In households of more than two, the mountain of laundry can get big — and an inefficient laundry area just adds to the frustration. With a little organization and a good contractor, you can vanquish the laundry problem by creating a functional space.

Table of contents

Storage and organization

Clothing care

Involve your kids

Sustainable laundry practices

Washer and dryer care

Storage and organization

It’s hard to deal with a pile of laundry when the space you’re working with is cluttered. Ideally, you’d have table space for folding the laundry, storage for all your supplies, and more than enough baskets for all the clothing. Most of the time, we’re stuck with a laundry room that may be spacious but isn’t using space to its full potential.

Create a functional laundry room that works well for you. Once your laundry wish list is nailed down, find a contractor to help design and build your new laundry room.

What are the best practical ways to design a laundry room?

The most practical way to design a laundry room, especially if you’re working with limited space, is to keep it simple. Be realistic about your existing laundry routines and how you need the space to function. Even a small laundry closet can pack a big punch with the addition of a shelf or two and a fold-down drying rack or ironing board. If you’re someone who rarely irons, opt for a steamer instead and ditch the bulky board altogether. Consider if aesthetics or function is more important when deciding whether to invest in extra jars and containers for laundry supplies. They can be great for corralling supplies that might look like clutter, but if you struggle to stick to a system or use them to hide more things you don’t actually use or need, they may add to the mess. Some aesthetic updates, like painting the walls of your laundry closet or room or adding a fun wallpaper, can really make a difference. An enjoyable space improves an otherwise unenjoyable task. But be careful not to turn your laundry room into a space that requires ongoing unnecessary maintenance and renovation. 

Kala Wiederholt from My Breezy Room

Have a folding surface in your laundry room

One of the hardest elements of “doing laundry” is getting the clean clothing returned to the location where it can be accessed and worn. This is because folding can feel like an unwelcome chore, especially if you lack an easily accessible surface on which to work. Most people avoid tasks that feel unpleasant, and having to bend over a bed or balance clothing on top of piles of stuff can make us resist the process.

The presence of a folding table or counter in the laundry room is like a chauffeur standing with his hand on the open door to your waiting vehicle – it is an invitation to easily take the next step. A folding surface in the laundry room has the added benefit of meeting other utilitarian needs. I frequently store wrapping supplies in the laundry room because this large surface is ideal for wrapping gifts. 

Admittedly, not everyone has a laundry room large enough to accommodate a large folding surface. However, you might be able to install a fold-down table that can be tucked away when not in use. Or, if you have a tiny laundry space or a laundry closet, consider setting up/designating a table in a nearby room.

Seana Turner from The Seana Method

Organization hacks for a tidy laundry room

To create a tidy laundry room, create a “spot” for all items that you use in doing the laundry. 

  • Use attractive containers for items that are used regularly and kept out on the counter. Decant laundry soap and dryers sheets in glass containers. 
  • Install a drying rack for items that you hang to dry. 
  • Organize inside the cabinets with small clear bins for lightbulbs, crafts, or tools to have a place for everything. 

Having a place for everything keeps your laundry room efficient.

Ellen Delap Certified Professional Organizer, Owner of Professional-Organizer.com

Use plastic baskets to store bottles of laundry supplies. If any drip, the mess will be contained in the washable bin. Prevent clothes hangers from tangling while keeping them easy to reach in a hanger organizer. It makes it easy to hang clothes before they wrinkle. Keep dirty clothes off the floor with a triple sorter. One compartment for lights, darks, and special care garments. Get your ironing board out of the way by hanging it from a holder on the wall or back of the door. Donate excess or unused laundering supplies to a local pet shelter.

The volunteers have a lot of laundries to do and will appreciate them. Store a few rags in a reach-in bin, use them to wipe the machines down, and then toss the dirty rag in with a load. Always check pockets before laundering. Make sure you have a basket for gathering items from bags. Make the laundry area a spot you like to spend time in by adding a pop of color, like a piece of wall art.

Jamie Novak from Jamie Novak

My best hack for a laundry room is incorporating air drying into the design. Most Americans only add air drying as an afterthought. What’s your biggest energy hog in the home besides your refrigerator? Your dryer. Air drying at least some laundry can extend the life of your fabrics and reduce your energy bill. A ceiling-mounted pulley drying system uses warmer air toward the ceiling and keeps your floor clear.

Installing a pulley drying system like this one is a DIY project if you are reasonably handy. If you don’t want to go overhead, you can use a tilt-out laundry drying rack, a wall-mounted electric drying rack, a shelving system with a rod (commonly installed over a laundry sink for drip-dry items), or even a humble towel bar. There are plenty of ways to go green and dry at the same time.

Darla DeMorrow Certified Professional Organizer, Owner of HeartWork Organizing

Organize your laundry room to help your future self by decluttering, creating storage, and categorizing. It will make your life much easier when you are in a laundry room that functions best for you and your family. Here is what you can do:

  1. Declutter your laundry room. Remove things that don’t need to be there or that are not working for you, such as shelving what you aren’t able to reach, or you can’t use. Don’t forget to keep a garbage can to collect your lint!
  2. Create storage. You can create more storage by utilizing the wall in your laundry room for items like your ironing board or other long cleaning tools like your mops and brooms. You can even get yourself a rolling cart to put in between the dryer and washer for additional shelving.
  3. Categorize. Have your laundry items in categories such as a bin or tray for your cleaning product and another for your laundry detergent products. You can add an extra touch by removing packaging and putting your dryer sheets or laundry pods into clear containers.

Shanice Bannis from City of Creating Dreams

Keeping a laundry room clean

Keeping laundry rooms clean is a struggle because dirty things come in repeatedly. On top of dirty socks, lint and its dust will cover everything if given a chance. Lucky for us, the best product for cleaning and lint-free laundry rooms is already within reach – dryer sheets. Dryer sheets soften our clothes, yet they both collect and repel dust.

Wipe laundry room surfaces with a dryer sheet to wipe away dust, leaving the anti-static residue to fight off dust until the next time. Use dryer sheets to dust the entire laundry room weekly, remembering to wipe blinds, windowsills, and baseboards. Smooth vinyl shelf liner on any laundry room shelving makes removing dust a breeze.

Maintaining clean dryer vents is crucial to keeping laundry dust at bay. A clogged dryer vent causes your machine to work harder and raises utility costs. It is also a fire hazard and can significantly increase the dust you are trying to remove. Hire a professional to clean and inspect vents annually. Laundry is a chore, yet having a clean laundry room can make the task a little sweeter. 

Jennifer Snyder from Neat as a Pin

Organization hack for creating a better laundry routine

Laundry is one of the most important systems to have in place. But every family and every home is different. I recommend using the 5W’s to create the best system for YOU:

  • Who is responsible for laundry — You? Another family member? Everyone for themselves?
  • What are the steps — Collecting dirty clothes, sorting, washing, drying, folding, and putting away? Do you have enough laundry hampers or baskets that your family likes and uses? Is there a handy supply of laundry products?
  • When and how often do you need to do laundry to keep it from piling up? Do you prefer to do it a step at a time over several days? Or will doing multiple loads on laundry day work better? Keep it moving at a pace that suits your family so it doesn’t become overwhelming.
  • Where should the laundry hamper(s) be located? Where will you fold clothes and store laundry supplies? Do closets and drawers need to be purged and reorganized to make space to put away clean clothes?
  • Why do you need a system for processing laundry? So everyone has clean clothes to wear. So the floor is not cluttered with dirty clothes, and other surfaces aren’t occupied by clean clothes. So you can get dressed easily and relax knowing exactly how and when you’ll get the laundry done!

Hazel Thornton from Organized for Life and Beyond

Biggest mistake in a chaotic laundry routine

The biggest mistake is needing a system for conquering laundry overwhelm. If you wait until the laundry baskets overflow, you’ll procrastinate more!

  • Without a system, people focus solely on loading the washing machine and not on the tasks that come next. That’s like only thinking about putting the food in the oven but never setting the table, washing dishes, or storing leftovers.
  • Make your system simple but complete. Sort load types (towels and sheets, sturdy clothing, delicates, etc.) into separate baskets/piles as you go so each load is ready on laundry day. Then, only start a load when you have time for the whole process — but recognize that each task takes just a few minutes, and you can conquer other tasks while the machines do the real labor. It takes less physical energy to do laundry than mental energy to avoid it!

For example, start a load before preparing dinner; set a timer for when the wash cycle should end. Then transfer the wash to the dryer before you sit down to eat. Assuming you don’t overstuff the machines, the dryer timer should ding, and the load will be ready to fold/hang/put away by the time you’ve cleaned up from dinner. (Pro tip: Warm clothes wrinkle less!)

Julie Bestry from Best Results Organizing

Best way to keep a laundry room organized

The laundry room is a hard-working space and should be organized, efficient, and easy to maintain. Easy accessibility is the key to keeping the laundry room organized because if it’s easy to reach, it’s also easy to put away.

Open shelving is a great storage option that provides easy access to often-used laundry supplies; similarly, decanted detergent on a countertop also allows quick access. Storing dirty clothes in bins or baskets keeps laundry off the floor, provides more workspace, and improves safety (how many times have you tripped over a pile of clothes on the floor?). A clutter-free countertop provides space for folding and storing clean clothes; portable bins can be added for each family member to transport clean clothes. Invest in a wall-mounted or free-standing drying rack for air-drying delicate items. Lastly, every laundry room needs a small trash can to collect dryer lint.

Other handy items that will help maintain an organized laundry room include a small bin to hold coins and other items found in pockets, a basket for lost socks, a handful of rags for wet spills, and a hand vacuum or small broom/dustpan for quick clean-ups (like the surprise-dirt hidden in kids’ pant cuffs or socks). Having these tools and storage options
readily available keeps the space clean and provides a home for items that would otherwise turn into countertop clutter.

One final note: Detergents and cleaning supplies should be kept out of reach of children.

Annie Allen, owner of Annie the Organizer in Soquel, CA.

The best way to organize a laundry room is to create a system. It’s important to ensure the efficiency of this room in the house. This might be done by designating areas or bins for bright, white, and dark clothing. Stacking appliances to save floor space. Keeping often used items on open shelves and decanting detergents and dryer sheets. If possible, create an area for delicate air-dry items. My favorite tip is to label laundry baskets with names so clothing can go back to each family member’s room and be put away!

Tracey Vaughn, owner of The Possession Cleanse in Pittsburgh, PA

American Society Of Professional Organizers

Keep a clutter-free laundry room

My biggest tip: I always recommend keeping your laundry room products decluttered as much as possible. If you bought a product, didn’t like it, and replaced it with something better – let go of that first product guilt-free. It will only take up precious space.

Keep a small waste basket handy in your laundry area so you have a spot to toss your dryer lint right away. You would be surprised how quickly those unwanted bunnies pile up – especially when you’re busy!

I’m not a huge fan of decanting, but I buy baking soda in bulk and have a smaller glass container alongside my other laundry products – I love the boost it gives for tough stains.

The tops of your washer and dryer can easily get coated with lint and stray products – giving this space a quick wipe-down every couple of weeks will help it stay fresh.

The biggest cog in the laundry system that I see frequently: having too many clothes. Ask yourself – if everything was clean now, could I put everything away? If the answer is no, it’s time to declutter. You might also consider adding a seasonal rotation to your clothing storage if you need the extra room. Once you can put away all your clean clothes, finishing your laundry routine is infinitely easier.

Carly Adams from Tidy Revival

  • Keep only what’s necessary for the laundry room and keep as much as possible off the floor. In other words, utilize vertical space as much as possible. 
  • Add missing items that save steps. For example, consider adding a small trash container for dryer lint or a container for items found in pockets. Maybe a basket or bag for items that need mending, ironing, repairing, or downgraded to rag status.
  • Place rarely-used items on the top shelves and often-used items on lower shelves for easy access.
  • Use square and rectangular clear storage bins to save space and easily see what’s inside.
  • Organize and categorize items; keep like-with-like (for ex: stain removers, detergents, hangers, clothes pins, dryer sheets, loose change)

Geralin Thomas from Metropolitan Organizing

Designing a functional laundry room

Laundry is the bane of everyone’s existence! The only thing that can make it better would be a functional and well-organized laundry room. Since laundry rooms come in all shapes and sizes, you can only do your best with the space you have to work with.

Here are some tips to make your laundry room more user-friendly:

  • Cabinets: Whether your machines are side by side or stacked, make sure you have some cabinets to store your soaps, dryer sheets, etc.
  • Surface: A surface to fold on. This can be as simple as the top of your machines. Front-loading machines allow uninterrupted use of the surface.
  • Hanging space: It’s nice to have a space to hang the items you don’t want to throw in the dryer. This can be a hanging rod, hooks, or a floor-standing drying rack.
  • A sink: A sink is a nice feature if you have the space. It’s great to hang drip-dry items above and use them for quick hand washing.
  • Storage: Extra storage is always a bonus. The laundry room is ideal for storing laundry baskets, linens, and extra household items if you have the space.

Tracey Shadley from Organize A to Z

Remodeling a laundry room to make it more functional

As a professional organizer, I have learned that no matter the type of washer and dryer you have if you follow these five steps, you will not only make it more functional but may actually make the chores a little more pleasant to complete!

  1. Evaluate how you use the space. Do you only wash, dry, and fold your laundry in this room? If you’re like most people, your laundry room actually has multiple functions in your home. Perhaps it is also your mudroom, your storage for pet or cleaning supplies, or your backstock. Acknowledge the roles your room needs to play in your home. This will help you determine the ways in which it needs to function.
  2. Sort, categorize and purge. Pull out everything and sort it into categories to match the functions you determined in step 1. If you find items that don’t fit into these groups, chances are they either need to “live” in another place in your home, or you are ready to let go of them for good.
  3. Assign a home. Now that you have removed the items that really don’t belong in your space, you need to assign a place for those that remain. Things to consider include: Assigning homes to facilitate efficiency and flow of work. Store items next to where you will use them. Do not store items on the floor. Utilizing shelving, cabinets, and wall hooks keeps items out of traffic areas and allows for easy cleaning. Plan for work surfaces to complete necessary tasks. Allow yourself an uncluttered space to fold your clothes, store empty laundry bins, groom the dog, or other tasks you have determined essential to this space.
  4. Containerize and label. Placing your categories of items into containers to keep them together will help you maintain your systems. Transparent bins, turntables, wall hooks, and baskets are great tools to not only keep like items together but also add some personality to your space. And don’t forget- label your containers. They formalize your systems and keep everyone who uses your space accountable!
  5. Evaluate the functionality over time and make adaptations as necessary. Even well-organized spaces have to change with the times. As our lives transition, our spaces must adapt. Setting aside time periodically to evaluate the effectiveness of your laundry room helps you address these transitions before they become big problems to the functionality of your space. You have invested time and money into making this space work for you. It is worth the effort to protect that investment!

Erin Gaskins from Room Redefined

Additional storage space in a laundry room

One of the easiest and best things you can do to add more storage space to your laundry room is to add an extra shelf above your washer and dryer.  It’s as simple as purchasing a board from a home improvement store (they can even cut the board to size for you!) and installing it with a few brackets below the board. You can use this shelf to decant and store laundry products that you use most often. The best form of organization is a system that incorporates beauty, simplicity, and function.  

Storing laundry products like scent beads, dryer sheets, dryer balls, and laundry boosters look beautiful stored in labeled glass jars, and it frees up space in your cupboards for other essentials. A simple laundry shelf can make a huge difference in the amount of space that you have in your laundry room for a really budget-friendly makeover you can do in about an hour!

Michelle Hansen from Practical Perfection

Laundry room remodeling advice

We recently did a complete remodel of our laundry room, and I love how it turned out. Whether your laundry room is a small or larger size, the first thing to consider is what type of appliances you want. I switched from a front load to a top load washer, and while neither is perfect, I’m really enjoying the top load washer. The next thing on my priority list was storage. By emptying out the space, I saw how much stuff was accumulating in the laundry room that really needed either another home, to be thrown out or donated. I evaluated what really needed to be in the laundry room and planned storage accordingly.

We gained some square footage by eliminating our hot water heater that was in our laundry room and upgraded to a tankless water heater. It’s so much more energy efficient and gave us more space.

If space permits, it’s nice to have a space to hang clothes, sort and fold clothes, and have a hamper for dirty clothes. Closed storage to hide the essential supplies to do your laundry is also a must on my list.

Lynn Vogeler from Living Large in a Small House

Laundry room makeover considerations

Laundry is an essential chore in every home, but it does not have to be boring. In fact, interior designers and decorators spend plenty of time making sure the laundry room is just as stylish as the rest of the home’s interior.When sprucing up a laundry room, it is crucial to perfectly combine aesthetics and function, as this is still a room that needs to work. For starters, the location needs to work. A laundry room near the bedroom makes for easy transferring of clothes. Some desire a laundry room in a secluded place where the noise is not as prevalent. Additionally, there needs to be space for organizing and folding clothes. You can have fun with this by implementing baskets, shelves, or cabinets.Some of our tips include using decorative jars or baskets to hold your detergent and other laundry essentials. This provides easy access and a stylish component to the room. Have fun with the flooring and walls. You can install peel-and-stick tile flooring for an affordable and versatile option. For the backsplash behind the laundry machines, have fun with patterns, colors, and materials. Add a rug to give the illusion of more space in the room. The texture of a rug will also soften a room and make it more welcoming and peaceful. Also, just as in any other room, natural lighting and plants should be used to transform your laundry room from boring to alive.

Corban de la Vega from DecorMatters

How to accessorize and decorate a laundry room

A laundry room can easily become the “junk drawer” of the home. So, before adding decor to your laundry room, the first thing you want to do is to declutter and clean it. A clear laundry room will help you decide on what types of storage it needs and also help you envision the style you want.

Once you have taken care of your storage needs, go to Pinterest and search for the look you want for your room. There you will find many styles, from vintage to farmhouse to boho. 

When you have chosen the look, make sure to keep the decor simple and the accessories minimal. Jars and baskets can enhance the room’s look and double as storage options. Adding something like a wreath will add more to your to-do list because it can become dusty and linty over time.

Lastly, head over to Etsy to find decals for your storage pieces that will fit the room’s style. Labeling your items in the appropriate font will add to your decor while keeping the room organized. Making sure that items are put back in their proper place will keep your laundry room looking spotless and beautiful.

Dionne Myhre from Home Made Our Way

How to create a laundry schedule and benefits

Creating the perfect laundry schedule can make all the difference in reducing the time and effort you spend on laundry. Laundry schedules help keep your home organized, reduce clutter, and make washing clothes
easier. You’ll also save money by minimizing water and energy costs while ensuring that your clothes are washed correctly.

Start by setting a designated area for handling laundry. Make sure there is enough space to store dirty clothing before it goes in the washer. This will help keep your home clean and organized. Also, designate a spot where you can hang wet clothing after the complete wash cycle. A drying rack or clothesline comes in handy for this purpose.

Next, decide how often you plan to do laundry and create a schedule. Laundry day typically falls on the same day each week, but if that isn’t possible, aim for at least once every two weeks. Make sure to account for any unexpected emergencies when setting your laundry schedule.

Finally, make sure to sort clothing items by fabric type and color before starting a load of laundry. This will help prevent damage to delicate fabrics and reduce fading or bleeding of colors over time. It would help if you also used the correct water temperature as specified in the care labels attached to clothes; this is often overlooked, but it
is essential for good cleaning results.

By following these steps, you can set up an effective laundry schedule that helps save time and money while promoting cleanliness in your home. By doing all of this, you’ll be able to keep your clothes looking and
smelling fresh with minimal effort! So, what are you waiting for? Get started on setting up the perfect laundry schedule today!

Sue from Strip Clean

What are some tips for organizing a small laundry room?

A laundry room can get messy quickly if you don’t stay organized. Here are some tips to keep your laundry room organized and tidy.

Be intentional about your layout

It’s important to consider what you use your laundry room for. If you’re going to store shoes, coats, or pet supplies in your laundry room, you should take time to designate areas of your laundry room for each purpose. Keeping intended areas separate from each other will help the space feel tidier and less cluttered.

Remove clutter and put belongings into storage

Visual clutter makes a small space seem even smaller. Remove clutter by putting away clean clothes, storing laundry products in cabinets, and tidying surfaces.

Use a tray to organize smaller items

This is a great way to keep smaller items in one place rather than scattered around the laundry room. Place a tray on top of your counter to store items like spray bottles, dryer sheets, loose change, towels, etc.

Add shelves to increase storage space

If you have limited storage space and an open wall, consider installing small floating shelves to help open up the room and improve the aesthetics.

Elias Weston from Seatown Cleaners

How to Elevate the Laundry Room

Every space in the home deserves a feeling of elegance—even functional spaces like mud rooms, powder rooms, and laundry rooms. Having a chic, sophisticated laundry room can add to that crisp, fresh feeling we all enjoy when we’re folding newly washed and dried sheets—not to mention the feeling of accomplishment at having done the laundry to begin with!

At Chairish, we’ve got three must-haves we recommend when designing a laundry room:

  • Get Organized. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s somehow a piece of the puzzle that often gets overlooked in laundry rooms. Make sure you have plenty of workspace for laying out clothing and folding and also invest in some stylish baskets and bins to keep your colors separate. Graduating from plentiful piles into easy-to-organize bins is well worth it.
  • Make Your Walls Wonderful. Like powder rooms, laundry rooms tend to be smaller, less-used spaces. These are always the areas of the home where you can play with dynamic wallpaper or brighter paint colors. Don’t be afraid to indulge a little here with a pattern or color that will lift your mood—especially when you’re not committing to it as often as you might with a bedroom or living room.
  • Spread the Love With Lighting. This rule is true for pretty much every room of the home, except maybe for the garage—and even there, we’re iffy. Don’t rely on one big overhead light: This isn’t the laundromat, after all! Spread the lighting love with multiple illumination sources like pendants, sconces, and table lamps along your folding spaces. This will also help you to see your colors (and the condition of all your clothing) even better.
  • Mugs Buckley from Chairish
Photo by Michelle Hansen

Clothing care

A big part of proper clothing care is reading the labels and sorting clothing accordingly. If you have a lot of delicate clothing, you could sort them into their own basket to avoid ruining them in a regular wash.

Organize your laundry as you fold it. You’ll speed up the process by folding one type of clothing at a time. If you have children old enough to put laundry away, you can have them collect their folded piles. 

Benefits to your clothes when using a natural laundry detergent

Switching to natural laundry detergents offers significant benefits for our clothes and well-being. These eco-friendly alternatives are crafted with plant-based components that are much kinder to fabrics. This gentle cleansing preserves the fabric’s strength and appearance, extending the life of our garments. Unlike traditional detergents laden with harsh chemicals, natural detergents prevent color fading, ensuring our clothes remain vibrant for longer.

The absence of aggressive chemicals also means these detergents are unlikely to leave irritating residues on our clothes, making them ideal for individuals with sensitive skin. By reducing exposure to toxic substances found in conventional detergents, we’re safeguarding our skin and contributing to a healthier living environment.

Stacy Russell from Stacy Russell 

Basic tip for extending a cloth diaper’s life

The number one mistake we see parents make while cleaning cloth diapers is using too much detergent. Like most clothing, diapers are generally very delicate. Harsh treatment while cleaning can seriously impact the lifespan of your laundry – including cloth diapers.

There are three main reasons to moderate your detergent use:

  1. The main goal of washing cloth diapers is to remove the soil from the fabric. While detergent can help with this, excessive detergent can actually work against you. Excessive suds act as blockers – preventing the water from reaching the stains. These blockers might look like they’re helping clean. After all, we’re trained to associate suds with cleanliness. However, the suds are really acting as a wall to prevent water from reaching the soil. The less water that reaches the soil, the less likely the soil is to be removed properly. This means you are replacing your cloth diapers more frequently.
  2. Excessive amounts of detergent will cling to the fabric. This makes the detergent harder to rinse out. It also makes the soil and stains harder to rinse out – since the soil and stains are now coated by a layer of dried detergent on the cloth. The more detergent that is caked to the cloth means the cloth diapers will need to be replaced sooner since they are not being cleaned properly.
  3. Detergent that is not rinsed out can lead to irritation of baby’s sensitive skin. Delicate detergents have relatively balanced PH levels. However, most over-the-counter detergents have PH levels that can irritate the skin if not properly rinsed. Proper rinsing is key to keeping your cloth diapers for a longer clothing lifespan.

Mark Vlaskamp from The Folde

Drying clothing matters as much as how you wash them

The way you dry your clothes affects the quality and longevity of your clothes. The main risk with using a dryer is heat, which can cause your fabric to shrink or cause shrinking or agitation, such as pilling. If you must use a dryer, use the lowest setting or stick them in the dryer for 5-10 minutes, then hang or dry them flat to finish.
When it comes to air-drying, there’s more to it than you think. Heavy woolen garments should be laid flat to dry, so they retain their shape, and some natural fabrics, such as silk and linen, can be wetly ironed on a low setting to get wrinkles out!
If you take care while drying your clothes, you’ll protect them, make them last longer, and save energy in the process.

Nisha Katti from Balodana

How to get rid of the towel’s stiffness

There are a few ways to reduce the stiffness of towels. One popular method is to add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle during the washing process. The vinegar helps break down the build-up of detergent and minerals, which can cause towels to become stiff. Another solution is to include a cup of baking soda in the wash cycle, which can also aid in making the towels softer.

It’s important to be mindful of the amount of detergent used, as using too much can leave a residue on the towels, leading to stiffness. Additionally, it’s recommended to avoid using bleach on towels, as it can cause the fibers to degrade and become stiff over time.

To further soften your towels, you can add a fabric softener during the wash cycle or use dryer sheets or even a tennis ball in the dryer. It’s also crucial to ensure that the towels are not overloaded in the washing machine or dryer, as it can prevent them from becoming fully saturated, resulting in stiffness.

Terry Stevens, Founder of Sparkle and Shine

How to take care of leather clothing

The best way to care for leather clothing is to always hang the clothing on a HANGER to retain the shape. The clothing should be stored in a cool and dry place to avoid the growth of mould/fungus! EXPOSURE TO SUNLIGHT SHOULD BE avoided to prevent the loss of colour! Always keep covered in a dry cloth bag to avoid any colour transfers or scuffing on the leather! one should always keep a packet of silica gel in the inner pocket of the clothing to keep fungus at bay!

Any fresh stain can be removed on pigmented leather by wiping it with a damp cloth soaked in a mixture of lukewarm water and baby soap!

Any fresh stain on suede leather clothing can be removed using fine sand paper or a soft-bristled brush!

Mallika Sharma from The Leather Laundry

How to care for silk clothing

For silk, we recommend dry cleaning only because water can react with silk and can damage fabrics which might shrink the cloths. In dry cleaning, we use three types of technology: perc dry cleaning, MTO dry cleaning, and hydrocarbon, depending on the setup. But if a customer asks for laundry, we prefer wet-dry cleaning, which is a soft wash technology.

Bhupender Beniwal from Pick My Laundry

How to prevent mold on clothing

  • Keep clothing dry: Whether getting them out of the dryer or coming in from the rain, ensure that clothing dries quickly and completely before storing them. Mold only needs 24-48 hours to start growing.
  • Maintaining low indoor humidity: Aim for a 30 to 50 percent humidity level. The lower the level, the fewer opportunities there are for mold to grow. If humidity remains high, consider purchasing a dehumidifier and throwing in desiccants like silica gel packets into the closet, dresser, or storage bin to help remove as much moisture as possible.
  • Invest in air purification: Whether a whole-home unit or a portable one for the room, these machines will help remove all harmful particles from the air, including mold spores. The fewer mold spores in the indoor environment, the fewer opportunities for mold on clothing. Make sure to go with a unit that will filter out these particles, though.
  • Clean the storage areas: Remove all items from the closet, dresser, armoire, etc. While cleaning, check for any hidden mold or leaks/water issues that could lead to mold on clothes.
  • Prioritize airflow: Creating airflow helps remove humid air and decreases particle buildup. This step can include opening closet doors and drawers, reducing the number of items in direct contact with the floor, and opting for wire racks. Whatever you can do to get that air moving.
  • Keep dirty clothes out of the closet. 

Tiffany Williams from Glitz and Glam by Tiff

How to wash dress socks

Like any garment, the more care you take when washing your dress socks, the longer they’ll last. The three most important steps to follow when washing your dress socks are: 

  1.  Always turn them inside out before laundering. In the event that your dress socks are exposed to lint or other debris while being laundered, turning them inside out will keep the outside of them looking new. 
  2. Wash them in cold water. Dress socks are typically made with a combination of fine natural materials, such as wool or cotton, and synthetic fibers, such as nylon. Exposure to high temperatures will cause these materials to degrade prematurely, resulting in the socks losing their shape and elasticity. 
  3. Take care when drying your dress socks. As mentioned above, high heat damages socks. For delicate dress socks, it is best to hang dry them or to machine dry them with no or low heat. Finally, we always recommend using a sock laundry bag as an extra step; they’re great at protecting your dress socks in the wash and ensuring that they don’t get lost!

Nathan James from Boardroom Socks

How to remove red wine spilled on clothes

When it comes to red wine spills on clothing, more important than what to do, is what not to do.  

  1. Don’t rub the stain. Doing so will only push the stain deeper into the fabric, ultimately making it more difficult to remove. 
  2. Don’t let it sit too long before treating it. Take immediate action to increase your chances of successful stain removal.
  3. Don’t allow any exposure to heat, including a dryer, iron, or even a hot car.

Here’s what the experts at A Cleaner World suggest:

  1. Blot the excess with a white paper towel and get it to your local dry cleaner as soon as you can. 
  2. To remove the stain at home, blot the area and use only white vinegar and water if the garment is washable (Dry-clean only garments should only be treated by your favorite dry cleaner). Rinse the garment with cold water as much as you can and let it air dry. If this does not work, try soaking the spot in Oxiclean and repeat the rinse and dry process.

Alex Jarrell from A Cleaner World

Best advice for washing pillows

Pillow washing should be considered an essential element to keep a home sanitized and free from dust, pet hair, dander, mold, and other allergens. No matter the type of pillow, such as memory foam, synthetic, or goose down, all pillows should be cleaned and sanitized every 4-6 months.

Follow these steps when you’re ready to wash pillows:

  1. Consult the manufacturer’s label on each pillow before you launder or sanitize.
  2. Separate the pillows that should be professionally cleaned from the pillows you can wash on your own. (Pay special attention to pillows with tassels, fringes, rhinestones, beads, decals, etc., or pillows with rich colors that may “bleed” during the washing process – they may have unique instructions.)
  3. Use a laundry sanitizer of your choice and add washable pillows to a large automatic washing machine to ensure good agitation. Be sure to balance your load as goose down pillows may be heavier than synthetic filled pillows. Complete the cycle per instructions.
  4. Dry them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, i.e., with an automatic electric dryer or let them air dry in the sun.
  5. Once done use pillowcases on bedding pillows to keep body fluids, make-up, and dead skin from your freshly cleaned pillows.

This can be a great spring cleaning item or a deep cleaning task for professional maid service providers to add to their residential customer’s routine cleaning schedule.

Stacey Freeman, Cleaning Business Coach from A Janitor’s Story

Best advice for washing duvets

We suggest you wash your duvets and all bedding before your first use to soften them even more than they are when they arrive and to get rid of any dust that may have been in the shipping package. Our recommendation is to machine wash them in cold water with like colors. Consumer Reports’ past tests found detergents have gotten much better at putting enzymes to work in removing dirt and stains at lower water temperatures, and are less effective at higher temperatures. We do not recommend using bleach as it is harmful to the fabric.

Using a liquid natural detergent that leaves less residue after washing helps keeps duvets bright and avoids graying or yellowing of white duvet covers. A well-known secret of the hotel industry (we also manufacture hotel bedding, so we know) in keeping their duvets clean is using peroxide-based detergents. All bedding needs to circulate to get clean so never cram them in the washer. If your washer has an agitator in the middle, don’t wrap the duvet around it tightly. This can cause it to wrinkle or tear.

In terms of drying, we recommend you tumble dry on low and remove promptly or if you are in a sunny climate old fashioned line drying works well. Intense drying can wear out fabrics faster. Fabrics can be worn out more quickly if they are dried quickly. Add wool dryer balls to the dryer to reduce dry time and wrinkles and keep your duvets fresh and soft.

Janet Wischnia from American Blossom Linens

How to sort your laundry for optimal cleanliness

Doing laundry can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure where to start. The process is easier when your laundry is sorted before it goes into the washer. Sorting your laundry properly ensures that all items are washed in the right cycle and with the proper amount of detergent so that no item is damaged or stained by too much agitation or the wrong kind of soap. Here we provide helpful tips on how to sort your laundry for optimal cleanliness.

When sorting your laundry, it’s important to consider fabric type, color, and washing instructions. Begin by separating whites from colors; this prevents any color run-off from ruining other garments during a wash cycle. Next, sort different materials such as cotton, polyester, wool, and other fabrics. Cotton and polyester should be washed in cool water for best results; wool should be washed in warm water with gentle detergents so as not to damage the fibers. Separating items into these categories will ensure that each type of fabric gets treated appropriately during its wash cycle.

When sorting colored items, note any special washing instructions on the tags before putting them in with the rest of the load. Many colored items need to be washed separately, or they will bleed onto other fabrics during a normal wash cycle; sorting them out ahead of time prevents this problem from occurring when you’re ready to do your laundry. It’s also important to separate any heavily soiled clothing from lighter-soiled clothes; this allows you to adjust the water temperature and detergent levels accordingly for optimal cleaning power without over-washing delicate fabrics. Finally, separate socks before washing! This will save you time later on when matching them up.

By taking a few minutes out of your day to properly sort your clothes, you can ensure that all items are thoroughly cleaned without risking damage from improper treatment during the wash cycle. Following these simple tips will make doing your laundry an easy and stress-free task!

Ayad Mirjan, Founder & CEO of OrangeBag

How to clean clothes so they last longer and don’t get damaged

In order to keep clothes lasting longer, looking great, and a smart investment, follow a few of my recommendations. The most important rule when washing your clothing is: don’t. If it doesn’t smell or has a stain, don’t wash it. It’s that simple, and it isn’t that gross. Science says we can’t avoid the germs transferred in clothing even when we wash them.

When you are ready to wash your clothes, be sure to read the care labels. If you are ever in doubt, send it out to a dry cleaner. If your clothes are safe for the washer, use the coldest water on the delicate cycle. Do not throw your delicates in without first protecting them in a mesh laundry bag. They’re called delicates for a reason. If you’re not sure if it requires a delicate cycle, use it anyway. You may be enticed to throw your clothes in the dryer. Please try to avoid this at all costs. (Thank me later when your favorite jeans haven’t stretched out after a year). Air drying your clothes will allow them to be a part of your wardrobe forever. If you’re concerned about wrinkles, purchase a steamer. You will bring your clothes to life again.

Last but not least, wash your clothes yourself or train someone who will do it correctly. Not everyone has this guide, even though they should – so share it!

Nicole Russo from Let’s Get You

How to clean baby clothes

  1. Make sure your machine is sanitized.
  2. Always look at care labels before washing.
  3. Use cool water for every day cleaning along with Beyond Fibre Wash. If stained, use warm to hot water and Beyond Clean baby detergent.
  4. Never use bleach or harsh chemical detergents. Babies have very sensitive skin.
  5. Unicorn products are easy to rinse, so one rinse is great.
  6. Dry according to the care label.

Melanie from Unicorn

How to read clothing care symbols

We’ve all frustratingly shrunken a sweater or left unwanted bleach stains on a shirt. When in doubt while deciphering laundry care symbols, we recommend always referencing a laundry care symbol guide. This way, you can compare the meanings of the symbols to what you see on your garment’s tag. Referencing a clothing care symbols guide will help you make confident decisions on how to properly launder, bleach, dry, and iron the piece of clothing. Following the correct instructions for clothing care will preserve the quality and longevity of your t-shirt, sweatshirt, or whatever piece of apparel you have at hand.

Machine drying clothes is one of the biggest culprits of undesired shrinkage, often making the garment fit improperly or becoming completely useless. Some quick rules of thumb to remember — natural fibers like cotton and wool shrink heavily from machine drying with heat, and synthetic materials like polyester and spandex shrink very little, if at all. Also, something to keep in mind is that synthetic materials like polyester do not bleach easily, if at all, and tend to melt easily when ironing. Avoid ironing nylon altogether. And finally, be cautious with heat levels when ironing linen, viscose, and thin cotton. 

ShirtSpace

What are the benefits of using vinegar when doing laundry?

There are many benefits of using distilled white vinegar when doing laundry. For starters, vinegar is inexpensive and non-toxic. It makes a great natural cleaning agent and stain remover for laundry. It’s also safe to use around children and pets. Plus, you can easily pick up a bottle at any grocery store.

Most bottles of white vinegar you find contain around 5 percent acetic acid. This makes vinegar a mild acidic cleaner perfect for many everyday chores such as cleaning, and, of course, laundry.

Here are a few ways vinegar makes laundry day a little easier:

  • Brightens fabric: If you have old, dingy cotton shirts, you can brighten them by soaking them in a vinegar and water solution overnight.
  • Deodorizes: Smelly workout gear? Vinegar is great at removing odors from fabrics.
  • Soften towels: Sometimes, formerly soft, fluffy towels take on a stiff texture. You can restore your towels to their former glory by adding vinegar during the rinse cycle.
  • Lifts grease: The acetic acid in the vinegar helps to lift grease stains. Make a DIY grease remover using equal parts vinegar and water.

You’ll want to keep a bottle of white vinegar in your laundry room!

Theresa from RusticWise

Involve your kids

Household chores are great teaching tools for children. In the case of doing the laundry, showing your children how to load the machines and how to properly look after their clothing are great experiences. Laundry doesn’t have to be a dull chore for one unlucky person to do; it can be a fun family activity if you turn it into a game. Also, the extra help takes the pressure off you while showing them how a functional family works together.  

How to teach kids about laundry

You can teach your kids a great time management lesson by teaching them how to do their own laundry. It’s a skill you can start teaching when your kids are young by having them toss their dirty clothes into a laundry hamper. As they grow, you can increase the responsibility and delegate the task of carrying their hamper to the laundry area in your home. Show older children how to use your washer and dryer, and then fold, hang and put away clean clothing to complete the job 100% done.

I suggest to families that they use a laundry schedule that gives everyone in the household a day of the week to do their laundry. This way, there’s no mixing of family members’ clothes.

While a younger child’s laundry task takes only a few seconds, an older child can take on more responsibility by processing a load of laundry all the way through the washday cycle. Learning how long each task will take within the project and how not to forget wet clothes in the washer sounds simple, but it’s an important skill to learn.

I taught my sons how to do their own laundry when they were 9 and 11 years old. It took several months of prompting them to bring their hampers down and start a load of laundry. I stood by, talked them through the process, and ensured they were doing it correctly. The magic happens when you finally delegate the chore to your child and let them be responsible for their own laundry care.

Janet Schiesl from Basic Organization

How to teach kids to do laundry

Kids of all ages can be involved in the laundry process. Toddlers can sort by color, and school-aged kids can help with folding and putting clothes away. Once they reach the age of 10, kids can start being in charge of a full cycle of laundry with supervision. Take a load off by teaching your kids how to do laundry. We’re all about making cleaning easy. Toss in a scoop of our laundry detergent, and you’re done. But even still, there are a few rules that you still have to follow. Separate your laundry into darks and whites. Whites should also include towels and underthings. Second, read the garment care instructions. If you wash a wool sweater, and it comes out to fit a barbie doll, that might not be my fault. Don’t overpack the washer.

Charlie’s Soap dissolves perfectly, but only if the water actually gets to it. Set your washer on COOL unless the instructions tell you otherwise. If you don’t have a COOL setting, use cold in the summer and warm in the winter. Add the detergent to the top of the clothes, just 2/3 of a tablespoon of the Powder, or 2/3 of an ounce for a normal-sized, not-so-filthy load. Hit the switch and wait. You don’t need fabric softener, but you might need some Oxygen Bleach if it’s a particularly nasty load. When the load’s done, dry them according to the care instructions. Clean has no scent, so leave the perfumes in the bathroom cabinet! That’s it. Easy peasy.

 Taylor Sutherland, President of Charlie’s Soap

Sustainable laundry practices

Laundry appliances can have a substantial environmental impact, from water use to detergent. Standard washing machines use up to 17% of a household’s yearly water consumption, which makes it the fourth highest. You can reduce your water consumption by adjusting the amount of water used according to the size of the load and by ensuring you don’t use extended wash cycles. These days, washing machines are more efficient than they used to be by reducing water consumption and energy needed to operate.

Another big problem is the detergent you choose. Pollution resulting from laundry detergents is still a big issue. Now, you can choose an eco-friendly synthetic detergent or an all-natural eco-friendly clothing soap to do your part for the planet.

Environmentally-friendly laundry routine

Having an environmentally friendly routine is not as challenging as it might look at first. It’s a combination of mindset, the will to have a more sustainable routine, and some easy steps that anyone can take.

  1. Wash less often and make sure you have a full load before you do your laundry. There are two reasons for that. One is probably obvious, and it’s to reduce energy usage. The other one is that overwashing can damage clothes, and the damaged clothes get thrown away and end up in landfills.
  2. Get rid of the big plastic jugs of conventional laundry detergents and switch to eco-friendly laundry detergents. These jugs create huge amounts of plastic waste, and the detergent contains all kinds of chemicals polluting our waterways. Switching to environmentally-friendly detergents eliminates both of these problems and additionally saves up space in your laundry room. If possible, and your washing machine allows it, try washing your clothes with cold water. It’s a great way to conserve energy.

With these steps, it’s always good to have some other eco-friendly laundry products that can upgrade your environmentally-friendly laundry routine. Wool Dryer Balls are a great alternative to fabric softeners because they naturally soften your clothes and, at the same time, they reduce drying time on average of 20% – 40% depending on the load. 

And if you really want to go the extra mile and the conditions of where you live to allow it, try air drying your clothes. Air drying helps preserve your favorite pieces of clothes and reduces energy usage at the same time.

Milos Vranes from Green Eco Dream

Organizing laundry habits to reduce carbon emissions

80% of garment’s carbon footprint is attributed to washing and aftercare. Yet, through small lifestyle changes and eco organising our buying and laundry habits, we can reduce our carbon footprint plus save time and money.

Save water and energy

  • Repair leaking faucets and washing machine hoses 
  • Set the washing machine to eco settings, wash with cold water and, where possible, avoid clothes dryers

Protect our environment

  • Care for our environment by adding a measuring cup for detergents. Using the correct amount of detergent benefits our machines, clothes, and waterways.
  • Do not buy a laundry product just because it has a dolphin or planet Earth on the label. Avoid “greenwashing” by reading the label, and make sure you feel comfortable with their statements.
  • Do not buy an eco-friendly cleaning product if it doesn’t suit you or your family. There is no point if it doesn’t meet your expectations. It’s only washing your money and energy down the drain. It doesn’t mean the product doesn’t work. It just doesn’t suit you, which is fine.
  • Choose natural fibres over synthetic-Synthetic fabrics are responsible for the majority of microplastics in the environment today, which is why garments made from natural fibres are the best option for our environment.

Tanya Lewis from Eco Organiser

Using a plastic-free detergent

Most laundry detergents are found in high-density polyethylene (HDPE) jugs — in other words: plastic made from petroleum. And there are a number of reasons to choose plastic-free laundry detergent instead. The most obvious is that plastic containers are made from fossil fuels. Secondly, it’s worth noting that although HDPE is technically one of the most recyclable plastics out there, the EPA reports that less than 30% of HDPE products actually get recycled.

Most of this plastic ends up as waste. And even if it does get recycled, it’s not a long-term solution because plastic isn’t an endlessly recyclable material (like aluminum is, for example). Studies have estimated that ⅓ of plastics end up in soils or freshwater — the very places where humans (and other living beings) source their food.

So the reasons for opting for plastic-free detergent are manifold! And the good news is that there are a growing number of brands offering plastic-free detergent in various forms, such as pods or tablets, detergent strips, refillable powder, or bars.

Elizabeth Joy, Founder of Conscious Life & Style

Eco-friendly alternatives to laundry detergents

For a laundry detergent to be really sustainable, we look out for detergents that avoid sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), fragrances, or phthalates. In terms of packaging, we love an old-school powder in a cardboard box or a pod made in a bio-based membrane. If you do go liquid, make sure it’s concentrated. For certifications, we love USDA BioPreferred, EPA Safer Choice, or Leaping Bunny. Our favorite detergent right now is Dropps!

Lizzie Horvitz from Finch

Eco-friendly laundry tip for washing clothes

Wash less often. Your clothes don’t need to be washed after every wear unless they’re smelly or stained. (Yes, detergent manufacturers tell you otherwise, I know). Your clothes will last longer, and you’ll save water, energy, and detergent.

Use the best detergents – ones without perfume, bleach, softener, or brighteners (they’re nearly always made from chemicals and can result in allergies and other health issues). Find the safest ones on the EWG website.

Wait till it’s full – a full load is more efficient in water and energy use, and clothes clean better in a full machine!

When it comes to your washing machine :

  • Skip the pre-wash cycle – most clothes clean perfectly without it.
  • Use warm or cold water, not hot – you get the same result (most detergents are designed to clean at any temperature), so you save money on electricity. Lower temperatures are less damaging to your clothes, too – I notice quite a difference.
  • The rinse water temperature does not affect cleaning, so always set the machine on cold water rinse.
  • If you will use your drier, spin your laundry thoroughly to save time and money. If you’re going to line-dry your clothes, use a short spin cycle and let Nature do the rest!
  • Skip fabric softeners – they’re often responsible for asthma and allergies. Add white vinegar to the softener compartment of your washing machine. (No, your clothes will NOT smell of vinegar!).

Clare Delaney from all-natural, healthy living, EcoFriendlyLink

How to take care of clothes in a more sustainable way

“Less is more” for sustainable clothing care.

To care for your clothes more sustainably, we suggest spot cleaning whenever possible instead of laundering the entire garment. If the entire garment needs to be washed, hand washing and hanging or lying flat to dry, also known as air drying, is the most sustainable way to launder them. Hand washing and air drying do not require any electric energy, require less water, and are more gentle on your garments which helps to preserve them. Suppose you need to machine wash your clothes and have garments made from polyester fibers. In that case, we suggest using a microfiber-catching laundry ball, which can help eliminate the microfibers in our laundry from getting into our beautiful waterways. Any at-home laundering should be done with cold water and earth-friendly detergents. Using cold water also uses less energy as you do not need to heat the water.

If your garment requires dry cleaning, opt for an eco-friendly dry cleaner that uses wet cleaning or liquid carbon dioxide cleaning. Both of these processes are much more eco-friendly than traditional dry cleaners, which use chemical cleaning solvents.

Other ways to care for your clothes more sustainably include repairing or mending your existing clothes, extending the garment’s life instead of getting rid of it, and buying a new piece. It’s also important to know the best way to store your clothes. For example, sweaters are best kept folded, so they do not lose their shape or get longer on hangers.

Lauren DeCarli from Paneros Clothing  

Washer and dryer care

It’s important to regularly clean and maintain your washer and dryer. This includes cleaning the lint filters after every use and running a cleaning cycle with hot water and a mild detergent or cleaning solution every few months to remove any build-up of dirt or mildew.

In addition to regular cleaning, it is also important to properly care for your washer and dryer machine by using the appropriate detergents and avoiding overloading the machines. Overloading can cause damage to the drum and the machine’s motor, as well as negatively impact the cleaning performance. It’s also recommended not to use too much detergent as it can leave residue and cause mold growth inside the machine. Regularly inspecting and cleaning the hoses and connections can prevent water leaks and prolong the life of your machines. If you run into problems with your washer or dryer machine, you can call a professional to fix them or check if your home warranty covers them.

Doing laundry doesn’t have to be frustrating. From choosing a better detergent to creating a laundry room that’s functional and organized, it’s possible to make that monster pile of laundry manageable. You can also reduce your workload by sharing the chore with your children and streamlining the process to best use your time and energy.