Along with writing articles and making videos about the DIY cleaning community for the last 11 years, I have also been running a cleaning business. The bottom line is, I know a lot about cleaning for someone that hates to do it and I’ve learned some tips and tricks along my journey. Now, almost everyone I know, myself included, finds laundry to be arduous and unenjoyable, and in the end, there really is a lot to know when it comes to doing it right. There are tons of different cycles, techniques, temperatures, and products, and it can often times get to be an overwhelming process. So, I’d like to share with you 6 laundry tips that will completely change the way you wash your clothes and take your laundry game to the next level!
Use Cold Water
I know that using cold water when washing can almost feel sacrilegious. Isn’t hot water supposed to get things cleaner? Well, actually, when doing laundry, the answer is no. If you use a detergent that’s been designed for a high-efficiency machine then it should be totally fine working with cold water. Now, of course, the detergent you use is key and it’s going to change how effectively your load washes. Just like anything in life, you get what you pay for, so remember to pick out a good quality detergent if you can.
A few good things about washing with cold water. When you switch to using cold water, you end up using 90% less energy than your machine would use if the water was hot so it saves your wallet a ton. Further to that, clothes actually prefer being washed in cold water. It’s a gentler way to wash, it doesn’t shrink the materials, and it allows your clothing to last longer and look better. Whenever any of my friends or family say that they’re not getting the best wash, I always tell them to switch to cold water. It’s better for the environment, better for your clothes, and better for your overall laundry technique.
Many people that I talk to when it comes to stain removal, think that they need one product to solve all of their problems, but then they realize that one product isn’t working so well in each case. So, in your stain-removing arsenal, you’re going to want liquid laundry detergent or any other enzyme-based stain remover.
You’re also going to want to have an oxygen bleach product or hydrogen peroxide bottle on hand. These two are great for color correcting, like taking away a berry or grass stain. When dealing with an oily or greasy stain that just won’t go away you’ll want to break out the enzymes. If you have both, a greasy stain that also has color, then you’ll want to take a 2-step approach. First, flatten and dry your stain as best you can, treat it with the enzyme-based cleaner, launder it, re-treat it with hydrogen peroxide or oxygen bleach product, then wash it again. You’ll notice the long process will be worth it as your clothing will look fresh and clean, with no abhorrent stains.
Build a Routine
If you find it hard to keep track and stay on top of your laundry, it might mean you need a new laundry plan. Now, this shouldn’t take you more than 2 minutes to do. You can literally think about it while you’re brushing your teeth, but essentially what it will give you is a framework for the week based on your home and your lifestyle.
That way, you’re not panicking to get things clean and tidy at the last minute. Instead of mixing fabric weights and colors so that you get pilling and muddy-looking clothing, you’re going to be smart about how you’re doing your laundry. Making a plan will also allow you to take your time with your laundry, planning, and researching specifics for all your clothing needs.
Here is an example of how I break down the laundry in my house. We’ve got towels, sheets, cloths, rags, all of the laundry from Chad and me, and then all of the laundry created by our little 4-year-old. This is my mental framework. I know I like my cleaning cloths and rags washed twice a week, we do our sheets once a week, our towels once a week, our daughter’s laundry once a week, and then we take care of our clothing after that.
This all allows me to know, “Okay. Have I done this? Have I done that? What needs to get done next?” There are rarely surprises, we’re never short on rags or towels, and we never have stacks of laundry piled up everywhere. It keeps the system flowing. If you’re struggling with laundry at home, think about your lifestyle, and your household, and set up a laundry plan that works for you!
Selecting the right amount of detergent for your load makes all the difference. Overdosing your detergent means that soap is left behind after the rinse cycle and over time, your clothes and machine kind of develop a smelly, grey soap scum. Now, you won’t notice this after one simple overdosing load, but if you do it repeatedly you’ll notice the smell and the greying of clothes. You’ll also save tons a month on detergent which, let’s be honest, isn’t the cheapest product in the cleaning aisle.
Now, I know it might be tempting to add extra detergent when you have a really dirty load, but it won’t get the results you’re looking for. So, hold back on that extra detergent and instead add a laundry booster to your load. This will help deal with the specific issue you are trying to tackle without overdosing your load with detergent. It can also help to choose a different setting on your machine. Just remember to not overload your machine with detergent. In this case, less is definitely more!
When your hair feels gross because you’ve used a lot of product and your scalp is not feeling at its best, it’s always good to use a clarifying rinse to clean everything out and start again with a freshly cleaned scalp. Well, the same notion applies to clothing. Using a clarifying rinse for our clothes can get them feeling fresh and free of all products. Even the best quality detergent can leave a little bit of residue behind. This is especially true if you’re using a lower quality detergent or your cleaning with hard water. When these things happen, clothes tend to come out a little bit smelly and greyish. By dissolving leftover residues and adding a pH-adjusting product, you can completely change the outcome of your load. This is why I like using something that actually clarifies the products and clothing during the rinse cycle, making a huge difference to the way your clothes smell and feel!
Enter Downy Rinse and Refresh! This is Downy’s biggest innovation in 30 years and it’s not like your average fabric softener or boosting product. Instead, it’s a new deep cleansing fabric rinse that’s safe to use for every load and every wash cycle. It’s designed to help remove odor 3 times better than detergent alone and it will change the way you do your laundry. Believe me, I was skeptical at first, until I tested it on eight different loads of laundry, each with different materials, and was amazed by the result.
You see, when fabric softener first came out 60 years ago, the clothing that people were wearing was completely different than what we’re all wearing today. It was heavy, thick, scratchy, and desperately needed to be softened, whereas today most clothing is made of synthetics. Synthetics are softer but they do need to be washed differently because they hold onto dirt, odors, and oils in a different way. This is why Downy came up with an innovation that would get better results for modern clothing. Now to be clear, I am a laundry minimalist. I do not use fabric softeners, dryer sheets, or scent beads, but this is one product I simply have to have in my arsenal.
Now, you can use this in every laundry cycle that you run. It’s an easy addition to your regular laundry routine. Simply add your detergent as you normally would, whether it’s a laundry pack into your machine or if it’s a detergent into your detergent tray. If you prefer to work with scent beads, this is a good time to add them to your load. Finally, just add Downy Rinse & Refresh to the fabric softener tray or the central agitator cup and run your load! It’s that easy and it will get your fabrics coming out fresher and cleaner than ever before!
I’ve had loads of laundry come out wrinkle-free when I do the following things. First, I listen. I listen for my washing machine and as soon as that little song or buzzer goes off, I take my stuff right out of the wash and either put it in the dryer or hang it up. The reason I do this is that once the clothes stop turning around in the machine, they are heavy and full of water. Wrinkles will begin to form if they sit like this so get them out and drying right away!
Now, before I put them into the dryer or hang them to dry, I try to give them a snap. This allows you to shake out any existing wrinkles or lingering pet hairs, and it’s also good if you need to get out a bit of anger or frustration. Days are long, times are tough, and laundry shouldn’t be so hard. So, get your clothing out of the wash and give it a snap for good measure. You’ll see, it will do wonders for your laundry and your battle against the pesky wrinkle!
Now you have 6 different ways that you can totally change your laundry game and plus, you’ve got a great new product to try! A special thanks to Downy Rinse & Refresh for partnering with us and for supplying me with this product that I have truly come to love. For more laundry tips check out our article on the Best Laundry Products and don’t forget to check out our eBook Bundle which includes the eBooks, my 3 Wave Cleaning System, 50 DIY Recipes, and The Complete Guide to Essential oils, plus a cleaning checklist! It’s great value and it will help you take your cleaning to the next level!
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