Chances are you started doing laundry as a child. From washing your underwear and socks to washing your uniform in boarding school. and even loading the washing machine at home every Saturday, laundry is one of those chores that remains a constant in every stage of life and living.
While it is a common chore, the words “laundry” still strikes fear in even the bravest of hearts. Not only can it be a tedious and laborious activity, but little mistakes such as shrinking a sweater, accidentally dying a dress, e.t.c when you’re in a rush to get the job done, make things even worse.
As you would imagine, people have over time searched for the easiest ways to get laundry done in a less complicated way with the least amount of effort and minimal mistakes. Luckily, these people have also shared their genius and simple laundry hacks and we have made notes.
Here are a few simple laundry hacks that will get you wishing you knew them before now.
Sprinkle salt on clothes to keep them from running
Imagine opening the washing machine door and realizing a particular outfit has run its colour, staining your other clothes; or soaking your clothes in water to handwash only to find the water coloured after a few minutes. Besides the fact that the other clothes get stained, the running outfit loses colour and fades. Most people attempt to solve the problem by separating clothes and washing them by colour, however, simply sprinkling salt will actually keep clothes from running. It is a simpler and eco-friendly alternative. Salt contains chloride which helps protect vibrant colors and keep them from fading too fast in the wash.
Apply hair spray or hand sanitizer on ink marks to remove stains
Sometimes we forget our pens in your pockets and they bleed, or perhaps you are a student …or even a teacher and you get ink marks on your cloths all the time. Some of the ink marks may be very difficult to treat and might not even just go away after washing…but here’s a trick to get rid of the stains, use your hairspray or hand sanitizer. The alcohol found in both hairspray and hand sanitizer can act as a powerful solvent. After saturating the stain with either product, allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes and then throw it into the wash as usual.
Use chalk to remove grease stains
Who would have thought that chalk would useful for anything else other than writing on the board and marking out lines for tailors? Apparently, rubbing a little chalk into a stain on a cloth before tossing it in the washing machine will soak up every pesky grease issue. From lipstick to bacon and engine oil, it works wonders. Of course, this is no reason to go messing yourself up with grease, as it can be some work rubbing the chalk into the grease stain.
Unshrink clothes with conditioner
Have you ever brought out your clothes from the washing machine and they are smaller than they were when you started the wash? Or you washed your clothes and once it touched water it just shrunk? It can be very frustrating. Usually you mourn the clothes and either throw them away or give it to a smaller person, but hey, good news! You really do not have to say goodbye to your favourite dresses because they shrank in the washer or dryer. With a good conditioner, you can salvage it. All you need to do is soak the cloth in lukewarm water and ordinary hair conditioner, then you are able to stretch it back out to its original form! It sounds like magic, but it actually works.
Whiten or brighten dull clothes with lemons
The normal practice when it comes to washing white clothes is to separate them from other colours and soak then for an hour before washing them. In situations where there are tough stains, you add a bit of Clorox, Jik or Hypo. But you really do not need to use hypo or Jik or Clorox to brighten your clothes, lemon does the magic and it is safer. Add sliced lemons into a pot full of water and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and add your clothing items. Let them soak for an hour and then wash as usual…and voila, your dingy whites are as good as new. Likewise, smaller items like napkins, socks, and linens can be whitened with this eco-friendly laundry tip using lemons. And remember to let them dry out in the sunlight rather than throwing them in the dryer for an extra boost.
Pour Coffee Or Tea In With Black Clothes to strengthen colour
A major problem with dark coloured clothes, especially black clothes is that it tends to fade after being washed again and again. A good way to avoid that from happening and even strengthening the colour is by adding coffee or tea to the clothes when washing them. Adding two cups of brewed coffee or tea, adds a natural dye that helps to strengthen or revive the items’ original color. This only works with strictly black or very dry items though. Do not try them with anything other than that.
Throw ice cubes in the dryer to get rid of wrinkles
Most of the times, your clothes come out of the washer looking utterly wrinkled and you find you have to put in extra effort ironing them. The usual go-to to avoid that is to add iron-free liquids or solutions to your washer. But sometimes, even that does not work. An organic way that works is using ice cubes. Throw in ice cubes in the dryer before drying the clothes and the wrinkles will be gone. You have to ensure you do not put too many ice cubes and you don’t overcrowd it with too many items at once.
Use vinegar to soften tough clothes
Some clothes are easy to wash, while other require more pressure . If you are doing a hand wash, you find you have to soak them for a long time or even re-wash them over and over to get it entirely clean. And if you are using a machine, you resort to fabric softeners. The thing about fabric softeners though is that its residues and sometimes even fragrances can aggravate allergies and sensitivities, leave buildup on moisture sensors or lint screens, and blocking air flow. To avoid all of that, an easy way is to use the vinegar from your pantry as softener. Vinegars are powerful and can help soften even the stingiest of fabrics. The added bonus is that it can also get rid of lingering odours while acting as an antibacterial. A good D-I-Y fabric softener is to add between 1/4 cup and 1 cup white vinegar to the final rinse cycle.
Do you know other laundry tricks? Let us know !
Photo Credit: Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com