The $16 Amazon Find I Swear By for Heavenly Smelling Laundry (Especially If You Go to the Laundromat)

published Apr 13, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

If you live in New York City, having an in-unit washer and dryer is a rite of passage. It’s something you typically work your way up to once you’ve had a few promotions and can afford a nicer place. For me, the opposite happened. My first few apartments here, I lucked out with either a W/D in my apartment or at least in the basement of the building, but when I moved into my first studio last year, I had to regress to a laundromat around the corner. I’ve seen my fair share of laundry getting burnt in the dryer, mysterious items caught inside (lighters, headphones, you name it) the drum, and mildewy machines to last a lifetime.

But the worst part — aside from having to lug everything down the street — is that my laundry doesn’t have that fresh, “my mom did my laundry” scent — if you know what I mean. I’ve done loads where my clothes actually smelled WORSE after the wash (I cringed), and that’s when I had to get creative.

Recently, I noticed a couple of people in my laundry room pouring little beads into the drum of the washer, and I immediately went searching online to see what they were adding to the wash. The search result? Gain’s Fireworks Laundry Scent Booster Beads — and my laundry has never smelled so good.

Because of my previous mishap where my laundry smelled gross after it went through a cycle, I’ve had a heavy hand when pouring in my detergent to ensure there’s no chance my clothes don’t smell clean after. I’ve felt a little guilty wasting so much detergent, especially when I know I could use half the amount if I had my own washer, so these affordable beads were the perfect solution to my laundry room woes. They remind me of the way my laundry smelled when my mom did it when I was a kid, so it also brings a little piece of childhood with me while doing my least favorite adulting chore.

Credit: Tamara Kraus

You can sprinkle in however many beads you’d like into the washing machine (it’s compatible with both regular and HE machines) — it all depends on how strong you want the scent to be, so I recommend experimenting with different amounts. It’s recommended to use this with fabric softener for the best results, but I’m not the biggest fan of that, so I didn’t use the two together.

If you need some serious help with stinky smells, there’s also this powerful, odor-tackling version that prevents odors from reappearing during wear — pretty smart if you ask me.

No, doing my laundry with strangers is still not the same as getting it done from the comfort of my pajamas in my apartment, but with this little hack, it certainly is a lot better. Like all things, I recommend testing a small amount in your first load to figure out the perfect amount for your preferences. Even when I do eventually get my own washer, I’ll likely continue using these as my little laundry room helper.

Feeling inspired to clean? Sign up here for Apartment Therapy’s Spring Cleaning Cure, a free 10-day program that’ll help you achieve a tidier home. You can also receive all 10 assignments via text, too.