Sometimes, laundry seems like a never ending pile of…well, you know. As far as piles go, laundry probably isn’t the most unpleasant you can think of, but it might be the most persistent. The good news is, we’ve got 10 tips that are sure to make your laundry burden easier to bear, with better results. Here we go!
1. Sort it out: Sort by color and fabric type. You’ll help keep your colors from mixing and dulling, and you’ll ensure everything keeps its proper texture. For example, washing denim and silks together can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your delicates — not to mention color bleeding!
2. Straighten it: Before washing, undo rolled sleeves and pant legs to make sure items come out clean and untangled. You’ll also help prevent wrinkles. If it goes in the washer misshapen, it’ll probably come out worse!
3. Check for stains: Before loading the dryer, check to see if stains have come out. If not, pre-treat (again) and re-wash. Never put stains in the dryer, as the heat tends to set them in, and makes them impossible to remove.
4. Shake it, baby: My mom would always shake clothes out before putting them in the dryer. What I didn’t realize is that this helps release wrinkles. It’s crucial to smooth out any items that got twisted up in the washer, or you’ll end up with dried-in wrinkles. No bueno!
5. Check the tag: Always check the washing instructions. Sometimes the tag will expressly say cold water. Not everything can go in the dryer! Have a line and hangers ready for things that aren’t dryer-approved.
5. Don’t over-dry: We’ve all started the dryer a 2nd (or 3rd) time to try and remove wrinkles, or set an extra long dry time, just to be sure. But this could result in shrinking your clothes or damaging the fabric. As soon as things are dry, take them out. This helps save your clothes, and save money on energy!
7. Take a folding break: It may be a chore, but catching up on your favorite show can definitely take some of the “yuck” out of folding. Even better if you can get your kids to help.
8. Protect the fancy stuff: Items with embroidery, beading, or special trimming should be handled with care. Turn them inside out, use the delicate cycle, and consider getting a mesh bag to wash them in.
9. Be cool: You’re usually safer to use the coolest temperatures you can in both washing and drying. Cold water helps maintain colors. The lower dryer settings can dry your clothes with less wear and tear. Both will consume less energy.
10. Bras are special: A word to the ladies. Bras are best washed separately, on the delicate cycle or even by hand. In the machine, use a mesh bag and fasten the hooks. This will keep them from getting tangled or hooking into places they shouldn’t. It’s best to dry them on the line, too.