Kate Parlin via Care.com
Sometimes it might feel like your family's laundry basket is a never-ending black hole. To make matters worse, socks go missing, bath towels pile up and soccer uniforms get stained the second they hit the field. But there is hope!
Here are 10 laundry hacks that you can use to streamline the process and tackle those stubborn stains:
1. Keep Your Kids' Socks Simple
Colorful, patterned socks are fun and fashionable, but searching for matching pairs in a huge pile of clothes can be a nightmare. You can eliminate the hunt by buying either all-white or all-black socks for your children.
2. Use Cold Water to Wash Away Bloodstains
Children are prone to getting cuts and bruises. Thankfully, there's an easy way to remove those pesky bloodstains. The trick is to pre-treat the clothing with stain remover or your regular laundry detergent right away, and then wash it in cold water. There's no need for fancy products or excessive scrubbing!
3. Sort Your Clothes Into Separate Laundry Baskets as You Take Them Out of the Dryer
Does it some times feel like it takes you forever to sort, fold and put away all of your laundry? Try incorporating some more clothing-specific laundry baskets into your home. Just be sure to think about what works best for your family and how much space you have. You may want to dedicate one laundry basket to each person or divide them in another way that makes sense. For instance, if some of your children share a room, you could put their clothes in the same basket, and you and your spouse could share a basket. The most important thing is to sort clothes into their appropriate baskets as you pull them out of the dryer.
4. Use a Lingerie Bag to Keep Your Baby's Socks and Other Tiny Garments From Getting Lost
Do your baby's teeny tiny socks tend to disappear during the laundry process? Try keeping all of her tiny garments in a lingerie bag for both washing and drying.
5. Use Sock Clips to Keep Your Sock Pairs Together
Carrie, a busy mom of three, swears by sock clips! She stresses that they're a handy way to make sure that every sock sticks with its mate, even through the spin cycle.
6. Fight Underarm Stains With Hydrogen Peroxide
There's a reason why hydrogen peroxide plays a role in some of the oldest laundry hacks in the book. A tried and true stain fighter, it works especially well on white undershirts. Simply mix a solution of half water, half hydrogen peroxide and use it to pre-treat stubborn sweat stains. But beware: This trick only works on whites, not colors.
7. Help Your Clothes Dry Faster by Throwing a Towel Into the Machine
Tossing a dry, fluffy bath towel into the dryer with your wet clothes can make them dry faster. You just might make it out the door on time, after all!
8. Just Say No to Ironing
You can avoid using your iron altogether by hanging your clothes up right when you take them out of the dryer. However, this may not always be convenient. Instead, you can simply dampen a towel and throw it in the dryer with the wrinkly clothes for 10 to 15 minutes. This process should smooth everything out.
9. Ask Your Children to Put Their Laundry Away
Andrea, a mom of three, saves time by calling upon her kids to put their own laundry away. To make things a bit more interesting, Andrea asks each of her children to put away the number of articles of clothing that corresponds to his or her age. For instance, her 6-year-old hangs up six pieces of clothing. This is a fun way to teach your kids about responsibility (while getting some much-needed help)!
10. Use White Vinegar to Eliminate Odor
White vinegar is an easy, inexpensive, all-natural choice to clean and freshen throughout your home. Vicki, a mom of three, uses it to take the chemical smell out of her husband's work clothes. Simply add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar into the fabric softener section of your front-loading washer, or into the drum of your top-loader as it fills with water. Vinegar's powerful acidic qualities counteract the alkaline properties that some chemicals can leave on clothes.
(Images courtesy Care.com)
This article originally appeared on Care.com.
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