Laundry Hacks



Here is a series of my latest and favorite laundry tips for simplifying life, and also maybe saving some money. I’ve been through a laundry revolution recently!! This is life-changing stuff, I tell you!!

***

I gave up fabric softener. In my saga for fresh-smelling clothes, I saw a lot of information indicating that fabric softener (particularly liquid) actually causes wear and fading, and can keep fabrics from getting clean/rinsing properly and they also build up, especially in hard water areas.

***

The bottles also can be bulky and messy. Often the horizontal ones leak, and my cabinets above my washer won’t close with a big dispenser bottle facing out on the shelf. I find it difficult to handle the large pour bottles. That leads into the next tip.

***

I gave up traditional detergent. I saw a lot of info that liquid detergents can cause build up and odors, especially in synthetics. I’ve experienced that with workout wear and fleece blankets. And again, the bottles.

***

Powder? Less likely to lead to odors and build ups, but still bulky to store and messy to dispense. The boxes always are messy and you can put it in a cute jar, but it’s still something heavy to handle? And like the others, what’s really in it?

***

Related to all three…measuring caps and cups to rinse/clean, and the dispensers in the machine…always gunky and/or needing to be cleaned.

***

Detergent pods and flings? Easier but come at a premium price and are still very bulky to store. And apparently appetizing to some children. Pretty scary.

***

There ARE brands of liquid detergent and fabric softener, that claim to have cleaner ingredients. I haven’t checked them all, but they are significantly more expensive and I was never impressed when using them.

***

I always have washing soda (and/or baking soda and Borax) on hand, as well as big bottles of cleaning vinegar. I saw them as things I’d use occasionally when problems would arise, but I didn’t use them often even though they’re inexpensive and not full of questionable ingredients like most detergents/softeners. Since we have hard water, even with a water softener, I probably should be adding washing soda or baking soda to every load, or almost every load. We’re experimenting. Borax can be a little rougher on materials, so that will be saved for once-every-few-months freshening.

***

I also had dryer balls but my dog had destroyed some, so I bought another six-pack. I like essential oils, so I always have those. They can be added to the wash or a dryer ball.

***

I first bought detergent sheets from Earthbreeze. I’m very happy with these but being curious, I also ordered Tru Earth and Breezeo. For what it’s worth, Breezeo is the least expensive detergent sheet I’ve seen, coming in at 17 cents per load. If I don’t have any issues with them, this will probably become my go-to. Earthbreeze comes in second at 22 cents (with a subscription that you can cancel anytime…or you’re going to pay closer to 40 cents per load) and Tru Earth is quite a bit more expensive at 40 cents per load with a subscription through their website, and 54 cents per load on Amazon (or just under 45 cents with subscribe-and-save. I’m interested to see if there is anything about Tru Earth that makes it worth the additional expense, but I suspect there isn’t. They do charge $20 for the same New Zealand Wool dryer balls you can buy on Amazon under a different brand-name for $8.97, so I won’t be surprised if they just have more-expensive products. (Marketing?) I have also tried Dropps pods (15-17 cents per load) and will use them up, but I just don’t think you can beat the compact size of the sheets packages and the clothes seem fresher and cleaner with the sheets.

***

I think it’s important to keep in mind that the load sizes for all of these options typically don’t account for some of the newer, ginormous washing machines many of us now have. Like, I can’t reach the bottom of mine, and I’m not super-tiny. That is true of ALL detergent brands. One Gain Fling wasn’t enough for my largest loads, and one laundry strip likely isn’t either, although I have been experimenting with using just one for my huge loads. My verdict so far is that it works out if I use the detergent with a healthy dose of washing or baking soda. This might be a hard-water thing. Currently, none of our clothes are very dirty, as we’re quarantined AND spending most of our time inside in the AC. We might be dirtier when the weather is nicer, and we get to do more things.

***

I feel like the laundry is really fresh, and perfectly soft, after a few washes with the sheets or no softener and with dryer balls. First couple times things seemed a little scratchy but I used washing soda and/or vinegar depending on the load and that seems to have stripped out build up that made the fabrics feel rough after drying. In fact, even the towels feel soft!

***

The best part is that three packs of Earthbreeze (180 loads, which for a household like mine with five adultish people will last for up to six months) take about about 1.5″ of space vertically in the cabinet. The dryer balls live in the dryer. The washing soda/vinegar/baking soda/vinegar lives where it’s always lived (with the cleaners, nearby) and I no longer have these huge detergent and softener bottles sticking out of the cabinet, sitting on top of my laundry room fridge and taking up space in our storage area. Imagine…six months of detergent in a sliver of space along the edge of a cabinet, vs. the space that 4-6 club-sized jugs takes up. Plus 4 jugs of softener as well.

***

Last thing…scent crystals and beads…have loved them since they came out but really, just a huge waste of $$ in my opinion. I use them if I get free samples (which I seem to a lot LOL) but otherwise I’ve sworn off buying them. And I have never researched what’s in them!

***

Let me know what you’ve tried, and what you think!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *