Having three kids, a husband and a dog, I am a self proclaimed expert at laundry, and today I am happy to share my tips for keeping laundry like new!
Hey friends! Clean and Tidy Friday is back! Can we talk laundry today? This may sound a little cocky, but I’m good at laundry! Now mind you, I do not proclaim to be speedy, or that I actually always keep up with it in a timely manner. But when I do it, I do it good. Actually, I do it real good! Ha! I really do feel like I’m an expert at keeping all of our clothing looking fresh and new. And I realized recently that I had never shared all of the little things I do that make a big difference when it comes to keeping our clothes looking new. So friends, today is that day! I’m going to spill the laundry beans!
If any of you reading this know me personally, you can see my clothing for yourselves and know that I speak the truth. And I have even had several people tell me this. Including my sister-in-law, who receives my 10 year old son’s hand me downs. She has complimented me about how new looking his clothes are when she receives them.
I’m going to share all of the little laundry tips and tricks that I have learned through the years. Some of these my mom taught me, some my MIL taught me, and some I have read or picked up in books, magazines, and online. And I promise you that if you treat your laundry with a little TLC, you clothes will look newer and last longer!
Tips For Keeping Laundry Like New
Clean and Service Your Appliances
The better you take care of your washer/dryer, the better job it will do for you in keeping your laundry in the best shape possible. I happen to have a front loader now, but for 20 years, I had a top loader. We inherited out front loader when we moved into our current home, and it was nasty the first time I went to use it. It smell like mold and mildew, and I had to work really hard to get it up to par, so I try to keep it clean on a regular basis to avoid that happening again. Once I got rid of the nasty smell and got my front loader clean, I fell in love with how it washes our clothes. It is more energy efficient and uses less detergent, and I feel it gets clothes more clean that my previous top loader.
To clean you washer, make sure the drum is empty, and then set your washer on the hottest and largest load settings. Add 2 cups of white vinegar to the detergent tray. Then run the washer. Next, add 2 cups of bleach to the detergent try and repeat the wash cycle. Afterwards, run one more wash cycle using nothing. This will just get rid of any residue or bleach that may have been left behind.
Remove and clean your detergent trays. I just do this with some hot soapy water. My parts are all removable.
Clean the door seal – Mix together 1 cup of chlorine bleach and 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket, and just clean down into all of those crevices with a rag dipped into that solution. Follow up by thoroughly drying all of the crevices with a dry rag.
Leave you washing machine door open when not in use. This will significantly lessen the possible mold and mildew.
Clean your dryer’s lint trap between every use. Sometimes I will take it out completely and fit on of my vacuum attachments down in there as far as I can and suck out more lint. Every so often, disconnect the exhaust duct to remove blockage. Our dryer broke down once because it was so clogged. So this is important.
Before you throw it in the wash
Empty pockets, close snaps and hooks, secure velcro, unroll cuffs, tie strings to prevent tangles, turn delicate items inside out to prevent pilling, and turn black inside out to prevent fading. Do not button buttons, because the wash and dry process can distress buttons and button holes. Throw socks in a pillowcase before washing to avoid losing socks into the abyss.
Have multiple hampers around your home.
I personally do this so that our clothing is already separated the way I want it to be before I actually do laundry. I keep a basket in our bathroom for dirty socks and underwear, I have two separate baskets in our bedroom- 1 for dark clothing and 1 for light clothing and whites. I have a separate hamper for dirty towels. So when one of my hampers is full, all I have to do is carry it to the wash and toss it in. No need to spend time separating laundry.
Don’t wash your clothes after every wear.
I get it- this one can be debated until the cows come home, but I am personally very strict on this one. I have trained all of my children and my husband not to just automatically throw their clothes in the hamper after worn. In our house, the rule is, if it’s not dirty, hang it back in the closet. And I am so strict on this rule that I have been known to go through the dirty laundry, pull out the items that I deem “clean”, and make the kids hang them back in their closet. So, how do you know if it is clean? Well, mostly just glance over the clothing item, if you haven’t gotten anything on it, if you haven’t sweat while wearing it, and if it doesn’t smell bad, then no need to wash it! This is my #1 secret to keeping my clothes looking like new! And it’s the easiest one of all! Disclaimer- obviously, if you were working out and sweating profusely, it needs washed. Be smart about this people!
Use good quality hangers!
Quality hangers can mean different things to different people, but my personal favorite is velvet hangers. Transferring my clothing to all velvet hangers was a journey for me. I didn’t do it all in a day. They can be a little pricey, at least, I personally could not afford to switch out all of my closets to velvet hangers at once. So what I chose to do was to purchase on pack at a time and switch them out. I always purchased mine at Marshalls because I could get a pretty good price on them. But you can find them at Amazon too, and this pack off 100 is a pretty good deal at $39.99. I stuck with black and grey hangers in our closet because one or the other of those colors were always available. Why do I like these? Because they are a very slim line hanger, so you can fit more clothes into your closet by using them. Also, clothing does not slip off of these hangers, even spaghetti straps. And, these hangers do not make marks at the shoulders where they hang. Needless to say, I am a huge fan of these and will never go back. I see some people use wooden hangers too, but it doesn’t make sense to me. They take up so much more space in your closet, and clothing can just slide right off of them. So I am velvet hanger all the way.
Hang Items to dry instead of drying them in the dryer.
I hang most of my clothing to dry. I do use our dryer to dry all of our towels and bed linens, socks and underwear, my son’s clothes, and my husbands gym clothes. But as for my own wardrobe, if it is an item that I hang in my closet, I usually do not dry it. For clothes that I want to get wrinkles out of, I will throw those in the dryer for maybe 5 minutes, and then I take them out of the dryer while they are still damp and hang them on a hanger to dry. They dry wrinkle free if you hang them while they are damp like that. That little 5 minutes of dryer time works wonders in getting the wrinkles out. I do throw all children’s clothes in the dryer, after all, they are growing and you don’t keep their clothing for as long as an adult does.
Vinegar is your friend.
I keep a large sized bottle of white vinegar in my laundry closet at all times. It works wonders when washing towels. Did you know simple white vinegar can be used instead of fabric softener? I didn’t believe it until I tried it, but all you have to do is pour some into the detergent section of your washer, and it works wonders at getting that mildew smell out of towels, and it also makes them so fluffy! Vinegar can also be used instead of Clorox bleach to whiten whites. I add it to all of our whites. When added into the final rinse cycle it will reduce static cling as well.
The best way to treat a stain is to treat it before it sets. I carry Tide To Go Pens in my purse and I have them stashed in various other places. They work wonders for dealing with stains on the go.
For working on larger stains than what can be handled with a Tide To Go Pen, scoop up solids with a clean, dull edge, and work on the liquid stain with a white clean cloth. I usually use OxiClean Spray stain remover when I am working on a stain this way. Work from the outside in to avoid spreading the stain.
I find the Clorox Bleach Pen to be extremely helpful when getting a stain out of something white. It even has a little scrubber on one end to work on the stain with.
Another item I have used for years is a Spray ‘n Wash Pre-Treat Stain Stick. This is for treating stains now and washing later. Just rub it into the stain. This little stick works surprisingly well!
Also, it is very important to remember, if you don’t get the stain out in the wash, do not throw your stained item into the dryer. this will set in the stain and it will be nearly impossible to get it out after it has been dried.
What Temperature To Use For Washing Clothes
I always wash the clothing that I hang in our closets with cold water to avoid shrinkage. I have never had a problem using cold water mainly to wash our clothing. But as a rule of thumb, use hot water for white loads, and also when washing bed sheets. Use warm water for towels, socks and underwear. And use cold water for colors.
Use the delicate cycle for lacy and loosely woven fabrics. I also am a huge fan of Woolite for our delicates. I have been using it all my life.
When drying clothes, I usually set my dryer on normal for clothing items, and heavy duty for towels and sheets.
Keep laundry smelling Fresh and Clean
I mentioned above that Vinegar can be used to get odors out, and I promise, it doesn’t make clothing have a vinegar smell at all. But I am a huge fan of Downy Unstopables, which are an in laundry scent booster. I am addicted to these little things! You just throw some in the drum before you throw your laundry in, and oh my! They makes your clothes smell sooooo good!
I think about sums up all of my laundry tips for you today. I hope you enjoyed reading my tips for keeping laundry like new. I have been using these methods for years, and I take great pride in keeping our clothing looking new for as long as possible. So I hope some of these things will help you as well. You can check out the Amazon add at the bottom of this post to see all of my favorite laundry products. I am including all of the main items that I use in this custom ad.
If You Like It, Then You Wanna Put A Pin On It!
Do you have champagne taste and a tiny budget too?
Love fashion, DIY, crafting, all things vintage and thrifty? Stick with me, I’ve got you covered!
Sign up to get my posts delivered to your inbox here
Follow me here:
You May Also Like: