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Laundry Tips and Tricks

Category Laundry
Laundry is a necessary chore that many people dread. There are lots of ways to speed up the process, remove stains better, and make your life a little easier. This is a guide about laundry tips and tricks.
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By 2 found this helpful
April 8, 2013

If you need to use bleach on your fabric, make certain to rinse with white vinegar in the water. This keeps the bleach from continuing to work after it has been 'rinsed' out with plain water. If you repeatedly use bleach without a vinegar rinse, your fabric will eventually get little pit holes in it.

For those that want see it at work: Put the tip of your finger in bleach and rinse with water. You will notice your finger still feels slippery after rinsing well. Now put a little vinegar on your finger and rinse. You will see that immediately, the slippery feel is gone.

I learned this many years ago in Chemistry class. One is a base and the other is acid. They neutralize each other. Any vinegar works but white vinegar won't leave any color behind.

Editor's Note: Bleach and vinegar mixed will create deadly chlorine gas. Be sure that the vinegar is added to the wash after the bleach has been rinsed away with plain water first.

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April 14, 20130 found this helpful

Great tip! Does this mean that I should add vinegar to my rinse water as well when I add bleach to my dish water for doing dishes?

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By 2 found this helpful
September 12, 2008

I save time and money in the laundry room THIS way.

When I take my clothes from the washer I hang almost all of the shirts on hangers, button the top button on button-downs, straighten the collars, tug on the sleeves, pull and smooth, etc. From there, I either hang them on over-the-door hooks or on the wash line if the day is nice (even the shower rod is good if there aren't too many hangers to weigh the rod). When dry, they can be put straight into each person's closet. I also pay attention to the direction clothes are hung in each closet and hang the wet shirts accordingly so I don't have to re-hang them later.

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If some shirts still need to be ironed (as some will), the ironing process is easier because you already smoothed out the collars etc. This saves money on my electric bill by not taxing the dryer, the clothes last longer because they have not given a piece of "themselves" up to the lint trap, the threat of shrinkage is lessened AND I don't have to fold! Jeans, etc. can be done the same way, but may still need a dryer for a few minutes afterwards for wrinkles. I also love this because I never face the fear of excessively wrinkled clothes from leaving them in the dryer long after it has stopped running. (Beware though, teenagers have been known to leave their clothes on the hooks in the laundry room and they may begin to dress in there! lol).

By Brenda from Deltona, FL

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September 6, 20130 found this helpful

I do this. I live in a small mobile home and have a "drying" room where I hang laundry from the washer. Saves me time in the long run.

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By 4 found this helpful
August 17, 2011

I was taught to put bleach in all my white loads for 3 reasons.

  1. It keeps clothes from being dingy.
  2. It sanitizes.
  3. It removes stains.

I've always mindlessly added bleach because Mama did. While loading the whites and looking for stains, I realized that most stains can be removed better by pre-soaking or scrubbing. It says on the bleach bottle to use 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups of bleach per load. That's a lot of bleach!

I went to the thrift store and paid 59 cents for a shot glass and put it by the bleach bottle. I now use 1 shot glass of bleach in white loads. That's enough to prevent the dinginess. If something is stained, I pre-soak, scrub and or use a little more bleach. I use 2 shot glasses for underwear or anything that needs to be more sanitary.

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I'm using a lot less bleach, saving money and still getting good results while also being good to the environment.

By Di from Wilsonville, OR

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August 17, 20110 found this helpful

Bleach tends to wear down the fibers in material and if things aren't 100% cotton, they will also yellow. I found that not using bleach and instead using Tide's product "Tide Stain Release in-wash booster" gave me better results! Whites came out bright white, stains gone first time. That product is sold in an orange package of 10 for under $4 (cheaper at dollar stores and Walmart). There are also larger, family packs. These are pre-measured and just toss one into the washing machine at start of wash and use warm water. Clothes come out with wonderful fresh scent, too. Using Tide with Acti-lift is a great detergent as well as Gain.

I also love the Gain liquid fabric softener but also Downy is excellent. Downy also has a great new product out to give laundry that extra boost of long-lasting fragrance "Unstoppables": these are beads you shake into washer at beginning of wash, too. Amazing! (Especially on linens!). Comes in 2 scents: Fresh Scent and also Lush (lavender, romantic scent).

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By 3 found this helpful
February 2, 2011

Use pliers to pull the spout out from liquid laundry soap when the bottle is empty. You can get one more load out of what would normally get thrown away.

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August 30, 2010

I have learned to keep a couple large pins attached to the cell phone/ID case I wear around my neck.

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July 7, 2014

Use Gap as Hanger Helper

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If you have a dowel, piece of PVC pipe or like me, a butter knife you can hang up to 5 or 6 shirts or pants between the washer and dryer. I recently found this was so much handier than hanging up clothes on door knobs and the backs of chairs.

By 3 found this helpful
March 4, 2013

It's common knowledge to save on water by adjusting the water level of the laundry load. They say to wait until a full wash load is dirty before washing to also save on hydro.

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By 4 found this helpful
January 30, 2012

Jump start stain removal for your clothing by keeping a pre-treat spray bottle (or whatever you use) in the place where you undress or with your hamper. This works better for me than waiting until laundry day when the stain is well set.

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By 1 found this helpful
August 7, 2006

Conserving on Laundry Costs. I fill and run the washer at bedtime, only full loads and cold water. In the morning I hang the clothes on an old fashioned clothesline. . .

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By 2 found this helpful
February 4, 2008

When I'm doing the laundry, I keep a threaded needle in the cupboard above the washer so I can sew buttons back on clothes as soon as I find they came off in the washer or dryer.

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By 1 found this helpful
June 20, 2011

Pull something out of the dryer that's not quite dry? Lay over the top of the boot dryer to finish drying it. Lay wet washcloths, dishcloths, or damp clothes over it to dry before going into the hamper.

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April 15, 20051 found this helpful

A lot of power and water is used doing your laundry. Here are a few tips to help decrease the impact of doing laundry on your utility bills.

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By 3 found this helpful
November 25, 2013

It's as easy as pie. I "discovered" this by simple accident. I spilled the vanilla on one of my towels and had to wash it right away to get the stain out.

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December 8, 20160 found this helpful

Someone pouring laundry detergent into a plastic cap.

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This is a guide about keeping your laundry detergent caps clean. Liquid detergent is notorious for leaving messy gooey drips on the outside of the bottle when poured.

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December 8, 20160 found this helpful

Mark Clothing That Shouldn't Be Dried

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This is a guide about keeping track of clothing that shouldn't be dried. Some articles of clothing can be ruined if run through the drier.

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December 7, 20160 found this helpful

A laundry hamper of filled with jeans.

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This is a guide about washing jeans. There are a few useful laundering tricks that can help you extend the life of you jeans and keep them comfortable to wear.

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December 7, 20160 found this helpful

A person adding soap to a washing machine full of clothes.

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This is a guide about preparing clothing for washing. Taking the time to prepare your clothing prior to adding it to the washer can help prevent snags or tearing.

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By 4 found this helpful
November 22, 2011

I supplement regular detergent with borax, and wash in cold water always. When using the clothes dryer, I throw in a couple clean tennis balls. They move the clothes around more, preventing the inevitable lumping of wet laundry.

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January 31, 20002 found this helpful

Machine-wash your whites in cold water, using a detergent and washing soda mixture. Hot water sets the stains, instead of removing them.

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March 29, 20160 found this helpful

Hand pouring powdered laundry detergent into washing machine using pink scoop

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This is a guide about emergency laundry detergent substitutions. It is frustrating to have just loaded the washer only to discover you are out of detergent.

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By 1 found this helpful
November 4, 2008

I have a favorite magnet, that's really eye catching, that I use it in my laundry room. I usually use liquid fabric softener, so if I need to put dryer sheets in a specific load of laundry, I put the magnet on the washer as a "reminder".

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October 16, 20071 found this helpful

I like to run a extra wash cycle on my clothes sometimes. The problem has been that I missed the end of the wash cycle, and when I got back to the washer, it was already into the rinse cycle.

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May 16, 20130 found this helpful

Homemade OxiClean

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Buying multiple cleaning products can be expensive. Sometimes you can make a homemade version of a popular cleaning agent from products you may already have around your house. This is a guide about homemade OxiClean recipes.

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February 7, 20060 found this helpful

I found that I saved a good amount of money by waiting 2 weeks to do laundry -- and also by ironing only once every 2 weeks. Savings have been about $50.00 a month on our electric bill!

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January 12, 20150 found this helpful

Kleenex wads

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This is a guide about removing Kleenex from clothing. If you have ever forgotten to take a Kleenex out of your pocket before putting the item into the wash, you know how frustrating it is to remove the paper bits and lint that are left behind.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 11, 2007

I often don't have time to separate laundry. No, that's not quite true, I often don't care enough to separate laundry (LOL) and I have a feeling that I'm not alone in my 'sloth'. Actually, it works out well for me.

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February 15, 20060 found this helpful

If your washing machine does not have an alarm that sounds when it is finished, set the kitchen timer after starting the wash load to remind yourself it is done.

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December 12, 20070 found this helpful

When treating laundry stains, I keep safety pins handy and put one where the stain is. When I pull the laundry item out of the washer, I look for the safety pin, to see if the stain came out, before I put it in the dryer.

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April 16, 20040 found this helpful

Have you or your kids ever added too much laundry detergent to your washing machine, and found that the bubbles were beginning to overflow?

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By 0 found this helpful
March 16, 2010

When I do my laundry I separate the clothes by color. I put the greens with greens, reds with reds or pink, purple and blacks with black, etc. This way the colors of the clothes circulate throughout the wash and thus preserving the colors in your clothes.

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August 27, 20051 found this helpful

When washing large or heavy loads of laundry, run the washer thru a second spin cycle. Gets out lots more water for faster dry time.

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March 21, 20051 found this helpful

When a laundry basket breaks, don't toss it. Drill holes in the rim on either side of the break and sew it together again!

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December 28, 20041 found this helpful

Take a permanent ink Sharpie and write the temperature in bold letters on the tags.

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December 28, 20040 found this helpful

Keep a stain stick in the kitchen or near your eating area, so when someone spills food on their clothes, they can immediately rub stain stick on the spots.

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November 28, 20040 found this helpful

When doing laundry, you only need to use about half the amount of soap that the box or bottle calls for to get your clothes clean. More soap can gunk up your washer and doesn't always rinse properly out of your clothes, leaving an unsightly build-up.

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September 10, 20041 found this helpful

All those expensive t-shirts need to be turned inside out when you wash them so the design continues to look like new. Jeans look great for a long time if you turn them inside out also. Clothes are expensive and it is worth taking a couple of minutes to keep them in good shape. By Bev Sobkowich

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November 14, 20080 found this helpful

For musty smell, add 1 cup ammonia with laundry detergent and wash as usual.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 10, 2006

This is a little something that I do to save me time, money, and sanity. As soon as I take my pants off for the day, I look through all my pants pockets and remove change, papers, and Chapsticks. Then I button and zip my pants.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 19, 2012

When putting my laundry in the wash I put all my socks in a mesh bag and also a seperate mesh bag for my underwear. When it comes out of the dryer, it is already seperated to be put away.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 21, 2006

When doing laundry for my 5 boys, sorting is easy: each boy's clothing item is marked on the "collar" area with the first initial of their name, in permanent marker.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 4, 2010

Keep a can punch in the laundry room. This is a great tool for opening those boxes of laundry detergent without ripping your fingernails.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 29, 2009

Before washing clothes which have a drawstring at the waist (or anywhere for that matter), stitch across it down the middle of the back. If you don't sew, a safety pin will do the trick. I had many of those drawstrings and cords to get pulled back into the opening, before I started doing this.

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April 11, 20050 found this helpful

Set your oven timer when you put a load of clothes in the washer. If left crumpled up in the washing machine, they'll develop more wrinkles, and colors will bleed more.

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November 14, 20040 found this helpful

I hang shirts and blouses on hangers to dry after washing. Most cotton shirts can be softened up for wearing by putting in the dryer with a dryer sheet for only about 10 minutes and then rehanging on the hanger. This saves you money on your energy bill! By SueKaf

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October 26, 20040 found this helpful

Dry place mats by hanging them over the side of the bathtub. They dry flat and straight and don't need ironing.

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