Last week we discussed just how often you should wash your household items. We covered everything from your bed linens and bath towels to your kitchen towels and bath mats. In addition, you need to wash all your clothes. That’s a lot of laundry!
To help you get a handle on what can feel like a massive task, we’re sharing our favorite laundry efficiency tips.
Create a Laundry Schedule
Chances are pretty good you don’t have time do all your laundry at once. By creating a laundry schedule, you can break down your laundry chores into smaller tasks. One of the easiest ways to do so is to schedule loads by type and then tackle them throughout the week. Your schedule might look something like this:
- Monday – Sheets
- Tuesday – Bath Towels
- Wednesday – Darks
- Thursday – Lights and Dishtowels
- Friday – Bath Towels
With a schedule like this, you can tackle a load or two each night and spend the weekend footloose and laundry free.
One of the best things about laundry is that it practically does itself. While the washing machine and dryer are running, do something else. This might mean you do laundry while cooking dinner or picking up the playroom. It could also mean you do laundry while catching up on your soaps. Heck, you could even schedule a date with a friend. Let your buddy know you want to see them, but you need to get a little something done. (Just don’t ask them to help fold or they might not come back for a repeat.)
Presort – CAREFULLY
Presorting laundry is one of the easiest ways to streamline your laundry days. To make it easier for you and your family, you can set out designated linen bags – white, darks, and delicates.
But, be careful to check the clothes have been sorted appropriately. Few things are more frustrating than pulling a load out of the wash and discovering you ruined a new or beloved item. Washing your son’s Superman shirt with your white sweater could have very pink results.
Make Sure Your Dryer is Drying Efficiently
Before each load, check and empty your dryer’s lint trap. Full lint traps will significantly reduce your dryer’s efficiency. And, if you go too long between emptying they can become a fire hazard.
Over drying items can make them shrink and break down the fabric. To help your clothes last longer, you can separate out lightweight items that dry quickly. Run this load first. This will also lighten the load for heavier items, allowing your dryer to dry them more efficiently.
Help Your Towels Last Longer
Few things are more luxurious than a fluffy towel. However, good-quality towels can be expensive. To help them last longer, use warm water, not hot. When drying them, avoid over drying. Zapping them with too much heat can destroy the integrity of the fabric’s fibers. Additionally, don’t iron towels. This will also break down the fabric’s fibers and reduce absorbency.
You don’t have to do it all. We repeat, you don’t have to do it all. By delegating laundry tasks, you can lighten your own load and teach your kids responsibility. While you might continue to do the actual washing and drying, kids as young as preschool can be asked to fold and put away their own clothes.
Beyond the headache of mixing colors or over drying a 100 percent cotton shirt, hidden pocket gems can be serious minefield. Pockets can contain everything from coins and dollars to electronic devices and lipstick. To keep these goodies from ruining clothes or your machines, check pockets before washing.
Use Garment Bags
Garment bags can help extend the life of both the items you are bagging and the items you are not. The bags protect delicate times, such as bras. They also keep the bits and pieces of bras, like the metal hooks, from coming into contact with other items. (Speaking of the metal hooks, it is best to wash your bra while it is hooked. It helps them not become bent or damaged, prolonging your bra’s life.)
Have another laundry efficiency tip that makes your life easier? Drop by our Facebook page to share. We’d love to hear all about it.