Laundry definitely isn’t on our list of favorite pastimes, but it’s just one of those unavoidable necessary evils of grown-up life (unless you’ve caved and have a laundry service take care of your duds — so jeals). Luckily there are a few things you can do to make it a little bit more bearable and less time consuming, all while ditching toxic chemicals and solving pesky problems like fading. Ready to step up your laundry game? Check out these 9 laundry hacks.
1. Beat stains the natural way. If you’re anything like us, wearing white is just asking for trouble. Without fail, before the day is done, we’ll be covered head to toe in everything from coffee to condiments to lipstick. But before you reach for the bleach, try a little baking soda and vinegar instead. (via Hearts)
2. Don’t (over)wash your jeans. To keep jeans looking fly, less is definitely more. Machine washing and drying should really be a last resort. Look to spot treating, an outdoor air-out sesh or an overnight in the freezer to freshen up those denim duds instead. Not only will it extend the life of your jeans, but it’s a little bit easier on the planet too. (via Levi Strauss)
3. No iron? No problem. Wrinkles are a total bummer, especially when you don’t have an iron on hand. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to kick those kinks to the curb sans iron. A quick stint in the bathroom with some hot steam will do the trick, but unexpected hairstyling tools like a dryer or straightener are great in a pinch. (via Brit + Co)
4. Say sayonara to (traditional) dryer sheets. If you’re looking to detox your laundry routine, ditching dryer sheets isn’t a bad place to start. By making your own reusable dryer sheets and dryer balls, you’ll not only save a few bucks, but you’ll be cutting out some serious toxins from your life (plus you can create custom scents!). What’s not to love? (via Free People)
5. Undo your shrinking sins. We’ve all done it: Thrown a favorite top into the dryer without reading (or just totally ignoring) the care tag and wound up with something that looks like it came straight from the kid’s department. But don’t toss it into the donation pile just yet — there’s still hope. While you could totally work it as a crop top, with a little hair conditioner and a quick soak, your shirt will be back in business in no time. (via Brit + Co)
7. Dry with tennis balls. There are some things that are just a serious pain to wash, like comforters, down jackets and pillows. The stuffing always seems to clump up (a quality that is less than desirable when you want to get some quality shut-eye). Adding a few tennis balls to your dryer is the perfect solution. They’ll fluff everything up and will have them looking and feeling like new after just one cycle. (via eHow)
8. Throw in the towel. If you’re short on time and need your clothes dry STAT, just throw a towel into the mix. It’ll absorb some of the moisture and cut back on both time and energy costs. Just don’t forget to take it out after you’re finished! (via Life Hacker)
9. Give your laundry detergent a boost. If your clothes are coming out of the washer looking a little less than amazing, your detergent might benefit from a little backup. Vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda can all be added to your standard detergent and will help brighten whites, zap stains and nix bacteria. (via Reader’s Digest)
What are your favorite laundry hacks? Tell us in the comments!