Doing laundry is super boring. It's one of the things I dread in life since it's so dull and time-consuming. I get absolutely zero joy out of my laundry routine, even though I am a bit of a clean freak and get anxiety from an overflowing hamper. Doing laundry keeps clothes in good, clean shape, yes. But who has time to sit through multiple cycles or to wait for what feels like an eternity for the clothes to dry? It's a process.
However, there are plenty of laundry hacks that will make life easier when you don't have the time or inclination to sit through the wash, rinse, and spin cycles. If you just want to break out of the old routine and try something fresh when ridding your clothes of sweat, dirt, grime, and everything else that makes them smell or turns them all kinds of cruddy, I'm happy to let you know that you have options.
These ingenious hacks involve tennis balls, products that employ new technology and techniques, and washing machine-less methods. Yes, they will help you achieve clean — or, at the very least, refreshed — and dry clothes in unique ways. Best of all, many of these hacks are as cheap as they are genius.
1. Refresh With A Smoke Deodorizer
Francheska Pastor, the super stylish lead singer of up 'n' coming teen rock band Bad Seed Rising, knows a thing or 10 about keeping clothes clean and wearable when you don't have time to wash. She lives on the road while on tour, which doesn't leave much opportunity to hit the laundromat nor does she have the luxury of traveling with an endless supply of threads. "I don't wash my clothes as often as I would like," the musician confesses to me over email. "But I always spray smoke deodorizer on my clothes to keep them smelling fresh. Those are stronger than Febreeze or normal perfumes." She digs the Mint Chocolate Chip Smoke Odor Eliminator, which is available at head shops or on eBay.
2. Soak Up Stains With Baby Powder
Another miracle product that Pastor swears by is baby powder. "If I could bring one thing on tour, it would be baby powder," she said. "I put it in my hair and on the inside of my clothes since it soaks up the oils from my body. The less oils you produce, the less dirty your clothes become."
So if you want to keep clothes fresh and non-oily, without having to blast them with another scent, try the baby powder trick.
3. Do The Deep Freeze
Smoke deodorizer and the baby powder aside, Pastor often tours in summer, so she keeps sweaty clothes wearable with a genius trick. "I put my clothes in the freezer when it's hot outside," she shared. "It shrinks them, it makes them not smell, and they feel refreshed. I also store boxes of dryer sheets in my clothes cabinet and shoes to keep them smelling good." So those are quality tips from someone who has no choice but to improvise and survive on the road via laundry hacks.
4. Try Febreze Odor Eliminator For Your Smelliest Stuff
Who hasn't Febrezed the crap out of a coat or a dress after a night in a smoky club or while out and about on a stiflingly hot day? The odor masking brand has created a liquid that you add to your favorite detergent. It eliminates odors in a single wash, which can be a big time saver for your dirtier stuff.
I used it when I washed the thick, plush, beige blanket that I place atop my bedspread at night. My bedding is black and my dog Higgins is a fawn and black brindle bulldog, who curls up on my bed for some shut-eye. The comfy blanket collects the hairs he sheds and lets him get all cozy. But it also collects that distinct Higgins scent. I wash his blankie once a month. On the most recent wash, I added this product and it totally killed the Frito-y smell he leaves behind.
5. Or Soakwash For Your Delicates
Lingerie is so delicate and fragile. I stress about having to clean my bras, since they can lose their shape in the washer and/or dryer. Well, there's this miracle product called Soakwash, which doesn't need to be rinsed out!
It's an eco-friendly, modern cleaner that you can use for delicates, sweaters, swimwear, and more. You basically soak, squeeze, and then lay the items flat to dry. Seriously, it's such a timesaver.
Regarding undies, the brand encourages you to hand wash delicates, suggesting that you keep all your intimates in a separate hamper, which will encourage you to tackle the process. Lacy underthings can't deal with the harshness of the machine or usual detergents, so this gentle product goes easy on 'em.
6. Add A Fluffy Towel To Wet Clothes In The Dryer
If you toss a dry, fluffy towel in with your wet clothes for the first 15 minutes of the drying cycle, and then remove it, the towel will help pull out some of the excess moisture, which seriously reduces time spent in the dryer.
7. Toss In Tennis Balls
Want to keep blankets and comforters fluffy? Toss some tennis balls in the dryer! The ball also cut down the drying time for heavy duty items. Just make sure the tennis balls are new and clean. Hey, Serena Williams, does this hack work? Can you confirm?
8. Use Vinegar To Reduce Wrinkles
Vinegar is a miracle product. How do you use it as a laundry hack to smooth a wrinkled shirt? Easy. Mix one part vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle. Mist the clothing, let it hang, and watch wrinkles go bye bye!
9. Put Your Plastic Containers To Good Use
If hand washing in a sink isn't your cup of tea, you can use a plastic container to cleanse your delicates. Add cold water and soft detergent, then shake it. Do a second rinse with vinegar. Finish with a third rinse, using plain, cold, and clean water, and then shake some more. This hacker has a potty mouth, but she does share some good tips!
Hopefully these hacks make laundry a less tedious task.
Images: Charles L/Unsplash; Courtesy Francheska Pastor (2); Amy Sciarretto (1); Courtesy Brands (2)