Laundry… It may not be fun, but it’s got to get done. While we can’t promise to make you look forward to your next load of linens (and the thousands to follow), we can do our best to help make this necessary evil, well, a little less evil.
Following are 10 brilliant laundry hacks to make doing laundry seem like less of a chore.
1. Sort your laundry ASAP. Instead of haphazardly tossing all your dirty clothes, towels and linens into one daunting pile, buy a divided hamper and sort your items as soon as you shed them. That way, when you’re ready to tackle a load of whites, they’ll be waiting for you.
2. Spot treat your dry cleaning. Unfortunately, not all items are machine washable. But did you know that dry cleaning fabrics can decrease their lifespan? So, aim for multiple wears or uses, spot treating soiled garments as necessary (just be sure to test a small, discreet area first!) before bringing them back to the cleaners.
3. Store your detergent in mounted soap dispensers. Save space—and keep detergent away from curious kiddos—by transferring it to clear soap dispensers mounted to the wall in your laundry room. This storage method not only provides easy access—it helps prevent leaks, which are all too common with detergent containers.
4. Unclog your lint trap with a ruler. Did you know that thousands of home fires a year are caused by clogged dryer vents? You may scrape your lint trap screen on the regular, but to really reduce your fire risk, you have to deep clean it. To do so, simply wrap a ruler or paint stick in an old, damp pillowcase. Then shove it as far as it will go into the vent area. Trapped lint will adhere to the pillowcase, immediately decreasing the odds of a fire.
5. Keep socks safe with a mesh lingerie bag. What happens to all those socks that go missing in the wash? Sadly, we may never know. But you can prevent future casualties by putting your soiled socks inside a mesh laundry bag before tossing them into the washing machine and dryer. After they are cleaned, you will be able to pair and fold them with ease. No more orphaned socks on your watch!
6. Stick with cold water. Did you know that heating the water accounts for most of the energy used to wash a load of laundry? And that most laundry loads don’t actually require hot water? Try switching your next load to cold and see if you notice a difference. We doubt you will, and this simple switch can help save you money—and protect the planet.
7. Say so long to dryer sheets. As you are probably aware, dryer sheets contain all kinds of potentially harmful chemicals. Eliminate wrinkles and reduce static with all-natural dryer balls instead! Eco Nuts Wool Dryer Balls are “a reusable, healthy, natural and chemical-free alternative to dryer sheets” that last for thousands of loads. They lift and separate clothes to promote air circulation and can cut drying time by up to 25 percent. Add your own fragrance with a few drops of your favorite essential oil!
8. Treat stains with household items. Run out of stain remover? Not to worry! You probably have some items on hand to treat even the toughest stains. Use:
- Baby powder or chalk to remove oil/grease stains. Sprinkle or rub it on the affected area and let it set overnight.
- Equal parts baking soda and lemon juice to eliminate armpit stains. Create a paste and spread it over the stain. Let it dry in the sun prior to washing.
- Hand sanitizer to abolish ink stains. Apply a few squirts to the stain, wait approximately 10 minutes and wash as usual.
- Rubbing alcohol to remove acrylic paint. Just apply the alcohol followed by a little elbow grease.
- White bread to blot out lipstick stains. Remove the crust, roll it into a ball and blot. Any remaining lipstick should disappear in the wash.
9. Decrease drying time with a towel. Need dry clothes ASAP? Toss a clean, dry towel into your dryer to speed things up! Note: While this can be done at any time during the dry cycle, it is most effective during the first 15 minutes.
10. Remove wrinkles with ice cubes. Don’t have the time or inclination to iron? Not to worry! Toss your wrinkled clothing into the dryer, add a few ice cubes and run it for approximately 15 minutes. As the ice melts, it will create steam, which naturally releases wrinkles. Are you ready to get rid of your iron now?!