These 9 Laundry Hacks From OGT Readers Are Downright Brilliant

Laundry Tips

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—many of my favorite tips, tricks, and hacks come straight from my brilliant readers (like you!) We all must be cut from the same cloth, because you seem to enjoy solving everyday problems as much as I do! :-)

In my experience, there are few chores that are capable of producing as many problems as doing laundry, but laundry problems can be avoided if you have a few tricks up your sleeve! And lucky for all of us, my readers are chock-full of brilliant laundry tips.

So today I thought I’d share some of the best laundry hacks I’ve received from my readers over the years. Incorporating any of these simple ideas into your laundry routine is sure to save you time and make your life easier!

Related: 9 Smart Hacks That Will Make Laundry Day Easier

9 Brilliant Laundry Hacks From OGT Readers

This laundry hack involves washing eggs in a washing machine.

1. Defeat Static With Wool Dryer Balls

I live in a very dry state so static cling is my laundry nemesis! But luckily I’ve found a fantastic, natural solution – wool dryer balls

Claudette L. agrees with me, “The wool dryer balls really stop the static cling. No more dryer sheets for me.”

In addition to reducing drying time and softening fabrics, wool dryer balls also absorb some of the moisture coming off your clothes as they dry. This can help maintain humidity in your dryer as the cycle progresses.

Unfortunately, some of you have told me that dryer balls alone aren’t fully solving your static issues. But reader Tammie G. has a solution: “I do make the balls damp for items that I know cause static cling. That helps tremendously.” 

Just run one or two dryer balls under your tap or mist them with a spray bottle before you start your dryer. This little tweak elevates the humidity level just enough to fend off static cling. 

In no time you’ll be echoing Tammie’s sentiment, “I love these wool dryer balls. Try them, you will love them too!!!!”

Related: This Is The Most Effective Way To Whiten Whites Without Bleach

socks in a drawer

2. No More Lost Socks

I’m sure that nearly everybody has lost a sock in the wash at some point in their lives. And while we may never know where those lost socks end up, there are a few simple ways to avoid losing them in the first place! Kari C. suggests putting your socks in a mesh zippered bag as soon as you take them off. When the bag gets full, just zip it up and toss it in the wash!

Safety pins can also be effective for keeping socks together. Joanne J. says, “I have my husband and kids safety pin their socks together at the top after they take them off… This method keeps them together forever!”

And finally, you can eliminate the lost sock problem for good by sticking to one color and style of socks. Katina says, “I buy only one brand and style of black socks. No need to match them when they are all the same!”

Related:  8 Frugal Laundry Hacks That Will Save You A Fortune

washing a dress shirt

3. Smarter Sorting

A lot can happen between the time you put something in your hamper and the time you actually get around to washing it. That can make it really difficult to remember specific details, like a stain on a particular shirt that you were planning to pretreat. Dee has an elegant solution: “I have my husband tie the sleeves of his dress shirts in a knot if there is a stain. Then I know to look for it before throwing into the washer!”

But it’s not just stains that get forgotten—who among us hasn’t forgotten to empty the pockets of their pants before washing them? I’ve accidentally washed a LOT of stuff that got left in pockets, from lip balm tubes to headphones to dollar bills, but Erin has a smart system that helps her avoid this unfortunate fate.

She says, “Whenever a pair of pants goes into the hamper, I check all the pockets and then zip the fly.” So when she’s putting things in the wash, she knows that pants with the zipper up are ready to wash! And if the zipper is down, she makes sure to double-check the pockets to be safe.

Related:  This Old School Laundry Hack Was Way Ahead Of Its Time

homemade stain remover

4. Treat Stains Right Away

When it comes to treating stains on clothes, time is of the essence! A fresh stain is almost always going to be easier to remove than an old one. Paula shared her method for treating stains fast: “I started keeping a bottle of stain remover in the bathroom where I get undressed for bed. If anything is stained, I spray the stain remover on it right then!” You can adopt Paula’s clever method by keeping your preferred stain treatment wherever you usually get undressed.

treating stain with fels naptha

5. Inexpensive Stain Removers

And speaking of stain removal, many of my resourceful and budget-conscious readers are using inexpensive methods to take care of clothing stains. Kelli F. says: “I rub the spot with [Fels Naptha], then dip a toothbrush in peroxide and scrub lightly. It gets dark red lipstick out of my daughter’s white cheer uniform with no problems at all.”

Related: How To Make A Laundry Stain Stick With Fels Naptha

Amanda W. recommends treating fresh juice stains by pouring boiling water over them. She says, “The stains just disappear!” And as for stubborn grease and oil stains, Mindy says she’s had success using all kinds of household powders, like cornstarch, baby powder, and baking soda. She says, “Just rub the dry powder into the stain… and let it sit for at least a day.” The powder will absorb the grease or oil and make the stain much easier to wash out.

folding clothes

6. Don’t Procrastinate Folding

I’ll be the first to admit that I loathe folding clothes, and I don’t even know why! It’s not particularly hard, and putting off folding now just means more folding later. Kelly says, “…Fold as soon as the dryer is done! I wish I practiced this more, but when I do it’s so much easier to keep on top of [it].”

writing on washing machine with a dry erase marker

7. Get More Organized

Getting more organized in your laundry room can help you avoid future laundry mishaps. Amanda H. stays organized by using a dry erase marker with a magnet on it. She keeps the marker by the washer and uses it to make notes about what’s in the washer or what cycle to run it on. She says, “It’s helped to save several items from ruin as well!”

Creating a more organized laundry room can also make laundry less of a chore. Angela C. says, “Keep your laundry area clean and organized, and… add some decorative touches or make your own cute labels if you make your own products. I find that this creates a more peaceful mood around doing [laundry], and I think I feel even more energized as a result.”

adding a towel to the dryer

8. Faster Drying

Finding ways to dry your clothes faster isn’t just about saving time, it’s about saving money as well! If your clothes dry faster, you’ll end up using less energy and save yourself some money on next month’s energy bill. And my readers have some great tips for speeding up the drying process! Cassandra B. recommends adding a dry towel to the dryer, which helps absorb some of the moisture and speeds up the drying process.

Another way to speed things up is by running a second spin cycle after washing a load of clothes. The second spin helps to remove even more moisture from your clothes before they go in the dryer. Sarah B. swears by it, saying “This makes a HUGE difference in drying time for your laundry, resulting in a lot of saved energy!”

putting money in a jar

9. Treat Yourself!

Staying on top of your laundry can be hard work, and hard work deserves a reward! My little laundry reward takes the form of loose pocket change. If I find loose change in the course of doing the laundry, it goes right into a jar I keep on the windowsill. When the jar is full, I use the money to pay the “laundry staff” (which is me, myself, and I!)

Another way to reward yourself for your hard work is by finding ways to make the work more enjoyable. Lisa does this by watching her favorite TV shows while she folds her clean laundry. She says, “The laundry gets folded, and I have absolutely no reason to feel guilty about watching a little TV!”

What’s your best laundry tip or trick?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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51 Comments

  1. Hi Jilly
    Regarding the laundry tricks: I keep a separate spray bottle of “Oxyclean” in my closet, or even the “Oxyclean Stain Stick”, to use on stains right away that will go into the hamper waiting to be washed. That way if I can’t wash it right away the stain remover is doing its job until I can do a load, and the stain won’t set. But I also make sure the stain remover won’t discolor the fabric while it waits to be washed.

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  2. Laundry hacks are the best, and these are good ones.

    I love flannel sheets, but about ten years ago mine had gotten sort of scratchy as they do over time. These were nice heavy flannel and so it was extra disappointing. I “went looking” online and was surprised to find that fabric softener toughens flannel. Back then I was still using manufactured laundry products, including dryer sheets with fabric softener. So, as advised, I re-washed my poor crispy sheets, adding vinegar as a rinse treatment and I put 3 tennis balls in my dryer in place of dryer sheets. Even after the first washing the sheets were softer, and they just kept getting better over time.

    That was my true AHA! moment about laundry product decisions, and I’ve never looked back. The tennis balls live in my dryer for all loads (except when they sneak out in the folds of sheets or in shirt sleeves and roll under my bed while I’m folding). I still have a 10-year-old 1/2 gallon of fabric softener stashed away. All I use it for is a small amount in a mixture for spraying my dust mop.

    Besides reduced costs from making my own detergent and skipping additives, laundry just feels a lot more interesting and fun now.

    A little hack: if you have a teeshirt that’s too wrinkled to wear, toss it in the dryer with a slightly damp washcloth and tumble on Low for about five minutes. Take it out, shake it and you’re good to go!

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  3. I have a rule that I swear by… Never put your hands in the pocket of boy’s pants! Why? You never know what they have picked up and put in their pockets. This rule was created the day that I put my hand in a pocket and found that one of my sons had picked up a road kill frog! YUCK! Instead of putting your hand into a pocket look at the pocket from the inside of the pants. Just pretend that you are the leg and look at the liner side of the pocket. This fabric is usually light colored and a lighter weight than the pants. I have spotted all kinds of things boys think are cool in time to put on a rubber glove or use a sandwich baggie as a glove and disposal device. My daughter-in-laws have thanked me for sharing this tip.

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    • LOL, to funny, to funny, but oh, so true, I’m 70 and recall lots of weird things I found in my “little” boys’ pockets. I surely had a good laugh this morning when I read your comment, Kathryn. Lots of good memories.

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  4. I am a stain magnet so when I am home and doing chores I wear an old shirt. When I do get a stain the garment comes off and gets taken care of then. As for drying I found dryer balls and have been using them and it Cuts drying time down really well. As for most laundry I run the dryer on a lower setting and always take things out before they are completely dry. Living in AZ it doesn’t take long for them to finish drying with no wrinkles. Love these kinds of posts.

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  5. For any greasy/oily stains-use an orange citrus spray cleaner, it is safe on fabrics as well as concrete! For any red stains such as red wine, juice, jams, oxi-clean spray pretreat works like absolute magic! Both of these are easy peasy! I carry a travel size spray bottle of ox-clean in my purse for emergencies. Just be sure not to spray oxi-clean without rinsing if outside in the sun because it will turn your garment permanently yellow. FYI

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  6. Hi Jillee! You have a typo in the last paragraph of the laundry post. …watch TV shoes…*shows*, I love your posts!!!!

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  7. 1/3 ammonia, 1/3 liquid detergent, 1/3 water and some Dawn in a squirt bottle for stain removal. This is an EXCELLENT recipe!

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  8. I have a stain stick in my walk-in closet where the laundry basket is so I pre-treat when undressing that way I don’t have to remember to hunt for the garment and do it later. My Mother always said to take care of things while they are in your hands……those words haunt me!! I also fold while watching TV and it doesn’t become such a chore. There are some casual cottons pants and bras I don’t dry….just hang them in the garage to dry. With the newer washers, you cannot run an extra rinse or spin (they have a mind of their own…..just like my not-so-smart …..smart phone! So, I program a “high spin” to remove excess moisture. I like the idea of a dry towel so I will give that a go.

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  9. I use a stain stick. Not expensive and lasts a long time. Even my husband pre-treats his clothes before they go into the hamper.

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    • I do the same thing! Everyone gets a stain stick of their own next to their hamper so stains get treated as the clothes come off/get put into the hamper. I recheck all pockets in the laundry room while sorting colors, etc. I made $50 one day!!!

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  10. Great ideas. I’ve used the towel trick for the dryer before to speed things up with certain loads. I also use about 1T salt and add to the wash when I wash my dark clothes. It helps to keep my black items from fading. When I wash my bras and delicate Lacey tanks I put them in one of zip bags made for washing delicates. I air dry the bras. The layering tanks go in the dryer.

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  11. Never put your bras in the dryer. Let them air dry and they will last much longer. The dryer ruins the elastic over time.

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  12. I started using a Fels Naptha bar after reading about it here, and I am shocked at the results they’re so good! I keep a bar in the laundry room and rub it (dry) on all stains old or new and then spray with water and rub into a lather and then wash as usual. It takes out oily stains and dried in stains too. Sometimes an overnight stay in the laundry basket is needed but that’s an exception!

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  13. Can anyone suggest how to deal with bleach spots on black clothes? I’ve tried a magic marker – but it washes out. I bought a dye pen from Amazon -the results are the same as a magic marker.

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    • You might try a black ink pen. I just tried a blue pen on a blue blouse.

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    • Kathy, I would get some black clothing dye and go that route…. I’ve had good luck. I had some navy blue leggings that were “spotted” and now look new. Great good luck!

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    • Clothing dye is probably your best bet, but you still might have to re-apply every once in a while. :-)

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  14. Make some dryer balls. They are fun and easy to make and keep the dryer load moving and drying quicker.

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  15. I use a large chrome rolling laundry cart with a rail on top like the ones at the laundromat. The master bedroom and laundry room are on the first floor so simply put cleaned clothes on hangers on the rack, fold others and wheel it to our closet! It’s not cheap, but it was worth every penny.

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  16. I dry tops and sweaters on top of my washer and dryer the heat dries them. there’s also is a freezer and ceiling fan that helps dry the things that cant go in the drier or I just choose not to put them in.

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    • I use laundry/lingerie bags for any items I do not want dried. This keeps the rest of the family from accidentally shrinking my delicates!

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  17. I keep a small bottle of Persil Laundry detergent in a small squirt container (think small Dawn dish detergent bottle) in the laundry area to treat stains. It works better than many of the stain treatment stains on the market. Dawn Dish detergent works well too!

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    • I use Dawn for everything, cleaning, laundry, etc. – even dishes. I am a sloppy cooker. Never have had my two sister’s love of cooking. I was always outside with the animals. I keep Dawn in the laundry room, bathroom and kitchen. When I splatter anything on my clothes I grab the Dawn, put a bit on my finger and rub it into the spot. Never fails – I do not use it on blood – cold water first.

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  18. how do you make white tshirts white again?

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    • Try adding some Borax or baking soda to the wash.

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    • My late friend worked at the local high school cafeteria for years and they wore white. She told me they used: 1 cup cascade powder 1/4 cup bleach and 1 gallon HOT water, add clothes and let it soak for 30 minutes, then wash. It works wonderfully. I hope this will work for you, I use it all the time. Good luck…

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  19. How about drying clothes outdoors? Big saving on energy, money, maybe even the planet!

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    • And sunlight helps whiten and sterilize!

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    • I would love to dry my sheets outdoors but my Home Owners Ass. doesn’t allow clotheslines.

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    • Drying outdoors is a great energy saving idea, but beware if you or a family member have allergies! Pollen and dust stick to damp laundry and then is brought into the house and inhaled…

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      • In that case, I would throw the laundry into the dryer on air and run it for 10 minutes or so to remove as much pollen and dust as possible………………………..

  20. 2 things I always have on hand for stains are a small size container of Dawn dish soap – works great on grease stains and a product called Lestoil – I keep small brushes on hand to scrub the stains – w/ the Lestoil I have even gotten stains out from clothing that have gone thru the dryer –

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    • Lestoil is great but I can only find it in Maine when we go there in the summer. No one in NY (Long Island) carries it nor have they heard of it…. their loss.

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    • What is in Lestoil? I’ve never heard of it in Washington state.

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  21. Help!!!!! I inherited a beautiful rain resistant jacket. But it had suspicious golden yellow stains on each sleeve. So, I pretreated with peroxide and also put the rest of the bottle contents in the wash with detergent. I had such high expectations. No results. Any suggestions?

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    • Oh yeah, I then rewashed after putting detergent directly on the stains and rubbing. Still no results.

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    • Try Lestoil (or perhaps Murphy Oil Soap). Don’t dry in dryer until the stain is gone. If the oily soap doesn’t work, try Dawn. My go-to stain remover, kept in the brown bottle with a sprayer top added, is a 2:1 mixture of peroxide and Dawn.

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      • I have a spray bottle filled with ammonia, and for a bad stain like grease, oil, etc., spray spot and then add a drop of Dawn and scrub with a toothbrush. Almost always works first time, but may have to do again, depending on stain. Check that it is gone before drying.

    • Not sure what the stains are but try shaving gel on them. Use a little and rub into the stain, then wash. I use shaving gel on make up stains (foundation) and it works a treat. My daughter had a top with a bad foundation stain on the front which had been washed – and dried – several times without shifting the stain, so I was about to give up when I read about shaving gel. One attempt with that and the stain was completely gone.

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  22. Sorry ! Never put boiling water on a stain !
    Always start with cold water!

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    • My Mom always poured boiling water over red wine stains on a white linen tablecloth…works very well…

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  23. Never put but water on a stain ! The Stain gets burnt in and is then there forever. Also if something has a real bad stain put dish liquid on it with a squirt of clear vinegar.

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  24. I put socks into a laundry bag and throw it into the washer for wash. No missing socks again!

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  25. The one thing I swear by for removing grease, tomato AND greasy tomato stains is lemon dishwashing liquid. I just drip some onto the stain (it doesn’t matter how old the stain is) and, if it’s a large stain, just rub it over the stain with my finger, it works every time! I’ve passed the tip on to friends and they to their friends, my kids have passed it on to their friends and everyone is just so thrilled with the tip, interestingly I can’t, for the life of me, remember where I got it from!

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    • Jenni – what brand do you use? Will any lemon scented dish soap work?

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    • Your tip is great. I have been using this method for more than 30 years and it still works! For tricky stains I use a special homemade stain remover.

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      • I’m curious about your homemade stain remover if you don’t mind sharing. Also, what lemon dish soap do you use?

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