Laundry sucks! There, I said it! Laundry is one of the most hated household chores and there is a good reason for it! It’s neverending! Seriously, you could get completely caught up with all your laundry, but within a day or two, there will be more that needs to be done!
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You might be thinking; “why do I need laundry tips? Surely, I should know this stuff already?”
Well, laundry (like all cleaning skills) are learned. We aren’t born with a magical ‘laundry gene’ (well, maybe Martha Stewart was, but not the rest of us), we have to learn how to do it. And I don’t know about you, but I didn’t pay much attention to my mother when she was doing the laundry. What did she use to get grass stains out? How did she get pillowcases white? No idea!
Now, that we’re adults and having to do our laundry ourselves, we turn to the internet for help and laundry tips!
I’m all about quick cleaning and not spending hours and hours doing chores. The laundry tips below will hopefully make the entire laundry process (after all, it is a long process!) just a little bit quicker and easier!
Tip 1: Organized Laundry Room
This might seem like a no-brainer for my first laundry tip, but it’s far easier to do laundry in an organized space.
You might not have a separate laundry room, maybe it’s in your garage, in a closet or in your bathroom or kitchen – but wherever your laundry area is, you will find it much easier to get your laundry done if it’s an organized space.
You don’t want to have to go hunting around the house to find the right stain treatment supply (more on that below), otherwise, you’re likely to not even bother pre-treating the stain and then you end up with a nice big ketchup stain on your favorite shirt.
So keep all your laundry supplies together and at a level that you can easily reach. You don’t want to have to climb up every time you need laundry detergent (#shortpersonproblems).
The next thing you want to be organized is your hamper…
Tip 2: Use a Sorting Hamper
A good laundry hamper will not only keep your space organized (no more pile of dirty clothes on the floor), but it will also speed up your laundry process.
I recommend using a Laundry Sorter with 2 or more sections. That way you can sort your laundry as you put it in the hamper, rather than doing it all at once when you’re rushing to put on a load of laundry.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. This simple pop-up hamper below is a great option for in your closet or bathroom.
If you want something a bit larger, then a useful solution is a divided hamper like this one that also has wheels. Keep this next to your washer and then when you are ready to do a load, you just grab the bag and empty it into the machine.
Tip 3: Little and Often
This is one laundry tip that I wish I had known years and years ago! I used to leave the laundry until the weekends. I’d end up doing 4 or 5 big loads of laundry and it felt like I spent the entire weekend folding and sorting.
Now, laundry is part of my daily cleaning routine and I do a smaller load every day or every other day. It’s much quicker to wash a smaller load and put it away (washers clean better with smaller loads too, rather than being jam-packed full).
If you want to make sure you aren’t wasting water and electric, then only do the laundry when you have a full load. If you have a large family (like me), then that’s almost every day. If you’ve got a smaller family or it’s just you, then doing laundry every 2 or 3 days is fine. Just don’t let it pile up until you have a dirty laundry mountain!
My daily routine includes throwing a load of laundry in first thing in the morning (when I feed my dogs and cats!), I switch it over to the dryer when I get home in the afternoon and then fold it and put it away in the evening. It really doesn’t take very long when it’s just one normal-sized load.
Tip 4: Does it Need Washing?
Before you wash anything, you want to ask yourself – does it REALLY need washing?
It’s so easy to just throw all your clothes into the hamper at the end of the day, but do your jeans really need to be washed? Do you need to wash your towels every day?
Of course, some things need washing daily… underwear! But if you’ve worn a shirt for an hour or 2 to go out to dinner, does it need washing? Jeans and pants can normally last 2 or 3 wears before they need to be washed.
Don’t make more work for yourself!
Tip 5: DIY Fabric Refresher
When Febreze was first released in the 1990s, it was a life-saver! I used to stock up on bottles and bottles of it and use it on everything! That got pretty expensive and it’s not great to use so many artificial chemicals around the home.
Instead, I started making my own! It’s easy, effective and very cheap!
So next time you need to wash something because it’s a little stinky, try this spray instead of washing it. (This isn’t just a laundry tip – works great on sofas, carpets, and curtains too!)
Homemade fabric refresher to get rid of odors from fabrics such as sofas, carpets, curtains and more.
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Rubbing Alcohol (or cheap vodka)
- 10 -20 drops Essential Oil of Choice
- Spray Bottle
- Mix water and alcohol in a spray bottle.
- Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)
- Shake well
- Spray on fabric
Please check on an inconspicuous part of the fabric before spraying it everywhere! This is not suitable for fine fabrics such as silk, satin or suede.
Tip 6: Family Laundry
If you have a few people in your household, laundry time can get confusing! My son’s and husband’s socks look identical to me, but, oh no… they can tell when I get them mixed up!
If you have young children who are close in age (or just close in size), it’s easy to get their clothes mixed up. When my husband helps with the laundry, I often find my clothes in my daughter’s room (although that could be her borrowing my clothes too!).
There’s a couple of ways to deal with this:
- Wash each person’s clothes separately. Your older child or teen could take responsibility for washing their own clothes. Or you could have separate hampers (like the divided hamper above) for each member of the family.
- Use mesh bags. For smaller items or baby/toddler clothes, you can use mesh bags to keep everything separate. I’ve tried the cheap dollar store mesh laundry bags before and they end up ripping after just one or 2 washes. So I’d recommend a heavy-duty mesh bag instead.
Tip 7: Skip The Softener on Towels
Yes, fabric softener is lovely – it leaves your clothes smelling nice and feeling so soft. But you want to skip the softener when you wash towels, cleaning cloths, and mop heads.
Fabric softener seals the fabric and makes it so it won’t absorb water as easily. This isn’t great when you WANT that fabric to absorb water, like with towels and microfiber cloths.
Tip 8: Treating Stains
We’ve all had those frustrating stains that just won’t come out! It’s annoying and can get expensive if you end up having to trash a spoiled shirt. This is one of the essential laundry tips!
Different stains need to be treated differently and you can use a commercial stain treatment spray, but that can get expensive… fast!
Below is a general rule of thumb for how to treat stains without paying a fortune for fancy stain removers.
- Protein Stains (blood, grass, sweat etc): Rub with water and a bar of Fels Naptha laundry soap, then launder as normal. Or dab with hydrogen peroxide and then wash in a warm or hot wash
- Colored Stains (coffee, ketchup, wine etc): Dab with hydrogen peroxide and then wash in a warm or hot wash.
- Grease Stains (lipstick, oil, greasy food etc): Rub a few drops of dish soap into the stain and then launder in a warm or hot wash.
Tip 9: Wash Socks in Mesh Bag
Those cute little mesh bags I recommended in tip #6, are also great for keeping your socks together!
No need for Dobby to go sockless any longer (it’s a Harry Potter reference!), instead you just throw all your socks into one of the bags and wash the whole thing. No more lost socks!
Another tip is to buy just one particular type and color of sock. That way you don’t need to pair them up, just dump them all into the drawer! Get a different type/design of sock for each family member and it makes it even easier!
Tip 10: Water Temperature Matters
I used to wash all my clothes on a hot wash because I reasoned that it would get the clothes cleaner. But then I couldn’t work out why my clothes would shrink so much (or was I just gaining weight??!)!
You need to pick the correct temperature of water for whatever it is that you are washing.
- Hot Wash: Use hot water washes for heavily soiled items (especially if they are grease stains) or items that need sanitizing. However, hot water will fade colors and shrink some fabrics. Bedding, towels, pet items, cleaning cloths, etc.
- Warm Wash: A warm wash will work for synthetic materials, such as polyester, nylon, etc. You also want to use warm water if you are using hydrogen peroxide as a stain treatment, as it needs warmer water to be effective.
- Cold Wash: This is the most energy-efficient wash and better for your electric bill, however, it might not remove all stains or odors. Use cold water for dark colors or natural fabrics that are likely to shrink.
Tip 11: Laundry Boosters
A laundry booster is something that you add to your wash to enhance the cleaning or odor-fighting properties of your detergent.
These are some of the ones that I like to use in my laundry:
- White Vinegar: Add white vinegar to the rinse cycle of your wash (or put it in a fabric softener dispenser ball). White vinegar will remove detergent residue from clothes, soften fabric, and brighten colors and whites! Pretty much essential for all loads of laundry!
- Baking Soda: Sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda into your washer before loading in the clothes with help tackle stubborn odors. Perfect for your stinky teen’s sports kit!
- Oxygen Bleach: There are lots of different types of oxygen bleach (I like Molly’s Suds), so follow the instructions, but generally you sprinkle it into the washer before the clothes. It’s great for removing stains and brightening colors and whites.
Tip 12: Dry Erase Marker Notes
Keep a dry erase marker in your laundry area to write notes for yourself when you are doing laundry.
If need to remember to not put your new fancy jeans in the drier, then just scribble a note on the top of your washer or dryer to remind yourself to take the jeans out before you put everything else into the dryer.
Bonus – find a magnetic dry erase marker, so you can just stick it to the top or side of your machine!
Tip 13: Add a Dry Towel to Dryer
To help your dryer work more efficiently and dry your clothes quicker, try putting a large dry towel in with your wet clothes.
The towel will help absorb the moisture and you won’t have a big wet lump going around and around. I keep a couple of old towels in the laundry room, just for this use.
It’s so simple but it can make a big difference and help keep your electric bill down too!
Tip 14: Tennis Ball & Blankets
If you are drying bulky items, like blankets or pillows, they can sometimes take a long time to dry. Or worse they get all knotted up and the center part just doesn’t dry!
Throw a couple of tennis balls into the dryer with your bulky items and they will help them dry quicker and be fluffier too!
Warning… the tennis balls can be pretty noisy, so this isn’t something you want to do right before you put the baby down for a nap!
Tip 15: Homemade Wrinkle Release
Another wonder-product that changed the way I do laundry was Wrinkle Release. This is a simple spray that you sprits over your clothes as you hang them up and the wrinkles will literally drop out! No more having to panic to get the clothes out the dryer as soon as it’s finished or ironing every single item!
Wrinkle Release can get expensive, so I started making my own version of it with just water and fabric softener.
- Mix together 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of fabric softener in a spray bottle.
- Shake well.
- Spray all over a piece of clothing until it is slightly damp and then hang up.
This is, without doubt, my favorite laundry tip (or hack!)… go on, try it!
So there you have it. My favorite laundry tips. I hope you find them useful and that they save you time, money and energy!
Want more quick cleaning tips? Check out my selection of Quick Cleaning posts, so you can have a clean house AND still live your life!