It seems like doing laundry should be fairly straightforward, but there are tons of pointers, websites, and articles out there. And while this is a wonderful thing, it can be overwhelming when you just want some budget- and eco- friendly ideas. I recently stumbled upon this compilation of 50 tips, conveniently sorted by topics such as "Prep Work" and "Line Drying Secrets," and bookmarked it almost immediately. The list contains many tried-and-true classics such as drying darks inside-out, but also had some fresh ideas. It's not all-inclusive — for example, it doesn't have ways to get out specific stains — but it is a helpful, well-organized overview.
10 Great Tips from the List
- Body oils rub on shirt collars and attract dirt, leaving them grimy and worse for the wear. Reverse the damage by grabbing your shampoo and a clean paintbrush and painting a line over the soiled collar before washing.
- For stubborn food stains, such as coffee, soy sauce, or mustard, blot the troubled area with foam shaving cream and allow it to sit for half an hour. Repeat process and if the stain remains, leave cream on overnight.
- Adding a quarter cup of baking soda to a wash will take care of stale, musty odors common during the summer months and give your machine a fragrant boost to boot.
- Dirty clotheslines make for spotty clothing. Once a month, use a rag to go over your outdoor clotheslines with warm water and pine oil cleaner.
- Let whites take in a bit of sun in the early morning — it might surprise you how strong a natural bleaching effect solar rays can have on your garments.
- Try not to under-pack your dryer. Too few clothes will reduce the tumbling action, lengthening overall drying time and in turn, wasting energy.
- Adding a clean, dry bath towel to heavier loads containing blue jeans, rugs, blankets, or bath towels helps absorb extra moisture and reduce drying time.
- In order to prevent down items from clumping in the dryer, remove them from time to time and shake vigorously.
- When dealing with pleated items, start at the bottom of the fold and iron in an upward motion. Your pleats will be perfectly straight with little effort.
- The natural heat of a warm dryer can actually save you from ironing smaller items like pillowcases and t-shirts. Simply fold and allow them to rest on top of the machine.
Read the entire list of all 50 tips at Country Living.
Image: Tanya Lacourse for Apartment Therapy