Everyone has chores they hate more than others. For me it’s laundry. Given the choice, I’d much rather wash dishes or scrub toilets instead of doing laundry – don’t ask me why, I just really dislike doing laundry! This is why I use a lot of tips, tricks, and laundry hacks to get through it. So today I’m sharing my favorite laundry hacks, to make laundry day a little easier!
1) Save Time By Pre-Sorting Your Laundry
This is something I’ve done since I was a teenager. Either invest in multiple laundry hampers or one with multiple sections and then separate your clothes as you put them in the hamper. Personally, we have two Branäs laundry baskets from IKEA (one for darks, one for colors) which with their durable in-built handles and removable, washable liners are awesome!
We also use a hanging laundry bag (pretty sure I got it at the Dollar Store at some point) on the back of our bedroom door for whites and delicates. Simply sorting laundry as we put it in the hamper means we don’t have to sort laundry before each load. It is a huge time saver!
2) Wash Socks In A Mesh Laundry Bag So They’re Easier To Pair Up
Lost socks – it happens to even the most organized of people and is really one of life’s great mysteries. The best way to try and combat this is to put them in a mesh bag before you wash them. Note: make sure the bag can be closed so the socks don’t tumble out in the machine. By keeping your socks separated from the rest of your laundry, you will (at least in theory) avoid winding up with singles at the end of the cycle.
An additional tip I also saw, was to put your socks in the bag daily, as opposed to just before doing laundry. We haven’t tried this but I figure we could keep a mesh bag attached to the hamper to do this?
3) Make Sure You Clean Your Washer
You use your washing machine to clean your clothes so surely it’s clean, right? WRONG! Soap residue, lint/ fiber build-up, and just plain old dirt can quickly clog up your machine. You need to make sure you’re cleaning your washing machine inside and out, about once per month for it to effectively clean your clothes. See my guide on How To Deep Clean Your Washing Machine in 5 Simple Steps for an easy guide to cleaning your washer.
4) Also, Make Sure You Clean Your Dryer
In the same vein as cleaning your washing machine, you also need to periodically clean your tumble dryer. Lucky for you I’ve written a brief tutorial on this, so check out [How to effectively clean your tumble dryer] and you’ll be set.
5) Write Reminders On Your Washing Machine With A Dry-Erase Marker
As much as possible, we line-dry our laundry as the dryer uses a massive amount of power (so this saves money). Also, our clothes always seem “fresher” when line-dried, though I’m sure that’s probably just in my head.
However, in the depths of winter, when the rain never stops, we have to use our dryer just to get through the laundry! As not all clothes can go in the dryer, I’ve found that writing a quick note on the machine with a whiteboard marker, will remind me of what items I need to hang to dry, before I throw the rest in the dryer!
6) Use Aspirin To Whiten Whites
Dull, slightly grey-tinged whites – it’s such a common issue. I used to try to use brand-name whitening powders aimed at preventing this problem, but then I saw this hack from Tips and Tricks which allows you to whiten your whites with Aspirin!
7) Pre-Treat A Makeup Stain With Shaving Foam
Foundation or loose powder on your collar, particularly your white collar, it’s so hard to avoid! So how do you make sure those stains don’t stick? According to Pop Sugar pretreat powder and liquid-foundation spills with shaving foam and it should break down the stain before you wash.
8) Add Salt to Keep Colors From Running
Over time, your clothes can get discolored as they’re washed. To keep colors lasting longer, add a pinch of salt to every load of laundry. The chloride in the salt helps keep your colors bright and prevents them from fading too fast in the wash!
9) Remove Ink Stains With Hairspray
I haven’t tried this trick myself yet but apparently, to treat an ink stain, all you need to do is to apply hairspray to the stained area, let it sit for at least ten minutes, and then throw it into the wash as usual. The alcohol content of the hairspray will apparently act as a solvent leaving no mark at all. If anyone has actually tried this and can advise if it works, I’d love to know!
10) Put Chalk On An Oil Stain And Let It Soak Up The Oil
One laundry item you should always keep on hand is chalk, as it is ideal for removing grease stains from your clothes. According to Lifehacker, simply rub the chalk on the grease stain, leave it to soak up the grease for a few minutes (overnight if it’s bad) and then toss the item into the washer. The chalk works wonders on grease stains which you wouldn’t be able to get out using just ordinary detergent.
11) Get Rid Of Armpit Stains With Baking Soda And Lemon Juice
Yellow armpit stains on your perfectly clean shirt – is there anything more annoying? Thankfully there’s a simple solution! Squeeze lemon juice and water onto the stain and rub the mixture in. For tough stains, create a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for about an hour before throwing it into the wash.
12) Un-Shrink Clothes With Hair Conditioner
According to Down By The Bay, you can un-shrink your clothes by soaking them in lukewarm water and hair conditioner. The process allows your clothes to stretch back out to their original form!
13) Soften Towels With Vinegar
Fabric softener is actually counterproductive for softening towels. Instead, try adding simple white vinegar to your load of towels. Add ¼ – ½ cup vinegar (depending on your washer type), along with detergent to your wash cycle—then enjoy static-free, lint-free, soft towels.
14) De-Wrinkle Clothes Quickly With Ice Cubes
Need to quickly de-wrinkle clean clothes? According to Lifehacker, throw a couple of ice cubes into your dryer with the wrinkled clothing for about 15 minutes. As the heat from your dryer melts the ice cubes, steam is released to help rid your clothes of wrinkles.
15) Ball Up Aluminum Foil And Use It As A Dryer Sheet
This hack works well if you’re out of dryer sheets. Simply ball up some foil and throw it in the dryer with your clean laundry. It won’t add the extra scent you get from dryer sheets but it will reduce static and bonus – the balls can be reused!
16) Replace Dryer Sheets With A Sponge Soaked In Fabric Softener
This great tip from Smart School House recommends that you put a sponge soaked in fabric softener in the dryer with your wet clothes, and the fabric softener will do the rest! It uses a smaller amount of liquid fabric softener than if you were to dump a cap full into the wash cycle.
17) Speed Up Drying Time By Throwing A Clean, Dry Towel In With Wet Laundry
I mentioned earlier we prefer to line-dry laundry where possible. Well in winter when that’s not possible it can take FOREVER to get everything dry, especially towels and bedding! Put a dry towel into the dryer with wet laundry and it will significantly reduce your drying time.
18) Add Tennis Balls When Drying Pillows And Blankets
You can also keep your blankets, comforters, and pillows, super fluffy by throwing in two or three tennis balls into the dryer with them. It apparently helps them dry faster too!
So those are some of my favorite laundry hacks which make my laundry routine a little easier. Do you have any tips for getting through your laundry? Please share in the comments below!