We have what many people would consider to be a large family. Seven people produces a whole lot of laundry, but we’ve come up with a few ways to not let laundry overtake our lives.
Here are 7 big family laundry hacks that can work for a family of any size!
1. Use the Quick Wash setting on your machine.
Unless you have the rare ultra-filthy load of clothes, you don’t need to do the longer cycles. This will cut the wash time probably in half (depending on your machine) and you’ll save on electricity.
2. Only wash full loads.
Not only does it save you money on water and energy, but it saves you time. Add towels or sheets to a less-than-full load if you desperately need to get a small number of items cleaned.
3. Make everyone wear their clothes more than once between washes, especially pajamas and I-wore-it-for-three-hours clothing.
Train your people to look at their clothing and smell it before throwing it in the dirty laundry. If an item is just stinky, try airing it out for awhile or try throwing it in the freezer. (The internet is filled with “you should freeze your jeans” and “freezing your jeans does nothing,” so take that piece of advice with a grain of salt.)
4. Cut your dryer sheets in half, reuse them, or skip them altogether.
My mother never used any sort of fabric softener devices so I don’t either. Our clothes feel just fine. Plus, fabric softeners decrease the absorbency of your towels. Obviously, living in a damp climate means that static cling isn’t much of a problem.
You could also use three wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. They are reusable and don’t make your clothes smell like chemicals.
5. Wash your clothing in cold as much as possible.
I only use hot water when there is some matter on clothing that causes me to gag or I’m washing my whites, otherwise it’s cold.
6. Wash each person’s clothing separately, but only when they have a full load (see Hack #2).
This saves you time sorting and keeps the piles-of-laundry-all-over-the-floor from taking over your living room for days on end. Wash, dry, fold, put away without interruption.
7. Skip the sorting unless an item is brand new and you’re concerned about bleeding.
I wash the children’s whites, darks, and colors together on cold and the world hasn’t stopped spinning.
Here’s my bonus tip — don’t buy your children white clothing.
I intentionally do not purchase white tops for people under 43 years old, period. Stains on colored shirts are harder to detect and now the only white items are underwear, undershirts (like the girls’ tank tops), and socks and I don’t care if they are less than bright white.
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