If your family is like ours, your clothes could tell stories from the stains they carry. From swimming all day to camping in your backyard to grilling out with your neighbors, we've given the summer of 2021 everything we've got. However, with as much fun as we've had these past few weeks, trying to get rid of the smell of mildew from those forgotten wet towels left at the bottom of our pool bag and greasy stains left over from last week's barbeque is not the way anyone wants to spend their free time. If you can relate at all, read on for some of our most helpful and surprising summer laundry hacks.
Summer Laundry Hacks #1: Wet Clothes Drop Zone
Summer is hardly over, which means there's still time to correct your mistakes, especially as it relates to handling wet clothes and towels. When you get home from the pool, have everyone strip down and drop their clothes in a plastic laundry basket by the door. This does two things:
- Prevents wet clothes from wandering all over your dry home.
- Keeps wet clothes all together so you can wash them or hang them out to dry.
Summer Laundry Hacks #2: Keep Those Flip-Flops Clean
If a swimsuit and flip-flops are your kids summer uniform, then you know the pain of trying to keep their favorite footwear clean. For whatever reason, those rubber flip flops seem to collect dirt much faster than any other shoe.
Interestingly enough, flip flops can be thrown in the washing machine, using the delicate cycle. You just need a little bit of detergent (much less than a normal load - maybe a pea size amount). Once they are done, they can be air dried.
Alternatively, if throwing your kid's favorite pair of flip-flops in the wash terrifies you, we wash all of our kids shoes with Dawn dish soap and that usually does the trick.
Summer Laundry Hacks #3: Ditch the Iron
We don't know many people who get great joy from ironing, especially on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, wrinkles don't magically go away just because it's hot outside, but you don't have to use an iron to remove them. As such, there's a few ways to remove wrinkles without the iron.
- Try your best to remove clothes from the washing machine as soon as they are done spinning. This prevents a lot of wrinkles from ever forming.
- Throw a wet washcloth or even ICE CUBES in the dryer with clothes that need to be de-wrinkled. Dry for 20 minutes (ish) on low heat and remove immediately.
- Still have a few wrinkles? Use a water bottle to spray down the wrinkles and smooth out with your hands or just give the piece a good shake. You'd be surprised at how well this works.
Summer Laundry Hacks #4: Remove Sticky Substances in the Freezer
Actually, just freeze your (or your kids') clothes to remove all those sticky substances, including gum, putty and slime. Just stick it in the freezer overnight and by morning, it should peel off. Easy peasy. This can also work for shoes.
Summer Laundry Hacks #5: Speed Up Drying Time
Have you ever washed your kid's favorite outfit only for them to request it moments after you've taken it out of the wash? No worries, just throw the desired outfit in the dryer with a DRY towel and dry for 15-20 minutes (no longer or it defeats the purpose). The dry towel will absorb all the moisture and your favorite outfit will be ready to wear in no time.
Summer Laundry Hacks #6: Stain Treatment
How about those icky grease stains? Summer is full of dinners on the patio and neighborhood cookouts which can ultimately lead to a grease stain on your favorite slacks. Grease stains used to scare us until we knew this super handy trick. Before you throw the affected item in the wash, rub CHALK across the stain. The chalk will act like a dry powder and absorb all the grease before it gets treated with soap and water.
Alternatively, if you get some sticky BBQ sauce on your clothes, simply run cold water over the stain to get most of the excess off, then let liquid detergent sit on it for 10 minutes, followed by dabbing white vinegar on the stain before rinsing it off. Keep repeating these steps until the stain disappears.
But grease isn't the only stain you need to worry about over summer break. How many times have you smudged make-up on your shirt and had to change your entire outfit because of it? We're not going to save the outfit for the night, but you can put some shaving cream on it to break up the stain before you wash it.
Summer Laundry Hacks #7: Deodorizing Trick
Finally, before you head out the door, do a smell check. Clothes that have been hanging in the closet for awhile can often have a slight odor. You can always spray some perfume or cologne on them, but sometimes that smell can overpower you. Alternatively, you can spray a little bit of alcohol directly on your clothes. We recommend something clear like vodka, but go easy - you don't want to smell like a walking bar. The goal is clean and fresh.
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