Laundry is an unfortunate part of life, and it can feel like just one more “to-do” on top of the already overflowing list in our lives. Add to that “high-maintenance” laundry–things that are stained or delicate–and it can feel like too much to think about. I know I’m not the only one with that “hand-wash only” item that’s been sitting on the closet floor for months now.
While not a laundry expert, I’ve definitely done my share of trial and error as the “laundry keeper” for a family of six. I have scoured the internet and minds of housewives (and husbands) to find out what tips work for them to keep the laundry monster under control, and here’s a few (maybe obvious) things that work for us, brought to you by Self Storage Junction City.
Keep a laundry routine, and organize it by rooms
For many, doing the actual laundry is not always the problem–it’s the putting away of the laundry. I can have piles of clean, unfolded laundry on my bed at the end of the day–and I just stuff them into the baskets when it’s time to sleep, and the pile keeps growing bigger.
I’ve found it helpful to first of all stick to a laundry routine. This routine has been tweaked depending on what I have going on during various days of the weeks. Obviously my routine, as a stay-at-home-mom, will look different than a family who is away from the house all day, but the same principles can be applied.
Besides forcing myself to stick to this laundry routine, I’ve found that it’s helpful to organize my routine around which rooms the laundry needs to be put away in. For example, Monday I will wash all the laundry in one bedroom–the clothes that get put away in there, and the sheets (if there’s time). Another day, I’ll wash all the towels in the house–usually around 3 loads.
When it comes to sheets and towels, I usually try to replace what I’ve washed with the freshly cleaned ones–that way I’m not stuck folding and needing to put away clean sets of sheets and towels–they just go right back onto the beds or hooks they were taken from.
Use a detergent with enzymes
I discovered the power of enzymes a few years ago, when dealing with lots of messy toddler laundry. Enzymes target protein stains in the clothes (which includes your food based stains) and provide greater cleaning power than regular laundry detergents. When I want the best clean possible, and cost is not as much of a factor, I love Persil detergent! However, I do a lot of laundry, so for cost-effectiveness, I use powdered Foca laundry detergent with enzymes for most of our laundry needs–this is not for HE washers, and I tend to use a little less (and a double rinse) as it makes a lot of suds.
Consider a double rinse, especially on absorbent materials
Soap residue can actually attract dirt and grime, so sometimes your “clean” clothes could be getting dirtier by the wear if they’re not being rinsed properly. I usually check on my loads once in a while during the rinse cycle to see how many suds are present in the rinse water. Personally, I prefer to do a double rinse on my laundry, to make sure I get as much soap out of the clothes as possible. If there’s a strong detergent scent on my clothes, that may mean that I didn’t actually get all the soap rinsed out, which can irritate the skin and attract dirt.
On things like towels, which are super absorbent, a double rinse is a money-saver. Towels that hang onto soap residue will end up smelling soured and being ruined. A double rinse, along with being completely dried in the dryer or outdoors, and hung up on a hook or bar after use, will keep your towels fresh and usable for a long time (we are going on eight years with ours!)
Sort clothes by materials, not necessarily by colors
Some of you may not sort your clothes at all, but if you have larger loads of laundry to do, it becomes a necessity. Instead of dividing your clothes by color, consider dividing them up by the materials and care instructions. Rougher materials like chino and denim will wear down more delicate materials, and they may need a stronger wash cycle than others like cotton and polyester blends.
Use the sun
This may seem obvious to some generations, but there truly is not any stain remover like the sun. Once you’ve worked on the stain as much as possible, before drying, lay the item in the sunniest place you have. I’ve found this especially helpful for those pale yellow stains that seem to pop on on white and light clothing that’s been stored away for a time.
My Miracle Stain Remover
Along with these five tips, I’ll let you know my favorite stain remover product! It has taken much trial and error to find this one, but it can usually get even the worst of spaghetti and watermelon stains out of my kids’ clothes!
OxiClean White Revive includes those all-important enzymes (see tip #1!) that go to work on those protein-based stains, which is what takes it a step above regular OxiClean, which doesn’t have enzymes. When I have clothes that even the sun won’t get the stain out of, I soak these items in a bucket of hot water with a tablespoon of OxiClean White Revive. After 24-48 hours, I wash like normal, and it’s usually good to go!
When preparing baby clothes for storage or removing off-season clothes from storage, it’s helpful to use the best laundering techniques to keep your items looking new and lasting a long time. For all your storage needs, Self Assured Storage and their expert employees are available to help get your things packed away safely and out of your hair! Give us a call today to get you on your way to clutter-free living!