A laundry room is important in keeping the household running smoothly. From washing machines and dryers to irons, these appliances keep our clothes clean, fresh, and well-kept. 

Regular cleaning and maintenance routines will make your appliances last longer. You can prevent breakdowns, extend their lifespan, and save money on repairs or replacements.

Laundry room essentials

Washing machines, dryers, irons, and steamers can make the laundry routine easier. Discover the essential laundry room items and learn how taking good care of them can improve your laundry routine.

Washing machine

Front-load vs. top-load

There are two main types of washing machines: front-load and top-load. Front-loaders use less water and energy, clean clothes better, and save space, but cost more. Top-loaders are cheaper and easier to load but use more water and energy. 

Maintenance and cleaning

  • Clean the drum regularly. Run an empty cycle using hot water and a cup of vinegar or washing machine cleaner. This helps remove soap residue, dirt, and bacteria from the drum.
  • Remove and clean the detergent drawer to avoid soap buildup. If your machine has a filter, clean it to prevent clogs and ensure water drains properly.
  • After washing, keep the machine door open for a while. This allows air to circulate and keeps the drum dry, preventing mold or mildew growth.

How to calculate a washing machine’s capacity?

Check the manual!

For commercial washers that you find in a laundromat, the washing machine’s capacity is clearly stated on the machines. For residential machines, this may sound silly, but most laundry machines state the capacity in pounds (lbs) of clothing in the instruction manual.

James Joun COO from Rinse

Importance of not overfilling a washing machine and how this can affect it

The main reason not to overfill your washing is to prolong the life of your machine. Overfilling adds extra stress to the motor and bearings when strained by an extra-large load.

In addition, if clothing is packed too tightly in the drum, clothes won’t be able to agitate and tumble, a crucial part of the cleaning process. And without room to move around, detergent can’t easily reach all the items in the machine, and laundry can remain wet at the end of the cycle.

Next time, when loading the washing machine, consider the mechanics involved in washing the load to help determine how much fabric to add to the drum.

Paula Grigg from Nellie’s

Best way to prevent mold in a washing machine

Preventing mold in a front-load or top-load washing machine is simple if you follow these tips.

  • Leave the top lid or front-load door open between loads to dry out the machine and prevent condensation and mold growth.
  • Open the detergent drawer or remove it to let it drip dry after doing a load of laundry.
  • For a front-load washing machine – ALWAYS wipe out the gasket (top to bottom) to remove any water and moisture. This is the main area that will get moldy first. Gently pull the gasket toward you to wipe inside and behind the gasket. Wipe especially well around the drain holes at the bottom.
  • For a top-load washing machine – ALWAYS wipe down that top area around the basin but below the frame of the washing machine.
  • Using vinegar as a fabric softener instead of the commercial fabric softeners that leave residue in your washing machine.
  • Remove wet clothes immediately after a wash.
  • Open a window, turn on an exhaust fan, or use a dehumidifier when using the washing machine.
  • Inspect washer hoses for wear and tear, as well as firm attachment. Replace if damaged or failing. Water damage and mold are prevailing issues in laundry rooms because of poor hose maintenance.

Jennifer Nitrio from Mold Help For You 

Things to keep in mind when cleaning a smelly washing machine

Have you ever wondered why the machine that is supposed to keep your clothes clean can get so filthy? After all, every other detergent is filled with perfumes, brighteners, softeners, and those bursting scent beads! That means clean, doesn’t it? Those chemicals are made to stick to every square inch of fabric for that maximum, clean—a stinky, gooey, residue-filled freshness. Surely, these chemicals won’t stick to the drum, the agitator, the rim above the water line, the dispenser, the window… Surely!   

If you haven’t guessed by now, these chemicals stick very well to everything, smelling and looking horrible. They also gum up your washer, reducing its lifespan. Washing machine cleaners will remove those residues that supposedly make your clothes clean. A mild surface cleaner can be used to clean above the water line and the front window’s gasket. Do this once a month, and whenever possible, leave your front loader open to dry and prevent odors. A periodic vinegar rinse can remove lime buildup from hard water. 

Charlie’s Soap Laundry Packets will easily keep your washing machine AND your clothes properly clean and residue-free forever. Additionally, Charlie’s Soap Kitchen & Bath Household Cleaner can be safely used for the drum and gasket.   

Taylor Sutherland from Charlie’s Soap

How to use an energy-efficient washing machine correctly

You must use your energy-efficient washing machine correctly to get the full benefits. Here’s how:

  • Avoid the pre-wash cycle – most clothes don’t need it. If you have heavily soiled clothes, soak them in a basin before you wash them – it is far more energy-efficient than the pre-wash cycle.
  • Wash less often – most clothes don’t need to be washed after every wear unless they’re smelly or stained. Your clothes will last longer, and you’ll save water, energy, and detergent. And wait till it’s full – a full load is much more efficient in water and energy use – and clothes actually get cleaner in a full load!
  • Drop from 100 to 85 F (40 to 30 C) to use 40% less energy! (Heating water uses most of the energy when washing). Lower temperatures are less damaging to your clothes, too – I notice quite a difference. Modern detergents cope with cooler or cold water. Even better, use a natural detergent such as soap nuts (soap berries) with NO additives or pure Castille soap to avoid the toxic chemicals in many detergents.
  • Use a cold rinse – the RINSE water doesn’t need to be hot (the clothes are already clean), so always set it to cold.
  • Capture the microfibers. Various devices capture microfibers, and every little helps. And plan ahead – when you’re buying clothes, opt for organic cotton, linen, and wool to help prevent microfibers from entering our waterways.

 Follow these tips, and you’ll not only save energy with your machine but also protect your health, air, and water!

Clare Delaney from all-natural, healthy living, EcoFriendlyLink

The right way to clean the exterior of a washing machine

To clean the exterior of a washing machine effectively, I follow these steps:

  1. Selecting the right cleaning solution: I usually use a mild detergent or a mix of vinegar and water. For a stainless steel washing machine, a specialized stainless steel cleaner is my go-to choice.
  2. Preparing my cleaning cloth: I opt for a soft, damp cloth, steering clear of abrasive scrubbers or steel wool to avoid scratching the surface.
  3. Wiping down the exterior: I gently wipe the machine’s exterior, paying extra attention to areas prone to accumulating dirt, like around the detergent dispenser. For stubborn stains, I might apply a bit more cleaning solution, but I’m careful not to use too much water.
  4. Cleaning the control panel: I carefully clean the control panel with a soft, slightly damp cloth, ensuring no water seeps into the buttons or dials.
  5. Drying the surface: After cleaning, I dry the exterior with a clean, dry cloth to prevent water spots, which is especially important for stainless steel surfaces.
  6. Regular maintenance: I regularly wipe down my washing machine’s exterior to maintain its appearance and prevent the buildup of dirt and detergent residues.

It’s crucial to unplug the appliance before cleaning and avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the finish or the machine’s internal parts.

Justin Chia from  Just Jooz

Dryer machine

Gas vs. electric dryers

Gas dryers, which use natural gas, dry clothes faster and are cheaper. However, they need a higher upfront cost and might require a gas line. On the other hand, electric dryers are more affordable and easier to install with just a power outlet needed. But they usually come with higher electricity bills and a longer drying time. 

Maintenance and cleaning tips

  • Clean the lint trap after each drying cycle to avoid fire dangers and keep the dryer running smoothly. 
  • Check the airflow regularly to ensure it is good, and clean the dryer vent and ducts.

Tips about dryer vent safety and maintenance

Maintenance and dryer vent safety are paramount to prevent fire hazards and optimize appliance performance. Accumulated lint in the dryer duct can lead to hazardous conditions, such as elevated carbon monoxide levels or even fires. To ensure an efficient dryer vent system, follow these tips:

  • Schedule an annual inspection and service by a certified professional to eliminate lint buildup and minimize fire risks.
  • Opt for short and straight vent runs using rigid metal venting material to enhance airflow and reduce lint accumulation.
  • Use an exterior vent termination with a backdraft damper to shield against external elements, keeping the vent closed when not in use.
  • Always use a lint filter and clean it before or after each laundry load, removing lint around the drum.
  • Regularly check the venting system for obstructions or damage, ensuring the outdoor vent flap opens during dryer operation for optimal airflow.
  • Be vigilant for prolonged drying times, indicating potential vent clogs or inefficient airflow.
  • Adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions, avoid overloading the dryer, and turn it off when leaving home or going to bed.

By adhering to these tips, you safeguard your home and loved ones and contribute to potential energy savings on your power bill.

Kade Lancaster from Top Hat Chimney Sweeps   

What’s the role of dryer vents in a home, and why is it important to keep it
well-maintained?

Dryer vents are designed to carry the leftover heat, lint, and moisture from your clothes
dryer to the outside of your home. As the dryer produces heat the vent carries this heat
out of the home and away from the dryer, allowing it to operate at a safe temperature.
Dryer fires are typically caused by blockages in the vent that keep the heat inside
the dryer. The lint that accumulates in the dryer and vent is fuel for a fire. The amount of
lint that accumulates in the dryer and vent is caused by back pressure. The amount of
back pressure is relative to the length of the vent, how many turns there are, and how
quickly lint builds up.
The dryer vent should be as short as possible with the fewest number of turns.
The vent should also be constructed of a 4” diameter rigid metal pipe, sealed at all joints
to help the airflow maintain the required 1500 feet per minute. The vent termination
should have a door that opens when running and is closed fully by gravity when done.
There should never be a screen or cage over your vent that collects lint, this will create
more backpressure and could result in a dryer fire.
Always ensure you are cleaning the internal lint filter before starting any load and
use a lint brush to break the lint free from the housing below the filter, the dryer will then
push that lint through the vent and to the outside.
You should have a certified dryer exhaust technician evaluate your dryer vent for
proper installation and efficiency, and they will be able to recommend a cleaning
schedule based on the vent design and frequency of use. Visit CSIA.org to find a
certified technician in your area.

Keith Gaudette from SmokeAlert

Facts people should know about dryer vent cleaning

Dryer vent cleaning is an important aspect of home maintenance that often goes overlooked but can significantly affect safety and efficiency. Here are some key facts that people should be aware of:

  1. Signs of clogged vents: longer drying times, excessive heat, and a burning smell.
  2. Fire hazard reduction: Lint buildup poses a severe fire risk; regular cleaning reduces this danger.
  3. Energy efficiency: A clogged vent decreases efficiency, increasing energy costs.
  4. Extended dryer life: Regular cleaning extends the dryer’s lifespan and prevents costly repairs.
  5. Mold prevention: Clogged vents create a mold-friendly environment, posing health hazards and causing odors.
  6. Frequency of cleaning: At least once a year. Frequency depends on factors like laundry loads and vent configuration.
  7. DIY vs. professional cleaning: Basic maintenance by homeowners is possible, but professionals are recommended for thorough jobs, especially for complex vents.
  8. Safety standards and compliance: Professional companies ensure compliance with local regulations and safety standards.
  9. Enhanced indoor air quality: Regular cleaning improves indoor air quality by preventing lint and particles from entering the home.

In summary, regular dryer vent cleaning is essential for safety, efficiency, and overall home maintenance.

Mariano Llorian from AdvantaClean

How often people should clean their dryer vent

Every house has its dryer vent installation. Some go straight to the roof, some on the second floor, and some are underground.

The best recommended time to inspect the dryer vent is once a year, even if everything seems to be working fine, there might be a serious issue you need to be aware of. 

So, what are the major signs that the dryer vent needs urgent care? 

  1. The clothes aren’t drying well, and it takes longer for them to dry than usual. 
  2. The dryer does not produce enough heat. 
  3. There is a smoky smell coming from the dryer ( which is usually the result of lint being burnt from the dryer’s heat ), which is the worst-case scenario since it can either ruin the dryer completely or, even worse, burn the house. 

When any of these signs occur, it is best to stop using the dryer and call for professional help. 

To avoid these problems, you must maintain the dryer’s health.

 For example, clean the dryer filter before every use, make sure the dryer duct is connected well without any leaks or damage, and finally, get a professional inspection yearly!

Aviram Ganon from Las Vegas Airduct

How to deep clean a dryer lint? 

Things to keep an eye on if you’re a homeowner who does laundry and operates a clothes dryer. First, understand how the appliance works. A dryer is designed to heat up and help the water inside the laundry evaporate. It then blows the water to an outside exhaust. Wet lint travels with the water vapor, settles, and builds inside the ducts. If it cannot move the moisture to this point, clothes cease to dry, and there is a chance the water will build up over time and potentially cause leaks and other problems. A deep lint cleaning should be done annually to keep the vent clear of debris and allow for proper airflow.

This will consist of keeping your lint trap free of lint. Second, if you have a short run from the back of the dryer to the outside, you can pull the dryer out and hand vac. If you have a slightly longer run, you can try to use something like a leaf blower to move lint. However, be cautious that if there is a severe build-up, you could create a blockage and further compact it. If you are unsure what to do, always consult a professional.

Daffy Ducts has been in business for 16+ years and has serviced over 16,000 homes in the Atlanta Metro area for air duct and dryer vent cleaning. Daffy Ducts holds a C-DET certification from the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Justin Tarr from  Daffy Ducts

Why is it important to keep a dryer vent clean?

Keeping a dryer vent clean is vital for two simple reasons: safety and efficiency. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that there are about 16,000 dryer fires per year in the United States, and most of these fires start as a result of a dirty dryer vent. When a dryer vent is left uncleaned, lint builds up and accumulates around the heating filaments in the dryer. Lint is incredibly flammable, so it’s not hard to imagine how a clogged dryer vent can lead to a fire that could eventually spread to other home rooms. Cleaning your dryer vent once or twice a year will go a long way to preventing a fire and keeping your home safe.

Beyond preventing a house fire, a clean dryer vent also means a more efficient dryer. It’s frustrating to run your dryer for an hour only to reach in and find that your clothes are still soggy. If this happens to you, a dirty dryer vent might cause frustration. A clogged vent means a dryer can’t operate at its full capacity. Cleaning the lint out of your vent can help get your dryer back to its maximum efficiency.

Louis Greubel from HY-C

Iron and ironing board

Different irons suit different needs. Dry irons work without steam and are best for fabrics that don’t handle moisture well. Cordless irons offer flexibility since they don’t have cords and need a charging base. 

There are also various types of ironing boards. Standard ones are common with a flat surface and padding. Tabletop boards are smaller and portable, great for tables or counters. Built-in boards save space as they can be set up in a wall or cabinet and folded away when unnecessary.

What’s the correct way to use an iron?

Ironing may be one of the least-enjoyed chores at home, but some tips help make the process a bit easier. 

  • Ensuring the heat setting is suitable for the fabric: The most important tip when ironing is to read your garment’s care label. For example, silk, nylon, and polyester will need a lower heat setting, while heavier fabrics like cotton and linen can handle higher heat. If unsure, start at a lower heat setting and work your way up to avoid any marks or burns. Top tip – to get a smooth result between buttons on a shirt, iron on the reverse side! Also, when ironing a dress shirt, start with the collar and then move on to the cuffs and sleeves, then the main body of the shirt.
  • Cleaning your iron: After each use, empty the water in the reservoir. This will prevent any mould buildup when your iron is stored away. If you’re using your iron regularly, it’s important to maintain a cleaning routine. You don’t want marks or dirt to be put back onto your clean, pressed clothes. You can wipe over your iron using a simple solution of water, white vinegar, and bi-carb soda to remove any dirt/buildup. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe any excess off, and then clean out the vents by turning your iron onto its hottest setting. Some irons will have an auto-cleaning function, which you can also use.
  • Types of irons: There are a range of irons on the market, starting at affordable basic home irons through to steam station irons. At mobile laundry services like The Laundry Lady, our team uses steam station irons to ensure a professional finish. The benefits of outsourcing a task like ironing are that you can reclaim more free time, and it’s also handy for busy businesses like beauty salons, medical clinics, and yoga clinics that use towels regularly.

Ms Susan Toft, CEO from The Laundry Lady 

How people should clean their irons

To effectively clean an iron, start by ensuring it’s unplugged and cool. Gently wipe the soleplate with a microfiber cloth to remove any loose debris. For more persistent stains or scorch marks, create a mixture of equal parts distilled white vinegar and water, apply it to the soleplate, and wipe it off. In cases of tough residue, acetone nail polish remover on a cotton ball can be used. After cleaning, heat the iron to its lowest setting and pass it over a clean towel to dry the soleplate. Regular maintenance of the iron not only enhances its performance but also extends its lifespan.

Terry Stevens from Sparkle and Shine 

Maintenance and cleaning tips

Wipe the iron plate with vinegar and water or specialized cleaners to remove residue. Use distilled water to prevent mineral buildup that can block the steam vents. These steps keep your iron working well for clothing care.

Utility sink

Maintenance and cleaning tips

Utility sinks are used for soaking clothes before washing, washing hands, or cleaning household items. To keep your utility sink in good shape, use drain strainers to stop debris from blocking the sink drain, clean it often to prevent bad smells, and keep it hygienic.

Steamer

Maintenance and cleaning tips

Steamers effectively remove wrinkles without iron and are gentle on delicate fabrics. Clean it occasionally to remove mineral buildup that affects its performance. Use distilled water, empty the reservoir after use, and store the steamer in a clean, dry spot to prevent bacterial growth and mold.

Protect your appliances

Caring for your appliances is important for better performance and maximizing lifespan. Regular cleaning, necessary repairs, and proper use can save you money and hassle. A home warranty can provide extra coverage for unexpected breakdowns, supporting your efforts in maintaining appliances and giving you peace of mind. This ensures longer-lasting appliances while reducing expenses and potential inconveniences. 

Other features of a laundry room

Laundry rooms offer more than just washing machines and dryers; they can include additional features to enhance functionality and efficiency.

How to install a laundry room countertop without damaging the washing and drying machine?

When we added a countertop over our washing and drying machines, we took these steps.

1. First, measure exactly where the countertop would go in terms of height above the appliances and marked with a pencil. Because we would also have one vertical support, we marked that, too.

2. Next, we unhooked the appliances. Then we moved them out of the laundry room into our butler’s pantry. We also moved out the free-standing Elfa drawer storage

3. We never an issue with any potential damage. 

Carol from Bluesky at Home

Must-have features for creating the ultimate laundry room

  • Plenty of folding counter space. There is nothing worse than just piling everything into a basket and delivering it to a room. With space to fold, clothes last longer and remain in the wrinkle-free zone without always having to iron them, a time-consuming chore.
  • Drip Dry area. I prefer to have most of my clothing drip dry, and a small space to allow clothing to air or drip dry is a must for me and many of my clients.
  • An ultimate luxury is an LG Styler. This free-standing unit can refresh everything from kids’ plush toys to bedding, pillows, sweaters, and suits. Once again, the gentle use of steam refreshes many things, reducing the need to launder or dry clean, which is better for your wallet and the environment.
  • A generously sized sink. Like drip drying, having a large sink to rinse out clothing, water plants, spray off muddy boots, or a muddy fur baby is a lovely item for any laundry room.
  • A home design detail I have seen on the rise combines a mudroom and laundry room. As these spaces gain popularity, more flexibility will be designed into them. Pet areas for crates, grooming, leashes, and food/water bowls also find their way into the laundry room and mud rooms. A laundry mud room combination seems like a splendid idea.
  • Just like any other room in the home, good lighting, especially if you can add natural light, is a must. Laundry should not be a dreary chore. If you have good lighting, you can see how clean the clothes are (just in case you missed a spot). Sorting colored laundry and matching socks (especially black and blue) is much easier with good lighting.
  • Well-designed storage. Places for cleaning supplies like detergents, if your laundry is large enough to iron in, a hanging area, a closet for the ironing board and vacuum, and cubbies for each person’s own laundry basket so everyone can help with their laundry.

Sharon Sherman from Thyme & Place Design

Storage solutions

Maximize your laundry room space with smart storage solutions. Cabinets, shelving, baskets, bins, hooks, and hangers keep detergents, fabric softeners, and laundry organized and accessible. These streamline your routine, maintaining a tidy and organized space.

Drying rack

Foldable drying racks allow you to air-dry delicate clothing items that shouldn’t go in the dryer.

Extra laundry tips

A well-organized laundry routine not only ensures clean clothes but also contributes to the longevity of your appliances. 

How establishing an efficient laundry routine can benefit families and appliances

Laundry days can be daunting, especially with the ever-growing piles of clothes demanding attention. Below are practical tips to help streamline your laundry routine, making this essential chore a lot more manageable:

  • Organize your schedule: Establish a dedicated laundry schedule to bring order and efficiency to chaotic wash days, this allows you to maximize the capacity of your washer for more efficient use of water, detergent, and electricity.
  • Sort before washing: We recommend separating clothes into categories like whites, darks, and delicates to prevent color bleeding and to safeguard garments from potential damage during washing. It’s also a great practice to wash severely soiled clothes separately.
  • Go eco-friendly: Skip the fabric conditioner and use distilled white vinegar instead, it’s just as good, if not better, since it keeps unwanted smells at bay. Opt for plant-based concentrated laundry detergents with Eucalyptus or tree oil; you’ll never look back.
  • Dry and ‘iron’ at the same time: Ditch the tumble dryer and start using outdoor clotheslines or indoor drying racks with sufficient space to spread out your garments. This method is not only more energy-efficient, you get to skip ironing, too, since gravity does all the work for you.

Adopting these helpful laundry routine tips can significantly ease the burden of wash days for big families—all while saving on utility bills and keeping Mother Nature happy!

Gary N from Lifestyle Clothesline

Maximizing efficiency in your laundry room: essential tips and insights

In today’s fast-paced world, an efficient laundry room is more than a convenience—it’s necessary. Central to this efficiency are the appliances and essentials that make up this space. Regular maintenance of these appliances ensures their longevity and guarantees optimal performance.

Firstly, consider the heart of your laundry room: the washer and dryer. Regularly cleaning the lint trap in your dryer and inspecting the washing machine’s hoses for wear can prevent costly repairs. Additionally, using these appliances according to manufacturer guidelines helps extend their lifespan. For instance, overloading the washer can strain its motor, while running the dryer longer than needed can wear out its components prematurely.

A noteworthy addition to modern laundry rooms is the LG Styler. This innovative appliance offers an at-home dry-cleaning experience, gently refreshing clothes without chemicals. It’s perfect for delicate fabrics and items typically hand-washed or taken to professional cleaners.

When it comes to installation, always ensure that appliances are level to avoid unnecessary strain on their parts. Additionally, leaving space around each appliance improves airflow and reduces the risk of overheating.

Cleaning hacks like using vinegar to remove soap scum and baking soda to clean the washer drum can also be game-changers. These natural cleaners are not only effective but also eco-friendly.

In conclusion, an efficient laundry room hinges on well-maintained and properly used appliances. The LG Styler is a great example of how modern technology can enhance this space. Remember, a little care and the right tips can go a long way in ensuring your laundry room remains a cornerstone of household efficiency.

Jay Young from Toulmin Cabinetry

Do wool dryer balls have any positive impact on a drying machine?

Wool dryer balls are a sustainable and effective alternative to conventional, synthetic dryer sheets that offer numerous benefits in maintaining your dryer. These eco-friendly balls, typically made from 100% natural wool, serve multiple functions that contribute to both appliance longevity and improved laundry care. Wool dryer balls enhance drying efficiency by increasing air circulation within the dryer. As they tumble alongside your clothes, they create separation, preventing items from clumping together. This function helps reduce drying time and energy consumption, extending the lifespan of your dryer and lowering your energy costs. Acting as a natural fabric softener, wool dryer balls eliminate any need for chemical-laden dryer sheets. Wool dryer balls soften clothes by gently agitating them, reducing static cling and diminishing wrinkles – this not only preserves the integrity of your fabrics but also minimizes the wear and tear caused by excessive friction during drying cycles. Finally, wool dryer balls are reusable and durable, making them a cost-effective and sustainable choice. Their ability to absorb moisture helps regulate humidity in the dryer, preventing mold and mildew growth, and unlike disposable dryer sheets, they can be reused 1,000+ times!

Joel from Kind Laundry

What are some different options to use instead of laundry detergent that won’t harm your washing machine?

The innovative Hexawash by SuperBee is an eco-friendly alternative to laundry soaps and laundry sheets that won’t harm your washing machine or the planet! It’s an organic cotton pouch of magnesium pellets that can be reused for up to 300 loads to clean your clothes without harmful chemicals, fragrances, or plastic waste. The magnesium pellets react in the water to create hydrogen gas and magnesium hydroxide. This reaction results in an alkaline solution of around pH 10.5 in your washing machine. Negative hydroxide ions reduce the surface tension of the water, making it easier for dirt and oil to break down and be washed away. Magnesium cleans your clothes as effectively as any detergent while being kind to your machine, our waterways, and the planet. At 16 cents per load, it easily fits your household budget!

Antoinette from Superbee

Strategies to minimize the frequency of washing clothes and reduce the environmental impact

It’s easy to be “lazy” on washing day and just let the machines do the work for you, but most clothes don’t need to be washed often – or at all. Here are the most common reasons we toss something in the wash, along with tips:

  •  Odor: try soaking or spraying smelly areas with a mixture of vodka and water, or use a scent-free specialty treatment like Zero Odor Spray. Avoid Febreze, as it doesn’t really kill the bacteria and deposits fragrance and chemicals on your clothes. Invest in natural fiber clothing like linen and wool, which naturally resist odor-causing bacteria.
  • Pet hair or surface lint: While sticky-tape rollers are most commonly used, they take time and require multiple strips to complete a single garment. Try an old-school velvet lint brush instead, which allows you to cover larger areas quickly. Pet care inventions like the ChomChom furniture roller can also work on clothing. And you can throw unwashed clothing into the dryer on a no-heat setting to help remove hair and lint.
  • Surface stains such as food drips can usually be removed by spot cleaning with a mild detergent and rinsed well to remove any traces of the soap.

Dana Todd from Balodana

Benefits of using natural products in a washing machine

We care so much about the lotions, soaps, and deodorants we put on our skin. It’s why we see natural products everywhere, from the store shelves to platforms like Grommet. But we sometimes forget about the things that touch our skin all day, every day. Our clothes. 

This causes us to put so many chemicals into our washing machines that are doing more harm than good. These chemicals can cause itchiness, skin irritations, dry skin, and even damage your washing machine. Not to mention the harmful effects on our environment. 

This is why we all need to focus on using more natural products in our washing machines. It will keep your skin, clothes, and the environment healthier and help us all live a little better.

Greg Rollett from The Grommet 

Essentials people should have in a laundry room

Since we spend a lot of time in the laundry “room,” it is worth setting it up for success. The basics include:

1. Washing machine – ideally, it would have a drain on the floor underneath.

2. Dryer – remember to clear the lint tray after each use!

3. Place for hanging clothes – racks and hooks both work well.

4. Horizontal space- for folding and laying items flat to dry.

5. Mesh Bag for keeping delicate items safe in the washing machine.

6. Storage – a shelf or cabinet for detergent, dryer sheets, stain fighters, bleach, etc.

7. Location for “single” socks – a basket, bag, or clothespins on the wall.

8. “Lost and Found” container – for collecting change, collar stays, thumb drives, cash, cuff links, jewelry, erasers, etc.

9. Sink or bucket – for handwashing.

10. Trash can

11. Towels/rags

If you have some wiggle room, you might want to add:

·      Folding surfaces – such as a counter or table.

·      Hampers/Sorter – portable containers that can move from bedroom to laundry room.

·      Ironing board and iron can hang on the back of a door.

·      Storage Jar – for laundry pods and/or clothespins, such as a glass jar with a lid.

·      Folding board

·      Scissors – handy for stray threads, hanging tags, and other uses.

Seana Turner from The Seana Method

How can homeowners prevent wrinkles in their clothes once they finish drying in the machine?

  1. Promptly remove clothes: After the drying cycle finishes, promptly remove the clothes from the dryer. Allowing clothes to sit in the dryer after the cycle ends can contribute to wrinkles as they cool down.
  2. Shake out garments: Give each garment a good shake before folding or hanging. This action helps loosen any wrinkles that may have formed during drying.
  3. Fold or hang immediately: It’s essential to fold or hang clothes as soon as possible after removing them from the dryer. Hanging clothes, if space permits, can notably reduce wrinkles, particularly for shirts and dresses.
  4. Sort clothes by fabric type: Sort clothes by fabric type before drying. Different fabrics may have varying drying times. Sorting clothes with similar fabrics can prevent uneven drying and minimize wrinkling.
  5. Avoid overloading the dryer: Ensure that the dryer is not overloaded. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for load size. Overloading can lead to uneven drying, increasing the likelihood of wrinkles.

Olumide Yomi-Omolayo from Edenlife

Sorting and pre-treating clothes

Sorting clothes by color prevents colors from bleeding and keeps your clothes in good shape. Also, treating stains before washing prevents them from becoming permanent, making your clothes cleaner. 

Energy and cost-saving tips

Use cold water to save energy and preserve colors. Air-dry clothes for energy conservation and longer fabric life. Properly load your washer and dryer to prevent strain, ensuring better performance and longer lifespan for your machines. 

Keeping your laundry room and appliances in top shape isn’t just about convenience; it’s about running your home smoothly. By recognizing the importance of these appliances and following the maintenance advice from the experts, you’re not just ensuring an efficient laundry space but also increasing the lifespan of your appliances. Embrace these tips and incorporate them into your routine for a hassle-free laundry experience.