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These laundry hacks will make your life easier and much fresher smelling. Is there anything better?
Yes, there is one thing better: Saving money! You’ll do some of that too if you follow our laundry tips. Get ready to adios some of the most annoying things about doing laundry, like losing socks and dealing with a stinky washing machine!
Got the cleaning bug? Check out these other KCL articles for more tips and tricks to save time and money while whipping your space into shape.
1. How to wash socks with a mesh laundry bag
Mesh laundry bags will take your laundry organization to the next level!
Sock mates will never be separated again with this method. I use one mesh bag per person in the family if there are socks from multiple people in a load. When I do our loads by person, I only need one bag for all their socks.
Use mesh laundry bags for cloth masks too! We have a bag dedicated just to washing cloth masks. I hang them up when they’re clean. Dirty masks go right into the bag (which lives in the laundry room). No more searching the house for a clean mask.
2. How to make laundry detergent pods
We all love the convenience of laundry pods. No mess, no measuring — it’s a beautiful thing…except that elevated price tag.
It’s no secret that you’ll pay more money for laundry pods compared to good, old fashioned laundry detergent.
For example, here at KCL, we often see Tide laundry detergent get as low as $0.06 per load. Tide pods? Those puppies are a good $0.02 more per load. (Get crazy cheap laundry detergent prices when you combine coupons and sales. More on this below.)
Solution? Learn how to make laundry detergent pods!
3. How to pretreat stains with shaving cream
It’s true! Shaving cream can remove clothing stains like makeup smudges and more.
Here’s the trick: Don’t use shave gel or anything with added moisturizers or colors. Plain Jane shaving cream works best. Last thing you want is to add more oils or stains to your clothes in your attempt to remove a stain!
Just get the stained area wet with water and rub in a dab of shaving cream. Rinse it with cold water.
4. How to use a dry erase marker to help you remember what can’t go into the dryer
I can’t tell you what a game changer this was for me. How many sweaters and it-still-fits-as-long-as-I-don’t-use-the-dryer articles of clothing I have obliterated in the dryer? Literal loads. Kids’ tees that I could’ve gotten another year out of? Gone.
All in a mad frenzy to move the load from the washer to the dryer and be done with it!
Now I write the names of the items that can’t go in the dryer on the front of the washing machine (dryer would work too!). Use a dry erase marker and you can wipe it off after you lay it out to dry.
The added benefit is loosening the mental load (pun intended) of things you have to remember. Write it down and forget about it until it’s time to put clothes in the dryer. Plus, your people have no excuses for accidentally shrinking stuff.
5. How to get an oil stain out of your clothing using baby powder
This works best with fresh oil stains, but it’ll help with leftover stains too.
Dab the oil stain with a paper towel until nothing comes up. Do not rub the stain! Next, sprinkle the area with a generous amount of baby powder. Let it sit for a couple hours, and use a spoon or spatula to scoop the soaked baby powder up.
You’ll need to use soap and water to finish getting the oil stain out. Put a tiny drop of soap on the spot and scrub it with a toothbrush. Wash it in the machine as normal, but be sure to air dry it. (Get your dry erase marker out!)
6. How to strip laundry
The concept of stripping laundry isn’t new, but it’s all over TikTok. The basic idea is to remove leftover detergent and fabric softener from your clothes on a regular basis with the following recipe:
- ¼ cup Borax
- ¼ cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 1 scoop powdered laundry detergent
Fill your bathtub with hot water and soak your clothing. Afterward, wash in your machine as usual.
Keep in mind, this is very hard on fabric and may not be totally necessary. Darker colors and dyes will suffer the most as laundry stripping makes them fade and wear out faster. Never strip delicates or anything made of spandex. Same goes for bedding made of down. The process will remove oil from the down, and your bedding won’t be soft anymore.
7. How to soften clothes with vinegar
Don’t like heavily scented detergents, but love soft clothes? Distilled white vinegar is the answer to your dilemma. Sometimes it’s marketed as “cleaning vinegar,” but as long as it’s white, distilled, you’re good.
Pour ¼ – ½ cup vinegar into the softener cubicle in your washing machine. If you don’t have that option, add it to your final rinse cycle. If you want a scent, add a few drops of essential oil to your vinegar.
8. How to get wrinkles out of clothes with ice
Hate ironing? It’s totally not necessary. You can get rid of wrinkles without an iron.
Ever spray your wrinkly clothes with water or flicked water on them? This trick is a variation of that, but it’ll give you more coverage than a quick splash of water.
Throw a couple of ice cubes in your dryer, along with your wrinkled clothing for about 15 minutes. As the heat from your dryer melts the ice cubes, steam is released to help rid your clothes of wrinkles.
9. How to make your own dryer sheets using a towel and fabric softener
Run out of dryer sheets? You can use fabric softener as a stand-in.
Find a clean and dry hand towel (preferably not white, just in case the fabric softener stains). Pour fabric softener all over it. Depending on how saturated your towel gets, it may take a day or two for it to completely dry.
10. How to get cheap laundry detergent using coupons and deals
You can absolutely pay about 50% less than retail price for laundry detergent brands like Tide, Gain, All, and more.
The key is to combine a laundry coupon with a store sale. If you can use the Ibotta app to get cash back at the same time, that’s even better!
Stock up on laundry detergent when it reaches at least $0.09 per load. (You’ll only get this low of a price with coupons and sales!)
Learn all about how to get cheap laundry detergent.
11. How much laundry detergent to use on one load
Sure, Tide wants you to use three Tide Pods for an extra large load of laundry. Of course, they do! The more you use, the more you’ll need to buy.
But do you really have to use as many pods as the manufacturer recommends?
No. I don’t. One is sufficient unless you’ve got over 20 pounds of laundry. Then you can spring for two pods. Although, keep in mind a standard washing machine holds up to 16 pounds of laundry. If you have a 20-pound load, you’re probably overloading the machine and may want to do smaller loads anyway. A commercial washer can hold up to 25 pounds. That’s a two-pod load right there.
If you’re overusing detergent pods, you’ll just get a lot of residue left over in your washing machine and then you’ll have to clean it more frequently.
12. How to hang sweaters so they don’t stretch out or fall off hangers
The basic idea is to fold the sweater over a hanger. The weight of your sweater should balance out and hang nicely.
To begin, take your sweater and fold it in half lengthwise. Place the hook of the hanger near the armpit of your sweater.
Then, fold the sleeves and the bottom half over the hanger.
13. How to make laundry smell good using Ziploc bags and your freezer
This trick works wonders for jeans and shoes, both of which accumulate bacteria over time. Bacteria is the reason your jeans smell.
If you’re like me, you want jeans to fit a certain way, and too many washes can compromise the denim or make the color fade.
You can put any item of clothing with an odor into your freezer — it doesn’t have to be jeans. You don’t even need a Ziploc bag. Although, if your freezer is prone to popsicle accidents like mine, a bag will protect your clothes.
14. How to deep clean your lint trap using a pillowcase and paint stirring stick
Even if you’re a careful lint trap cleaner, that fluffy stuff will still find its way deep down. Every now and then, use this trick to get it all out.
Before cleaning your lint trap, remove any clean laundry from the dryer. Put a paint stirring stick or ruler inside the corner of a pillowcase and lightly spray the corner with water or a gentle spray cleaner (the wetness will help the lint adhere to the pillowcase fabric). Slide the ruler or stick from one side to the other, and lift out any lint — you’ll be surprised at how much will come out!
15. How to get rid of armpit stains with baking soda and lemon juice
Baking soda and lemon are both great natural stain removers.
Squeeze fresh or concentrated lemon juice and water onto the stain and rub the mixture in.
Allow the shirt to dry out in the sun for extra stain-removing power. For tough stains, create a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the stain. Let it sit for about an hour before throwing it into the wash.
16. How to use aluminum foil as a dryer sheet
Oh hello there, another reusable “dryer sheet.”
Aluminum foil gets rid of any static buildup your clothes experience in the dryer. This helps keep clothes separated, allowing air circulation and reducing drying time. It’s an all-around win.
Crumple aluminum foil into three tennis-size balls and toss them in with your clothes.
Your clothes will be static-free and you can reuse the foil.
17. How to dry clothes faster using a towel
A clean, dry towel will suck up moisture from the clothes in your dryer. This works best when you’re drying a handful of things, not an entire load. (You won’t see as much benefit with a full load.)
So, if you’ve got a few items you want to dry faster than the usual 45 minutes to an hour, toss a big, fluffy towel in with them!
18. How to clean your iron with dryer sheets
Gunk on your iron? It’s easy to remove.
Turn your iron on the lowest heat setting and let it warm up. Then, lay a dryer sheet out flat on your ironing board and gently rub the iron over it. The dryer sheet will capture the gunk and leave your iron clean.
Check out everything dryer sheets can do.
19. How to hang clean shirts quickly
You’ll have everything ready to hang in no time with this method.
Just lay out all the shirts (organized by each person in your family), and then slide hangers in and fold each shirt down as you go. I wait until the end to hang them all up. Or until my pile gets unruly because it’s so large — whichever comes first.
20. How to clean your laundry machine
You’ll need one quart of bleach and one quart of vinegar to clean your washing machine.
Fill your washing machine with hot water and add the quart of bleach when it’s full. Run it for one minute to be sure the water and bleach mix. Let the water and bleach sit for an hour, and when time’s up, run a complete cycle.
Next, fill the washing machine with the quart of vinegar. You’ll do the same process as before, but this time with vinegar.
At the end of that cycle, spray everything (gasket, etc.) down with a vinegar and water solution and wipe it with a clean cloth.
21. These laundry hacks use items you probably have on hand
How to use Borax in laundry
Borax removes soap residue, disinfects clothing, and helps your detergent do its job reducing stains.
Make a solution of one tablespoon of Borax per gallon of warm water. Submerge your clothing in the solution. Another option is to add ½ cup of Borax to your pre-soak cycle on the washing machine.
How to use vinegar in laundry
Vinegar does a lot of laundry jobs. It can get rid of mildew smells in your washing machine, brighten clothes, reduce pet hair and lint, soften clothes, keep clothes dark — phew! What can vinegar not do?
To brighten dingy used-to-be-white socks and shirts, add a cup of vinegar to a large pot of water on the stove. Toss in your clothing items and bring it to a boil. Soak overnight and wash as usual.
How to use baking soda in laundry
Baking soda controls laundry odors, brightens, controls suds in your washing machine, and softens clothes.
Baking soda regulates the pH level in the water your washing machine uses. It keeps the water from being too acidic or alkaline. Add ½ cup of baking soda to your load of laundry. It’ll help your detergent work more effectively.