Tuesday, June 8, 2010

~Tuesday Tips~

I call this photograph Life in the Laundry. Laundry is one of those things that seem to never end. It doesn't matter if I catch up on it. No sooner than I turn my back to the empty basket, it is full again. 

So, this Tuesday, I bring you some laundry tips that I have learned over time.

1. Not all things labeled "Dry Clean Only" must be dry cleaned. Use wisdom, but some things can be washed on gentle cycle in cold water and laid flat or hung to dry. This saves $$ and time. (I will not be held responsible if you try this at home and shrink your $100's business suit or bridesmaid's dress...as I said, use wisdom.)

For example, I have a couple of winter sweaters from JC Penney's that request dry cleaning. I use cold water, gentle cycle, flat dry for them, and they are just fine. They've also lasted many years. I would not do this with my wedding dress.

2. Use cold water to wash and rinse with. This will save you a ton of $$ on your electric/oil bill. My clothes come just as clean in cold water as they do in hot water. My electric bill shrinks, but my clothes don't.

3. Hang dry when possible. My electric bill was cut in half when I started to line dry my clothes this spring. My jaw dropped when I saw how much it went down. I'm sure the heater not running had some to do with it, but I know the dryer makes a huge difference, too. Besides, who doesn't love spring fresh clothing? 

4. White Vinegar helps get rid of musty smells. It also tends to brighten. I didn't know this until the past year or two, but a good dose of white vinegar to the wash helps to get rid of the musty smell in the washing machine and our clothing. It also tends to brighten the colors in the clothes. I usually pour in half to one cup, depending on how musty they smell.

5. Did you know that the musty smell comes from using too much detergent, among other things? According to my trusty washer repair guy, we only need to use a bleach cap's worth of detergent per load of laundry. More than that is too much. I have saved a lot on laundry detergent since I heard this pointer, as well. Laundry budget - shrinking. Clothing - not shrinking, lasting longer, and smelling better.

6. Wait until you have a full load. It's a waste of water (and money, if you pay a water bill) to wash half a load. Wait until the machine is full (up to the top of the agitator...don't overfill it). Then, run the load.

7. Extend the life of your dryer by washing your lint trap. My sister sent me one of those handy "pointers" emails that everyone forwards. One lady mentioned that her repair man told her to clean her dryer lint trap with water and a fine bristled brush, like a toothbrush, once every six months. Even though they look clean when we remove the lint, there is a waxy build up occurring from the scent and such on the dryer sheets. By cleaning them, one can extend the life of the dryer up to two times the usual. It also saves on your electric/gas bill by running more efficiently.

8. Use your dryer sheet more than once, and then dust with it. This is something that I have discovered recently. I can use the dryer sheet more than once. Usually, two or three loads can be dried before it becomes unscented and virtually useless. BUT...then, it makes a great dust cloth! Save on those paper towels and reuse your dryer sheet to dust the end tables or the computer, the lint dust off of your dryer, etc. 

9. Use towels more than once. Wear jeans more than once. This may sound gross to some, but if you haven't sat in peanut butter from your kid's lunch or dripped gravy down the front of your jeans while cooking dinner, they can easily be worn up to three days before the knees are obviously saggy from being dirtied. This can save the life of your jeans. We all know we have our favorite pairs. Imagine making them last a few months longer...not to mention saving more money (on laundry cost and on clothing cost). Towels don't need to be washed after every use, either, unless the baby was filthy or someone was a guest. 

10. Zip your zippers before putting them in the wash. Zippers will catch on the other clothing in the load, causing them unnecessary wear and tear. By simply zipping up all pants, jeans, shorts, coats, etc., you can save clothing and money.

I hope these tips have helped! Feel free to comment with your learned laundry tips! I always like to learn more about how to save time and money! ;)       


  1. Very nice...many things I've done or do! I only dry clean David's suits and usually wear my dress clothes a couple times before washing...because I only wear them a couple hours to church...and I'm not sweating. =)

    I like to fold clothes immediately from the dryer. I hate wrinkles...so if you pull the clothes out and lay them flat as you remove them, then you can go back and fold them. If you stick them into a basket or let them cool in the dryer by folding a piece at a time, you get wrinkles...a personal pet peeve! =) So anyway...that's my laundry tip!

    Miss ya!


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