Laundry is something everyone has to do. Everyone also likes to look nice, and clothing can be expensive. It’s best to take care of it as well as you can!!!
To make laundry easier, keep a hamper in every bedroom or bathroom. Kids can place their own clothes easily in the hamper. A basket also works well for this. It also helps keep wet towels off of the floor. You can also place a fabric softener sheet at the bottom of the hampers to keep the clothing from smelling. Next, collect the laundry and sort. My personal preference is to wash denim together, wash darker clothes together, lighter clothes together, colored towels and washclothes together, and white towels with underwear and bras. You can wash any way you prefer. I wash sheets on their own as well. This helps reduce lint transfer on garments.
Keep a small basket or jar in the laundry area to place items left in pockets. Also keep a basket or bag for dry clean items. It also helps to keep a stash of laundry products, in case you run out mid-laundry day.
The next thing to do is check for stains, and working to get them out. There are lots of products to help. Using Tide to Go pen or Shout wipes when the stain is first noticed helps a lot. Train family members to either treat stains or bring them to you immediately before placing in the hamper. This increases the likelihood that the stain will be able to be removed successfully. Shout is an awesome stain remover. Plain hydrogen peroxide can also remove several stains, including, but not limited to, blood, grass and mustard.
Rust stains can be removed with a paste of salt and vinegar. Rub in, let sit, then wash. You can also try soaking in lemon juice, or lemon juice and salt. It also helps to put the garment in the sunlight once treated.
To remove grass stains, try scrubbing in liquid detergent. You can also try alcohol. If those both fail, try the peroxide.
To absorb grease on grease stains, sprinkle on cornstarch. Let sit. Brush off, then wash. You can also try rubbing the stain with white chalk before washing. For salad oil, brush on Equal or Sweet n Low. Let it absorb, brush off excess then launder. You can slo try rubbing greasy stains with bar soap or dishwashing detergent.
For ink, spray heavily with hairspray. Don’t worry about spraying on too much. Rub, let dry and wash. You can also rub with rubbing alcohol, or detergent and vinegar.
Use Vaseline to remove lipstick stains, and vinegar for deodorant stains. For stubborn lipstick stains, you may have to try a dry-cleaning solvent.
To remove paint, let the garment sit in warm water and detergent. Then, brush with a toothbrush.
The best stain removal products are: bar soap, shampoo, dishwasher detergent, vinegar, ammonia, and peroxide. Before writing off any garment as ruined, try these. Be sure to check the material and make sure it doesn’t bleach out or discolor the fabric. Bleach pens are great for bleachable fabrics. Wash as soon as treated, though, or the bleach could eat through the fabric.
Once stains have been treated, you are ready to do laundry!!!! Start the washer and add detergent. Then, begin to add clothes. Do not overload the washer. It is bad for the washer and makes it more likely things will not get clean. Most items can be washed in cold water,and this will also save money. Bleach will kill germs on whites, however do not mix bleach with other cleaners other than detergent and softener. You can also add vinegar in the rinse water to cut through soap residue if needed, although bleach and vinegar shoudn’t be used together. Always RINSE in cold water. Hot water will help set wrinkles. Cold water is also best for dark fabrics to help keep them from fading. Adding a little baking soda in the wash water will enhance the power of the detergent.
Turn t-shirts and sweatshirts inside out to help prevent “pilling” and to help protect any designs or decals on the shirt. It also helps the decals to air dry them. Jeans can, and should, also be washed inside out. Pinning socks together can help when it is time to sort and fold. It also keeps them from getting “lost”. Close zippers, hook bra straps, and button buttons before washing to help keep things from getting tangled together.
For down comforters and jackets, add tennis balls to the dryer. It will help fluff them up. You can also add one to loads of towels to help fluff them as well.
You can add liquid fabric softener if you have a built-in dispenser, or something like a Downy ball that dispenses it on it’s own. If not, you will have to listen for the rinse cycle to add it. It is not necessary to use liquid fabric softener of you are using softener in the dryer, but some people like to do it that way, and it won’t harm anything to do so.
Once the laundry has washed, remove it immediately. This helps cut down on wrinkles. Check any clothing that was pre-treated to see if the stains were removed in the cycle. If not, treat again, and re-launder them in the next load. If you dry them, the stain will likely be set. You can now hang out the clothing on the line, which will save energy and make the clothes smell fresh, or place them in the dryer. If they are in the dryer, you can add a fabric softener sheet, or soak a small sponge in liquid softener. Wring out and throw in the dryer with the clothes. This is the more frugal way of softening clothing, and works just as well.
When the clothes are done drying, they need to be removed or they will be wrinkled. Clean out the lint trap on the dryer after every use. Make it a habit. It will help prevent the dryer from catching on fire and will let it run more efficiently. Fold or hang clothing immediately. Set aside what needs to be ironed and do so as soon as possible. Once the clothing is put away, laundry is done and you have nice, clean clothes!