5 Tips for Saving Time on Laundry

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Home Improvement

Is your washing machine performing at its best?
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Even though your washing machine and dryer do most of the work when it comes to doing laundry, sorting, cleaning, drying, and folding can still take up a lot of time every week. Want to reduce the amount of time you spend on laundry? Keep reading for easy ways to minimize your effort without allowing your dirty clothes to pile up.

Sort and Treat Ahead of Time

Pre-sorting, if you have hampers dedicated to each type of load, does not add any extra time to your laundry routine. It’s just as easy to put your whites in the left basket and your delicates in the right one as it is to mix them all together. This will save you precious time on laundry day when the sorting is already done. Pre-treating stains may take a few extra minutes, but it will save you time in the long run by avoiding dried-on dirt and holding up the rest of the load.

Establish a Routine

Take a closer look at your family’s clothing habits and determine how often you need to do laundry. Does your family wear jeans multiple times before washing them? Does your husband wear undershirts that allow his button-downs to be worn twice? Make sure everyone has enough socks and underwear to last two weeks, and you can do those loads less frequently. The same goes for sheets and towels. If you have more than two sets, you can wait until at least two sets are dirty before washing them together while using the third.

Understand Your Appliances

Whether your washer and dryer are new or came with your home, it’s beneficial to read the instruction manual cover to cover. Determine what constitutes a full load and how dirty your clothes need to be for a heavy wash cycle. You may be able to wash most items on a shorter cycle with less water, so you’ll spend less time waiting to transfer them to the dryer. Ensure that your dryer vent is clean so that your auto-dry function is as efficient as possible. Furthermore, keeping your appliances clean and running efficiently will save you money on water, energy, and maintenance.

Organize Your Space

While giving your laundry area a makeover may not be at the top of your home improvement list, a neat and organized space will make it much easier to use. Keep your detergents and stain treatments in easily accessible baskets or shelves. Leave room for a drying rack or retractable line for delicate items, set aside space for your pre-sorting hampers, and create a small table or counter to hold your laundry baskets while keeping the top of your machines clear. We even suggest putting up a fresh coat of paint and hanging some favorite pictures to increase the chances that you’ll enjoy spending time there.

Become a Faster Clothes Folder

Although washing machines and dryers have become more automated, there is still no way for them to fold and hang your clothes. Therefore, you must finish the laundry process on your own. However, you can speed up the process by learning some quick-fold techniques, such as the two-second shirt fold. Additionally, you can store hangers in your laundry room to hang clothes immediately after they come out of the dryer and keep them wrinkle-free. This task is also an excellent opportunity to include your children in the process. Even the youngest can put stacks of shirts in their own drawers or pair up Daddy’s socks.

Additional Information

More Useful Links

  • 8 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Clothes
  • 10 Toughest Stains and How to Remove Them
  • Dry Cleaning Your Clothes Without Harming the Environment

Sources

  • • “13 Ways to Make Laundry Day Easier.” Better Homes and Garden. (August 31, 2013) http://www.bhg.com/rooms/laundry-room/makeovers/make-laundry-day-easier/
  • • “10 Clothing Tricks in 60 Seconds.” Lifehacker. (August 31, 2013) http://lifehacker.com/5896364/10-clothing-tricks-in-60-seconds
  • • “11 Effective Ways to Reduce Your Laundry Costs.” The Simple Dollar. (August 31, 2013) http://www.thesimpledollar.com/eleven-effective-ways-to-reduce-your-laundry-costs/

FAQ

1. How can I save time on sorting my laundry?

One time-saving tip is to use separate laundry hampers or baskets to sort your clothes as you wear them throughout the week. This way, you won’t have to spend time sorting through a big pile of mixed clothes on laundry day. You can also pre-sort clothes as you take them off and toss them directly into the appropriate hamper.

2. What’s the best way to speed up the washing process?

One way to save time on washing is to use the quick wash setting on your washing machine. This cycle is designed to clean clothes quickly using less water and detergent. Another tip is to wash similar colors and fabrics together, as this will cut down on sorting time and reduce the risk of color bleeding or fabric damage.

3. How can I make folding laundry easier and faster?

Try folding clothes straight out of the dryer while they’re still warm. This will reduce wrinkles and make it easier to fold and stack clothes neatly. You can also invest in a folding board or use a piece of cardboard to help create uniform folds and save time.

4. What’s the best way to avoid ironing clothes?

Hang clothes up as soon as they’re dry to help reduce wrinkles. You can also use wrinkle-release sprays or toss a damp cloth in the dryer with clothes for a few minutes to help smooth out wrinkles. Another tip is to choose clothes made from wrinkle-resistant fabrics, like polyester or spandex blends.

5. How can I save time on hand washing delicate items?

Instead of hand washing delicate items one at a time, try using a mesh laundry bag. You can toss multiple delicate items in the bag and wash them together on a gentle cycle. This will save time and help protect delicate fabrics from damage.

6. Can I save time on drying clothes?

Yes, you can save time on drying by using dryer balls or clean tennis balls in the dryer. These items help fluff up clothes and reduce drying time. You can also use a high-speed spin cycle on your washing machine to remove excess water before drying.

7. How can I keep my laundry organized and easy to find?

Try labeling shelves or storage baskets with the types of items they contain, such as towels, sheets, or socks. You can also use clear storage containers to easily see what’s inside. Another tip is to fold clothes neatly and stack them vertically, which will make it easier to find what you need without messing up the rest of the stack.

8. What’s the best way to remove tough stains?

One time-saving tip is to treat stains as soon as possible. Don’t let them sit and dry, as this will make them harder to remove. Use a stain remover or pre-treat stains with baking soda, vinegar, or dish soap before washing. You can also try soaking clothes in a mixture of water and detergent overnight before washing.

9. How often should I clean my washing machine?

You should clean your washing machine at least once a month to keep it running efficiently and prevent mold and mildew buildup. You can run a cycle with hot water and vinegar or bleach, or use a commercial washing machine cleaner. Don’t forget to wipe down the drum and door seal after each use to prevent moisture buildup.

10. Is there a way to save time on ironing large items like sheets and tablecloths?

Try using a steam cleaner or garment steamer to remove wrinkles from large items like sheets, tablecloths, and curtains. You can also hang these items up to dry and use a handheld steamer to touch up any remaining wrinkles. Another tip is to fold large items neatly and store them in a cool, dry place to help prevent wrinkles from forming.

11. How can I make laundry day more enjoyable?

One way to make laundry day more enjoyable is to listen to music or an audiobook while you work. You can also enlist the help of family members or roommates to make the process go faster and be more fun. Another tip is to reward yourself with a favorite snack or activity once the laundry is done.

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