Dirty Little Laundry Secrets from the Pros
It’s the chore that never ends! Get it done easier and faster with tips from our crew of washing and folding experts.
- A sink for hand-washing: A two minute soak in the sink isn’t enough. You need to soak stains for at least 10-30 minutes to really make a difference.
- Bins for sorting: Don’t just separate by color but also by material. You don’t want to wash fuzzy fabrics like chenille and flannel with corduroy or permanent-press items, which can be magnets for lint.
- Countertops for folding: Don’t fold clothes hot right out of the dryer (we know – we all do it!). You can wind up with creases that are hard to get rid of.
- A rod for hanging: A rod is hey for keeping shirts smooth and crease-free. Take collared shirts out of the dryer a few minutes before they’re dry to prevent the neck from stretching and the collar from getting floppy.
- Did you know: You should clean the inside of your washing machine to keep it and your clothes smelling fresh? You can put the lint screen from the dryer in the dishwasher? Hot pink, bring green, and electric blue can bleed more than other colors in the washing machine? Using too much detergent can actually make your clothes dirtier.
- 3 stain busters to have on hand: Rubbing alcohol for ink. Raise armpit stain remover for getting out touch sweat stains. Blue dawn dish soap for grease.
When was the last time you cleaned…
Our experts reveal common household items that might be getting neglected in the cleanliness department. We share tips on how and when to clean your hair brushes, pillows, coffee makers, produce bins in your fridge, etc. – and the answers may surprise you!
- Your hairbrush: Beauty experts recommend washing your hair brush every two months. First pull out all stray hairs with a comb. Fill a sink with warm water and a squirt of soap or mild shampoo, and soak your brush for 15 minutes. (If your brush has padding, boar bristles, or a wooden handle, swish it back and forth in the sink and then rinse to prevent the brush getting waterlogged.
- The inside of your coffee machine: Clean your machine after every dozen brews. Insert a coffee filter and fill the reservoir with two parts white vinegar and one part water, and run the machine through one full cycle. Then, repeat the process twice with cold water and filters.
- The produce bins in your fridge: Scrub your bins every few months to keep produce flavors fresh. Empty the drawers and remove them from the fridge. Dip a cloth in a mixture of 4 tablespoons baking soda and 1 quart warm water, then wipe down the inside and outside of each bin. Avoid household cleaners, which can make food taste like chemicals. Be sure to rinse the bins in warm water before returning to the fridge.
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