1. Clean up stains/spots immediately. My granddaughter dripped chocolate ice cream on her clothes the other day. Rather than leave it until laundry day, I wiped it up right then. If I hadn’t, it might not have come clean in the laundry. A Tide Stick is handy for quick clean-ups, too. I keep one in my bathroom closet and another one in my baggies drawer in the kitchen. I think there’s one in the glove compartment of my car, too.
2. Check clothing before washing and pre-treat if necessary.
3. Check pockets before tossing clothes in the washer. You never know what bad things might be in those pockets that can wreck havoc on your laundry! I washed a tube of chapstick once and it ruined nearly every piece of clothing that was washed with it – and most of it was mine – but the chapstick wasn’t! Actually, after that happened was when I made my kids start doing their own laundry.
4. If an item has a stain or spot, treat it but then check it between the washer and dryer. If the stain didn’t come out, another round of pre-treating might do the trick. But if you miss it and run it through the dryer, you might be out of luck. I tend to forget to check so I write a reminder on a post-it note and put it on top of the washer so I don’t forget to check the item before drying it.
5. If an item has a stain or spot and you check it between the washer and dryer but you can’t tell for sure that the spot is gone, don’t dry it! Instead let it air dry and then check. If the stain is still there, you can pre-treat again. If it’s gone, you can throw it in the next load of clothes to be dried if needed. But better safe than sorry.
6. If you know an item of clothing needs special treatment but you’re not ready to deal with it right away, set it aside so you won’t forget that it needs help. You think you’ll remember but you probably won’t. At least I don’t.
7. Don’t let clothes sit too long before washing them.
8. Don’t wash rugs with certain fabrics – like nappy fabrics. I washed my husband’s work out shorts with a bathroom rug and the shorts got lint all over them. I spent 10 minutes getting all the lint off. I haven’t made that mistake again. Now rugs are washed by themselves, with other rugs, or with towels.
9. If necessary, use a little bleach. Here’s an article Ashley wrote about using bleach.
10. And finally, don’t wash really, really dirty stuff with the rest of the laundry. If it’s that bad, wash it by itself. Just in case.
What are your tricks for being sure your laundry is clean?