10 Laundry Tips and Tricks

What’s the point in having great clothes and household items if you can’t keep them in good condition? Here are some of the laundry tips, tricks, and best products I’ve come across.

    1. You don’t need fabric softener or dryer sheets. Who tells you that you need them? People that sell them. Or possibly appliance manufacturers, because they gum up the works and ruin the machines faster. Fabric softener actually makes your towels less absorbent and your wicking athletic clothes ineffective. It’s also full of carcinogens. Try distilled white vinegar for fresher towels and dryer balls to combat static.
      10 Laundry Tips and Tricks dryer balls
    2. Use mesh bags. I like these drawstring bags, or you could make your own if you sew. Having a zipper rather defeats the purpose, so strings or snaps are the way to go.10 Laundry Tips and Tricks mesh bags
    3. Get a clothesline and/or drying rack and use the dryer as little as possible, for the sake of your clothes, your utility bill, and the environment. Ideally, have a place to dry sweaters flat and hang other items. Towels, blankets, and sheets are the only things I dry all the way, and even then on medium heat. Other clothes I either dry part of the way and then air dry for the rest, or air dry 100%.
      Drying rack
      Travel clothesline
      Outdoor clothesline
      Retractable clothesline

      Clothing rack
    4. Close all zippers, and segregate zippered items in a large mesh bag. Otherwise zipper tips will make holes in your knits and silky fabrics.
    5. Wash bras and socks in a mesh bag, then hang hang bras to dry and leave socks in mesh bag in dryer. Voila, bras will last longer and there will be no more lost socks!
      blue white and yellow socks
    6. Try regular blue Dawn detergent for most stain removal, and brush in baking soda if there is anything oily to soak out of it.
    7. For blood stains, try saliva first. (It’s gross but enzymatically it often works.) For set blood stains, try period stain soap. I have a bar soap called Right Out, but it seems to be out of stock everywhere. Fels-Naptha is another wonder stain removal bar.
    8. Use Woolite Dark for black clothes and dark jeans. It contains a small amount of dye, so be wary of patterns. Jeans generally can be washed less than you think (some people never wash them at all, dry clean them, or put them in the freezer to kill the stink) but I find that modern jeans with added stretch need a wash when they start losing their stretch. I air dry though.
    9. For things that need to be cleaned but can’t be rinsed, try a no-rinse detergent like Eucalan. (Apparently you can even use it to wash cats and dogs.) Often wool can be simply aired out (clothesline or drying rack for the win), but if it or other dry-clean-only type items need more, you can put some cheap UNFLAVORED vodka in a spray bottle and spritz. Obviously test on an inconspicuous spot first.
    10. For red wine stains, put white wine on it. If no white wine is available, salt is a handy tool to soak it up also.
       wine glasses

There are the top tips off the top of my head, as of 2021. Watch for updates as I find new laundry tips and tricks!

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