Teaching kids to do laundry

Your children are never too young to learn laundry basics. Not only will they learn responsibility, but it’ll also prepare them for college life. Plus, an extra pair of helpful hands in the laundry room will lighten your load, and who can argue with that? Follow these simple steps to teach your kids how to do laundry, minus the mess.

Mom teaching daughter to do laundryLaundry for little learners

Start modeling your laundry routine for children when they’re toddlers. One of the first tasks your child can assist with is loading the washer and dryer. Tell them what you’re doing each step of the way. By watching your routine several times a week, they’ll begin to understand the process.

Laundry for tweens and teens

Once your kids reach the appropriate age to begin tackling laundry on their own, it’s time to explain what each laundry product does. Also, demonstrate all the knobs and features of your washer and dryer. Teach them what temperature you want used for each color group. Take the guesswork out of measuring amounts of laundry detergent by using a permanent marker to draw a line to show how full it should be. Have them perform the laundry routine several times with your supervision before letting them do it solo.

Spell it out

Even adults forget when to use which settings. So, help out your youngsters by printing brief instruction sheets, laminating them, and placing them in an easy-to-reach area in your laundry room.


Place three baskets in the laundry room—one for darks, one for colors, and one for whites. For younger children, create signs demonstrating the colors you want placed inside each basket and tape the signs to their respective baskets. Older children can be responsible for sorting their laundry daily.

Folding and putting away laundry

Kids of all ages can help fold and put away clean laundry. Toddlers and preschoolers can start by matching and rolling socks and folding towels and blankets. Older children can be tasked with hanging their laundry and putting it away.

Provide kid proof products

Stain stick: Not only does a stain stick work on tons of common stains, but it can remain on clothing for up to one week before being washed.

In-wash stain remover: If your kids tend to forget about stains prior to doing their laundry, have them use an in-wash stain remover along with the detergent.

All-in-one laundry detergent: Look for a liquid detergent that also includes fabric softener and bleach to save your laundry novice time and hassle.

Dissolvable detergent packs: If your kids have trouble pouring your economy-size detergent, try dissolvable detergent packs instead. Added bonus—they come pre-measured!

Dryer sheets: Nix the mess of a fabric softener and opt for dyer sheets instead.

What you said

Tell us: Do your children do their own laundry? If so, when did they start? Share in the comments below!

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