Last updated on April 23rd, 2021

There’s no way to “do life” without having to “do laundry.” Use these laundry hacks to make laundry chores less stressful, and save time and money in the process!

11 brilliant laundry hacks to save time and money

There’s No Such Thing as Life Without Laundry

What is it about laundry that makes us not love it so much? We all know it’s a part of life, and there’s really no way to get around doing without it. Okay–maybe there’s a way, if you happen to be a bajillionaire and never have to wear clothes more than once.

In a dream world, that kind of luxury might exist. In reality, however, most of us have to do laundry, sometimes more than once a week.

Once you come to terms with the fact that laundry isn’t going to go away or do itself, you can then focus on trying these laundry hacks that may not only take the hassle out of your next laundry day but can save you time and money, too.

We can’t promise to provide answers as to how to find those missing socks, but we can give you a hack that will keep you from losing more socks in the future. We’ve also got some great tips for using household items, such as aluminum foil, vinegar, and lemon juice to boost your laundry game to the next level!

1. Get Organized

You might like to live life by the seat of your pants, as they say. You enjoy spontaneity and don’t like feeling tied down to a planner or to-do list. That’s all well and good for some parts of life but not so much for laundry. If your goal is to make laundry less of a hassle, you’ll want to try organizing your laundry plan.

laundry basket

When and how you do laundry

How many times has your child announced at 10 o’clock at night that he or she needs a sports uniform or particular outfit for the next day? Frustrating, right? Don’t worry. You’re definitely not alone in your struggle. You can avoid such situations by organizing your laundry schedule.

Some families take one day per week and do all the laundry on that day. Others run a few loads through the washing machine and dryer each day to keep the pile at bay.

Whose turn is it today?

Are there laundry room battles happening in your house with people fighting over whose turn it is to use the machines? You can divvy it up by creating a schedule with each family member having a specific day of the week to do laundry. You might be surprised at how this one hack can take the chaos out of making sure everyone has clean clothing to wear.

Are your kids learning to do their own laundry but having trouble remembering what gets washed together, what can’t go into the dryer, etc.?

Try using dry erase markers to write instructions for them on the front of the washing machine or dryer! If you forget to wipe off a message for a while and the ink sets in, you can remove it by wiping it down with alcohol-based wipes or rubbing alcohol. (Liquid hand sanitizer with a high alcohol content works, too.)

2. Save Time by Presorting

Laundry hacks are the best when they save you time, money or both. You can take the stress out of washing clothes by being as organized as possible. There are a variety of compartmentalized hampers on the market that enable you to pre-sort darks, lights and whites ahead of time.

You can opt for a hamper with a fourth compartment as well, if you want to separate hand-washed items that need to go on a drying rack.

3. Treating Stains

We all have those moments where we spill spaghetti sauce on our brand new blouses or our toddler wipes his chocolate covered hands on our white dish towels. They’re super frustrating, but the good news is that many stains can be removed completely if you act quickly.

For example, my daughter once dropped an entire can of latex paint, which splattered all over her as well as on the clothes hanging in the coat room where she dropped it. By acting immediately, we were actually able to remove every last trace of paint from the clothes it stained.

stain remover laundry hacks

As soon as the stain occurs, blot as much of it as possible out with a towel, paper towel, or napkin. Don’t rub, just gently dab.

Rinse the stain with either club soda or cold water and then blot again. Then, you have several options for how to treat the stain.

If it’s oil-based, you can try rubbing baking soda into it and letting it sit before adding it to the machine.

Nellie’s Wow Stick Stain Remover is an awesome, all-purpose, natural stain remover that you can try on any type of stain.

For coffee, sauces, and condiments, soak in vinegar for about fifteen minutes before laundering. Isopropyl alcohol is a stronger solution that can be used on toughter stains like red wine and grass.

Whatever stain removers you try, always wash the items according to their directions immediately after the stain treatment and hang them to dry rather than using the dryer. Once you put a stained item in the dryer, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to remove the stain. When the item has air-dried, evaluate it, apply the stain removal substances again, and re-wash.

4. Natural Products to Whiten and Brighten

When it comes to whitening and brightening, you’ll want to keep a few staple items on hand: baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar. They each can help freshen clothing, brighten whites and remove stains. Bleach is highly toxic. It’s bad for your health and the environment. This little trio of products are safe and inexpensive alternatives!

baking soda laundry hacks

You can add lemon juice or vinegar where you’d normally pour fabric softening liquid. Use 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of either of these to help freshen your laundry. Lemon is a brightener, so you’ll want to save this for your whites. Vinegar, counterintuitively, is a great odor-remover, and don’t worry–it does not infuse your clothes with its own scent.

Baking soda can go into the main basin. It also helps soften hard water if you sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup over clothing before starting the cycle.

5. Speeding Up Drying of Hand-washed Items

It can be frustrating to have a favorite hand-washed item that takes a long time to dry. If you happen to have a salad spinner on hand, your worries are over! Simply give the shirt or sweater a few good spins to remove excess water, then hang or lay flat to dry.

6. Alternatives to Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets reduce static, deposit scents, and help make laundry feel softer. Unfortunately, the chemicals in dryer sheets also leave a film that can damage your clothes, dryer, and lint filter.

You can achieve the same results–while saving money–by using homemade tin foil dryer balls.

Ball up some pieces of tin foil and toss them into the dryer with your laundry and you’ll reduce static cling without leaving behind the residue caused by dryer sheets.

Another great alternative is wool dryer balls, which have the added value of keeping the clothes separated and absorbing some of the moisture, thereby reducing drying time significantly. If you love the fresh smelling laundry you get from scented dryer sheets, you can add a few drops of essential oils to your wool dryer balls and they’ll infuse that scent into your clothes.

If you want drying sheets you can re-use for months, mix together equal parts of fabric softener and water. Cut a a few sponges into pieces and plop them into the mixture.

Before placing a load of wet clothing into the dryer, squeeze out a piece of sponge and toss it in! Voila! You have reusable, homemade fabric softening sponges to get clothing nice and fluffy!

If you forget to take a load out of the dryer, you can run it through again with a handful of ice cubes tossed in. This creates steam that can help remove wrinkles!

7. Keep the Lint Trap Clean to Extend the Shelf Life of Your Dryer

Cleaning and maintenance are important laundry appliance issues. If lint builds up in the trap, it not only creates a fire hazard, but your machine might not work as well, which is why you want to keep the trap clean at all times.

It’s easy enough to remove the filter to get most of the lint out, but what about the stuff that gets stuck down inside? You can reach it by placing a damp cloth on a paint stirring stick! Gently reach the cloth-covered stick down into the trap and swish it around to catch any debris that’s clinging inside.

8. Fold Clean Laundry Straight Out of the Dryer

If you have a habit of letting clean laundry sit around in baskets for days on end, try to set a goal of putting it away as soon as you get done folding.

Just like presorting helps save time, you might be surprised how nice it is to have all of your clothing where it belongs when you need it.

It might also free up walking space in your bedroom so that you stop tripping over stuff when you have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night!

9. Abolish Wrinkles with Iron in a Bottle Spray

Do you dislike ironing as much as I do? Ever since I had an unfortunate incident with an iron nearly thirty years ago, I’ve avoided them as much as I possibly can. Besides, who really has time for ironing these days?

On the other hand, I do like my cotton sheets nice and crisp before they go on the bed.

Tom and Sheri’s Iron in a Bottle solves this problem. It’s a spray on solution that uses a plant-based surfactant to release wrinkles. Simply spray it on, shake on the garment, and smooth it with your hands. The wrinkles disappear like magic.

Want to try it for yourself? Use code MYCUPRUNSOVER30 to get 30% off your purchase of Iron in a Bottle.

iron in a bottle laundry hack

10. Keeping Socks Together

As promised at the beginning of this post, we’ve got some great news on how to keep socks from getting lost in that strange and mysterious Bermuda Triangle of laundry that causes us all to wind up with hundreds of unmatched socks sitting in a basket on a laundry shelf.

With a handy dandy mesh laundry bag, you’ll never have to worry about losing socks again! Instead of tossing dirty socks into the hamper, get into the habit of placing them in your laundry bag, then put the entire bag into the washer along with a full load of compatible items.

11. Go Green with an Outdoor Laundry Line

Modern electrical appliances have definitely provided convenience and helped us to save time when it comes to any number of household chores. Recently, however, there’s been a shift in our collective priorities. Many people are willing to forgo a little convenience to become more environmentally-conscious and lessen their carbon footprint.

The outdoor laundry lines of old are making a comeback! If you have a tree or a fence post in your yard and a deck off the back of your house, you can rig up an outdoor laundry line on a pulley system.Hang a few items then send the line out and hang a few more. When it is time to bring in the dry clothing, turn the wheel to bring the clothing back to the deck and fold each item right off the line.

If your yard isn’t set up for this, you can still use drying racks, either inside or outside. These are a great alternative to putting everything in the dryer or hanging wet clothes on your shower curtain rod.

clothes drying line

If space allows, you might also install some drying lines in your laundry room and hang clothes inside. This is a space-efficient, energy-saving option that works all year round.

Adapt your routine to fit your needs

Life is a series of changing events. You have good days and bad days. It’s easy to fall behind on chores, especially laundry.

Try to be easier on yourself. If the current routine you’re using doesn’t seem to be working out, don’t fret–just adjust it. For instance, if you’re used to doing laundry once a week, but you have a new baby in the house who is going through footie pajamas like there’s no tomorrow, try washing a load of baby items every day instead of letting it pile up until your regular laundry day.

Don’t worry if you have a day here or there where you just feel like letting the full hampers sit there. It’s okay! We’ve all been there!

Just make sure there’s nothing in the hamper that you need for the next day; otherwise, you’ll wind up feeling frustrated when you go to get ready and the item you need is still dirty. Try some of the hacks we’ve shared to see if they can help you save time and money, and make doing laundry a lot less stressful.

1 Comment

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