~ archived since 2018 ~

Tips For Perfect Laundry

September 29, 2017

I shared this post over on FNF a while ago and thought it'd be good to cross post here! As we start to gear up for the holidays, it's important that our efforts to decorate and be extra festive don't become more important our regular house maintenance. If that were to happen, a lack of maintenance would eventually overshadow and negate whatever decorating we do. Who cares how lovely your fall decorations are if your everyday responsibilities aren't managed?

One of my most favorite pastimes is laundry. This is fortunate, because my boyfriend isn’t really into doing laundry himself. This might wear off in twenty years, but I get excited when I arrive at his apartment and find overflowing hampers. The hum of the washer and dryer, the smell of softeners, a closet full of clean clothes, the bliss of falling into fresh sheets... I LOVE IT. I've picked up a few things over the years, and want to know what you've learned as well. These tips are geared toward managing a continual supply of dirty laundry so that things never get out of control!

Cold water and color catchers With the exception of things that need heat to sterilize, and any newly purchased brightly colored items, most things can actually be washed together regardless of color. Use cold water, throw in a color catcher, and bam! This is perfect for mid-week laundry washings... not enough darks or colors or lights to merit their own load? That's quite alright. It’s been mentioned that lights will get dulled if washed with darks, and you don’t want lint from one color latching onto a garment of another color. I don’t have issues with dulling using color catchers and cold water myself, but lint could still be an issue if you have mismatched towels or linens to keep in mind.

Compartmentalized laundry hampers Since learning about my first tip, I've started dividing laundry by washing requirements rather than color. I prefer to hang dry work clothes and nicer knits, things I want to keep nice for a long time. I prefer drying workout attire, since there's SO MUCH OF IT between the man and I and it's usually needed on a quicker basis, and the extra heat is good to kill any bacteria. My lingerie is delicate and expensive so I like to baby it. Towels and sheets need to be sterilized, and rags used for cleaning have products on them that I don't want to touch other fabrics. Having a laundry hamper with multiple compartments has made this SO much easier. No more sorting through my man's crunchy gym socks or untangling bras and shirts or accidentally ruining something... proper preparation prevents poor performance!

Drying rack While there's certainly some comedy in hanging my silky things on door knobs and ceiling fans, a nice industrial drying rack has made a huge difference in laundry ease. Any nice fabric, work garment, or favorite garment that would be prone to pilling/twisting/shrinking gets hung to dry. I like to do these loads first thing so I can have time to let them dry before putting them away before Monday morning. The only negative is that they take up some space, and sometimes get blown over if you put them outside 😑

Steamers My aunt had a standup steamer that had a clothing hanger on the stand. Man oh man did I fall in love. For Christmas, my man bought me a portable handheld steamer. I travel a lot and it made a world of difference! Especially helpful for clothes that get hang drier and. Ever completely de-wrinkle on their own. I'm even considering getting one to keep in my office for emergency post-commute wrinkling. For tougher wrinkles, I spray a little wrinkle releaser and then steam. Just be sure to use distilled/purified water in your steamer (and iron) to keep it running well. TBH I'm curious if I could put wrinkle releaser in the steamer water reservoir but I'm afraid it'd destroy the machine. Here's the steamer Man bought me!

Dryer balls Little spiked plastic balls that you pop in the dryer. These keep laundry moving to prevent any twisting and wrinkling in the dryer (as long as you don’t overfill your dryer! Washing too many clothes at a time prevents them from getting clean, chances you messing up the inner workings of the machine, and the same is true with drying.)

Bright whites Bleach, man. Obviously. But getting those whites in the sun also seems to help, so get your clothesline or drying rack ready. Pro-tip from my late grandma, whose whites were ALWAYS blinding... a tiny bit of bluing. Read the labels and exercise caution but it really helps! Here's a great post about laundry bluing with instructions for front or top load washers!

Stain removal There are so many products, all of them great for specific stains. My best advice is to be preventative. Sweat stains and makeup stains are gross and insidious. On anything lightly colored (white or pastel) use a stain stick on collars and armpits even if you don't see anything yet. Lemon juice is pretty good at preventing sweat staisn from sinking in, and this is the best grease/oil stain remover I’ve ever used. With stain remover sprays, let the remover set in for a while before washing. TMI, but this is a great call for panties and bras... nothing can tank the SMV of a nice lingerie set than sweat stains. I prefer keeping the stick and spray accessible and applying before I throw the garments in the hamper. Makes it so much easier. I'm really bad about getting pen on my business casual attire... a dousing of hairspray does the trick perfectly! I've seen some infographics on Pinterest with good ideas for trickier stains. Here's my favorite, I've tried the hydrogen peroxide only so far but maybe I'll test the rest out for fun.

Starching I like my jeans to stand up in the corner on their own like something out of a paranormal horror film. Spray starch is okay, but nothing works wonders like a bottle of Sta-Flo. I wash my jeans and button ups, then soak them in a five gallon bucket of starch and water solution over night. I feel warm water is better to mix the solution. I wring them out, straighten them out, line up seams, then let them dry on the drying rack. Then it's just a firm ironing and everything is deliciously crisp. I never dry these garments in the machine because I don't want them to soften up at all. Sta-Flo is my favorite, but if I'm doing non-button ups or am out of Sta-Flo I'll use Faultless.

Dry cleaning bag When my shits and other dry clean only's are in need of cleaning, I hang them back up in a bag strictly for dirty garments. I don't want them to get wrinkled up and smashed in a hamper. When the bag is full I take it to the cleaner and start over.

Storage This may be another post entirely but storage is important too. Once I have a walk in closet you can bet I'm keeping a box fan with a HEPA filter strapped to the back in there. I like keeping workout clothes in under bed storage tubs (I really want the IKEA bed with storage drawers!!) because they take up so much room and don't require the visual appraisal that other clothing does. I also pack away most all winter/summer items in vacuum bags (Ziploc Space Bags) once winter/summer/transition season have passed. There are quite a few nifty multi tiered hangers for slacks and blazers as well. I like using them to store a weeks worth of outfits, or a few stacked with different weather appropriate outfits to cut down on the dressing frenzy.

Linens I mentioned lint management earlier, but I think it’s really important to have two sets of linens (more if you have room) so that there is no gap in having towels, blankets, sheets, or other important linens while the laundry is being washed. As soon as I throw in my sheets/towels/etc. to wash, I immediately put an already clean set on just in case I get interrupted and can’t finish the task. The one thing that I do ask his help with is putting sheets on the bed, because lifting the mattress is a conundrum with my hamster hands. I also enjoy trying to get my shoulder in his gut to tackle him onto fresh sheets because I’m totally a grown up. It worked once in four years.

Shoe shines I don't wear boots as often as I used to, but this is an important step too. My dad was army and taught me these basics. There are all kinds of products to keep shoes smelling fresh I need to learn about too! I picked this one up at Target because I like the organization but I’d like to do something that smells more dainty. I do buy insoles for most of my shoes to keep them nice and like to replace these to keep my shoes from smelling gross.

Put stuff away The worst part of laundry for some people is putting it away. I find that the organization system, the compartmentalized hampers, help with this greatly. All the dress clothes hang, all the workout clothes get folded, all the lingerie goes in one drawer. Within those categories, as I fold the laundry, I make stacks of shirts/pants/socks/underwear/etc. so that putting things away is easy. I don't even let myself fold things that get hung, I pull them from the dryer, sort them in the closet and immediately hang them. If I know I won't get to folding the laundry immediately, I leave it on the rack/in the dryer where it won't get wadded up and wrinkled.

Hopefully you found something helpful in here, and even something that inspires you to stay on top of things so that a mountain of laundry will never get in your way :) What laundry trade secrets would you like to share?

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Post Information
Title Tips For Perfect Laundry
Author jack_hammarred
Upvotes 23
Comments 3
Date September 29, 2017 2:31 PM UTC (5 years ago)
Subreddit /r/RedPillWives
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