Posted in: Homeowner tips

5 all-new laundry hacks for homeowners

A woman washing her laundry

Key insights:

  • Laundry stripping may make your sheets and towels even cleaner. Learn more about this recipe and viral cleaning hack.
  • Get great-smelling laundry without synthetic fragrances, by using essential oils and white vinegar.
  • Give your washer a deep clean and scrub to get even fresher clothes.

While many people put off doing their laundry, you don’t need to be intimidated by piles of clothes. In fact, you’ll feel much better after you clean your clothes and put them away.

Here are five easy, inexpensive ways you can get the clean clothes and linens you deserve.

1. Strip your linens and towels

While routine washing of your bed sheets and bath towels is sufficient to maintain fabric freshness, sometimes a deep clean is needed. Recently the idea of “laundry stripping” went viral on TikTok. While the practice of laundry stripping has been around for years, many are unfamiliar with how — and why — to strip your laundry.

In short, laundry stripping aims to remove buildup from your laundry (like residue from excess detergent, body oils and minerals from hard water) that may have accumulated over time. Here’s an effective guide for laundry stripping:

  1. Fill a tub with hot water.
  2. Add ¼ cup borax, ¼ cup washing soda and ½ cup laundry detergent.
  3. Stir until the powders dissolve.
  4. Submerge clean sheets and towels in the tub.
  5. Leave linens in the tub until the water has cooled (may take four to five hours).
  6. Agitate the items in the tub every hour.
  7. Drain water and transfer laundry to the washing machine. There is no need to add additional detergent.
  8. Run sheets and towels through your washing machine, and dry items without using dryer sheets.

The laundry-stripping practice works best on bed linens and towels, and should be performed once or twice a year. Think of laundry stripping as an addition to your typical washing routine.

2. Fluff up your towels and dry everything faster

Everybody appreciates a soft set of towels to wrap up in post-shower. To keep your towels feeling cozy well after you’ve purchased them, be sure to:

  • Load towels into the dryer right after washing.
  • Shake out each piece of laundry before adding it to the dryer.
  • Ensure the dryer isn’t overfilled. Aim for medium-size loads.
  • Choose a lower heat setting to maintain the integrity of fabrics.

These guidelines will speed up the time you spend drying laundry, and they’ll help keep your towels soft and scratch-free.

3. Get great-smelling laundry

In lieu of traditional laundry sheets, which create waste and may contain harmful chemicals, opt for natural options that produce fresh-smelling laundry. Try adding one to two drops of essential oils on wool balls or even clean socks to get your laundry smelling like your favorite scent. Lavender and lemon are popular options.

For persistent odors – like pet smells on throw blankets or pillowcases — mix ½ cup of vinegar in with your laundry. Plus, be sure to leave the washer door open for a few hours after each wash cycle, especially if you have a front-loading washer. This will help reduce the chance of any mildew formation and eliminate musty smells.

4. Green your routine

Approximately 90% of the energy used to operate your washing machine is attributed to water heating. To establish a more eco-friendly approach to your laundry routine, wash your clothes in cold or lukewarm water.

The low heat setting can also be used on your dryer to reduce energy consumption. If your dryer has a high spin speed option, turn it on to decrease drying time. Last, always clean your lint filter between loads of laundry to maximize efficiency.

5. Don’t forget to clean your washer

To get your clothes to their cleanest, it’s important to clean your washing machine. Maintaining this appliance will prolong its lifetime and allow it to work to its best ability. Over time, soap and residues may build up in the machine, and the cleaning agents in your detergent may not be enough to keep your washer squeaky clean.

If your washer has a self-clean cycle, use that along with any machine-specific instructions. For a DIY clean, follow these steps:

  1. Run an empty cycle with hot water and two cups of white vinegar.
  2. With a cleaning sponge and toothbrush, scrub the inside of the machine with a mixture of one quart warm water and ¼ cup vinegar.
  3. Be sure to clean the detergent dispensers, and in and around the door of the machine.
  4. Run a second empty cycle with only hot water.
  5. Wipe out the inside of the machine.

Upgrade your laundry routine and room

While revamping your laundry routine, you may also consider renovating your laundry room. This won’t only benefit you now, it could also pay off when you sell your property down the road; 91% of today’s homebuyers want a designated laundry space. Here are instructions on how to complete this fast and easy home project.

Wondering how to upgrade your home or laundry space? Reach out to Edina Realty or your agent for insights tailored to your property and potential home sale.

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