Come laundry day, most of us long for the days when mom used to burst onto the scene and collect every dirty shirt in sight. Today, we alone have to endure the long hours pacing in the laundromat and seemingly endless piles of clothes in need of folding. What if laundry day didn’t have to be so grueling and mind boggling? With these innovative laundry hacks, you can turn this time consuming chore into a pleasure.
1. Keep Socks Captive To Avoid Strays
When it comes to articles of clothing magically disappearing in the wash, socks are the usual culprits. As you’re pulling out handful after handful of laundry, a crafty sock will usually cling to the side of the washer and quietly wait for you to walk away. Other times, a sock will “fall” from the laundry pile, never to be found again.
We can’t really blame a runaway sock, as it has to endure being attached to a sweaty foot all day. A simple solution to keeping your socks captive is tying them together before putting them in the washing machine or placing them all into a mesh baggy. The mesh material will provide them a full wash while keeping them all together.
2. Chill Out Wrinkles With Ice Cubes
Decked out in fresh gear, this girl may well be the flyest chick on the block. However, we’d recommend her to take a second look at the bathroom mirror. That blouse looks like it was occupying her bedroom floor for weeks. Most would tackle this issue with an iron and hope for the best.
Things can actually be a lot simpler and the mundane task of ironing can be eliminated altogether. To assure no wrinkles after a wash, just toss some ice cubes into the dryer. In order to make this laundry hack work, you’re going to want to avoid overcrowding the dryer and running the machine on the hottest setting.
3. Hang Drying Adds Some Life To Your Clothes
While hang drying your laundry may seem like an outdated notion, there are certain things that natural sunlight can do for your clothes that a dryer just can’t. Firstly, that blazing ball in the sky has UV rays that will naturally disinfect leftover water and moisture on your clothes after a wash. Sun ray can also bleach out stains that might linger around after a normal tumble in the dryer.
The sun’s also more gentle on your laundry than a machine dryer. When you clear your dryer’s lint trap, those clumps of lint are actually particles of your clothes. The quick fix of intense heat and the rough and tough tumble that comes with a dryer actually slowly tear clothes apart. Sunlight will actually keep your clothes looking newer longer and give them longevity.
4. Revive Shrunken Clothes With This Elixir
Novices to the laundry experience will likely shrink a shirt or two before they become expert to the process. Most kids think it’s all about sliding a few quarters into a machine, pushing a button and walking away. They should think again. Washing clothes in hot water and then drying them on a dryer’s hottest setting will likely shrink clothes down a few sizes.
At that point, one may be tempted to donate or toss the downsized clothes. This will be just another big mistake made. By soaking those clothes in a pot of lukewarm water and hair conditioner, however, you could zap them back to their normal size in only a few minutes.
5. Soak A Towel In Fabric Softener For Lasting Effects
A bottle of fabric softener will come and go, but a towel dipped in fabric softener can last a lifetime. Here is how you can push a fabric softener to the best of its ability. Soak a towel in the softener and let it dry over a chair. This drying process will take a few days, but it is well worth the wait.
Once dried, you’ll have towel that is radiating with the power of softness. Throw this towel into the laundry load and behold some of the softest clothes you’ve ever laid a hand on. Luckily for you, you won’t have to send this towel in for a second dip in fabric softener. Once dipped, it will be good for up to 50 loads of clothes. Imagine now how long one bottle of fabric softener can last you.
6. Use Lavender Oil To Mask Detergent Scents
While laundry detergent does have a way of freshening up our dirty clothes, the sharp stench can be a burden on those with a sensitive sense of smell. While outside air will usually sway the smell from jeans and shirts, bed sheets and blankets can wear the strong scent for quite some time.
This problem can all be solved with our old friend, lavender oil. Before your bed sheets are completely finished in the wash, sprinkle in a few drops and behold a night of comfort. Studies have found that lavender oil emits a scent that reduces stress and promotes a healthy sleep.
7. Use Dishwashing Detergent On Wine Stain
The wine stain is the bane of all the stains. In the kingdom of stains, it sits on the throne as the most powerful and notorious of them all. One can imagine that throughout the centuries, decisions and lives have hung in the balance due to spilled wine on some rich chap’s carpet or sofa.
However, this tightly kept secret could have likely saved a number of precious textiles throughout time. A little bit of dishwashing detergent and hydrogen peroxide would have spared many garments from wine stains. We’re certain a number of stained carpets, shirts and sofas are shedding a tear in heaven.
8. Wipe Away Those Lipstick Stains With Sliced Bread
A lipstick stain on a sleeve or collar could totally result in a perfectly fine article of clothing getting tossed away into the garbage. Many a fine shirt has seen this fate, although it is largerly avoidable. It seems that every kind of stain comes with a salt or oil that will send it running.
When it comes to lipstick stains, its ultimate foe is a piece of white bread. It could be freshly baked or a piece of Wonder Bread. All you do is peel off the crust, roll the dough into a ball and begin working away at the stain with it. After a couple of minutes of breading, toss the shirt in the washer and behold a shirt that is as good as new.
9. Separate Bins For Lights And Darks
Doing laundry seems pretty simple and straightforward at first glance. However, a single red sock in a pile of lights can result in an absolute clothing catastrophe. We’re talking about a load of white clothes coming out pink. This kind of mistake and the whole sorting process can be avoided completely with the introduction of a second a bin.
All you’ll have to do is toss that red sweater in the right bin and your life will be made so much easier. You can even use handy little sticky notes to label each bin. With that, you’ll no longer have to dig through a pile of laundry and separate the lights and darks by hand.
10. Brush Away Embarrassing Pit Stains
Once your shirt picks up one of those horrid yellow pit stains, it seems you can only do one of two things. Firstly, you can come to terms with the pit stains, embrace them and just walk around with your arms down all the time. Secondly, you can always toss the shirt away.
While those nasty stains may be tough, they aren’t as strong as we once believed. Laundry enthusiast have found that a mixture of dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can make those shirts look as good as new. All you have to do is mix the dish soap and peroxide in water, sprinkle the stain with baking soda and then scrub at it with a brush.
11. Your Makeshift Ironing Board
This is a handy laundry hack that is more aimed at college students or the young professionals shaking up in tiny apartments. An ironing board can take up a hefty amount of space, especially if you don’t have some in between spot to slide it into. More often than not, shirts get wrinkled and you’ll need to sort them out with an iron.
You don’t exactly need a board to iron on, just a flat surface. For years, people have been turning their folding TV trays into makeshift ironing boards. It’s simple and effective, although it may make any pet cats a little angry.
12. Use A Salad Spinner For Delicates
When we think salad spinners, we usually picture lettuce, tomatoes and a bunch of other vegetables getting spun in the ultimate air dryer. However, this machine can do just as many wonders with your delicates as it could do with any veggie.
All you have to do is fill that handy little spinner with some soap and water and then put your underwear and possibly even socks into the machine and spin away. After a couple minutes, put some clean water inside for a much needed rinse. Once you’ve finished the wash, you can empty out all the water and use it as a dryer. Just remember to wash it out before using it to make a salad.
13. Group Garments In Mesh Bags
In the world of laundry, mesh has revolutionized the game. By simply putting everything into mesh baggies, you can keep all your clothes separated and eliminate the risk of smaller articles like socks getting left behind. No longer are unhappy clothes hitting the road at first chance of escape.
When you separate all your laundry in mesh, you eliminate the long process of searching through a mass of mixed up clothing when you return. You can fold every shirt together and then move onto the socks. Well, it may not sound like it’d make a big difference, but it certainly does save some time at the end of the day.
14. Convert Cardboard Into A Clothes Folding Tool
While folding is basically like second nature for some people, others struggle to fold a shirt or pair of jeans. These poor folks just can’t figure it out. They end up with badly folded clothes and some pretty nasty wrinkles. Thankfully, they don’t have to walk around with clothes that look like they’ve lived in a bunched up pile.
They can always turn to a piece of cardboard for that perfect folding tool. All you need to do is cut a piece of cardboard into three sections and then fold the cardboard with the shirt inside. This is a perfect tool for children who are just learning about laundry.
15. Swap Dryer Sheets For An Aluminum Foil Ball
The mere thought of dryer sheets being non-essential to the laundry experience can spark outrage amid the masses. You might be asking yourself: “How would static buildup be swayed without a dryer sheet?” The answer comes in the form of aluminum foil.
Before you start laying out sheets of aluminum inside your dryer, roll it up into a nice sized ball. When all your wet clothes are inside, toss the ball inside and let the drying process commence. When the dry is done, don’t throw the ball away. It can be used for up to six months before it wears out. That surely beats the heck out of a dryer sheet which is usually good for a single use.
16. Scrub Grass Stains Away With This DIY Mixture
The soccer ball is shooting across the field and in a rush of adrenaline, Timmy slides through the grass and successfully guards the goal. The crowd erupts in cheers, but whoever is doing Timmy’s laundry is likely shedding a tear. By no means are those annoying grass stains a pleasure to remove.
People scrub at them to no end with brushes and all sorts of fancy soaps, yet a shade of green always seems to stick around. However, with a mixture of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide, you can kiss these annoying stains goodbye forever. Once you see how simple the scrub and wash is, your kids sliding through the grass will no longer seem like a problem.
17. Remove Paint Stains With Rubbing Alcohol
When a friend calls you over to help them paint their new place, you’ll likely reach for a shirt and pants that you don’t mind saying goodbye to. By now, we all know the damage that paint causes on clothes isn’t something that can be washed away in the laundry.
Sadly, we’ve learned this by having treasured clothing items ruined forever. Unbeknown to many, a paint stain’s worst nightmare is rubbing alcohol. Yup, that classic concert shirt you ruined years ago could have been saved by something that’s literally in every pharmacy. Let us bow our heads and take a moment of silence.
18. Rub Lemon Juice And Baking Soda On Sweat Stains
Nobody knows the burden of sweat stains better than athletes and people living in humid areas. The darker the clothes, the better luck you’ll have in hiding those rivers of perspiration. However, once the rivers dry, they’ll reveal themselves in the form of distasteful white stains.
Sweat is more powerful than it’s given credit for. If a shirt is exposed to constant streams of sweat, it can be assumed to be permanently stained and ruined. However, the simple concoction of lemon juice and baking soda can give that sweaty shirt a second shot at life. All you have to do is cake it on, rub it in and then hang the shirt out to dry.
19. Avoid Wrinkles By Hanging Up Washed Clothes ASAP
Once you get back from the laundromat or take your clothes out of the dryer, it’s super tempting to just toss the bundle of clothes on the couch and throw yourself in front of the television. You tell yourself you’ll fold the clothes later, but hours turn into days and you’re soon stuck with an array of wrinkled clothes.
You’ve now added ironing to your list of things to do. By immediately hanging your washed clothes, you can totally avoid wrinkled shirt and jeans altogether. By dedicating 10 minutes of your time to hanging, you can avoid up to an hour in ironing. That means less chances of burning your clothes and your hands.
20. Towels In For A Quicker Dry
Drying your clothes usually takes more time than you’d expect. You might toss a load in the dryer and set it for the hottest temperature, come back 20 minutes later to moist jeans and sweaters. You can play this game of back and forth with your dryer for almost an hour before everything is dry.
A handy laundry hack to combat this issue comes in the form of a fluffy dry towel. A towel may seem like the most harmless things in the world, but not to wet clothes. Place that into a dryer full of wet clothes and you’ll cut your drying time in half.
21. Spray Some WD-40 On Unruly Stains
We usually turn to WD40 when our door has a squeak or when our bike chain gets rusty. However, perhaps we should be picking up a bottle of this penetrating oil spray when a slice of pizza falls face first onto our favorite pair of jeans. Yup, you read that right. By spraying WD-40 on a giant stain, you can almost immediately repair your jeans.
Most people will find themselves going to the store and buying one of specialty stain sprays that cost a lot and aren’t needed often. Save your money, hit the garage and grab that can of WD-40. With that, all your greasy food mishaps will be solved.
22. Replace Stain Remover With Hairspray
A big enough ink stain and can mean the end for a perfectly good pair of pants. Sometimes we drop a pen and it skids across the pant leg or we scratch our leg thinking our pen was unclicked only to reveal ink marks across our entire pant leg.
When this happens to you, don’t despair. Just bust out a trusty can of hairspray from the bathroom cabinet. Spray it on thick, rub it in a little and then prepare it for a normal spin the washer. When you pull those jeans out, it’ll be like that ink stain never existed.
23. Chalk Up Grease Stains To Absorb Oils
When a grease stain hits, an otherwise sharp outfit is quickly morphed into something that only a complete slob would wear. In shame, you’ll cover the stain as best as you can and wade through the city sidewalks for a cab to take you back home.
Grease stains are such a handful. Not only is the article of clothing going to be out of commission until your next laundry day, but you’re going to need to buy a special product to make it wearable again. A piece of chalk can actually make the whole ordeal as simple as a walk in the park. Rub the piece of chalk into the stained area and watch in awe as it absorbs all the oil.
24. Flat Iron Your Clothes On The Road
Sometimes circumstance doesn’t grant us the privilege of an ironing board. What do we do? We don’t want to hit the hottest spots in town with a wrinkled shirt or blouse. Luckily, some of us don’t have to. In emergency situations, you can always bust out your trusty flat iron.
While the initial thought of it is a bit strange, consider that if a flat iron can straighten and flatten some curly hair, why wouldn’t it do the same for a wrinkled shirt? When you’re out traveling or staying in an AirBnB somewhere, you don’t need to worry about trying to shove a giant ironing bored into` your already jam packed bag.
25. Dampen Clothes Before Ironing
Some people don’t want to iron their clothes on food trays or take to their jeans with a flat iron. These folks probably prefer things the old fashioned way and we can’t blame them. The traditional ironing board grants any article of clothing the space in needs to stretch out fully before you.
With that, these folks don’t miss out on every laundry hack involving ironing. One of the best ways to get the most out of the ironing experience is to dampen your clothes. A damp article of clothing leaves for an easier ironing experience. Once the garment has been ironed, make sure to hang it up immediately.
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