Don’t Let Inside-Out Clothing Enter Your Hamper
Get in the habit of taking clothing off the way it needs to be laundered. For most items, that means making sure they’re outside-out! But if you wash certain items inside-out (pants and sweaters for example), place them in the hamper that way. Train your kids to respect this rule and lead by example! You’ll be thankful when it comes time to fold clean clothes and you’re not dealing with countless inside-out socks.
Implement a Two-Hamper System
To save time when it comes to dividing darks and lights, use a hamper with two sections or two separate hampers(Opens in a new window). Make sure everyone in the household knows what belongs where by labeling the outside. Throwing dirty clothes into the hamper just became a fun game!
Treat Stains Immediately
If possible, deal with stains as soon as they happen. Scrub with a small brush(Opens in a new window), a dab of detergent or soap, and water. Most stains (food, beverages, blood, paint) should be treated with cold water. Hot water should be used for lotions, dye, eggs and gum stains. After scrubbing, let the garment soak in some detergent or stain remover. By the time it goes through the laundry cycle, it should be stain-free and good to go.
Separate Clothing that Doesn’t Go in the Dryer
To avoid a shrunken sweater, run a separate load with the clothing that you don’t want to throw in the dryer. This way you’ll avoid a wet clothing rummage and accidental drying mistake. Make sure you have a proper drying rack(Opens in a new window) for those items that get air-dried. And lay sweaters out(Opens in a new window) so they can dry without getting snagged or stretched by a hanger.
Throw a Couple Tennis Balls into Your Dryer
To help circulate the air, add two or three tennis balls to your dryer load. This will reduce drying time and make sure you’re not left with random wet sleeves and towel corners. This technique is also great for down jackets and comforters that need to be fluffed! Just make sure your favorite TV show is on high volume to drown out the bouncing-ball noise.
Folding your clothing as soon as it comes out of the dryer will help reduce wrinkles and a laundry mound that starts to collect dust. Remember: putting your clothes away is half the laundry battle. All will be said and done when everything is put away—clean clothing here you come.