Laundry Routine Made Easy: Best Laundry Products

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Laundry day is a big hassle. At least, it used to be. And while I still get the laundry day blues like everybody else, I’ve figured out how to perfect my laundry routine, so I spend the absolute least amount of time doing laundry.

I’ve perfected my laundry products, tools, and techniques on laundry day so that I never, ever have to spend more time on laundry than necessary. Today I want to share with you my absolute favorite laundry products and tools. Everything on this list is a must-have for me because each item helps me get through laundry day quickly and efficiently.

Laundry Detergent

Brand: Tide
Product: Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent
Cost: $17.55
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Without laundry detergent, you can’t do your laundry. But just any old laundry detergent won’t necessarily get you the full clean you’re looking for. What you want is a good-quality laundry detergent that’s been tested and tested again, that works in cold water, and is gentle on your skin.

Tide Free and Gentle contains no dyes and no perfumes, meaning it’s gentle on your skin (it’s even dermatologist recommended!). It’s so gentle it’s even safe for newborns. And one of my favorite qualities of this detergent is it works well with cold water.

Laundry Detergent (HE Washing Machines)

Brand: Tide
Product: Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent, HE Compatible
Cost: $12.97
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Tide detergent

If you have a high efficiency washing machine, you absolutely must use a high efficiency detergent. High efficiency washing machines know when the load is done by sensing that there are no more suds. A detergent that isn’t meant for an HE machine may add too many suds, prolonging the cycle.

Prolonging a washing machine’s cycle is bad for two reasons. One, it’s a waste of water and energy, which means a higher water and energy bill for you, and the eco-friendly benefit of an HE machine is lost. Two, all the dirt that was removed from your clothes and is tumbling around in the washing machine may actually be redeposited onto your clothing.

For my high efficiency washing machine, I use an HE version of the same detergent I recommend for non-HE machines.

Laundry Packs

Brand: Tide
Product: Tide Pods Laundry Detergent Soap Pods
Cost: $12.97
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Laundry packs are a new thing for me, but I absolutely love them. They are truly a no muss no fuss product. The detergent is contained inside the pack (or pod, as they’re known at Tide), so there’s absolutely no chance of spills. 

Laundry packs are also great because they take all the guesswork out of dosing. One pack for a small or medium load and two packs for a large or extra-large load. It’s that easy!

These Tide Pods are my absolute favorite because they work in cold water (a must for me) and they have three in one cleaning power: cleaning, stain fighting, and odor removing. While I would still recommend pretreating any stains you come across, these Tide Pods are great for that one-two cleaning punch that tough stains need.

I like having a few types of detergent on hand, depending on what kind of laundry I’m doing, which is why I have detergent and laundry packs simultaneously. If you don’t want to do this, you can absolutely choose just one: liquid detergent or laundry packs. 

Laundry Packs (HE Washing Machines)

Brand: Tide
Product: Tide Pods Laundry Detergent Soap Pods
Cost: $21.24
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I’m not going to go into the whole spiel again here, but laundry packs are amazing. If you have an HE washing machine, these are the laundry packs for you! These Tide Pods are the same as the ones mentioned above, except they are formulated to work with high efficiency washing machines.

Drying Rack

Brand: TOOLF
Product: TOOLF Clothes Drying Rack
Cost: $54.99
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Clothes drying rack

There’s no getting around it; not all of your clothes can go in the dryer. Athleisure, microfiber cloths, wool, delicates, and the list goes on; all need to be hung dry.

A sturdy drying rack is an essential part of your laundry routine (emphasis on sturdy because so many laundry racks are flimsy). My motto is buy once, buy well. And this laundry rack is a great option because it can hold a lot, and it uses space well. So it won’t take up too much space in your home, but you can hang a good amount of clothing on it.

Triple Laundry Sorter

Brand: SimpleHouseware
Product: SimpleHouseware Heavy-Duty 3-Bag Laundry Sorter Cart
Cost: $39.87
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triple laundry sorter

A triple laundry sorter saves you from having to dig through a pile of dirty laundry on laundry day to find your delicates, your whites, and your colors. Because we all know that even our own dirty laundry is kind of icky once you’re elbow deep.

Oxygen Bleach

Brand: OxiClean
Product: OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener Stain Remover
Cost: $13.93
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oxiclean

This is not your mom’s bleach! Oxygen bleach is the gentler alternative to traditional bleach you probably saw your parents using when you were a kid. It’s great for whitening whites, and it makes an excellent stain remover.

To use as a stain remover, simply soak your garment in the sink with a scoop of oxygen bleach for about 20 minutes before washing.

Dryer Balls

Brand: S&T INC.
Product: S&T INC. Reusable Laundry Dryer Balls
Cost: $9.99
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Dryer balls

The eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, and scent-free alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softener! I love these because they’re reusable, so they save you money, and they keep dryer sheets out of landfills.

Another bonus is they can actually reduce drying time by creating better airflow in your dryer. And, of course, the beating motion that these dryer balls provides softens up clothes without any added laundry product.

Washing Machine Cleaner

Brand: Tide
Product: Washing Machine Cleaner by Tide
Cost: $11.49
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washing machine cleaner

You can’t clean clothes in a dirty washing machine. It’s just a fact of life. So if your clothes are coming out of the washer less than clean, it might be time to clean your machine. 

Tide’s Washing Machine Cleaner is great for front loading and top loading washing machines! It’s specially formulated to boost cleaning powder and is more effective than most washing machine cleaners, which means you get a better clean.

Color Catcher Sheets

Brand: SHOUT
Product: Shout Color Catcher Sheets
Cost: $9.94
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If you’ve ever been worried about washing a load of colors together, worry no more. Color catcher sheets are one of the most genius laundry products out there. When you wash a load of colors, inevitably, some of that colored dye is going to leach out of your clothing and make its way into the water, and then into other clothing.

To avoid this, use Shout Color Catcher Sheets. Add one of these sheets directly into the drum of your washing machine when you do a load of colors. Then, when dye leaches into the water, the color catcher sheet “catches” that dye and holds it before it has a chance to absorb into the rest of your clothing. Pretty amazing, huh?

While I still wouldn’t mix whites and darks together, color catcher sheets are perfect for normal color loads.

Color Corrector

Brand: Mrs. Stewart’s
Product: Mrs. Stewart’s Concentrated Liquid Bluing
Cost: $5.36
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Liquid Bluing

Mrs. Stewart’s Concentrated Liquid Bluing is one of the only products I’ve found that is up to the task of serious color correction. This miracle product can counteract color bleeding or make dingy-looking whites appear bright again.

A lot of people think this product is bleach, but it’s not! It actually adds a small amount of blue color to your items. To get technical for a moment, blue-white is the whitest white according to the human eye. So adding a bit of blue can act to balance out the discolored item and make it appear white again.

But be warned, using too much of this product will create a visible blue tint, which you won’t be able to correct. Read the instructions on the bottle thoroughly and follow them carefully.

White Vinegar

Brand: Heinz
Product: Heinz Distilled White Vinegar
Cost: $1.96
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white vinegar

You might be wondering if I made a mistake here, but nope. White vinegar is so amazing in all kinds of cleaning, including when it comes to laundry. For any stinky laundry, like sweaty workout gear or mildewy towels, I like to add a cup of white vinegar straight into the washing machine drum before I run a cycle. It kills odors and bacteria!

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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.

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