Laundry Tips

Numbers 31:20 “You shall purify for yourselves every garment and every article of leather and all the work of goats’ hair, and all articles of wood.”

Is there any household chore we spend more time on than laundry? Is it possible to learn to love it? Believe it or not, there are plenty of tips you can implement that, along with a rightly ordered attitude, can make laundry easier and even enjoyable.

Before you try any of these tips, remember to be thankful for the family who are generating all this laundry. Also remember that the laundry is never “done,” and there is nothing wrong with that.

  1. One Load of Laundry- After the laundry has been washed and dried, fold it and put it away. Listen to a podcast, audiobook, online sermon, or Bible recording while you fold the basket and then put away the clothes. You might be surprised at how little time this takes and how relaxing it can be once you get good at it! (Maybe “relaxing” is too strong a word, but at least you can do it sitting down.)
  2. Provide a separate laundry basket for each person or each bedroom in your house. Wash each basket separately, or better yet, teach your kids to wash their own. When it’s time to fold and put away, all the clothes go in the same room. This is a simple and effective laundry routine that not only helps to stay on top of the laundry but also saves time! 
  3. Make a laundry schedule. This will depend on the ages of your kids and how much laundry everyone generates. Maybe each person is designated one day, or maybe kids are designated certain days and adults are designated other days. Don’t forget to put towels and bed linens on your schedule.
  4. When sorting laundry, sort by weight instead of by color. Only natural fabrics bleed onto other clothes, and if you’re washing in cold water, that usually doesn’t happen, so most of the time sorting by color is unnecessary. If you sort by weight, your lighter clothes won’t wear out as fast, your drying times will be more efficient, and you’ll have less static.
  5. Instead of ironing, try hanging wrinkled clothing on a clothes hanger, lightly wetting them with a spray bottle of water (or use the shower head), and leaving to air dry overnight. Give hemlines a tug to straighten after getting wet.
  6. Put stained clothes all in the same place, and when you’re ready, soak them in a dishpan full of OxyClean solution for two days. (It sounds like a lot, but if you really want the stains out, it works.) When they’re done soaking, wash normally.
  7. Wash towels and sheets separate from clothes and in hot water. This helps relax the fibers in the linens to release the dirt, dead skin, allergens, and whatever other nasty things hang on to them. Also, if you wash towels separate from clothes, you can easily dry the towels without dryer sheets (apologies to those who cringe at the phrase “dryer sheets”--we can have that discussion sometime) without causing a bunch of static. If you use fabric softener on towels, the chemicals used in the fabric softener can clog up the towels’ fibers and make them lose absorbency.
  8. Remove all the empty hangers from the closets. Keep them in the laundry area to place clothing on as soon as they come out of the dryer. If you have lots of extra hangers, purge through them. Most dry cleaners will recycle the wire hangers, and thrift stores are a great place to donate extra hangers (though some stores are particular about what kind of hangers they use). 
  9. In some homes, items that are missing their companions (socks, mittens, etc.) and other random objects seem to make their home in the laundry room. It’s where junk goes to die. Not today! Sort through those random piles of junk. Give worthwhile items a proper home and space, give away gently used items you no longer need, and throw away the junk that just needs to go.
  10. Have a small basket for unmatched socks, and when the basket gets full, match the ones you can. Put the unmatched ones back in the basket for next time or, if they’ve been unmatched for a long time, throw them away. Don’t keep them sitting around while thinking, “I could use this for a craft” or, “I know I saw the match somewhere.” Socks are easily enough replaced. 
  11.  If your kids are little, keep all the gloves in your room or some other central location. That way you’ll know where they are when you need them. When the kids come inside, the gloves go in the hamper or back in the central location.
  12. Dry homemade laundry detergent is inexpensive and easy to make, lasts for months, and has numerous health benefits, such as reduced allergies and skin irritation. Here is a link to a quick recipe. (Adding OxyClean to this recipe is helpful.) 
 This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are so many laundry tips out there that work differently for different households. Do your own trial and error, and ask other homemakers what’s worked for them.  You might find laundry isn't such a stressful task after all.

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