Laundry. It’s a chore as old as time. Probably.
I don’t mind laundry much. Really, I don’t. Which is a good thing, with four little ones underfoot and a husband with a messy, dusty job, I sure have my fair share of it! With a lot of dirty laundry to tend to, I’ve learned some things that I would like to share with you. I figured the easiest way to do this is to make a list. So here it goes…..
Kim’s Laundry Tips
1. Anything with a stain on it should not be put in the dryer for any reason. It will only set the stain making it next to impossible to remove! Which leads me to….#2
2. Make sure you have a dependable pre-treatment solution. Our common stains include: grass, dirt, grease, food, baby food, spit-up and, my personal favorite, the mystery stain. Thankfully, when my 9-year-old was a baby, I discovered De-Solv-It. It is all natural & organic! This stuff is A-Mazing! I once removed fluorescent orange spray paint from my husbands work clothes using this stuff! Boy did I feel like a miracle worker! I don’t use the manufacturer’s “laundry” instructions, though. I just spray a very, very light mist on the stain and toss in the washer. I buy this in the 4 liter container and fill my own spray bottle that I picked up at a local discount store. Remember a little goes a long way!
3. Stubborn stain solution: Clothesline + dew + sun = no stain! Now you probably think I’m crazy. My sister-in-law gave me this tip once, and I thought she was too, until I tried it! If you have a stain on a piece of clothing, hang it outside in the evening and don’t check it until the next evening. Something about the dew and the sun causes the stain to fade. It may take a day or two, but it does work! FYI – Probably not ideal for dark clothing.
4. Laundry soap. I make my own and am super happy with the results. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy with the results I was getting from the name brand detergent I used, just not the price.
It calls for three ingredients: Fels-Naptha (bar soap), 20 Mule Team Borax, and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. All found in the cleaning aisle (normally). It is all in a 1:1:1 ration.
1 bar Fels-Naptha
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda.
I mix mine in the food processor. I’ve heard that it doesn’t leave a residue or smell, but I have an old, old one that I use just for my soap just in case!
First put the chopping blade inside the bowl, then add the borax and soda.
Next place the shredding blade on top so that you can shred the bar soap into the remaining mixture already in the bowl. This processes the soap together into a powder like consistency. Let it run until it’s the consistency you like, but not too long or it can become gummy. Mine looks like this:
I have a HE washer and can add it directly into the drawer where the detergent goes. It dissolves perfectly & is low suds.
Use 1 Tbsp for regular loads, 2 Tbsp for heavily soiled or large loads. You can always alter the amount depending on your needs. Remember to store it in an air-tight container!
5. Use store-bought fabric softener sparingly. It is not necessary to use it every time you wash, but maybe every other time, or even once a month. A residue can build up in your clothes. I am currently experimenting with using vinegar as a softener. I will let you know my results (and would love to hear if you use it also!)
6. Use a clothes line. If at all possible use it! It dries your clothes so nicely, and it gives them that fresh clean smell! I especially love hanging out sheets. It can also save you a few cents by not running your dryer. Not a get rich idea, but every little bit helps. I read once that it can save you about 25-50 cents a load depending on your dryer! Plus it makes working in my smallish laundry room a little more bearable, since no dryer running means it stays cooler!
7. Fold it as you dry it. Don’t throw clean, dry clothes in a basket, unfolded. If you go ahead and fold it, you will be more likely to put it away, and prevent a mountain of clean, soon-to-be wrinkly clothes from growing.
8. Delegate! If they are old enough to put their clothes away, have them do so. I bought small, square laundry baskets that are not too cumbersome for my kids to carry. This enables them to put their own clothes away. Assigning small tasks based on age and skill level teaches children responsibility. Added bonus, it lessens your work load opening up more time for fun activities with the family!
9. Don’t have “laundry day.” Do a load or maybe two a day, depending on your family needs. Keeping the daily workload small gives you more time to do it properly, getting it folded and put away before you are lost in that mountain of clothes. My schedule is something like this: Monday: bath towels, sheets; Tuesday: boys clothes; Wednesday: my & my hubby’s clothes; Thursday: dish towels, cleaning rags; Friday, Saturday & Sunday: only as needed. My schedule requires about 2 load each of these days, which works perfectly for me! Just experiment with the right amount of loads per day that works for you!
10. Hampers. Get them. Now. When I was growing up the only hamper in our house was in the bathroom, which was down the hall from my room. Dirty clothes rarely found its way there. In my own home, we have a hamper in each bedroom’s closet plus one in each full bathroom. I taught my kids early to put dirty clothes in there and I rarely have to remind them. It has become a habit. Try it, I hope it works for you, like it has for me!
Well there you have it. My 10 laundry tips. I hope you found something new you’d like to try. It just may make the chore a little easier. Maybe even enjoyable.
I love trying new things, so if you have any tips you’d like to share, please do!
For an alternative, but similar homemade soap recipe, please visit my friend at The happy, homeschooling, Hoosier, housewife. Tell her I sent you!
I better go, I have some laundry to do 😉 Have a great day!