Does your laundry end up being flat, faded, stained, oddly creased, or just not as clean as you would like it to be, even after it just comes out of the wash? Don’t worry. There’s are laundry hacks for that!
There are solutions for just about every problem you could have with laundry, from musty items to black jeans that have become too faded or a white shirt that hasn’t looked quite as gleaming since the first time you wore it.
Here are 50+ hacks to get your clothes feeling and looking picture perfect:
Add Coffee or Tea!
It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Both tea and coffee are natural dyes. When added to black clothing, they darken the hue and add strength to the dye that is already there. Just make two cups of coffee and add them to the rinse cycle.
Use Lemons to Brighten Clothes
Pre-soak white items for a couple of hours in a basin with water and lemons. If they need extra brightening, use boiling water and then let them soak overnight. After that, just put them in the washing machine as usual. Not only will they smell fantastic, but they will practically gleam.
Use Dishwasher Soap to Whiten
Add some liquid dishwasher detergent in with your normal laundry soap and then start the wash cycle. Your whites will come out whiter. We’re not sure why the company that makes laundry soap doesn’t just mix the two themselves, but it really does work.
Just Add Vinegar
Adding vinegar during the rinse cycle can do a few positive things for your clothes. It is a natural clothing softener, it helps to preserve dark dyes, and it cleans as well. The smell should diminish by the end of the rinse cycle. If it doesn’t, hang the clothes out to dry until it finishes evaporating.
Use Rubbing Alcohol to Erase Acrylic Paint
Acrylic paint stains can last forever unless you know the magic way to get them out. That magic is in a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Apply the alcohol, let it sit for a little while, and the scrub the material. The paint should be fairly easy to remove.
Add Some Salt to Stop Dye from Bleeding
Add half a cup of regular salt to the tub of the washing machine during the wash cycle when you are cleaning clothes that have been dyed. It’s good for preventing dye from bleeding from black items as well as colors. In addition, it can help bring older items back to life by rubbing off residue from detergents and allowing the original color to shine through.
Put Baby Powder on Grease Stains
Apply powder to the grease stain and let it sit for a few minutes. After that, you can brush off the powder, and it will lift the grease. You may have to repeat these steps a few times before the spot is completely gone.
Use Pepper to Reduce Fading
Add one to two teaspoons of pepper directly into the washing machine for the wash cycle when you are cleaning black clothes. It will strip away laundry detergent residue that is responsible for some of the fading of clothing. Don’t worry about the pepper. It should wash away before the laundry is done.
Dry Clothes Quickly with a Fluffy Towel
Throw a dry and fluffy towel in with your laundry when you put it in the dryer and leave it in for the first fifteen minutes. It will help to absorb any extra water and allow your clothes to dry much more quickly.
Use a Salad Spinner
Open a clean salad spinner, insert bras and panties, and then use it the same way you would if the contents were a salad. It will get them well on their way towards being dry. They’ll only need a short time hanging to dry after that.
Brighten Your Laundry with Baking Soda
Add a mixture of baking soda and water to your wash cycle. It works to brighten whites and colors as well as helping to preserve black clothes. Let the washing machine cycle complete as usual, and you will have some of the cleanest looking clothes in the neighborhood.
Use Peroxide on White Clothing
Peroxide is a natural alternative to bleach and can help to make your white items whiter. Pour one cup of three-percent hydrogen peroxide into the washing machine or bleach dispenser. Then just add your clothes and start the cycle.
It is also good for removing underarm stains when mixed with the same amount of baking soda.Just let the mixture sit directly on the stain for thirty minutes and then gently scrub the material.
Keep the Water on Cold
To stop dye from bleeding when washing colors and black clothing, avoid the warmer temperatures. The dye will last longer, and your wallet will thank you. All you can do is win with this simple and time-tested technique.
Spot Treat Stains
If an item of clothing has a stain, treat that spot directly. It will keep your clothing in better condition for longer by limiting the extra treatment the whole item would have to go through.
Use Specialized Detergents for Dark Clothing
If you have spent any amount of time in a detergent aisle lately, you know that there is a detergent made for just about everything. If you are washing dark clothes, use a detergent that is specifically designed for them.If you can’t find one or don’t want to spend the extra money, use a detergent for cold water washes instead.
Don’t Freeze Your Clothes in Winter
While the cold cycle is good for preserving clothing, it can also get a little too cold in winter when water levels tend to cool in general. If it gets too freezing, your detergents may become almost entirely ineffective.Switch to a warm water wash with a cold rinse in the winter to prevent this.
Treat White Items Delicately
Clothes begin to wear out after multiple washes with harsh detergents, especially the ones we use to help keep white materials looking their best.Switch to a gentler formula intended for delicate materials to preserve and prolong the life of your clothing and include a natural brightener or whitener to give it that needed boost.
Add a Few Aspirin in with White Items
Aspirin will help to break up the residue that turns clothing yellow over time. Dissolve five pills in a basin of water and soak your clothes in the mixture before washing them as usual. You will be amazed by how bright they are when they come out.
Keep to Short Cycles
The longer clothes go around and around in the washer, the more worn they will get over time, and the more dye will have a chance to fade. Keep the cycle as short as possible to give your clothing more life and extend the amount of time you can keep wearing it.
Add a Touch of Blue to the White Cycle
Adding a tiny bit of blue dye to the water when you have yellowing white clothing will help it return the cloth to its former gleaming magnificence. You can find a bluing agent in most laundry detergent aisles.
Use Ammonia to Reduce Residue
Laundry detergent can build up on clothes over time, leaving a residue. To break down that leftover gunk, skip the detergent on occasion and add a small amount of ammonia instead.
Forget the Dryer
If you are washing darker items, skip the dryer if you want to really prevent fading. Instead, hang laundry to dry in a location where it will not be in direct sunlight (which can also cause fading).
Keep the Dryer on Low
If you have to use the dryer on dark clothing, keep the setting on a lower temperature. Keep an eye on the clothes to make sure they do not spend any unnecessary time in the dryer and remove them while they are still slightly damp.
Use Borax to Whiten Clothes
Add a little Borax in with your normal laundry detergent. It will increase the effectiveness of the detergent, help to restore colors, remove stains, and soften clothing. There isn’t much that Borax can’t do.
Use Bread on Lipstick Stains
To lift a lipstick stain from cloth, remove the crust from a slice of white bread, squish the rest into a ball, and use it to blot the lipstick. It should eliminate pretty much everything. Any residue that is left can usually be removed in an ordinary wash cycle.
Kill Ink Stains with Hair Spray and Hand Sanitizer
These two products can annihilate just about any ink stain. Just rub them onto the stain, wait ten minutes, and then wash the item normally. That’s it!
Get Rid of Blood Stains with Hand Soap
If the blood is still new, just run the material under cold tap water and rub it with soap. After a few applications and a bit of scrubbing, the blood should lift right off. If it’s already dried on, try using peroxide instead.
Always Sort the Laundry
Keeping reds with reds, blues with blues, and black clothes with black clothes will help to prolong the life of the dye and keep colors vibrant.If the items bleed any dye into the wash, it will be reabsorbed and help maintain the color of the material rather than being lost in the wash or adding unwanted hues.
Remove Red Wine Stains with Household Items
If you immediately treat a wine spill before it has a chance to set in, you can use club soda, salt (with water), or even milk to clean away the stain. The only real problem begins if the red wine sits on the material for too long.
Use Chalk on Grease Stains
Rub chalk onto a grease stain. The powder will absorb the oil after a few minutes. Then, just wipe it off and reapply until the oil is completely removed.
Use the Washing Machine Less Often
When it comes to dark clothing, the dye is likely to fade in time unless you take extreme measures. To prevent this from happening before the item of clothing has a chance to go out of style, try to limit how often you wash it.For some items, this probably won’t work, but you can usually get away with washing outer layers less often if they don’t show any dirt.
Spritz Shirts with Vinegar Between Washes
Spray your shirts with vinegar and hang them out to dry if they have been sitting in the closet for too long. This will bring them back to life and give some added freshness.
Use Lavender Water Before Washing
Add a couple of drops of lavender oil to a bottle of water and spray the mixture on clothing before throwing it in the wash. It will give your clothing an amazingly fresh scent, even after they have been through the rinse cycle.
Quit Losing Socks
Put all your socks in a lingerie bag before starting the washing machine. You will never have to go searching for a stray sock again. They will all be safely tucked away in one location.
Get Stuffed Animals Clean
Another thing lingerie bags are good for is cleaning stuffed animals. It helps to avoid fraying and lose parts while letting the plush toy go through the rinse cycle.
Use Aluminum Foil Instead of Dryer Sheets
A rolled-up ball of aluminum foil is a practical and economical alternative to dryer sheets. It can be reused, and it bounces around gently pummeling the clothes and leaving them soft without the unnecessary cost of purchasing disposable dryer sheets.
Get Use Out of Your Dry Erase Markers
Get organized at laundry time by writing down the items that should not go in the washer. Just use your dry erase marker to note it on the top of the dryer. It will come right off so you can start again with a fresh list for the next load of laundry.
Create a Lasting Dryer Sheet
If you aren’t ready to replace your dryer sheets with an aluminum ball, here is a solution for you. Cover a hand towel in fabric softener and reuse it, again and again, each time you dry clothes.
Separate Clothes According to Weight
Heavier clothing can do damage to lighter garments. Avoid this by separating clothing by weight. It may mean more trips to the washing machine, but it will save your clothes in the long run.
Dry Sweaters with a Towel
Fold a sweater into a towel, and then roll that towel up and squeeze it. The towel will absorb most of the water leaving you with a sweater that will only require a fraction of the drying time it usually needs.
Turn Clothing Inside Out
To keep surface dye and designs from fading or getting damaged, turn clothing inside out before washing it. This can also help to protect the material if you will be drying it outside. You can put it the right way again once it is done drying.
Unshrink Clothes with Conditioner
Did you accidentally shrink one of your favorite shirts in the dryer? Don’t panic yet! Soak it in a basin with warm water and hair conditioner for several minutes. It will start to stretch back out again.
Make Your Own Wrinkle Spray
Add a little fabric softener to water, put it in a spray bottle, and shake. Now, you have your own wrinkles spray for when your clothes need a little help.
Iron Damp Clothes
Your ironing will be more effective if the clothing is slightly damp. Use a spray bottle to add a little mist before getting started. Just make sure not to get it too wet or set the iron too high, or you may end up singeing the material.
A Quick Fix for Dirty Clothes
Do you need a shirt that’s in the dirty laundry pile and you have to be out the door in five minutes? As long as the clothing still mostly looks okay, you can throw it in the dryer for five minutes with a dryer sheet. It will freshen the material, give it a nice scent, and remove most of the creases.
Use Citrus Oils
For fantastic smelling laundry, combine a cup of baking soda, half a cup of Borax, one cup of vinegar, and approximately twenty drops of citrus oil. Add this to your bottle of laundry detergent, shake, and use it like you normally would.
Get Rid of Wrinkles with Ice
Run the dryer on hot and throw a few ice cubes (not too many) in to create steam. It will loosen all of the wrinkles in your clothes, and they will come out of the dryer ready to wear.
Use Tennis Ball for Fluffy Blankets
Add two or three clean tennis balls to the dryer when you are drying blankets or pillows. It will help to fluff them and add some bounce, so they don’t come out misshapen or flat.
Wash the Washer!
Nothing is going to get clean if its in a dirty washer. Run an empty load with a combination of baking soda and vinegar to get the inside of your washer shining again.
Shake Your Clothes
If you shake out clothes before drying them, it actually helps them to dry faster. When they’re not in a clump, the dryer can work more effectively, and they are much more likely to come out fluffy.
Source: Lilbuttz via Flickr
Get Rid of Pet Smells
Add half a cup of vinegar with a cup of laundry detergent when washing blankets that have become the dog’s favorite. They will be like new when they come out of the wash and will be ready for Fido to claim one again.
Get Rid of Creases with a Pool Noodle
Are your hangers leaving crease marks that you would rather not have? Slice a pool noodle the long way and fit the sides over the top of your hangers. Now, the clothes will have a round non-creasing surface to rest on.
Use Cardboard for Folding
Create a cardboard folding template to help with the process. It can also help to get kids involved and helping effectively in what is otherwise a very daunting and awkward chore for those without decades of experience.
Get a Drying Rack
Dry your clothes halfway in the dryer, and then use a drying rack to let them finish airing out. This will preserve your clothing for longer and will also lower the electric bill. The best part is that a drying rack can be easily folded and stored away when not in use.
Create Reusable Dryer Tabs
Cut a kitchen sponge into multiple pieces and soak them in fabric softener. Leave them next to the washer, and you will never have to remember the fabric softener again.