Home Decor

10 Genius Laundry Hacks That Actually Work

We've rounded up our best tried-and-true tips to keep your clothes fresh, fluffy and bright.

When you actually have five minutes to make it to the washing machine, don’t let pesky stains, colour fading or strange odours get in the way. Here are 10 hacks that Chatelaine staff swear by to keep clothes fresh and looking clean.

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1. Banish grease stains with corn starch

Add corn starch directly onto the grease spot, allow it to sit for a few minutes and then cover it with a thin cloth and iron with high heat. The corn starch should absorb the oil.

2. Keep comforters fluffy

Tennis balls are your dryer’s new best friend. Wrap one in an old sock (to keep the green fluffies at bay) and throw it into the dryer with any bulky items like comforters or winter jackets.

3. Never lose a sock again

Laundry mesh bags, usually used for washing lingerie or other delicates, are a great way to keep pairs of socks from going astray. Sort dirty socks into the bag, zip it up and throw it into the load. When you take the laundry out, you’ll know exactly where those socks are!

4. Keep dark clothing from fading

Dark clothing looking a little lack lustre? Always wash darker hues in cold water, inside out and hang dry. For denim, add a half cup of white vinegar to keep the colour from fading.

5. Rid oil stains with dish detergent

Dish detergent is great to get out oil stains. Rub it into the stain until it gets bubbly and then throw into the wash.

7. Fight mould and mildew in the washer

To keep your washing machine fresh, add about 1/2 cup of borax (a natural alkaline mineral salt) to your load. Borax also works wonders for tough stains like coffee, grass or marker. Soak stained clothes in 1/2 cup of borax and one cup of warm water. Allow the clothing to soak for about half an hour before laundering. This mixture is safe for even the most fragile delicates.

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8. Keep clothes smelling fresh the natural way

Ditch the softener! Instead, mix your favourite essential oil (lavender is a good one ) with water and lightly spritz clothes with a spray bottle before putting them through a wash cycle. Your clean clothes will smell like a fresh field of flowers.

9. Dry clothes quicker

Ever take out a load of laundry from the dryer to find that heavier items like pants and towels are still wet? Always shake out your clothes before transferring them to the dryer. They’ll keep fluffy and will be bone-dry when you take them out.

10. Banish pet smells on blankets and cushion covers

Pet odours are never fun. Rid them by mixing 1/2 a cup of vinegar with your cup of laundry detergent for normal-sized loads and wash as normal.

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Originally published April 2017; Updated July 2018.