Laundry. It’s unavoidable. But what if we told you that you could save time, money, and prevent wear-and-tear with just a few tricks? That’s right, we’ve got the laundry hacks you’ve been waiting for.
According to BC Hydro, laundry uses up about 9% of your household energy load. As nearly one tenth of your energy use, it’s worth considering how much electricity you use to keep your family looking spiffy – plus, it could save you real money on your energy bills. Our favourite tricks to save power and money?
- Switch from hot water to cold whenever possible. Obviously your son’s workout gear isn’t the place to cut corners, but for things like towels, bedding, and general clothing, it’ll actually be better for your possessions to wash in cold, as cold water preserves colour and prevents shrinking.
- Hang dry your laundry. Hang your clothes to dry! Of course tumble dry your towels and sheets, but for most clothing (like knits and silks), it’s recommended to hang dry anyways. Not enough space on your drying rack? We’ve got some options, or you can grab some hangers and dry in your closet.
- Run full loads. This might seem obvious, but running a small load takes the same amount of electricity and dryer sheets (and if you use Tide Pods or Gain Flings, the same amount of detergent!) as a full load. So don’t run small loads. Sort your laundry by colour (maybe in some cute hampers!), and when the bin fills up, wash it. Last minute requests for a specific pair of jeans can be addressed in an ad hoc manner.
- Pre-sort your laundry. We mentioned pre-sorting above, but it’s worth repeating. If you have the square footage, set up labelled bins in your laundry room where the family can sort their own clothing. That way, it’ll be easy to pick up a bin, toss them in the machine, and move on with your day.
- Use a towel to decrease drying times. Did you know adding a dry towel to the dryer will help your clothing dry faster? We wouldn’t recommend using this technique for delicate items, but really, they should be hung anyways. This trick is especially handy for heavy fabrics like cotton and denim.
- Forget ironing. Use your dryer and a couple ice cubes to de-wrinkle your clothes quickly, leaving you to do more important things – like eating breakfast, taking a shower, or packing your bag.
Save your clothes
- Spray your jeans. If you like dark wash jeans, you know how damaging the washing machine can be to the colour. Even if you use vinegar and detergent that is specialized for dark colours, it’s still tough to keep the colours fresh – that’s why this trick is such a favourite. Mix a 70-30 mixture of vodka and water, and put it in a spray bottle. Flip the garment inside out, spray the garment, and hang it up to dry (preferable in the sunshine). Originally used in theatre costume departments to extend costumes between dry cleanings, the vodka will kill odours and bacteria, and dries odourless.
- Spin dry your delicates. With delicate clothing, hanging to dry is an obvious – but how to remove excess water from your garments? Wringing them out can be damaging – especially with knits. Try using your salad spinner! Then hang to dry as normal.
- Hand wash using a colander. Submerging garments in water can pull and twist at the fabric. Instead, grab a colander from the kitchen to use while you rinse detergent from your clothes. Alternatively, you can use the inside section of your salad spinner.
- Wash clothes inside out, zipped and buttoned. Prevent snags, pulls, and fading by flipping everything inside out and zipping it up before washing. This protects items from the buttons and zippers on other garments!