Every time I do laundry, I think: “Good hygiene is overrated!” I haven't been able to convince my family to become nudists, but I have found a few tips to make laundry a little easier.
Use Vinegar to Remove Mildew from Laundry:
It is summer and in our house that means mildew. Somebody forgets a wet towel in a hot car or bunches it up in a pile in the laundry room or leaves it wadded up in the beach bag, etc… the possibilities for creating mildewed towels are limitless for my creative family. But I have a secret weapon: Vinegar!
I add one cup of vinegar to a load of laundry at the beginning of the wash cycle and it removes all trace of the mildew smell from our towels. The best part is it only costs a couple of pennies per load.
Reducing Night Time Allergies:
Both my husband and daughter have allergies and asthma. As soon as they were diagnosed we took the usual steps to minimize exposure to allergens, including using allergy free mattress and pillow covers, replacing curtains with blinds, and regularly dusting, vacuuming, and mopping. Despite these steps my husband and daughter continued to have asthma attacks – most often at night. Then I made one easy, cost-free change that greatly reduced their night time asthma attacks: I moved the dirty clothes hamper from the bedrooms to the bathrooms. In my early attempts to make the bedrooms allergy free, I completely overlooked that they were bringing more allergens in each time they changed their clothes and placed them in the laundry basket. By having my husband and daughter change their clothes in the bathroom and leave them there for me to collect we have minimized the incidence of night time asthma attacks.
Use Towels to Sort and Carry Laundry:
Since my laundry hampers are in the bathrooms on the opposite side of the house from the laundry room, I have to either lug the entire hamper (heavy!) or carry my loads individually (dropping items the whole way) to the laundry room. So I came up with a solution to my problem I lay dirty, but dry towels on the bathroom floor. Then I sort the laundry by colors on to the top of the towels. I grab the ends of the towel to create a laundry sack and carry the “sack' directly to the washing machine. I dump the contents in the washer and then add the towel to the towel pile on the laundry room floor. After the contents of all the “laundry sacks” have been washed, I do a load of towels.
Laundry Tip from my Grandmother:
After washing a load of “good clothes”, pull them out one at a time, shake out the wrinkles and then lay them as flat as possible in the dryer. This reduces the likelihood that you will pull your clothing out in a knot. It also ensures that most of your clothing will emerge completely wrinkle free, requiring little or no ironing.
Before I remove our nice clothing from the dryer, I gather hangers. As I remove each item I hang it up. If you have a small laundry room you can place an Adjustable Shower Curtain Tension Rod across the room, above head level (so you don't bump into it when it is not in use). After placing an article of clothing on the hanger, hang it on the curtain rod to keep it wrinkle free until you can place it in the closet.
Fold Laundry on a Higher Surface:
I used to dump the pile of dry laundry on the couch. As I folded I would create piles on the back of the couch. Up and down I would bend and at the end of laundry day I would have a sore back. I also had a lot of folded clothes that accidentally on purpose ended up in an avalanche created by one of my children. So I completely dreaded laundry day and put it off which only made laundry day that much worse.
Then I had an inspiration and placed the laundry on the dining room table. It was easier to stand at the table folding laundry, which reduced work time. Bonus: The piles of clothing are also much less likely to meet with disaster at the hands of my children while sitting on the table!
More Laundry Tips:
Laundry Tip from my Daughter:
Buy underwear in lots of different colors, so that no matter what color load you are washing you can include a few pair.
Laundry and Exercise Tip from my Sister:
Stand on a balance board or bosu ball when folding your clothes for a core workout!
Time Saving Tips otherwise known as Laundry Confessions:
I don’t fold socks either. I just throw them in a basket and let the kids go fishing for socks. Nobody can tell if your socks are wrinkled as long as you wear long pants.
Even More Laundry Tips:
What are your favorite laundry tips?