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I hate to do laundry. When my daughter Carrie was living at home, it was the one chore she did and did far better than me. I miss those days of having her fluff, whiten, and ensure the clothes didn’t shrink!
I always wondered how she learned everything she did about laundry. But the day her 9-year-old self told me about all about topiary’s, I knew she must be watching Martha Stewart after school.
Before my mother came down with Alzheimer’s Disease, laundry was kept to a reasonable amount – about two loads per week. For the past five and a half years, I can sometimes do upwards of 15 or more loads of laundry a week. Some weeks I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of sheets, blankets, and towels.
There’s A Better Way
While there’s nothing one can do about the amount of clothes that need laundering, there are tips and tricks that can make laundry an easier task.
1. Hamper Help
If you’ve got the room, consider using a hamper with multiple compartments. It reduces the amount of steps needed to get the clothes into the laundry because you’ve already done the sorting when you placed the clothes in the hamper. This three bag laundry sorter would do the trick!
2. Stain Removal
If you’ve got, stubborn stains presoak with a color safe oxygenated bleach, followed by a highly concentrated pretreat solution. Allow the item to soak in the wash basin or sink.
Use Hot Water: on durable fabrics such as cotton or linen.
Use Warm Water: for delicate fabrics such as silk and wool along with a plant-based stain remover.
3. Getting It Clean
White vs. Dark: For best results you’ve got to sort your colors from your whites and use the right detergent. A dark specific detergent with color safe properties will keep vibrant colors from fading. White specific detergent with natural bleach alternatives will brighten whites.
Delicates: The best way to protect your delicate clothing it by placing them in a mesh washing bag. Doing so will prevent your scarves, lingerie from snags and tangles.
Socks: It never fails, two go in, and one comes out! Where do they go? To prevent this from happening and ensure the pair makes it out of the washing machine secure socks with safety pins before tossing into the laundry.
Denim: If you own a bunch of distressed denim the best way to launder them is to place them in the washing machine inside out. This will prevent further fraying.
Line dry vs. machine dry? Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’re drying your clothing and other articles based on the recommendations on the tag. But if you’re in doubt about how to dry an article of clothing, your best bet is to line dry it. Using a drying rack allow knit items to lie flat while other items can hang.
If you’re drying down and down alternative, use clean tennis balls to fluff feathers and prevent clumping. Make sure your machine is big enough to allow ample fluffing. If not, you increase the chances your item will clump.
I don’t know about you, but I hate to iron. When I have to iron something, there are a few strategies that make it easier. First, remove the item when it’s still a little damp. If the item is already completed dried, you’ll want to have a spray bottle on hand to spritz the item before ironing.
If you are traveling or just prefer not to own an ironing board and iron (like me), using a hand-held steamer is a nice alternative. You won’t be able to put a nice crease in anything, but if that doesn’t matter, it’s a good solution.
Laundry doesn’t have to be the most hated chore in your house.
It can be a relatively easy task to complete when you have the right tools and know when and how to use them.