I have a love/hate relationship with laundry. I love that I get to have clean clothes to wear, and there's nothing better than the feeling of freshly laundered sheets, but the folding and putting away part is not my favourite thing to do.There’s really something for everyone to hate about laundry. Impatient people hate the waiting. Easily-distracted people hate the folding.
While we can’t come do your laundry for you, we can try to make it easier by rounding up a big list of our very favorite hacks, tricks, and techniques for making laundry day go a little bit easier.
Soften sheets with vinegar.
Run a cycle with your bed sheets and a half-cup of distilled white vinegar to give them a quick boost of softness and brightness, and to remove lingering odors.
Sort unconventionally, like by soil level or details.
There’s no laundry police to tell you you must sort your laundry by color. If a different sorting solution works better for your family, try it instead. For instance, large families might like to sort their laundry by person, or you can save detergent and energy by sorting by soil level—keeping filthy gym clothes or diapers separate from once-worn tee shirts and optimizing each load.
Keep chalk in the kitchen to treat grease stains.
Grease stains be gone! Because chalk is ultra-absorbent, you can rub a bit on any oily kitchen stains as they happen, to absorb grease and hold you over until you can throw the garment in the wash.
Dry clothes fast with a clean towel in the dryer.
You can speed up the machine-dry process by adding a clean, dry towel to the mix. Toss it into the dryer with your wet clothes to dry everything faster.
Keep socks paired in a mesh laundry bag.
Those mesh bags meant for delicates? They’re also great at keeping small items from getting lost to… wherever it is all those odd socks go. Hang it near your hamper, and toss pairs of socks in there as you take them off. When it’s laundry day, zip it up and throw the whole bag in the wash.
Make your own wrinkle releaser in a pinch.
Wrinkled clothes? No time to wash or iron? You probably have everything you need to make a DIY wrinkle releaser in your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Take a spray bottle and fill it with 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of hair conditioner and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Spray the mist onto your wrinkled clothes until they’re lightly damp, then stretch and pull the fabric until the wrinkles release.
Fake-iron your clothes with ice cubes.
If you have a dryer in your apartment, you can quickly “iron” your clothes with an ice cube. Just toss the wrinkled clothes in the dryer with an ice cube or two, on the warmest possible setting, and let the ice cube create steam in the dryer to leave your clothes looking smooth.
Collect dryer lint in a tissue box.
If you don’t have room for a trash can in your laundry room, try repurposing a tissue box to collect your dryer lint. When the box is full, you can toss the entire thing out or — even better — compost it! Both the cardboard tissue box and the dryer lint itself is likely compostable.
Use shaving cream as a stain remover on the go.
Shaving cream contains similar active ingredients to many household soaps, and the foamy nature works great at lifting stains, especially in a pinch or on the go. Work some cream into the stain, let it sit, then blot it up.
Lift sticky stains with ice cubes.
If you notice a stubborn, sticky mess on your clothes (like gum!) try this: Leave some ice cubes on top of the mess for a few minutes, then easily peel the gunk away once it feels like it’s hardened.
Trade your dryer sheets for dryer balls.
ICYMI, dryer sheets are not that great. Instead, opt for a set of dryer balls. They’ll keep air moving, smoothing out wrinkles and speeding up your drying time.
Hand-wash your clothes in a salad spinner.
Those hand-wash-only items can be a chore to clean. Throw them into an inexpensive salad spinner with a bit of soap (laundry detergent, baby shampoo, castile soap—whatever you prefer) to give them a wash that’ll be more powerful than hand-massaging but gentler than the laundry machine. You can also use the spinner to dry them off afterwards!
Pre-treat sweat stains with baby shampoo.
Dab a bit of baby shampoo on your sweat-soiled shirt collars and underarm areas and let it soak in for half an hour before throwing them in the washer to say goodbye to those unsightly pit stains once and for all.
You can un-shrink sweaters with baby shampoo, too.
Fill up a bucket with lukewarm water and two tablespoons of baby shampoo, then let your shrunken sweater soak for twenty minutes. When time’s up, drain, flatten, and lay it out as taut as possible to dry to stretch your shrunken sweater back to its original shape.