It’s one of the facts of life: the laundry is never finished.
Just when you think you’ve gotten on top of the dirty pile, a new stream of stained shirts, smelly jocks and mismatched socks come flooding in.
While there may not be any fail-safe solution to mastering the never-ending story that is your washing, there are some clever cleaning hacks and sneaky shortcuts to help you keep things under control.
Need something dry in a hurry? Throw the wet item into the dryer with a clean, dry towel. The towel will soak up the excess water and have it dry and ready for use in record time.
Got chewing gum on your sleeve? Not only is chewing gum a disgusting mess to sit in, lean on or step in, it’s also a nightmare to get off your clothes. Instead of trying in vain to scratch or pull it off, simply put the gum-clad garment in the freezer. Once frozen, the gum can be picked off easily.
Managing pesky stains. The best defence against stains is a fast reaction. Get onto any spills and marks immediately, or as soon after they happen as possible. Treat difficult stains with a mixture of bicarbonate soda and water. Apply this paste to the stain with a damp sponge and let it soak in for 10 minutes before rinsing off.
Rogue tissue in the wash? So you've had a stowaway tissue go through the wash in someone's pocket and now there are white flecks all over the clean laundry. How frustrating! Luckily, there’s no need to re-wash the entire load, just throw it into the dryer (if care instructions permit) and the tissue flakes will be consumed by the lint filter. Give your clothes a good shake when they’re done and throw them back into the dryer for a few more minutes if needed.
Keep your black jeans from fading. Black jeans never seem to stay black for long. Maintain their colour by washing them inside out and using a quality liquid detergent that is made for dark or black fabrics. Most regular detergents (particularly powders) contain some type of bleaching agent, which causes colour fading. For best results, wash in cold water and line dry out of direct sunlight.
Re-fluff towels. Toss a couple of clean tennis balls into the dryer to fluff up any flat-looking towels, quilts and other bulky items. The balls will bounce around in the dryer, re-fluffing your items and getting rid of lumps.
Banish grease stains. Believe it or not, ordinary white chalk can get rid of grease stains on clothes! Grind white chalk into a powder and rub it onto stains. The chalk will absorb the grease, making it easy to remove when washed.
Got grass stains? If these stains cover the knees and elbows of kids’ clothing, there is a solution. Try applying a small amount of methylated spirits to a clean sponge and dab it across the stain. Rinse in cold water before massaging liquid detergent into the fabric. Leave for 5 minutes before washing as normal.
Need help containing your mountain of dirty clothes? Start by grabbing yourself a super-sized laundry bag.