No one loves doing laundry, but do it you must — especially if you’ve got a house full of kids. Fortunately, there are ways to lighten your loads! Read on for tips that’ll save you time and keep your clothes and linens in tip-top shape when you do laundry.
Check Your Settings
With so many dials and buttons, it’s hard to know the best way to wash and dry. For example, if your washer tends to take an extra long time, it may be on an extended cycle. Adjust the settings to “normal wash” or even a shorter cycle for lightly soiled items or small loads. The shorter your cycle time, the more loads you’ll be able to do on laundry day. (It pays to read that owner’s manual at least once.)
Yes, it’s an extra step, but pre-treating stains before doing laundry will actually save time in the long run by getting rid of them the first time around. For stubborn stains like grass, blood or baby poop, rinse and then pre-treat with either a small amount of liquid detergent or a stain lifter. Many brands offer online instructions on how to deal with common culprits.
Use a Clothesline
It might be old-fashioned, but there are a couple of very good reasons to hang at least some of your laundry out to dry. For one thing, you’ll save energy. Other plusses: Air-dried sheets and towels smell wonderful, laundry ends up less creased and once you’ve hung it up, you’re free to leave the house without waiting for the dryer to finish.
Be a Smart Dryer
High heat or medium? That depends on the item. Bedding and towels are usually good to go on the highest of settings. But lower that temperature when it comes to clothes, since the higher the heat, the more likely it is that garments will shrink, fade or lose elasticity. Let delicates like lingerie air-dry if possible, and turn jeans inside out to prevent fading.
Kids over the age of 7 should be able to pitch in and start learning how to do laundry. Put a sign above their hampers reminding them to empty pockets and zip zippers. On laundry day, let them sort their items — colours, whites, sheets/towels — so you don’t have to. Have them put their own clean clothes away, and show them how to work the machines so they can take on the task themselves if necessary.
Care for your Machines
A little maintenance can go a long way when it comes to extending the life of your washer and dryer and makes doing laundry a lot easier.
- Make sure both are level — if not, the machines’ vibrations and movements could damage them.
- Keep surfaces clean of dust and detergent spills.
- Clean your lint trap. Too much lint can slow the drying process and ultimately damage your dryer. Some washing machines have lint traps, too.
- Don’t over-dry your laundry. This not only shortens your clothing’s life but your dryer’s longevity as well.
- Leave the washer door open to discourage mould and mildew (unless you have pets or kids who could crawl in.)
- Clean washer dispensers once a month.