My 7 Laundry Don’ts

posted by Andrea | 03/12/2019

I’ve blogged a lot about laundry over the years — but never-the-less, it’s still one of the more common questions I receive each week. 

I have to chuckle to myself every time I get a laundry question because laundry is one of the household chores I am MOST relaxed about. I don’t slack off, I don’t procrastinate, and I don’t leave piles of dirty (or clean) laundry laying around my house for lengthy periods of time — BUT, as you’ll read in this post, I am super relaxed with the way I do laundry.

In fact, when it comes to laundry, there are several things I DON’T do that have drastically helped me to simplify this otherwise time-consuming household chore!  

1. I don’t use cloth diapers.

I have no issue with cloth diapers, it’s just never something Dave or I wanted to do.

After 7+ years of changing multiple diapers a day (we had 2 in diapers for several of those years) I’m extremely happy with our decision  — mainly because I don’t love the idea of ALL that extra laundry!

We’ve been super happy with the Seventh Generation diapers (and wipes) from ePantry, and I love the humongous boxes of Kirkland diapers from Costco!

 

2. I don’t shy away from white.

OK, so white might seem like a negative when it comes to doing laundry (or having children!) but in my experience, white is one of the easiest “colors” to keep clean.

ALL our sheets, blankets, pillow cases, towels, wash cloths, rags, cloth napkins, etc. are white or cream — which means they can easily be bleached (or cleaned with Oxy-Clean… see below).

We even have a bunch of white rugs in our bathrooms, which I realize sounds absolutely insane, but I promise they are not grungy looking and I don’t spend tons of time keeping them clean. I just toss them in the washer about once a month and they are bright white again.

Even our white couch (which everyone warned me  not to buy) has held up marvelously over the past 8 years.

The kids jump all over it, play on it, use the cushions for forts, and spill on it… it always comes clean again. 

crayon on our white couch

3. I don’t pre-treat stains.

I don’t pre-treat anything — it all just gets thrown in the washer with a large scoop of Oxi-Clean and 99.9% of the time, things come out spotless.

I’ve removed completely dried and set-in ink, spit up, strawberries, spaghetti sauce, grape juice, coffee, crayon, and more with no spot treatment, no scrubbing, and no stress. Just a scoop of Oxi-Clean before I press start and I’m good to go.

NOTE: I do almost always use hot water.

4. I don’t sort colors.

Besides separating the whites out, I don’t sort anything else… period! This is not because I’m lazy, just simply because after years of sorting, I realized that it really wasn’t necessary — at least not with the newer washing machines.

Seriously folks, I throw every thing in together regardless of fabric type, color, weight, or washing instructions — even the hand-wash items and dry-clean-only items get thrown in the mix. (Read more about how I wash “dry-clean-only” items in our washer)

One thing I have started doing in recent years is washing the “upstairs” items in one load and the “downstairs items” in another load — this is simply because one hamper’s-worth of clothing is pretty equivalent to one full load for our washing machine. This makes it super easy to put things away again because one basket goes straight upstairs, the other stay on the main floor. 

NOTE: Read more about our currently laundry system in this post

5. I don’t buy fancy or expensive clothing.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that I’m not a huge fan of shopping — especially for clothing. We’re satisfied wearing very relaxed clothing most days… which means we don’t have a lot of delicate, fancy, or expensive clothing to worry about ruining in the wash.

Since 98% of our clothing are secondhand finds, we aren’t out more than $0.50 or $1.00 if something gets ruined. We just toss it in the rag pile and life goes on. 

6. I don’t have lots of clothes baskets.

In my own experience (and working with many disorganized clients) laundry overload is caused not by the amount of dirty clothing waiting to be washed, but the amount of CLEAN clothing waiting to be folded and put away.

Piles and piles of clean clothing that sit on the couch, on the kitchen table, or on the bed… some gets knocked onto the floor, then you’re unsure if it’s clean or dirty so you put it back in with the dirty clothing just to be safe. In the mean time, no one has any clean clothing in their closet and you can’t use your couch, your bed, or your table!

Sound familiar?

I’ve made a point to only have 3 small laundry baskets in order to force myself to quickly fold and put away clothes from one load before the clean laundry backs up.

If 2 baskets are filled with clothing, I know I better start folding before the next load is done as my goal is to never have all 3 baskets full and waiting at one time. I know this might sound like a silly game, but it works well for me and is just the right amount of “pressure” I need to stay on top of the clean laundry!

7. I don’t use laundry detergent.

I know, I know… this one is crazy! 

However, for almost a year now, I’ve been using Eco-Friendly Laundry Balls instead of laundry detergent — and while there is some speculation on the internet, I truly do feel like our clothing is just as clean as when I used detergent! 

I still put a scoop of Oxi Clean in with all colors, and I put a small amount of bleach in with all whites, but I have not used laundry detergent in over a year! 

NOTE: I share more about these Laundry Balls in this post, if you’re interested

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I realize some of you might think I’m crazy — if my grandmother had a computer to read this post, she would be shaking her head along with you. 🙂

I promise I’m not lazy about our laundry (or any other household chores); I’m just committed to simplifying anything I can, and these 7 factors have definitely helped me to simplify our weekly laundry routine.

I don’t hate doing laundry by any means, but it’s certainly not a priority over family, work, or free time, so why make it any more challenging or labor-intensive than it has to be… right?

Do you share any of my laundry don’ts? Do you have any of your own don’ts?

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123 comments

  1. Kathy

    07/27/2013

    We don’t use the dryer unless absolutely necessary. To save money (and the environment) we installed a clothesline and dry from March to November outside ( we live in Canada).

    [Reply]

  2. Nicky

    07/27/2013

    Laundry is the only bit of housework I feel in control of but after reading here I’m not so sure!
    I sort, line dry and iron and am guilty of baskets of washing waiting for ironing lurking behind the sofa. I found not sorting to produce a sort of greying effect on the colours over time.
    My kids are all way past nappies (UK for diapers). My first used disposables but thereafter I felt strongly encouraged socially to use cloth because of the environmental concerns (every little helps etc!) I switched to Canadian brand Motherease and it was hardly any extra work. My next 3 babies all wore the same set unless we were on overnight family visits. My daughter was even allergic to disposable nappies (gave her really bad rashes) so who knows what chemicals are in them but I didn’t want it near my kids behinds for 2+ years. The cloth nappies were still in pretty good condition (no stains etc) even after 3 kids.
    I’m struggling with cultural differences here through. What are Swagbucks? Do US folk have the same social pressure re. environmental issues and the looming energy crisis eg. to use line drying not tumble dryers/?
    Also how can people get away without ironing? We have school uniform, work uniform and office wear that would all look pretty rough if I didn’t iron and definitely not acceptable at the respective establishments. UK is a soggy island (our current heatwave = just 2 weeks of sunshine!) so even when I have to use the tumble dryer I don’t find it helps too much with the creasing.

    [Reply]

    kelly Reply:

    Me too, I’m from new Zealand and some times find the cultural differences a bit different. I came from a household were my mum ironed everything and sorted only whites. However I only separate towels, from everything else unless it is delicate, or I have brand new jeans. I line dry everything, I agree its the best bacteria killer you can get. We can be fairly wet here to so I dry everything inside on an airing rack, it drives me nuts but the fire does a good job. I’m lucky my work shirts are made in a nice fabric thats drys very quick and if taken off the line and folded straight away I don’t have any creases deal with

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  3. Calliope

    07/26/2013

    I actually love doing laundry. And since I dont have a dryer I also line dry everything!
    I actually sort whites, color and dark and it works beautifully. I also iron everything that others can see 🙂 but never what only I can see (like sheets, pjs, undergarments etc) 🙂
    Sun is my absolut stain remover…and sometimes some lemon too. From oil stains to fruit and sweat, everything just vanishes after a couple of hours in the sun!

    [Reply]

  4. April

    07/26/2013

    What kind of dryer do you have that dries as quickly as you can wash!? Mine takes at least 30 min after the washer finishes so I’m constantly waiting for it and then by the time it’s done, I’ve forgotten that I was doing laundry in the first place!

    [Reply]

    Lorna Reply:

    We have a new front load washer with a “quick” cycle – it’s about 28 minutes. I also take advantage of the super spin option on my washer. I then transfer the load to the dryer and set it for 30 minutes. Even jeans and towels are usually dry at that point. Our dryer is old – really old! and we’re just waiting for it to die to get a newer dryer.

    Speaking of laundry – I hear the little jingle telling me that my washer is finished! Gotta go fold the dry load and put the next load in!!

    [Reply]

  5. Sher

    07/26/2013

    my rules:

    I buy all my clothes second hand (cheaper, but also in terms of laundry…if it was going to shrink it already has)

    I dont separate colors either (wash on cold)

    I don’t iron anything. (if it needs ironing or dry cleaning…I don’t buy it)

    my teenagers do their own laundry! 🙂

    [Reply]

  6. kris

    07/26/2013

    No color sorting here either. Not even white because we don’t have much white. Typically I take a laundry basket from one of the bedrooms, dump the whole thing in the laundry and when it’s dry it goes in a basket back in the kids bedroom for them to put away. Laundry has been an issue for me so I simplified awhile back and it goes so much better if I just wash one person’s clothes at a time (they are full loads). I dry almost everything and I have a bottle of spot treating stuff but it lasts a long long time since I only pull it out for the stuff I can’t get out in the normal wash of soap and oxyclean or borax. I am teaching my boys to not sort which kills my husband but I think they will do better with their own laundry if I just show them my way now. (My Mom is a big sorter and would die if she saw me throw everything in together.)

    [Reply]

  7. Debbie

    07/26/2013

    We don’t have any laundry baskets, just hampers. We keep our hangers in the laundry room and have a pole for hanging items. We take items out of the dryer and hangs immediately. The only items left are a few t-shirts, underwear, etc. I put them away right away! Keeps it clutter free. It has taken me over a decade to finally figure that one out! It works like a charm and there no longer any laundry out anywhere!

    [Reply]

  8. Liz C

    07/26/2013

    Undershirt stains have body oils and deoderant binders involved. Try rubbing those areas with something like Dawn dishwashing liquid and vinegar first, to strip the textile fibers. Then wash with Oxyclean or borax in the mix. And hang outside to dry for solar bleaching.

    We don’t sort too much (all the towels are white, and jeans/heavy textiles go in their own smaller loads.) and I do try to fold right away. I LOVE having outdoor clothesline! We use it as early and late as possible, and only use the dryer in the deep winter.

    Having a minimalist wardrobe makes a huge difference for us. Household of six, four of whom are adult sized, and we’ll do 8 loads a week.

    [Reply]

  9. Kathryn

    07/26/2013

    Wow! Oh boy, I’m really going to have to re-think how I do laundry. I do it the way I was taught and sort EVERYTHING! I have 5 different hampers and even within those hampers I still sort.

    It would certainly make life easier and my kids less confused about which hamper to put their clothes into. Hmmmm….I just put Oxy-Clean on my shopping list and I’m going to give it a try!

    My walking buddy (also a fellow mom) and I were just complaining this morning about the baskets & baskets of clean laundry around our homes that need to be folded and put away. (It obviously is an issue because we somehow found a way to complain about it for an hour!)

    Perfect timing on this post! Thanks so much for the helpful tips, Andrea!

    [Reply]

  10. Kim

    07/26/2013

    Could someone please tell me why, even with Oxyclean, stains do not come out of my husband’s undershirts……………….and dishrags still have stains in them? This really frustrates me b/c it works for others. Rats!

    [Reply]

    Lea Stormhammer Reply:

    HI Kim,

    If you’re talking about under-arm stains or other sweat stains for the shirt, try including plain white vinegar in the “softener” holder on your washer. It’s worked for us! (Oxyclean doesn’t work for us either – it’s not just you.)

    Hope that’s helpful,
    Lea

    [Reply]

    Patti G Reply:

    Kim
    Try soaking the Tshirts in a solution of Oxy Clean dissolved in hot water for several hours. I do this in an ice chest so the water stays hot as long as possible and even let them soak overnight. I’ve gotten some amazing results with this method. Especially old table cloths and napkins that had old stains. Good luck!

    [Reply]

  11. Barb

    07/26/2013

    Andrea, I enjoy reading your blog daily, and feel like you are one of my good neighbors. I use cold water for all my laundry. The powdered oxiclean directions say to mix it with warm/hot water before putting into machine. Do you do this? What water temp do you use for washing clothes?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Barb 🙂
    I always use either warm or hot water — unless I’m really worried about something shrinking or color bleeding (which is very rare). So I just dump the Oxy-Clean into the washer right after the clothing and then wash.

    [Reply]

  12. Sandy K

    07/26/2013

    I do separate into three categories. Towels, whites, colors. I wash towels in hot water and rinse in cold. You never know if fecal matter is on a towel from someone drying off their behind. According to what I know, that does not come out in cold water. We are also suppose to do that with underpants too. Do you not use softener?

    [Reply]

  13. Stacy

    07/26/2013

    I’m with you on this. I never used cloth diapers (& I consider our family fairly green) and I never sort. Your comment about if your grandmother could use a computer she’d be shaking her head made me laugh. Lots of times when I’m cleaning, not making the beds, not sorting the laundry in my mind I think if my grandmother could see my house and my cleaning now, she’s be shaking her head too. Have a nice weekend

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Haha — well I do always make the beds every day, but my grandma is an intense laundry sorter and ironer (neither of which I do)

    [Reply]

  14. Heart and Haven

    07/26/2013

    I also use a “3 basket” system for laundry! There is one wicker hamper in my kids’ room they share and one wicker basket in my bedroom for me, the hubby, and the baby…for dirty clothes. I keep a white plastic laundry basket in the laundry room to bring clean laundry back upstairs.

    When one of the dirty clothes hampers is full, I start a load of laundry (only separating whites out as well). I don’t keep separate baskets for sheets & towels (which are all white or ivory), since I just transfer them directly to wash when needed.

    One tip I found that works great for me is: I start a load before I go to bed, then transfer to the dryer in the morning (that way it doesn’t seem like I’m stuck at home doing laundry “all day”)
    So even with a family of 5, I keep our laundry system very basic.

    I use a homemade laundry detergent that works great, and is super cheap at only .02 a load!

    The only other addition I have temporarily is we do cloth diapers, and find the system to be super easy. I keep a laundry pail w/wet bag right next to the changing table (keeps ALL smells out). Every other day I wash the diapers…when doing laundry I turn the wetbag inside out, which dumps all the diapers in the wash without me having to touch any dirty diapers.
    I have found cloth diapering to actually be MORE convenient than disposables, to my surprise. For 2 weeks, when I was in Portland working on my rental property, I used disposables as we didn’t have convenient access to a washer/dryer. I found it more inconvenient, after each diaper change, to bring them outside to the garbage…and our outside garbage can smelled HORRIBLY too 🙁 And the amount of volume dirty diapers added to our garbage can, ugh! I much prefer the 12 BumGenius diapers we use, to know I’m not contributing that much more waste to the landfills.
    However, I have no judgment against those that choose not to cloth diaper! (we all make choices based on our available time, lifestyles, etc.) It’s just not as difficult as some would think….cloth diapering has come a long way since prefolds, pins, and plastic pants! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Sandy K Reply:

    Would you share your recipe for laundry detergent?

    [Reply]

    Heart and Haven Reply:

    Sure! I’ve been using this for a couple years now with great success 🙂

    http://heartandhaven.com/2011/09/09/how-to-make-your-own-homemade-laundry-detergent/

    [Reply]

  15. Stacey B.

    07/26/2013

    I’m laughing: I don’t sort my clothes, either, and it drives my mama and husband NUTS! It also drives them nuts that I wash in cold water instead of hot. 🙂

    [Reply]

  16. Gen

    07/26/2013

    I don’t know why I always read these posts on simplifying doing the laundry because I have no problem with it and actually enjoy it! Guess I’m preparing for mayhem when kiddos come along.

    My biggest DON’T DO is that I don’t fold much laundry (clothes). Shirts get put on hangers coming out of the washer, dry on hangers (I live in an apartment and air dry year round on the laundry shelves my dad and I built with a closet rod attached, see it here), then it’s super easy to just grab everything and put in the closet. I have an other rack for pants and then yes I have to put on hangers afterwards. PJs get taken off the hangers after drying, folded and put into the dresser.

    Socks and undies are a seperate load because those go into the dryer (ain’t no way I’m hanging a gizillion little pieces!) Sort out bf’s stuff and mine, then match my socks (life is just more pleasant with colorful socks IMHO), takes all of 10 mins and I’m done for 3 weeks before I do it again, cuz we have enough for that long. I can also go a month before washing my shirts all together because I have enough (weekends I double wear…)

    Though shirts get washed after every wear, except sweaters which I try and get 2-3 wears before washing together on delicate, still too afraid to put in normal cycle. Pants get washed way less often, like every 2 months unless they are visibly dirty. I just kinda hate having to make my jeans fit after washing, so I just don’t wash often. I know some people will think that’s not enough, but it’s ok with me!

    And that’s how I enjoy doing laundry!

    I only have 1 laundry basket, so yes that also helps to get stuff put away, like you!

    [Reply]

  17. Sarah

    07/26/2013

    My cloth diapers were my favorite load to do! When they were dry, I dumped them into a storage ottoman. No folding necessary!

    [Reply]

  18. Lisa the Farm Lady

    07/26/2013

    I can definitely try that recipe, Tia! Thank you.

    [Reply]

  19. deborah

    07/26/2013

    I enjoyed reading your laundry methods! I have four laundry hampers in our laundry room. One for workclothes, one for lights, one for darks, and one for towels. We farm, so my husband often has very dirty workclothes! 🙂 When a hamper is getting full, I wash that load. I don’t think I’m as simplified or as streamlined as you are, but this system works well for me. And that’s a key I think for so many things~finding a system that fits you and your lifestyle!

    And I enjoyed how you like white and use it and it works. My sister loves white and much in her home is white. She has fun decor posts on her blog at Sew a Fine Seam. I like white too, but I tend to still go for color. There aren’t many colors that I just don’t like. White makes a beautiful backdrop though and anything goes with it. Sorry~digressing from laundry!!

    [Reply]

    deborah Reply:

    Oh, and I like the small basket idea for the ease of carting them around. I have one regular one and one collapsible one. They work and fit in my space, but the smaller size would be nice for carrying.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Amen — finding a system that works for YOU is key… and it sounds like you’ve done just that.

    [Reply]

  20. Tia

    07/26/2013

    http://wellnessmama.com/3505/homemade-oxyclean-stain-remover-recipe/
    Homemade Oxy Clean!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the link Tia — I’ll have to try that recipe!

    [Reply]

    Barb Reply:

    Tia,
    What is washing soda in your link to the homemade oxy clean? Does it mean baking soda?

    [Reply]

    Tia Reply:

    In the ingredients, it says washing soda. In the directions it says baking soda. I think it’s the same thing. I’ve never made it before, but I like the blog. I’ve actually never even thought about using Oxy Clean, but Andrea has me wanting to try it. The homemade version seems easy enough.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Washing soda is different than baking soda — so I don’t think the recipe would work with plain baking soda (or at least not as well). Here’s a link to different washing sodas.

    [Reply]

  21. shelly

    07/26/2013

    One thing that helps me significantly is not having any laundry baskets! We have laundry hampers to put the dirty clothes in, but as soon as they are dry they get folded and put away. No baskets sitting around to tempt me to let them sit 🙂 (Also helps prevent wrinkles!!)

    [Reply]

  22. Barbara

    07/26/2013

    So glad to see everyones comments. My friends think I am crazy for doing laundry this way. My kids wear clothing that they can get dirty, they are kids they get dirty. The only sorting I do is for my husband and I. I wash whites and two loads of darks, my work clothing and his after work clothing (he is a mechanic or I would wash it all together but you never know what greasy items he is working on in the home garage). The kids each have a hamper in their rooms and what goes in the hamper goes in the washer. I don’t sort anything unless they have worn something nice to a special event. Monthly I bleach their socks in one big load. Fast and easy! I do 5-7 loads of laundry per week depending on sheets and towels. Laundry does not have to be the big deal folks make it out to be.

    [Reply]

  23. Amazonite

    07/26/2013

    Since there are just the two of us, laundry is not nearly as overwhelming as for those of us with large families. I do laundry once a week, three or four loads tops. I find that I use many of these strategies, though, and I would gladly do commercials for OxiClean if they wanted 🙂 I use it for so much more than laundry; nothing cleans out coffee scum from coffeepots and cups like it, and to get my double stainless steel sink shining, I just stopper both sides and fill it up with hot water, with half a scoop mixed in. Let it sit and have the OxiClean do the work; once the water is cool, I can let out the water, do a quick rinse, and the sink looks like I’ve been scrubbing all day.

    I used to sort out whites, darks and light colors; now I find that whites/lights and darks does just fine. I do separate towels from the rest of the laundry, though; fuzz-givers and fuzz-collectors just don’t do well together.

    [Reply]

  24. Mel

    07/26/2013

    I love this post!

    Amen to using disposable diapers and YES they are way cheaper. I have spent $0 out of pocket on diapers and my son is 18 months old. I have diapers to last him for another year or so (I’m hoping he’ll be potty trained before then), and I have a baby on the way and I have about a year’s worth of diapers for the baby. I try teaching friends how to do coupon deals and they just don’t believe it’s possible. It’s so frustrating!

    Also, I completely agree with you that laundry should not be difficult. I grew up in a house with clean clothes on the table and couches and chairs, etc. Yes, it was for five people. But I have three people now. I wash all my clothes and my son’s clothes in one day, we do towels and other household items on Saturday, and my husband washes his clothes on Sunday nights. It’s never been a difficult or overwhelming process……thank goodness, because I was always overwhelmed growing up with clothes everywhere!

    Thanks for the great post!

    [Reply]

    Mama Murrey Reply:

    So HOW do you do free disposables? or even cheap disposables? Do you have to buy them through one of the three big drugstores?

    I use coupons and I follow some frugal blogs, but I’m too far from any of the three drugstores to be able to play the drugstore game. So my “cheap” disposables have consisted of several bucks off a package at Target or Dillons.

    I have been able to score some really good deals with wipes at Dillons, but so far the cheap or free diapers thing is just beyond me. I would love to know how people do that.

    [Reply]

    Mel Reply:

    Yes, I primarily get all my diapers at CVS. I fill any prescription (which is very infrequent) at CVS, and always use a coupon for a gift card. Then I buy other deals that have extra care bucks going, and then roll those extra care bucks into the diaper deals. I print most of my diaper coupons online. I usually get my total down to tax only, and I use a gift card to pay the tax.

    It takes some time every week, but it’s been well worth it for my family. I spend about an hour cutting coupons, making a CVS list and grocery store list, and then I go to both stores. Even if I just get one bag of diapers a week, it adds up over time.

    [Reply]

  25. Natalia

    07/26/2013

    Two questions:
    *What washer and dryer do you own?
    *What size are your baskets?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We have a stackable front-loading Frigidaire washer and dryer, and our laundry baskets are approximately 20″ cubes.

    [Reply]

  26. Janene

    07/26/2013

    I Love Oxy-clean.. Totally goes in with every load. I found buying the big box at the warehouse stores (Sam’s, Costco) is cheaper so I buy a box every time I go and store a few extra’s in the downstairs storage. With 3 kids it is the only way I do laundry. With bad stains, I fill a bucket with hot water in my laundry sink and pour in a scoop of oxy-clean and let the clothes soak while the other loads are washing, Comes clean every time..

    [Reply]

  27. Cynthia

    07/26/2013

    What washer and dryer do you own, Andrea? I’d love a dryer that dries faster than the washer cycle.

    [Reply]

    Rebecca Reply:

    I was wondering the same thing….I will be upgrading my cleaning set and would love to kno what set you are using too!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We have a stackable front-loading Frigidaire washer and dryer. They came with our house and although I like them, I probably wouldn’t buy the exact same ones again.

    [Reply]

  28. Pamela

    07/26/2013

    Andrea,

    (Every time I try to type your name I accidentally type my husband’s name — Andrew!). 🙂

    Question: WHERE does the OxiClean go? I think I have the same front end loader you do, and my clothes do NOT come out clean so I’d like to try OxiClean. Do I put the powder on the clothes, or does it go in one of the dispensers?

    Also, do you have any tips on where to frugally buy OxiClean?

    Thanks a million!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I dump the Oxy-clean right in with the clothing — and I don’t have a ton of frugal ideas for oxy-clean (unfortunately). There used to be lots of deals and coupons, but I haven’t found as many lately… but it’s still worth it for me based on how well it works.

    [Reply]

    Katie P. Reply:

    I make my own! Have you tried it? All it takes is hydrogen peroxide and washing soda, both very cheap. Just put 1/2 c each in with your load (activates when you mix so don’t premix) and whala! You can google oxygen bleach for ideas. Oxyclean is basically just the name brand of oxygen bleach and its been around for a long time.

    [Reply]

    Mara (@ Super Savings) Reply:

    Pamela,
    I know Dollar Tree has their own “oxy-clean” and for a buck I’ve considered trying it, but wondered if it was as good as the real stuff. I’ve been really happy with their pre-treater, but I’d much rather just throw in a scoop of Oxy-Clean instead of spraying the stains if it works as well!

    Andrea,
    have you ever tried the “oxy-clean” at Dollar Tree?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    no I haven’t tried this — but I also never knew it existed 🙂 We have a dollar store right down the road from our house so I might have to check it out!

    [Reply]

  29. Jamie Rohrbaugh

    07/26/2013

    Does “I don’t take the clothes out of the dryer sometimes until it’s time to wear them” count? 🙂 LOL. Joke! Joke! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

    [Reply]

  30. Jen

    07/26/2013

    I’m so glad you don’t sort! I think my mom thinks I’m crazy for washing everything together, but I too have found there’s no need to sort.

    As for cloth diapering, more laundry was one of the reasons I resisted using cloth for so long. But it really isn’t bad as long as you don’t procrastinate (as with everything else in life)!

    One thing that has helped me keep up with laundry is to do one load a day. It may not be the most energy efficient way, but I haven’t been overwhelmed with laundry since I started doing one (okay, sometimes two) loads a day. I also agree with your basket tip! I only have one large basket and a small one (which is actually being used for something else at the moment).

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  31. Kelly

    07/26/2013

    P.S. No kids here but if we did have them, I would probably try having hampers in their room or bathroom and adding their clothes to my hamper bag before my trip downstairs to sort. Who knows if that would work or not 🙂

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    Bianca Reply:

    I have 3 kids and they each have hampers in their closet. They are responsible to getting the basket downstairs. I help them load it, I fold them and put back into the baskets and they have to put away. They are 7, 8, and 9 so it’s not perfect but it helps.

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    Lisa the Farm Lady Reply:

    Sounds like you and the kids have a good system for laundry despite the little setbacks you’ve mentioned, Bianca! I used to live in the Netherlands and know what you mean when you say you have to devote an entire day to laundry! 🙂

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  32. Kelly

    07/26/2013

    I agree with you that laundry should be simple, quick and not take over our lives. My number one laundry “don’t” is that I don’t pull clothes out of the dryer and leave them. I do not like the piles either and I don’t like wrinkles. It’s a hard one to swallow, but people create more work for themselves by not folding each load as it comes out of the dryer. I honestly haven’t used an iron in almost two years. We too recently downsized the size of our clean baskets. Not only does it encourage you to put clothes away but it saves on back strain to our upstairs bedroom! For dirty laundry, I have a Thirty-One Room For Two bag in our Master bath and I carry it down every or every other day and sort into my laundry organizer and I take it back up next trip. Darks, lights, whites and reds. We go through a lot of reds (my burgundy is your “white”) between our sheets, towels and numerous Case IH shirts. And I agree with you, what is spot treating? I don’t own any either other than the bottle my sister in law purchased on their vacation here 🙂

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  33. Paula

    07/26/2013

    Question – I have a front loader and I only use liquid detergent. Do you put the oxy-clean in the dispenser too?

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    Andrea Reply:

    nope, I dump the oxy clean right in with the clothing… that’s what it says to do on the back of my can.

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  34. Cindy

    07/26/2013

    Oxy stick is my best friend! I haven’t tried the powder. But that stick has saved so many toddler and preschool tops I lost count!
    I find I have to sort whites and blacks… otherwise my blacks get white fuzzies all over them. Totally annoying so I have 3 baskets lined up for whites, colours, blacks. My kids think its fun too, so I don’t mind.
    And we do NOT have the same coupon extravaganza options in Canada. I cloth diaper and seriously, even my husband tries to bring friends into the fold. We’ve never had issue, plus I’m a sucker for the colours! LOL
    We each find our flow and that’s all we can do, right?!
    I like hearing other people’s routines though. Cause laundry ain’t going nowhere!

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    Lisa the Farm Lady Reply:

    I hear you on the lack of coupons here in Canada, Cindy! We only get coupons for stupid things, never on stuff you need 🙂

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  35. Jen

    07/26/2013

    Laundry infinitely multiplies with each additional little kid. I’d be interested to see if your system works with more kids…small laundry baskets in particular.

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    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve been using this same system since I was in college and it’s been working pretty well, even with the addition of a husband and one child 🙂 The small clothes baskets are one of the things I’m most adamant about too — they are super easy to cart around and fit one load of laundry perfectly. One other thing I probably should have mentioned in this post is we don’t put clothing in the laundry unless it’s actually dirty — so if we wear something and it doesn’t get a spot on it or get sweaty, we put it back in our closet. This helps to significantly reduce the amount of laundry we have to do each week.

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    Michele Reply:

    I can tell you don’t live in the South! There is nothing down here that doesn’t get sweaty! LOL!

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    susie Reply:

    It does work with more kids, too. I have 6 kids and In my laundry room i have garage shelves turned into tables. i fold them as soon as they come out of the dryer, then just need to put away. i also have a rod to hang shirts on, so i don’t have to use the dryer. but other than that my system is like andreas!

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  36. Bianca

    07/26/2013

    I have a family of 5 so I do laundry every day except Sunday’s. I have a system: Mondays: whites, Tuesdays: girl clothes, Saturday: misc (sheets, etc.), etc. I even have a laundry sorter (whites/darks,etc.)

    This just makes life easier for me and I do 1-2 loads a day. I fold them the moment they come out the dryer and put away. I noticed in the pass if I didn’t it would sit there for days and get wrinkled by sitting in the dryer.

    I live in Spain and the wash cycle is 1hr and 30minutes and the washer is so small that you have to do laundry everyday because you can’t wash a big load. The dryer? I have to run it twice to get dry clothes. Imagine that!

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    Cindy Reply:

    Oh my word!!! No wonder you have to wash each day. Do you also hang laundry out? I’m in a townhouse in the city so I can’t but I’d love to if I had the space.

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    Bianca Reply:

    Yes I also hang laundry and I have a rack that I put laundry on but I like to put it in the dryer for a bit because the clothes can get hard. Yes and you can’t have the dryer and washer on at the same time because it blows the power. So you have to wash for 1 hr and 30 minutes and then dry for over 2hrs so if you want to do 2 loads then your doing laundry all day. I sometimes wish they had laundromats so I can just do it all on one day but there isn’t any.

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    Aa. Reply:

    I hang them too (I live in a european country), and my husband and I live in a 91 square ft. your read it right! 😀 This is how we do it in our country, I don’t know anyone who dries clothes in their dryer because none has one, not even the rich ones i know! But it is ok, we got used to it.

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    Aa. Reply:

    Oh, and also: when i take them down from the hanging thing (i don’t know how it is called in English), I fold them instantly. I think you can do the same. You take one item at a time from the drier, you fold it and put it in the basket. then it is easier to go and put them in your closet.

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  37. Kristi

    07/26/2013

    Laundry has been my arch enemy for many years and it seems I always have the never ending pile of clean laundry that hasn’t been folded after being washed. After reading, I love the idea of only having 3 baskets and also throwing everything in together…definitely going to tackle the laundry monster today once and for all! Thanks for sharing your “don’t” tips Andrea!!

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  38. Kim

    07/26/2013

    LOVE oxiclean, swear by it and tell everyone about it. I do use the pre-treater and use Arm & Hammer w/ oxiclean. Won’t bother with anything else. And my HE washer and dryer are AWESOME. I agree, it takes 40 min. to dry a large load of laundry, you can get so much more laundry done in a day.

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  39. stephanie

    07/26/2013

    Ditto on everything! Laundry is my favorite chore. I love empty baskets!

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  40. Jane

    07/26/2013

    Do you use oxy clean alone or as a booster to regular detergent? It seems my family is so good at getting grease spots on their shirts and I always miss them! I do like whites – especially in large bath towels because I can bleach them. I find that the darks (which I can’t bleach) get stinky towel syndrome now that I have a front loader. (I use vinegar to deal with this.)

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    Andrea Reply:

    Good question — I use Oxy-Clean WITH my regular detergent of choice. So it basically acts as a stain remover/pre-treater… I just don’t have to remember to pre-treat!

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    Jane Reply:

    Great! I’m going to give that a try. Thanks!

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    Lisa the Farm Lady Reply:

    Besides using vinegar to get rid of stinkies like you do, I use 1/2 cup of Borax in each load of laundry. It gets stuff nice and clean as it’s supposed to be a laundry soap “booster.” Oxy Clean is really expensive here in Canada, and we’re in the country so have to keep down on chemicals etc in our water. My 2 cents 🙂

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