Clinton Kelly, former co-star of What Not to Wear, recently wrote in a magazine article how much he enjoyed doing laundry, and gave a host of tips for the rest of us. I agree with Clinton: There is a sense of accomplishment when you completely wash several piles of clothes. Here are some of Clinton’s tips–and mine–to make your laundry productive.
– Make your laundry loads as full as possible. I don’t do laundry several times a week anymore. I do it usually in one day or two days, so I can have big loads and save time.
– Don’t use too much laundry soap. Read the instructions and don’t think extra soap mean cleaner clothes. I like to use the pods by Tide since they are exactly the right amount of detergent.
– I love to use Shout’s Color Catcher Laundry Sheets. They are clear sheets you put in the washing machine that catch any colors that might run during the laundry. They really work! This doesn’t mean, however, that you can wash a red T-shirt with white underwear.
– Don’t add fabric softener to your towels. They won’t absorb water as well.
– Clinton washes his sheets, underwear and anything that comes into contact with body parts in hot water. It depends for me…Sometimes I think washing sheets in hot water wears them out. Also I agree with Clinton: add bleach for colors or plain bleach for for colored items or plain bleach for your whites wash.
– If something’s not dirty, don’t wash it. Believe it or not, many times we wash items that don’t need to be washed. Smell the clothes. If they are not visibly dirty and smell okay, don’t wash the items yet. If you must wash them, wash them in cold water.
– If a label says hand wash, that’s what you should do. I have washed some tops and sweaters in the gentle cycle, and I sometimes that can be a mistake. Hand wash means hand wash. These delicates will last longer with hand washes, and if you do the “smell test” you may not even need to wash them.
– I do use Woolite for delicates, and even like the Woolite version for dark clothing. I use regular Woolite for lighter clothing. Another option for delicates is baby detergent.
– I dont’ take my husband’s shirts to the dry cleaner for washing and ironing anymore. I buy wrinkle-free shirts, wash them in warm water with my sheets, and put them in the dryer about 10 minutes. I take them out, shake them and hang them up. They look great!
– If you have several piles of clothes to fold, do it in front of the TV. Reward yourself and watch a favorite show. You deserve it!