Okay, here’s the dirty truth: Laundry day can be intimidating. Whether you’re a parent who feels like the wash-dry-fold cycle never ends or an on-the-go millennial who’s trying their best at adulting, dealing with dirty clothes can be a real drag.
And while we can’t call upon a laundry fairy to handle all those overstuffed hampers (short of pointing you toward the local full-service laundromat), we can help make the process more enjoyable no matter what stage of life you’re in. Behold, a list of dependable tips and tricks for making this particular chore a little less daunting.
If you’re an overwhelmed parent…
Employ a bag to keep track of socks.
You know those teeny, tiny, pretty-much-made-to-be-lost baby socks? Keep ‘em contained—along with the rest of your family’s footwear—in those mesh bags designed for delicates. Stash one in each person’s basket and never again wonder: Where do all the socks go?
Use this secret weapon for life’s messiest moments.
One of the many Persil ProClean products that have earned the coveted Good Housekeeping Seal is Persil ProClean Original Scent Liquid Laundry Detergent. Meant for everyday use in all types of washing machines, it not only brightens, whitens, and lifts daily grime from your duds, it’s formulated to handle even the toughest of dirt, grass, and what-the-heck-is-that stains.
If you’re always on-the-go…
Deal with delicates using this handy kitchen gadget.
Salad spinners—they’re not just for produce. They can also be clutch when it comes to cleaning bras and other hand wash-only items. (Yes, we’d recommend getting a separate one for this purpose.) Simply soak your pieces in the bowl with a few inches of water and a touch of detergent for five minutes, spin, then rinse the garments under running water. Once the dirty water is dumped out, repeat the spin cycle to wring out excess water for a quicker air dry.
If you’re living with someone for the first time…
Keep track of do-not-dry items.
Just because you’ve decided you and your partner have committed to cohabitation doesn’t mean you’ve mastered each other’s wardrobe preferences. Stash sticky notes on your washing machine to cement which pieces shouldn’t go in the dryer. This way, you’ll never have to explain why you accidentally shrunk their formerly favorite sweater.
Make the process foolproof.
Consider Persil ProClean Original Scent Laundry Discs the ultimate softball for laundry newbies. Pre-measured with a quartet formula focused on stain removal, sealing in freshness, fiber care, and deep cleaning, it works with whites or colors and in all water temps. Simply toss in, add clothes, and let it get to work.
If you’re striving to overcome your naturally messy tendencies…
Deal with detergent drips.
Listen, it can feel pretty much impossible to pour detergent into the washer without it dripping down the cap. Keep it clean by tossing the top of the detergent in with your clothes. Just be sure to fish it out before the load hits the dryer.
Use this smooth move to deal with wrinkles.
No iron? Not a problem. Even if you left your freshly laundered clothes in the dryer (again), you’re just a few painless minutes away from wrinkle-free attire. Toss damp/wet towel in with your rumpled pieces and let the machine run for roughly 10 minutes. As the wet item dries, it creates a steamy situation that will zap out any creases.
If you’re a perfectionist who’d never mix whites with colors…
Avoid creases with an unexpected toy.
Drying racks and hangers are great for sweaters and other items that can’t take the heat of the dryer, but the creases they can leave behind are so not smooth. Sidestep that particular wrinkle by slicing open a pool noodle and sliding it onto the rack or hanger for padded protection.
Try this tool to have your shirts looking retail perfect.
Why, yes, your dresser can look like the inside of your go-to clothing store. For less than the cost of a few morning coffees, you can score a handy shirt-folding board. Not only will it make the most time-consuming part of the laundry process a cinch, but it will completely streamline your shelves.