that drives everybody bananas… The laundry! In this article, I’ve compiled my favorite laundry tips and tricks that will help save you time and get the job done quicker. I’m not about cutting corners and I do believe laundry needs to be done properly, but you shouldn’t be wasting hours on this simple task. So, let’s go over the 10 laundry hacks you need to know!
When air-drying, you’ll want to remove as much moisture from a garment before hanging it up. A lot of people on the internet have talked about putting your wet clothes in a salad spinner. Although this can be effective, it can be very rough on your clothes and isn’t the best method.
Instead, try my simple and easy towel roll trick! Get a nice large towel, lay it flat, put the garment in the middle, then roll it up like a big burrito! For added water removal, hold the bundle at each end, twist, and squeeze. When you unroll the towel, you’ll notice that the garment will come out much dryer!
We all know what it’s like when our favorite clothes start pilling, but what you might not know is that it could be due to mixing fabric weights when washing. Now, we’ve been trained to separate our colors when doing laundry, but people are rarely taught to separate fabric weights.
Think about it like this. If something light, like a cotton T-shirt, is washed with something really really heavy, like a terry towel, it can affect the wash and even damage your garments. While they are both in the washing machine, spinning around and getting washed, the towel will be rubbing roughly against the light cotton. You’ll notice this when you pull them out of the wash. The towel will look fab but the T-shirt will look a little worse for wear.
Light garments made of cotton, a synthetic blend, or even a full-on synthetic like acrylic, are all notorious for balling or pilling. If you notice this happening, make sure to start separating your garments by fabric weight. I like to separate my clothes into their respective colors, then put my linens together, and all my towels and washcloths together.
Miracle Stain Remover
Stains happen all the time, it is just a part of life. The key here is to catch them quickly and use the right solution. So, here is one of my favorite DIY recipes!
Now, this is not something that you can make ahead of time, so make sure to whip it up on demand. Take 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide and mix with 1 teaspoon of dish soap. It’s that easy!
If you don’t want to make your own solution then you can simply have some store-bought product on hand. OxiClean is a great option. It is the industry standard and is relatively affordable. Puracy is another reliable brand, with both options having great spray bottle versions.
The main difference between to two is that OxiClean is an oxygen bleach-based product, whereas Puracy is an enzyme-based product. No matter what you use, the key is to treat the stain as soon as it hits the fabric. This will give you the best chance of treating and removing the stain.
When I take off a pair of jeans, I generally just leave them inside out. Now, I do this for several reasons. First, like most people, I am busy, forgetful, and sometimes lazy. More importantly, though, I always like to wash them and hang dry them inside-out. This will prevent and dye transfer from the denim to other garments during both the washing and drying stages.
Cold Water Washing
Now, I know you might be thinking that washing with cold water is counter-intuitive. Doesn’t hot water wash everything better? Well, actually, no. If you use a detergent that’s been designed for a high-efficiency machine and cold water, then your clothes will come out beautifully washed.
Now, of course, you’re going to have varying levels of success depending on the quality of the detergent you get. Unfortunately, when it comes to detergents, as with most things, you get what you pay for.
There are also other benefits to doing your laundry this way! When you switch to cold water, it uses 90% less energy than when you use hot water! Further to the point, clothes LOVE being washed in cold water. It’s gentler on them and it doesn’t shrink or deform them. Your clothes will look better and last much longer! Whenever friends and family tell me they’re not getting the best wash, I always tell them to start going cold. Better for the environment and better for your garments!
There are two very important things to do to ensure you get wrinkle-free laundry every time! First, I pay attention to my washing machine and as soon as that little song goes off, I take my stuff right out and put it in the dryer or to hang. When clothing is just done washing it’s heavy and all tangled up. If you leave it in this state then the wrinkles start to form and get embedded in the fabric. Be attentive, take it out quickly, and save yourself the hassle of dealing with pesky wrinkles.
Now, before I put garments into the dryer or hang them up, I like to give them a snap. This can also be good for getting out some frustration on a tough day, but what it really does is it vigorously shakes out any excess wrinkles and moisture. Added bonus, if you have a pet, it really helps shake out any pet hair left on your clean clothes.
Laundering towels is entirely its own topic! I have been dealing with stinky towels since I got into the cleaning game and along the way I’ve picked up some tricks. The best method for smelly towels is what I call the two-step method.
First, you are going to do a laundry load of towels with vinegar only, no detergent. Pop a cup of vinegar into the load itself and one into all of the compartments. Then, do a second cycle with regular detergent in the compartment and a cup of baking soda into the actual drum to further help deodorize.
The vinegar will help break down any past deposits from detergent, fabric softeners, and past washes. The baking soda will help with the odor. It’s the perfect one-two punch! Follow this two-step process and then throw the towels in your dryer. They will come out fluffy, soft, and smelling great!
For more towel tips check out our article: 4 Easy Hacks for Clean & Fresh Bath Towels
Another annoying problem is dealing with static cling, but do not fret, I have the right solution for you! Now, I really don’t like using dryer sheets because I don’t like the residue they leave or the smell they emanate. So, for now, let’s put those aside.
Way or method number one is to use a dryer ball. You can use the ones made of wool which are great for natural fabrics like cotton or you can use the little plastic dryer balls that look like little hedgehogs. I like these ones especially because they’re good for mixed loads. You can also make some DIY dryer balls if you’re feeling industrious. Whichever you choose, a few of those bouncing around in your dryer will really help get rid of that static cling.
You can also try taking your clothes out of the dryer when they are damp dry, so about 10 minutes away from being done, giving them a quick snap or shake, and then hanging them to dry. While this might seem like a little bit of extra work, you’re actually killing two birds with one stone. First, you are removing the static from each garment as you snap it. Second, you will be removing any lingering wrinkles.
My final tip is you can always dry your clothes at lower temperatures for a long period of time. Now you have three new methods to fight the battle against the annoying static cling issue!
After some use, every washing machine will start to stink. No matter the model or how expensive. I know this firsthand and I’ve gotten tons of messages about this smelly issue from friends, family, and colleagues. So, today we’re going to tackle the stinky washer!
Now, you wouldn’t just step out of the shower and not towel down, would you? Well, we should think of our washing machine in kind of the same way.
After finishing all your loads for the day, wipe down your drum, the inner gasket, the rubber lip, the inner door, or any other internal parts. I know this seems like a lot, I know you’re busy, and I know you have stuff to do, but a quick wipe-down is all you need to keep your machine from getting stinky and gross.
I like to use a microfiber cloth for this job but any cloth will do. If you’re looking for a premium microfiber cloth check out the Original Maker’s Cleaning cloth.
Another great trick here is to always leave the washing machine’s door open after use. This will prevent moisture from lingering and bacteria from building up, leaving a smelly mess. It’s also good to note here that’s important to leave the detergent tray up at all times. Bacteria love soap, so, over time, this damp and dark space becomes a hotbed for bad smells.
Finally, consider using a product to maintain washer freshness. Carbona Washing Machine Cleaner with activated charcoal is a great option that attracts and binds to odor-causing residues. This is a super simple way to maintain your machine and keep away any bad odors. In the end, a clean load of laundry starts with a clean washing machine, so always keep it fresh!
To be frank, our laundry game isn’t always 100%. It rarely is! There will be times where people walk in the door and on my very living room couch will be a pile of laundry, waiting to be folded. So, don’t feel bad if you’ve got a Mount Washmore sitting on your couch, just make sure you get to it when you have a little energy. You can always double up activities and do some folding while you’re watching a bit of tv!
Another thing you might experience, which Chad and I are still working on to this day, is something I like to call chairdrobe or floordrobe. Silly sounding I know, but many of us deal are constantly dealing with this. It’s kind of like a pile of clothes that are in a laundry purgatory of sorts. They’re not totally dirty to be washed, maybe you’ll wear them again, but they’re not really clean enough to hang up or fold away. It’s a bad habit but, I know from experience, it’s a work in progress.
Like with many things, the key to good laundry practice is consistency. Stay on your weekly/monthly tasks and don’t get hard on yourself when you fall behind. Take it little by little, stay positive, and work through your laundry needs at your own pace. Hopefully this has helped you a bit and taken a load off some of your laundry worries!
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