Let’s face it—keeping up with a household full of dirty laundry is no simple task. Moms are expected to battle the toughest stains, organize clothing, and prevent socks from disappearing. What’s a busy mom to do? We asked real moms to share their tricks of the trade. Find out what works and what doesn’t with these 7 simple laundry tips.
Plan your laundry schedule
It's easy to throw a load in the washing machine, but it's much more time consuming to fold, hang, and put away your clean garments. This results in piles of clean clothes sitting in baskets and getting wrinkled, or mixed with dirty clothes. Renee Kutner, mom of three small children, offers this scheduling suggestion, "Throw in a load every day that you have time, but don't bother if you're too busy to see it through—it will end up costing you more time than it saves."
Battle greasy stains
Looking for a fast remedy for treating greasy stains? Lynnette Harris, a mother of three, offers this quick fix, "Dishwashing detergent is great for spot treating greasy stains. Treat them as soon as you can, and check to see if they washed out before tossing them in the dryer. Sometimes clothes just need to be treated and washed again."
What's the best way to organize laundry? Kutner recommends sorting at the source. "Get your family involved in sorting the laundry. Buy laundry baskets with sections for whites and colors and have your children sort their clothes as they undress. Then all you have to do is grab the organized piles and throw them in the washer."
Separate smaller items
They may be small, but baby socks can complicate laundry since they're so easy to lose. Mom, Brandi Koskie, has an easy solution, "To avoid losing my daughter's tiny baby socks, I put them in a mesh lingerie bag hanging in the closet. Then, I toss the bag in the washer and dryer and never lose her socks!"
ID your kid's clothing
If you have children close in age, you're probably used to spending tons of time sorting and identifying clothes. Save time and sanity by marking clothing. "Put a dot on the tag to help you identify each piece of clothing, starting with one dot for your firstborn, and so on," suggests Kutner.
Reunite lost socks
Socks are notorious for disappearing into the mysterious black hole. Bridges Conner, mom of two active boys, offers this handy tip for reuniting lost socks, "Always keep a small basket available for all of those extra socks that appear without a mate. Eventually, the mate will appear and you can make a reunion. If not, toss them!"
Pack it up
It's all about multitasking! Jennifer Bright Reich, mom of two boys under the age of 6, recommends prepping your kid's outfits as you do laundry. "When I do my sons' laundry, I fold them into clothes packs consisting of a shirt, a pair of pants (or shorts), underwear, and a pair of socks. Each day, they simply go to the closet and pick out a clothes pack for the day."
Tell us: What are your best laundry tips? Comment below.
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