Preparation is the key to success. The next time your favorite sweater shrinks or you smear sauce on your sleeve at dinner, instead of furiously Googling for a solution, you'll remain cool, calm and collected because you committed these five in-a-pinch laundry hacks to memory.
Your Dryer Can Be a Steamer
No garment steamer? No problem. If your clothes are just a bit more wrinkled than you'd like them to be, don't break out the iron, just use your dryer (if you're lucky enough to have one at home). Put your wrinkled clothes into the dryer with a damp hand towel or washcloth and let it spin for 10 or 15 minutes on a medium-to-low heat setting.
You Can Iron Clothes with a Hair Flat Iron
Did you leave your favorite top in the dryer for a little too long? Or does the end of your shirt look creased up from being tucked into pants? Your hair straightener is already powered on in the bathroom, so use it to iron your clothes, too. It's great for getting in between buttons on a shirt or straightening out a bendy hem. Just make sure the hair iron is totally clean and dry (and not caked with product) before you clamp it down on your clothes.
How to Un-Shrink Clothes with Conditioner
The only thing worse than folding clothes is folding clothes and discovering your favorite piece has shrunk. It's (potentially) fixable! Who What Wear suggests soaking the item in a mix of water and hair conditioner for five minutes, then laying it out onto a towel and gently and carefully stretching it back to its original proportions.
Vodka is a Deodorizer
Want to wear that top from last night again today at brunch? (Hey, you're seeing different people – take advantage.) If there's any lingering smells, like cigarettes from the smoky bar, you can deodorize your clothes by spritzing them with a bit of vodka in a spray bottle. (This also works for smelly gym shoes.)
White Bread is Your Stain-Treating Secret Weapon
You can Google and find a thousand stain-treating hacks, but when there's no shaving cream or dishwasher soap around and all you have is the bread basket at the center of the table, here's one to keep in your back pocket: Pull the crusty outside off, roll the soft bread into a ball and use it to gently blot out the stain. It's not a total success every time, but it's better than letting the stain set in. (You still should try to get your garment in the wash ASAP.)
Re-edited from a post originally published 5.19.2016 - TW