Organize & Clean

One Dirty Thing You Should Wash with Your Regular Laundry

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

We’ve all been there. After several loads of laundry, the measuring-cap-slash-lid on your detergent can get pretty grimy with gunky buildup. But thanks to a clever tip from Redditor bluechris11, we now know a solid way to quickly clean your gross detergent caps.

Believe it or not, you can simply toss your dirty detergent cap in with your next load of laundry to give it a good wash. Just fill the cap with whatever amount of detergent you need for your soiled load and then drop the it in there to score a new-looking one by the time the wash is done. It’s really that easy.

(Image credit: tormashka)

Of course, as with any stellar laundry hack there are always some exceptions. So before you drop your cap in your next load of dirty clothes, here are a few caveats to consider.

1. Don’t wash it with delicates

It might seem like a no-brainer but your delicates are just that: super fragile. Because plastic caps often have grooves and crevices that can get caught on your gentle cycle clothing, you should avoid throwing one in your next load of delicates to bypass any potential snags or tears in soft fabrics.

2. Don’t deep clean it unless you have to

If you have a front-loading washing machine, then by all means, feel free to drop your detergent cap in your laundry whenever it starts looking grungy. But if you happen to have an top-loading washer—that allows you to open the lid while it’s filling up with water—you might have an even easier solution for a quick clean: Consider simply rinsing the cap (and soap buildup) out in the flowing water just as the wash starts to clean it out instead.

3. Beware of high heat

Don’t forget that plastic can melt, and that includes your detergent cap. Take care to shake out each piece of your laundry as you’re moving it from the washer to the dryer to make sure your cap doesn’t end up in there with all your favorite clothing on high heat. If you want to leave a note for other members of your household (“Detergent cap in here!!!! Do not dry!!”), you can write right on your washing machine or dryer with a dry erase marker.

Do Laundry Like a Boss