Laundry is an essential task that we all must do to keep our clothes clean and fresh! Doing laundry can be frustrating and time-consuming, and there are a few important things to keep in mind (that the whole family should know) when doing laundry. It might be a dreaded home task, but it’s an important one! We’re sharing some of our top laundry tips that you need to know to make the process efficient, effective, and safe.

Laundry Room

What to Put in the Dryer vs What You Can't

When it comes to drying your clothes, there are some things you should not put into the dryer. First, always check the care label on your clothes. If it says "dry clean only" or "do not tumble dry," you should not put it in the dryer. These items are delicate and can be damaged by the high heat and tumbling action. As seen in Renovation 911, the younger daughter put a “pleather” jacket into the dryer, which almost started a fire. The jacket was found burnt and in shreds in the back of the dryer, leaving the laundry room smelling burnt!

Clothes made of cotton, polyester, and other durable fabrics can be dried, but you need to sort your clothes based on their fabric type and weight to avoid damaging your clothes. You can dry heavy items like towels and jeans together and lightweight items like t-shirts and underwear together.

It's important to note that you should not overload the dryer. Overloading can prevent clothes from drying properly and cause them to become wrinkled. Plus, an overloaded dryer can damage the machine.

Dryer Balls vs. Dryer Sheets

Dryer Balls vs Dryer Sheets

Dryer balls or dryer sheets? If you’re wondering what the difference is between the two and which you should be using, listen up.

Dryer sheets are small, disposable sheets coated in fabric softener that you throw in the dryer with your clothes—typically the most commonly used. They work by releasing a fragrance and reducing static cling. However, they are made of synthetic materials and can be harmful to the environment. Plus, they can leave a residue on your clothes.

Dryer balls, on the other hand, are reusable and made of materials like wool or plastic. They work by bouncing around in the dryer and separating the clothes, which is another way to reduce wrinkles and static cling. They can also speed up the drying process, which can save you time and money. Our opinion is that dryer balls are a more eco-friendly and economical option compared to dryer sheets!

Change Out Your Lint Traps

Be sure to change out your lint trap every couple of months, it could save you thousands of dollars from a backed up drain! We also recommend using zip ties when installing your new lint trap for two reasons:

  1. To keep the lint trap on and secure.
  2. To make sure all of the hoses are connected to the wash bin.
Lint Trap

When’s the last time you changed out your lint trap?

Other Laundry Tips You Need to Know

Lindsey in the Laundry Room

Apart from the above information, there are a few other laundry tips that you should keep in mind:

  • Clean your washing machine regularly. A dirty washing machine can cause your clothes to smell bad and can damage your machine. Run an empty cycle with hot water and vinegar or baking soda once a month to clean your machine.
  • Use the right amount of detergent. Using too much detergent can leave a residue on your clothes and also damage your machine. Follow the instructions on the detergent bottle for the correct amount.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water. Washing your clothes in cold water is gentler on fabrics and can save you money on your energy bill.

By following these practical laundry tips, you can ensure that not only your clothes come out clean, fresh, and in good condition, but that you have a functional, safe, and efficient laundry room. So, go ahead and tackle that laundry pile with confidence!

Stay tuned for more tips on home maintenance, prevention, design, and more here at Practical Home. And catch us on HGTV Tuesday evenings at 9 p.m. ET/PT on our new show Renovation 911.

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