How many times have you walked away from a garment just because its label says “hand-wash only?” We’ve definitely passed up silk blouses and wool sweaters because we knew we’d never take the time to actually hand wash them, and the dry cleaner is only so effective. Luckily, there are a host of products that can help make getting those clothes clean a bit less of the pain that it is now.
1. The Scrubba ($65): Yes, it’s actually designed for travelers and long-distance backpackers, but we’d definitely use this at home, too. It eliminates the awkwardness of the bucket or having to scour your sink before you start cleaning your clothes. The best part about it is that there are nodules on the inside of the bag that act like a washboard to agitate the stains (and grease and sweat) out of your clothes. We’ll be adding this to our laundry supplies.
2. The Laundry Pod ($100): We’ve written about the Laundry Pod before, but it’s perfect for the person who doesn’t shy away from those “hand-wash only” labels. Think of it like a mini washing machine that you can use in your bathtub. In a nutshell, it’s a giant salad-spinner-like contraption that washes your clothes as you spin it back and forth, then spins out all the water once you’re done washing and ready to rinse. Wool sweaters are no match for this gadget.
3. OXO Salad Spinner ($30): If you don’t want to buy something new, or you want something that you can use for more than just laundry, an actual salad spinner is all you need. No, you won’t be able to wash a full load, but you’ll be able to clean that blouse you need for tomorrow’s big meeting in no time flat. Just be sure you give it a good wash between using it for salad and using it for laundry (and vice versa). This green one from OXO definitely our pick, if you’re buying a new salad spinner. The fact that you push down instead of spin makes it 10 times easier to use, especially if it’s filled with wet sweaters.
4. The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar ($6): Good for all your laundry, but especially helpful for delicate things that can’t be agitated too much, this bar soap will remove stubborn stains. It works especially well on the cuffs and collars of button down shirts. We don’t know where we’d be without it.
5. Laundry Care & Laundry Care Symbols Apps (free): Use these two apps (one for iPhone and one for Android) to tell which of your items actually need to be washed by hand. Basically, they decode all those little symbols on your clothing labels that tell you the temperature of water to use for each garment and whether or not it can go in the dryer. If the symbols are hieroglyphics, think of these apps as their Rosetta Stone.
What’s your best laundry hack? Tell us in the comments!