Laundry rarely ranks as a favorite pastime, but it is a necessary part of life for most people. Without proper care, clothing wears down quicker, looking worn down and grungy. Not to mention the smell that will inevitably catch up with you. Here are six surprising hacks that, while they won’t completely eliminate your need to hit the laundry room, can make the experience more tolerable.
- Turn Clothes Inside Out
Turning your clothes inside out before washing them may seem counterintuitive, but it is an excellent way to keep them looking fresh for longer. Inside-out washing protects normally visible surfaces and helps preserve any designs. That’s a big bonus for graphic tees and tacky Christmas sweaters.
OK, so this won’t make your laundry routine any easier, but it will help your clothes look better for longer. Plus, you have to admit that when you pull your favorite item out of the dryer and you know it is good for the rest of the season — and maybe all of next season, too — it feels pretty great.
- Make Your Own Laundry Products
Making your own laundry soap and fabric softeners is simple, and it only requires a few basic ingredients. You probably even have some of them on hand at home, and the ones you don’t can be picked up during a weekly grocery run. The most basic supplies include pure soap, washing soda, vinegar, baking soda and Borax. Many people add in their favorite Young Living essential oils for stain fighting or a fresh scent. Lemon, lavender and rosemary are a few popular options that make clothes smell great right out of the wash.
- Give Dryer Balls a Whirl
Dryer sheets are a staple in many laundry rooms, but they may not be the best way to keep your clothes free of wrinkles. Many households are turning to dryer balls for the same effect in a more economical and environmentally friendly form. Just toss a couple in the dryer with your clothes and they come out soft and non-clingy. No chemicals needed.
There are several types of dryer balls, so you can choose the one that works best for your washing needs. They are traditionally made from felted wool that is compressed into a three to six-inch ball. Wool balls can be undyed or colorful. Newer plastic versions are also available, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you prefer DIY solutions, you can crumple up a piece of clean aluminum foil and toss it in the dryer with your clothes. Then, recycle it when you are done.
- Freeze Sticky Stains
Make quick work of stubborn, sticky stains like gum by freezing them off. Simply place your garment in the freezer until the spot is stiff, peel off the stain, and wash the item like normal. You may need to do a little extra scrubbing if it has worked its way into the fabric, so be sure to check that out before tossing it into the machine. If freezer space is at a premium in your home, try holding a few ice cubes against it for a similar effect.
- Learn a Quick and Easy Way To Unshrink Clothes
Everyone has, at some point, shrunk an item in the laundry. Maybe it was a favorite sweater or a knit blanket. Either way, the new, miniaturized version simply isn’t going to cut it. Luckily, there is a fix for this problem. This trick uses baby shampoo, a towel, and a little finesse on your part to unshrink your clothes back to their original sizes.
- Skip the Wash
Some clothes actually perform better if they aren’t washed after each use. Jeans are the poster children for this type of laundry procrastination. They wear better if you go days, weeks, or even months between laundry cycles. Plus, they feel so much more comfortable after a few wears. So, ditch the guilt and the extra load of laundry by only washing jeans when they are obviously dirty or stained.
Laundry may be a necessary chore, but it doesn’t have to be a dreaded one. Simple swaps like making your own DIY detergent, swapping dryer sheets for balls, and freezing sticky stains can make laundry day easier.