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A quicker wash: Make-under your laundry routine

A great way to simplify your laundry routine is to turn it into a DIY project! Make your own laundry soap, fabric softener and stain remover, and work these time- and money-saving tips into your routine.


A great way to save time in the laundry room is to have a sorting hamper for all of your family’s dirty laundry. Instead of having individual hampers in rooms, purchase (or make) a sorting hamper in your laundry area. Teach family members to sort by colors, darks, whites and jeans to save time in the laundry room.

A simple hang

Hang a shower curtain rod in your laundry room, equipped with various hangers. While sorting the clean laundry, hang shirts and other easily wrinkled items directly on the rod.

Family baskets

Purchase baskets for each member of the family and place their names on them. When sorting laundry out of the dryer, put folded items in each member’s designated basket. Use a cube shelving system to put baskets in, and let family members know when it’s time to get their basket.

DIY laundry essentials

laundry detergent

Laundry soap

Purchase a large container with a lid for the laundry soap. Take two parts Borax, two parts washing soda and one part Fels-Naptha laundry soap, using a cheese grater or a food processor to break it into tiny bits. Put the ingredients into the container, shake, and your laundry soap is ready for use. The entire process takes only a few minutes, and your finished product not only washes well, but smells great!

This laundry soap is safe for all types of washing machines, but be sure to check with your manufacturer prior to use.

fabric softener

Fabric softener

To make your fabric softener from scratch, you will need 6 cups of water, 2 cups of hair conditioner and 3 cups of white vinegar. You can add a drop of essential oils if you wish (a favorite is lavender, to create the same scent as Downy softener). Combine all of the ingredients in a container. Use the mixture directly in your fabric softener dispenser, or dip a washcloth into your mix, ring it out, and put it into the dryer with newly washed clothes.

As with the laundry soap, the fabric softer is safe for all types of machines, but check with your manufacturer prior to use.

stain removal spray

Stain remover

Because there are a million types of stains that we create, we’ll stick to the basic all-purpose stain remover. Grab a large squirt bottle and add one part rubbing alcohol and two parts water. Spray directly over the stain, let it sit for five to 10 minutes, and put the garment into the regular wash cycle.
Now that you have all of these money-saving essentials for your laundry room, you’ll need a place to put them. We love Whirlpool’s laundry pedestals, designed to conveniently fit under their washers.

More home reading

How to organize your closet
7 Quickie cleaning tips
What your home scent means

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