Thursday, June 23, 2011

{Tips and Tricks} The Dreaded Laundry

As strange as this may sound, when I was younger {like 9, 10 younger} I actually liked doing the laundry.  I think it's because it made me feel grown up.  Now, with a husband and two-year-old, the laundry piles up fast.  It's one of those "didn't I just finish this?" chores {right up there with the dishes, right?}  And, again, with said two-year-old, there are stains a-plenty.  Though our family is still on the smallish side, I've rounded up some laundry tips that have helped me through the
dreaded laundry day.

1.  Pick a day

I found it's much easier to have a designated laundry day than to be doing laundry all week long.  Constantly doing a load here and there adds to that never done feeling.  For our family, laundry day is on Saturdays.  This is mostly due to the fact that my husband travels and needs his things washed over the weekend so that he can be packed and ready to leave again on Mondays.  Since there's only three of us for now, I can get everything done in one day.  And if there are accidents throughout the week, then I just do additional loads as needed.

2. Sort!

This one probably seems like a no-brainer.  But it will seriously make things go smoother, and can cut down on the number of loads you end up doing.  My piles go like this: whites, darks, coloreds, towels and Bobby's stuff.  Some weeks if the towel pile is small, I'll toss it in with the coloreds-same if Bobby's pile is small or the darks pile is small.

3. Fight {treat} those stains

Best thing about sorting is, you're looking at everything, deciding on which pile it goes in.  This is a great opportunity to look for stains.  If I find something that has a spot on it, I set it aside and once I'm through with my sorting, I go treat the stain.  Now, there are a billion ways to get rid of stains.  These are just what I'm found works for me.  I swear by Shout Advanced Gel.  It gets pretty much anything you could think of out the very first time.  I dab it on and let it sit for, oh, say about 30 minutes or so before tossing it in the wash.  For really tough stains, I make a little mixture out of laundry detergent, some Shout and some Tide Stain Release powder-it makes a sort of paste which I just rub onto the stain.  For grease stains, I first rinse out the item with warm water, then squirt some grease-cutting dish soap on it.  Rub it in, and let it sit, same as with the Shout.  Depending on the stain, I might even put some Shout on over the dish soap, for a double whammy.  I also lovelovelove Tide Stain Release duo packs-you just toss them in the wash and they take care of the stains.  They're great for the ones we all sometimes miss.  My best tip for stains, especially the grease ones: don't dry the item if the stain is still there.  For some stains, it might take a few runs through the wash before it comes out all the way.  Drying it will set the stain and make it near impossible to get out.  Vinegar also does some wonderful things for your laundry.  It can help get your whites whiter and brighter without bleach and you know that musty smell our towels sometimes get?  Vinegar will get that out!  All you do is pour a little in with your detergent and volia!  And since it's mixed with your detergent, that lovely vinegar smell washes right out {for anyone who was worried that their clothes were going to come out smelling like pickles.}
For some more awesome stain-fighting tips, check out this great post over at Tip Junkie.  

4. Choose your detergent wisely.

The detergent of choice here is Tide Coldwater.  Two reasons: I can wash everything on cold, which saves me money and I don't have to worry about making a separate pile for those "wash warm" items, as this detergent is designed with those articles of clothing in mind, which cuts down on the number of loads I have to do, which also saves me money {and time.}  I also use only Woolite for Darks on my dark clothing.  Seriously, this stuff works.  I've mentioned it before in one of my clothing posts-I have a couple of black pieces that I have washed in only this detergent that I've had for going on 7 years and they have not fade one bit.  There's even a tee shirt that I have from my junior year of high school that I've only washed in Woolite that is still as black as the day I got it.  Personally, I think it's worth the extra money to keep my clothes looking like new, since in the long run, I'm not having to constantly replace my darks.  And, since I only use it for one load a week, one large bottle lasts me months!

5. Take it one load at a time.

Which would you rather tackle: a daunting mountain of laundry or one little load at a time?  I try {try being the key word there} to fold my laundry one load at a time, as it's finished.  It keeps things from piling up.  Now, this isn't always possible to do, because there are weekends when I'm tossing loads in between helping the hubs with a project around the house or getting some homework done.  When that happens, I have a solution.  Back to the sorting.  I sort out the finished laundry by who it belongs to.  One pile for me, one pile for the hubs, one pile for the little man and one pile for towels and such.  Then I can tackle it one pile at a time, usually while I'm watching some TV or at night when we're watching a movie-some sort of activity where I'm sitting anyways.

So, I know this post is about my tips to you for laundry, but I've got one that's had me stumped for years: the dreaded armpit stains.  We all get them because we all sweat, like it or not.  I've tried everything under the sun I could think of and nothing seems to work.  Does anyone know of something that actually gets them out?
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  1. Armpits. Got nothing. I toss 'em. lol.

  2. Great blog...I also dread laundry! I just recently found a tip about adding a few tennis balls into the dryer. It speeds up drying time and fluffs bulky items. Let's be honest anything that can speed up the amount of time I spend doing laundry I'll try!


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