How to Make Laundry Day More Efficient
10 Tips for a More Efficient Laundry Day
If you’re like most of us, dirty clothes seem to pile up faster than we can get to it. You wash a load and before you know it, there’s another load waiting to be washed.
Whether you have a family of 4 or 10, it just doesn’t seem to matter. The fact is, laundry is an ongoing task and unavoidable chore.
So, how can you find a way to keep up and feel less overwhelmed by this never-ending task? Could you be more efficient?
Here are a few laundry tips to make laundry day more enjoyable.
1. Sort Dark/Lights/Delicates Ahead of Time
Sorting whites and colors, heavy materials and lighter fabrics can take a considerable amount of time. One way to cut your laundry time in half is to set up individual hampers or baskets for like clothing. This works especially well for large families.
When a family member takes off his or her dirty clothes, teach them to throw their whites in one hamper; their dirty jeans in another and so forth. That way, all you have to do is grab a hamper and put the contents in the washing machine.
Clean the Hamper Occasionally
When clothes sit in a hamper, overtime they will eventually start to smell. When possible, air them out or you can do what we do and purchase hampers that are fabric or have fabric inserts, this way you can wash them quickly.
2. Getting Clothes Ready to Wash
Sorting items is one way to get clothes ready to wash. Another way to ready clothes for washing day is to zip up zippers, secure Velcro, empty pockets, remove pins and so forth. But don’t button buttons as this can make buttonholes bigger.
If socks are bunched up, undo them and if pant legs have been rolled up, unroll them. Delicate clothing that can be washed should be washed inside out; this includes leggings. And some items like lingerie, bras, and lace panties can be washed in a mesh bag that zips.
3. Wash Light Clothing and Dark Clothing Separately
There’s a reason why you presort light and dark clothing. Dark clothing dyes may bleed, and if washed with light clothing the dye could transfer to the light items and will make them dingy looking.
4. Water Temperature Matters
First, before you wash clothing, read the label, it’s there for a reason. Water temperature plus the right detergent will keep your clothes looking great and help them last longer.
Certain detergents require warm water in order to dissolve completely and properly clean the clothing. Don’t wash in cold water if the laundry detergent specifies warm or hot water only.
Dark clothing is better washed in cooler temperatures to prevent color fading. Light clothing looks better if washed with warm or hot water temperatures. Cold water is good for some items to prevent shrinkage.
Washing Heavily Soiled Dirty Items
Hot water will help heavily soiled clothing get the dirt out and clean. Be careful though as some clothes will not tolerate hot water. If you have really dirty clothing that requires cold water, you may have to soak the item before washing.
5. Use the Proper Amount of Laundry Detergent
Instructions are on the bottle for the same reason labels are on clothes. How much detergent to use can vary greatly from brand to brand. Generic brands may require more laundry soap be used than name brands.
Using too much laundry detergent can leave behind a soapy residue and will not be rinsed completely and over time this residue will make the clothes grungy looking.
6. Don’t Overload the Washing Machine
You might think by adding a bunch of dirty clothes to the washing machine may lessen the number of loads you have to do but don’t do it.
Overloading the machine will prevent your items from getting sufficiently cleaned.
7. Clean the Dryer’s Lint Trap
The lint trap isn’t just to keep lint and fuzz off your clothes. It stops lint from going down the dryer hose and out the vent. Over time debris builds up and your dryer will have difficulty exhausting all the moist hot air.
Not removing the moist air will mean the dryer will take much longer to dry your clothes. This causes the dryer to have to work harder- not to mention creating a potential fire hazard in your household.
8. Drying Items in the Dryer
Before putting items in the dryer be sure to shake them out if they are twisted together or clumped up. It may take a few extra minutes but they will dry more evenly and come out less wrinkled.
Try not to let items sit in the dryer longer than necessary as it can cause them to wrinkle then you’ll have to turn the dryer on again to fluff them up.
Over drying can damage fabric fibers and cause shrinkage, fraying and brittleness. Items will look better and last longer if not exposed to excess heat for long periods of time.
Hang Outdoors to Dry
If it’s a nice sunny day, you can hang some items outside to dry in the warm air.
9. Fold While Items are Still Warm
You’ll avoid the need to iron some things if you fold items when they are still warm. Dress shirts, dresses, blouses, slacks will look their best if hung while still warm.
10. Stay on a Schedule
By keeping on a schedule (and not putting the laundry off), you won’t have a mountain of dirty things that will take days to do.
No matter how structured you are, the odds are good in any household that something will throw a wrench into your schedule sooner or later and you will get behind with the laundry.
If this happens to you, instead of just grabbing clothes out of the hamper and hoping for the best, choose what clothing must be washed immediately and handle them first. For instance, if your kids have plenty of t-shirts to wear, but few jeans, wash pants first.