While sadly no one has yet invented an appliance that will fold and put the clothes away, there are tricks of the laundry trade that will make the most of laundry day. Following these simple hacks will guarantee better, brighter, cleaner, clothing. Grab your laundry basket and get ready to turn those dirty clothes from dingy to dazzling.


  1. Sort it by fabric. While anyone who has ever done laundry knows to separate the whites, lights, and darks, expert laundresses know that there’s more to sorting. Separate natural and synthetic fibered clothing, as they dry at different rates. Towels, flannel and blankets produce lots of lint, so you’ll want to separate them from lint magnets such as fleece. Finally, keep your delicates away from tougher fabrics like corduroy and jeans to avoid wear and tear.
  2. Turn dark colored clothing inside out. Preserve dark colors by turning them inside out before washing in cold water.
  3. Enlist your washing machine as a pre-soaker. Add your detergent and bleach to your machine, then add your clothing: when the machine is filled up with water and just about ready to being cycling, stop the machine and let the clothing soak for one to several hours before turning the machine back on to complete the cycle.
  4. Don’t overfill your washer. Give your washer the space to do its job: Fill it to about 3/4 of the way to the top. 
  5. Add soap then your laundry. Give your detergent time to dissolve in the water before adding your laundry for more effective cleaning power and less detergent residue left on clothing.
  6. Unleash the power of bleach and hot water for the whitest whites ever. For whiter whites, use the hottest water setting on your washer. Wait until the washer has been active for five minutes before adding a capful of bleach for maximum effectiveness.
  7. Use baking soda to remove moldy odors. Presoak your clothing with a half cup of baking soda to get rid of stinky, moldy odors, especially evident in summer months.
  8. Use vinegar as a fabric softener. Add one cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle for an eco-friendly fabric softener.
  9. Clean your machine. Even washing machines need to be cleaned. Select the hottest water setting on your machine, add a capful of bleach to the bleach dispenser, and run the machine on the Extra Rinse setting.
  10. Save the lint! In the spring, put some near your bird bath or feeder and watch as your neighborhood birds use it to build their nests.