Monday, November 28, 2011

Laundry Tips

Who likes to do the laundry?  Actually I kind of do, and I don't mind hanging and folding all that much.  But for some reason I really don't like putting it away...weird, I know!

Here are just a few ideas to save time and money while doing the laundry.

  • Schedule it! Yep, that's what I said.  I treat taking care of my home as if it were my day job...which it is.  Meaning I get all my work done during the day.  And to do that and not get completely worn out, I schedule in my tasks.  Even if you work outside of the home this would be a good idea.  Do a little everyday so it's not overwhelming.  So Friday's are laundry days.  I do one load right after the other until it's done.  Some people recommend doing one load whenever you have the chance, but unless you have a lot of people or a lot of baby clothes this is actually inefficient BECAUSE what tends to happen?  You try to squeeze in a load then you forget it's there.  If it's left in the washer it now smells mildewy and you have to do it again, and if it's left in the dryer it's all wrinkly and you'll have to run it again or iron...YIKES!! (I do not iron!!!)  Plus it will feel like a never ending job and I've seen people actually get very depressed.  Not good!
  • Do the loads in a certain order.  For example, I do colors in cold, then Darks in cold (darks second in case anything really dark like indigo jeans might leave behind a little ink in the wash tub) then comes the sheets in warm, and end with the whites in hot so that the last thing in the washer for the week is bleachy hot water, cleaning it out.
  • Have a separate basket for clean and dirty laundry.  I actually have 3 bins for colors, darks, and whites, then 1 basket that I put the clean clothes in when they come out of the dryer.  I know people that use the same basket to take their dirty clothes to the washer that they then put the clean ones in.  Take a look, and a whiff, of your dirty basket.  Do you really want your clean clothes in there?  Some of my husband's clothes smell like gas and have bits of grass and dirt on them that fall into the basket.  I don't want my clean undies touching that!
  • Take your clothes out of the dryer immediately.  How do you think I avoid ironing?
  • Leave the washer lid open after the last load of clothes.  For me this is the whites, so while they are in the dryer, I leave the washer lid open to air and dry it out.
  • YOU CAN PROBABLY USE HALF OF THE AMOUNT OF PRODUCT. Especially for fabric softener, both liquid and sheets.  I use 1/2 to 1/3 of the liquid softener it actually calls for and it's plenty.  I have the kind of machine where I can put it in at the start of the load.  I then put a capful or two of water in with it to dilute.  Some liquid fabric softeners can actually stain your clothes.  If you use dryer sheets, cut them in half.  I can get away with that for most of the year except deep winter.  There is a lot of static electricity in our house and it takes the whole sheet to not get continually zapped while trying to fold.
  • Use baking soda.  Add 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda to the wash to make clothes whiter and brighter.
  • Think your bottle of detergent is empty? Probably not.  With the type of spouts they use you can get anywhere from 2-3 more loads out of them.  Turn the bottle upside down to let it drain. Be careful when opening.  This can get you 1-2 loads.  Then the next time, hold it under the water as it comes into the washer.  Put the cap back on and swish hard.  You might need to do this twice.  There's another load.
  • I have been told that fabric softener makes towels less absorbent.  If you don't want to use it on your towels throw in 2-3 clean tennis balls.  They will soften the towels without any chemicals.  I have never tried this on clothes....might be worth a shot.
  • And, of course, multi task!  Since I do one load right after the other, I use the time they are in the machines to take care of other tasks.  Vacuum, clean the kitchen, do research for the blog, cook, etc.  If you work outside the home, you could break your laundry into two evenings, unless you stay up later than I do and can get it all done while cooking dinner, making ahead lunches, paying bills, etc.  When I worked, Saturday morning was my laundry day.  I got up just as early as I did on a weekday (you should always try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day) and did one load after the other while cleaning and planning for the week ahead, then I had the rest of the weekend available for my family.
These are just a few ideas, and are just my opinion.  Some people think I'm crazy and some people have converted!  I bet you have some pretty good ideas too.  Leave a comment here or on the FB page to share your great idea with us.

Until Next Time.....


  1. While preparing clothes to put away after laundry "roll" everything to conserve space. Fold the flat sheet lay on bed/table length wise fold the fitted sheet place on top of flat sheet fold pillow cases one time length wise and place on top of fitted sheet Now start at one end and "roll" up all together. You can "roll" undies,dish towels,towels etc. Saves space.

  2. Love the trick to turn your detergent over to let it drain. I've often wondered how much is left in there once it seems empty. Also, regarding the tennis balls, I once had a down jacket I washed and when it came out of the dryer it was thin and limp. I used a couple of tennis balls to fluff it up just like you say with the towels above and it worked great! Thanks for the other great tips, too.