Angie's List: How can I improve my laundry process?
Whether you’re digging out from winter, converting to warmer weather clothing or planning spring cleaning, you may be doing quite a bit of laundry soon. And while you may have a tried-and-true method for your laundry room workflow, consider these tips and hacks to improve your process and make your clothes cleaner and fresher!
A place for everything: Use bins and baskets to keep each item in its designated area. This really comes in handy if you have a large family! Clearly label or color-code the baskets to make it easy for everyone in the family to keep the laundry room in tip-top shape.
Organize your space: If you have room, consider adding a laundry island. Much like a kitchen island, a custom-designed island can feature pull-out laundry sorting bins, shelves designed to hold laundry baskets and a great laundry-folding surface. You can also add shelving above your washer and dryer to serve as a convenient folding surface or storage for cleaning supplies.
Try wool dryer balls: These laundry life-savers have been around for a while, but people are finally catching on to just how useful they are. Wool dryer balls prevent fabric from sticking to itself during the drying process, which quickens the drying cycle. (Some companies claim they reduce drying time by up to 40 percent!) They’re an eco-friendly replacement for dryer sheets and fabric softeners, and they’re easy on your wallet too.
Upgrade the lighting: People often underestimate the need for quality task lighting in their laundry rooms. But as anyone who has ever tried to match socks in dim lighting can tell you, light definitely matters! Make sure you have clear, uniform lighting through the work area.
Consider essential oils: Sprinkle a bit of your favorite aroma, such as lavender or eucalyptus) on a ball and throw it in the dryer during a non-heated tumble dry. When you pull your clothes out, they should smell better than ever. Wait to throw the ball into the dryer until the last 10 minutes of the dry cycle for maximum impact.
Rehome your clothes: Before long you’ll be purging your closet during spring cleaning. But don’t throw those old clothes away just yet! Take your lightly worn apparel to the Salvation Army or local homeless shelter to help those in need. Save yourself a trip and be sure to call ahead so you know exactly which items are in the most demand. If you’d like to make some extra money on your outfits, try taking them to Plato’s Closet or a similar thrift store, where they may pay you for your style.
Multipurpose those dryer sheets: Dryer sheets can serve double or triple duty beyond just getting tossed into your laundry. They make a great deodorizer if placed in your car, gym bag, dresser drawers or luggage. They’re also very handy for housecleaning. They’ll break up hard water stains and grease if left in greasy pots or toilet bowls, and they quickly pick up dust from nearly any surface.
Paul F. P. Pogue is a reporter for Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit AngiesList.com.