In the best of circumstances, laundry is a huge hassle. The loading, the unloading, the hauling of bags, the ironing, the folding of clothes… When you live in an apartment without a washer and dryer, however, it’s a huge pain in the butt. Worse when you live with a stinky boy (seriously, Reg washes 10x the clothing that I do).
While we used to drag our clothing, bedding, and towels to the laundry mat every other week, made better by the fact that there was a pizza place across the street, now I head to my mom’s house for work on Fridays anyways, so I take care of my laundry there. Seriously, she’s a life saver. She didn’t even make a fuss when I accidentally overloaded the washer and broke it… Have I mentioned how much I love her?
Anyways, while they have yet to make a robot that can instantly clean and press my jeans, there are some truly great tips out there to make this whole process a little bit easier. Here’s the ones I actually use:
1. Don’t Wash After Every Wear
Seriously, your clothes just don’t need to be that clean (unless, as I mention above, you are a stinky boy). Assuming it’s not too humid out and you’re not sweating up a storm, most clothing aside from underwear can handle a few wears just fine without getting dirty or smelly. Real Simple, my go-to resource, has a great list of how often you should wash different clothing items. For example, jeans are just fine for up to five wears (I probably push it closer to ten…), while leggings and yoga pants should be done after just three. Not only does this mean less laundry – yay! – but also that your clothing will last longer, since an hour long tumble in the machine is pretty rough on delicate threads and fabrics.
2. Use a Mesh Bag for Delicates
This is a little 101, but I think it bears mentioning here. Hand-washing is such an enormous pain in the butt, but it’s still shocking how many items require it. In addition to utilizing the delicate setting on the machine, a mesh bag is great for containing items that can’t handle the beating of a regular machine. My favorite use for this is bras, which tend to get stinky quickly sitting right underneath your armpit and breasts. By tucking them in a mesh bag for washing and then letting them air dry, the washing process is thorough but totally painless.
3. Press Clothing While You Shower
Ironing is indesputibly the worst part of laundry. I work from home, so forget that, but even at the office, I would do everything to avoid this tiresome chore. While I highly recommend a steamer instead anyways, one great trick is to hang the garmet in the bathroom while you shower. As the steam from the hot water fills the room, the item in question will relax and those pesky wrinkles will disappear. It won’t work for a super crumpled dress or top, but it works just fine for some regular old wrinkles.
4. Spritz an Enezyme Laundry Stain Remover on Used Underwear
Okay, we’re about to get personal for a minute, but this tip is really the best. Enzyme based sprays like Oxiclean are a god-send for getting out protein-based steins – that means anything coming from the body like blood or vomit. In order to make my underwear last longer, I’ve begun dowsing the inside with this spray after every wear before dropping it in the laundry basket. By doing this every day, whether I’m on my period or not, my underwear stays stain-free for much longer. I picked this trick up from the amazing Jolie Kerr, the cleaning expert and podcaster I’ve raved about, and gosh darn it, it works.
5. Just take it to a laundry service
Now that Reg and I are hitting our late-20s and have a bit more expendable income, we’ve begun to try out the wonderful world of laundry services. That means that while I still need to load the dirty clothes and linens into bags and drive it over there, I can just leave it with a laundry mat who will handle the actual cleaning and folding, and I can just pick it up at the end of the day and put it straight into our drawers. Sure, it’s a little pricy – maybe $40 for two bags vs. $25 to do it ourselves – but it saves us a couple of hours of time and plenty of work. Plus, we’re not eating pizza while we’re out, so the cost more or less works out anyways.
What are your go-to tips for laundry? Any stain removing hacks or easy ironing tricks that I should know about?