- When washing dark clothes for the first time use cold water and put salt in the water. The salt helps set the color. To brighten dark clothes after they have been washed several times, repeat the procedure.
- To dye fabric a brown color inexpensively, soak it in a bucket of strong black coffee. This technique will also camouflage a non-removable coffee stain on a white table cloth.
- Many garments labeled “Dry Clean Only” can be safely hand washed using a mild soap like Woolite or shampoo and cold water.
- Even your washer needs to be washed once in a while. Run the machine on hot water, normal cycle, and add a bottle of vinegar to clean the soap film and scum that’s built up inside.
- Black clothing tends to look brown after several washings. To restore the black color, add coffee or strong tea to the rinse water.
- Wash and dry clothes inside out to prevent fading.
- Tie or pin socks together for easier sorting.
- Use a mesh bag when washing/drying socks, especially baby socks.
- Close zippers, button buttons, and tie strings before washing and drying. This keeps clothes from being tangled together.
- Spot cleaning – Use Tilex Shower Spray (mildew) to spot bleach, on clothes that can be bleached, when you don’t want to bleach the whole load.
- Always empty the lint trap every single time you dry clothes in the dryer.
- If instructions aren’t printed on the washer lid, type, laminate, and hang them over the machine.
- Pilling is caused by items rubbing against each other in the washer and dryer. Prevent it by turning susceptible clothes inside out and washing them in a mesh bag or a drawstring pillowcase.
- The difference between “Dry Clean” and “Dry Clean Only” is fragile fabric, but washable. Dry cleaning fluids are tough on fabrics, so whenever they can be avoided, the life of a garment is prolonged.
- Make your own Spray Starch – 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 1 pint cold water. Place in spray bottle and shake well before each use.
- Oily/Waxy Stains – Try one of the following:
“Scrubbing Bubble” bathroom cleaners;
Rub white chalk into the stain before laundering;
Rub with damp cloth dipped in Borax;
Apply a paste of cornstarch and water, let dry and brush off.
- Wine, Coffee, and Fruit Stains – Club Soda or moist salt. Pour over stain, or soak in milk before washing.
- Blood Stains – Fresh – use cold water. Dried – use hydrogen peroxide. Pour over stain as soon as possible.
- Red Stain
s (Kool-Aid, Popsicle, Berry Juice) – Rubbing Alcohol. Pour over stain before washing.
- Grass Stains – Combine a few drops of household ammonia with 1 teaspoon peroxide. Rub stain with this mixture. Rinse with water as soon as stain disappears.
- Rust Stains – Scrub with crumbled aluminum foil.
- Lipstick Stains – Rub with shortening and wash with washing soda.
- Ink Stains – Use hairspray on stain (with absorbent towel underneath) and launder as usual.Or wet stain with cold water, apply paste of cream of tartar/lemon juice, let sit one hour and wash as usual.Or mix 1/3 cup white vinegar with 2/3 cup warm water and apply a small amount to the stain. Blot until no more stain can be removed.
For more information on removing stains go to my Stains page.
Want to learn how to save by making your own laundry detergent, just go and check out my Soap page.