I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—many of my favorite tips, tricks, and hacks come straight from my brilliant readers (like you!) We all must be cut from the same cloth, because you seem to enjoy solving everyday problems as much as I do! :-)
In my experience, there are few chores that are capable of producing as many problems as doing laundry, but laundry problems can be avoided if you have a few tricks up your sleeve! And lucky for all of us, my readers are chock-full of brilliant laundry tips.
So today I thought I’d share some of the best laundry hacks I’ve received from my readers over the years. Incorporating any of these simple ideas into your laundry routine is sure to save you time and make your life easier!
9 Brilliant Laundry Hacks From OGT Readers
1. Invest In A Dryer Rack
Fed up with accidentally over-drying your clothes? A lot of my readers recommend using a dryer rack to solve this problem! Laurat99 says she dries her clothes for about 20 minutes in the dryer, then hangs them on a dryer rack to dry the rest of the way. (She also mentions that doing so helps humidify her house during the dry winter months!)
And don’t worry about not having the space for a dryer rack. As Comet says, “A dryer rack is only bulky when set up—otherwise it folds almost flat!” And when you’re ready to set it up, Comet suggests utilizing spaces you can afford to give up for a few hours, like your shower stall, bathtub, garage, etc.
2. No More Lost Socks
I’m sure that nearly everybody has lost a sock in the wash at some point in their lives. And while we may never know where those lost socks end up, there are a few simple ways to avoid losing them in the first place! Kari C. suggests putting your socks in a mesh zippered bag as soon as you take them off. When the bag gets full, just zip it up and toss it in the wash!
Safety pins can also be effective for keeping socks together. Joanne J. says, “I have my husband and kids safety pin their socks together at the top after they take them off… This method keeps them together forever!”
And finally, you can eliminate the lost sock problem for good by sticking to one color and style of socks. Katina says, “I buy only one brand and style of black socks. No need to match them when they are all the same!”
3. Smarter Sorting
A lot can happen between the time you put something in your hamper and the time you actually get around to washing it. That can make it really difficult to remember specific details, like a stain on a particular shirt that you were planning to pretreat. Dee has an elegant solution: “I have my husband tie the sleeves of his dress shirts in a knot if there is a stain. Then I know to look for it before throwing into the washer!”
But it’s not just stains that get forgotten—who among us hasn’t forgotten to empty the pockets of their pants before washing them? I’ve accidentally washed a LOT of stuff that got left in pockets, from lip balm tubes to headphones to dollar bills, but Erin has a smart system that helps her avoid this unfortunate fate.
She says, “Whenever a pair of pants goes into the hamper, I check all the pockets and then zip the fly.” So when she’s putting things in the wash, she knows that pants with the zipper up are ready to wash! And if the zipper is down, she makes sure to double-check the pockets to be safe.
4. Treat Stains Right Away
When it comes to treating stains on clothes, time is of the essence! A fresh stain is almost always going to be easier to remove than an old one. Paula shared her method for treating stains fast: “I started keeping a bottle of stain remover in the bathroom where I get undressed for bed. If anything is stained, I spray the stain remover on it right then!” You can adopt Paula’s clever method by keeping your preferred stain treatment wherever you usually get undressed.
5. Inexpensive Stain Removers
And speaking of stain removal, many of my resourceful and budget-conscious readers are using inexpensive methods to take care of clothing stains. Kelli F. says: “I rub the spot with [Fels Naptha], then dip a toothbrush in peroxide and scrub lightly. It gets dark red lipstick out of my daughter’s white cheer uniform with no problems at all.”
Amanda W. recommends treating fresh juice stains by pouring boiling water over them. She says, “The stains just disappear!” And as for stubborn grease and oil stains, Mindy says she’s had success using all kinds of household powders, like cornstarch, baby powder, and baking soda. She says, “Just rub the dry powder into the stain… and let it sit for at least a day.” The powder will absorb the grease or oil and make the stain much easier to wash out.
6. Don’t Procrastinate Folding
I’ll be the first to admit that I loathe folding clothes, and I don’t even know why! It’s not particularly hard, and putting off folding now just means more folding later. Kelly says, “…Fold as soon as the dryer is done! I wish I practiced this more, but when it do it’s so much easier to keep on top of [it].”
7. Get More Organized
Getting more organized in your laundry room can help you avoid future laundry mishaps. Amanda H. stays organized by using a dry erase marker with a magnet on it. She keeps the marker by the washer and uses it to make notes about what’s in the washer or what cycle to run it on. She says, “It’s helped to save several items from ruin as well!”
Creating a more organized laundry room can also make laundry less of a chore. Angela C. says, “Keep your laundry area clean and organized, and… add some decorative touches or make your own cute labels if you make your own products. I find that this creates a more peaceful mood around doing [laundry], and I think I feel even more energized as a result.”
8. Faster Drying
Finding ways to dry your clothes faster isn’t just about saving time, it’s about saving money as well! If your clothes dry faster, you’ll end up using less energy and save yourself some money on next month’s energy bill. And my readers have some great tips for speeding up the drying process! Cassandra B. recommends adding a dry towel to the dryer, which helps absorb some of the moisture and speeds up the drying process.
Another way to speed things up is by running a second spin cycle after washing a load of clothes. The second spin helps to remove even more moisture from your clothes before they go in the dryer. Sarah B. swears by it, saying “This makes a HUGE difference in drying time for your laundry, resulting in a lot of saved energy!”
9. Treat Yourself!
Staying on top of your laundry can be hard work, and hard work deserves a reward! My little laundry reward takes the form of loose pocket change. If I find loose change in the course of doing the laundry, it goes right into a jar I keep on the windowsill. When the jar is full, I use the money to pay the “laundry staff” (which is me, myself, and I!)
Another way to reward yourself for your hard work is by finding ways to make the work more enjoyable. Lisa does this by watching her favorite TV shows while she folds her clean laundry. She says, “The laundry gets folded, and I have absolutely no reason to feel guilty about watching a little TV!”
What’s your best laundry tip or trick?