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Repurposing Laundry Detergent Containers Into Useful Objects

Detergent box purse 1

Recently the folks at Seventh Generation gave me a challenge! They had seen my Recycling Cereal Boxes post and wanted to see what I could do with their laundry detergent boxes!  Oooo….I love a challenge…and THIS particular challenge was right up my alley! Since I make all my own laundry detergent I asked them to send me some of their product so I would have the boxes to work with. I have to say…even though I am obviously a proponent of DIY laundry detergent, I also realize that not EVERYONE who reads this blog is going to do it.

If you are not in the mind-set or in the position to make your own…I can highly recommend this stuff. The first thing I noticed was the delicious smell!  Their powdered laundry detergent is a delightful citrus and lavender scent! But despite the yummy smell…it did a really good job and since it’s free of optical brighteners and synthetic fragrances, I felt pretty good about using it.

It also comes in this 100% recycled paperboard box that I had been challenged to find a way to repurpose. hmmmm.

detergent box tote 1

Since I already had holiday gift-giving on my mind…the first thing that came to my mind was fashioning it into some sort of gift bag/tote. At my Annual Family Christmas Party and Prime Rib Dinner I like to give my little grand nieces and nephews little gift bags to take home and I figured this was a great opportunity to kills two birds with one stone. :-) I’m all about efficiency! (And did I mention I love a challenge??)

detergent box tote 25b copy

Here is what I came up with. This detergent box tote bag is actually VERY sturdy and could be used for something much more substantial when just a few favors and presents…but for now this is what I’m going with.

Here is a step-by-step look at the very simple process I came up with for making a LAUNDRY DETERGENT BOX into a TOTE BAG:

detergent box tote 2

1. Cut the top off of the box.

detergent box tote 7b

2. “Paint the bottom and one side of the box with Mod Podge and adhere a standard sized piece of scrapbook paper (12 in by 12 in).

detergent box tote 9b

3. Repeat on other side of the box.

detergent box tote 12b

4. Fold the ends in like you’re wrapping a Christmas package and apply more Mod Podge to hold in place.

detergent box tote 17b

5. Cut slits in the four corners of the excess paper at the top of the box and fold down inside, again using more Mod Podge to hold in place.

6. At this point, depending on how you plan on using these boxes, you can skip to step 7, but if you want a more finished INSIDE, simply cut more pieces of matching scrapbook paper and adhere to the inside with more Mod Podge.

7. The finishing touch to this box is adding the handles. I think it really MAKES the tote, and it’s very simple to do.  Just requires a little “muscle” when wielding the hammer.

detergent box tote 29

8. Add grommets (following instructions on the package from the hardware store), two on each side of the box.

9. Thread nylon rope, one piece on each side, and tie a knot to hold in place.

A few notes:

I just kept adding Mod Podge as I went along, as needed. It dried completely clear and helps to really reinforce the box. Plus, if you have lots of bubbles in the paper, don’t worry about it. It’s a detergent box tote! It’s not a Coach satchel. :-)  Most of the bubbles will go away as the Mod Podge dries and becomes taut.

IMG_7186
RX supplies storage 4b

When Seventh Generation sent me the detergent boxes…they also included some of their Free & Clear: Natural Laundry Detergent Packs. They are nifty little packets that you simply drop in the washing machine. No measuring, no guesswork, no waste. I like that. I ALSO liked the possibilities for repurposing that these clear containers promised. ESPECIALLY when I saw how easily and cleanly the labels came off the containers! ALL OTHER CORPORATIONS TAKE NOTE: if you make your labels easier to take off…we all win!!!  (Stepping off soap box now.)

After I discovered how easy Seventh Generation had made it to take the labels off…I simple HAD to do something with these containers as well. After thinking about it for all of 30 seconds I knew EXACTLY what I could use these for!  For months I had been frustrated with our storage system for the insulin pump supplies we have to keep on hand for No. 2 son.

RX supplies storage 9b

With a few simple printed “labels” I created, problem solved!  Everything is in its’ place and the clear boxes make it easy to see what’s inside each container!

THANK YOU Seventh Generation for helping me to solve a vexing problem AND get ready for my upcoming holiday party!  Not to mention providing me with a very fun and inspirational challenge opportunity!

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  • I would like to win the laundry soap. We do laundry service for vacation rentals. We take 1 cup vinegar and prewash all new linens, sheets etc even your new clothes you do this with. It sets the color and pulls out the chemical from the factory. Just make sure to clean dryer lint vent. It will have alot of excess fibers from first-time wash. No stains set in.

  • […] Onegoodthingbyjillee – Repurposing Detergent Containers into Useful Objects […]

  • […] really like this easy-to-follow tutorial for a tote bag upcycled from a laundry detergent […]

  • I have multiple allergies and I am always on the hunt for a detergent that will not make me break out in a rash. I have tried your 7th Generation Natural Detergent and I have not had a problem with it. I would love to try any of your other products. Thank you. R McGeehin R.N.

  • If you use plastic shower curtain liners, you know how yucky they can get. Here’s a tip to clean them so they’re like new…
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    Start agitation, then place shower curtain in water, adding 2 large bath towels. Set washer on longest cycle.
    When rinse is starting, add 1/3 cup white vinegar. When you remove them, they sparkle, they are so clean.

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  • I pre-treat food stains with Dawn, grimy undershirts and collars with diluted shampoo.

    I try to remove things from dryer before crispy, I like to let them finish air drying in the house.

  • My husband loves to reuse clear containers for his tool parifanailia, such as nails, screws, drill bits, etc. But the tubs he usually uses are to big. Great idea using the smaller ones. I like to reuse my smaller dishwasher tubs for refill dishwasher pods. I would use the laundry detergent boxes for a better way to store my shoes. It would make them smell great. Better idea than store bought shoe racks where my shoes almost always fall off.

  • I rarely drop responses, however after browsing through a few of the comments on this
    page Repurposing Laundry Detergent Containers Into Useful Objects | One Good Thing by
    Jillee. I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you don’t
    mind. Is it simply me or do a few of these responses look like they
    are left by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are writing at additional sites,
    I would like to follow you. Could you make a list of every one
    of your social networking sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  • My favorite laundry tip is to use wool dryer balls in the dryer. Cuts drying time in half, and wool is not only better for the environment than the plastic ones, it’s better for your clothes, too. Jillee has blogged on how to make your own, or do a search to find plenty of people willing to make fun colorful ones for you.

    I haven’t yet attempted the DIY laundry detergent. Hope I win the give away so I can continue to put that off!

  • Start a load of laundry first thing when you get up every morning. Stick it in the dryer and start before you leave for work. Fold it or hang it up when you get home from work and you won:t have to spend the weekend doing laundry because you have kept up with it each day.

  • Best laundry tip: Let the laundry soak after the wash cycle at least one hour and as long as overnight before continuing. Everything gets cleaner.

  • I would give anything to be able to afford your laundry products. Citris is my favorite! Unfortunately I can’t so have to use the cheap, chemically dangerous Dollar Store products.:(
    Hoping to try Seventh!

    Thank you.
    Debra weber

  • I keep a laundry spot stick in the bathroom and near the clothes hamper so each family member can pretreat their clothing items before sending them to the wash. This prevents the spots from being missed when they go into the washing machine.

  • I keep peroxide in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. I find this helps when trying to get stains out if you make a paste with baking soda, this works great on making cookie sheets look new. I would like to try 7th gereration laundry soap as I am really trying to go organic.

  • Repurposing Laundry Detergent Containers Into Useful Objects | One Good Thing by Jillee | Murielle in London or the joys of living says:

    […] Repurposing Laundry Detergent Containers Into Useful Objects | One Good Thing by Jillee. […]

  • My favorite laundry tip is,,, take a swatch of fleece, you must have a ratty old blanket that could be torn into strips right? Well, take a small strip and maye a DIY dryer sheet, simple get the strip of fabric damp, sprinkle on a few drops of your fav essential oil, I love lemon or anything citrus, and throw it into the dryer with your clothes, if your using the dryer that is, mostly I use the clothes line, but winter is very long, and I just can’t use those commercial dryer sheets they are terrible on your skin, that’s it, clean smelling clothes reuseable cloth strip! Win, win! Suzanne

  • I love this tutorial. Thank you! I have also used contact paper to “design” over laundry boxes. I’ve used them to store groups of magazines. I love love love grommets. I hope to get a box soon; I also make my own detergent.

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  • My family has slowly been trying to go greener, we are learning to recycle everyday items into useful things, such as your container ideas. We use vinegar a lot but I would like to discover a green product that has a nicer smell, would you please let me try you product? I will follow through with comments if you allow me the opportunity!

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  • I have been using Borax for odors. Vinegar in the wash or pre-soaking wasn’t working, so tried Borax and clothes smell better. I like the hair conditioner and
    vinegar idea, I will try it.

  • I would LOVE to try the Seventh Generation products!!! I think it’s time for a change! I, too, use vinegar in the wash & love when my my husband does the laundry! My best tip, though, is hanging to dry as much of your laundry as possible… Your clothes love it & you are saving electricity- a win/win! Oh & a cold water wash is better for your clothes & electricity bill as well :)

  • My best tip I learned from my big sis….If you don’t want the awesome shoulder “boobies” on shirts when you hang them up wet, then take a cloths pin and pin the shirt (to the hanger) at the corner where the sleeve and shirt come together.

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  • My favorite: Use a “grabber” (such as FeatherLite brand, but any kind will do) to pull clothing out of dryer. Especially helpful for small items, when they are way in the back. Save your back!

  • So many wonderful tips here! Very early in my marriage when I was about 19 or 20 I did a load of laundry and turned my husbands socks and underwear pink. Turned out to be the greatest thing I ever did. Hubby does the laundry now. He takes great pride in it. Maybe this isn’t a great “tip” but it worked for me! :) I’ll be passing along some of your wonderful tips to him. I’d ask him what his favorite tip is, but I’m afraid he might want to show me or even have me try it out…

  • I use a variety of 7th Gen products. I make laundry day easier by using a cloth “grocery” bag to collect socks & unders daily. I know I have both socks going in so it’s rare that I lose a sock now.

  • I make baby things for a Charity (Newborns In Need) and they must be laundered in fragrance free, dye free laundry soap…So I would love to try the Seventh Generation Line to see how it leaves the delicate crocheted things and the quilts.

    My laundry tips are…. treat blood on clothes with any shampoo…its what all the nurses use on their scrubs….and also put a small piggy bank on the dryer….and those pennies, nickels that you find in pockets…. stick them in that bank and pretty soon you will be surprised at how much you have “made” in doing everyones laundry!!

    jo in Oklahoma

  • My laundry tip that I have used quite a bit is….I don’t always get my clothes right out of the dryer so they get wrinkled so if I need to wear it ight away I put the outfit or the blouse…wrinkled item in dryer with a fairly damp/wet towel and turn dryer on a low to med heat and check frequently to see when the wrinkles are gone….Then hang item up nicely in order to let it cool and air dry the tinyest bit of dampness it may have. I’d Love to win a Laundry care package! :>))

  • Congratulations to the initiation site, and encouraging recycling. With this incentive will have more people with conscience, lest soiled our environment, and we will have a more sustetavel.
    My name is Renata M. s. Monte-Mór, I live in Brazil-Rio de Janeiro.Meu facebook you are like me-(Renata Linda)

  • I played around with this idea this year. I used cereal boxes / granola bar boxes, a glue gun, brown burlap, and some pretty ribbon. They looked really nice under the tree – made it look like an old fashioned Christmas.

  • So I have tried just about everything under the sun to get stains out and nothing seems to work. I have made a list of things to try from the posts here. But I have a few questions. The first is dingey socks/underwear. I have tried soaking in bleach and it doesnt work. Will this fel-naptha work if I pretreat, make the detergent and use vinegar? Yes, I know I could just buy new socks but i do this all the time. (excessively, and it is quite expensive) Also I dont get socks/underwear backright away so I never kjnow how old stains are. I assume it is ground in dirt? Same for blue jeans what i can only describe as gound in dirt not just a small stain but a large patch on fronts of legs that look filthy. daughter had accident in several pair of new underwear about a week ago while she was sick and still trying to get stains out, any suggestions? Last question what is the felt thing people are talking about for dryer as opposed to dryer sheets? or using foil? Sorry I have been on the site for 3 days and I am overwhelmed.

  • the cheapest hairspray works great on ink, saturate then launder as usual
    peroxide for blood, soak overnight if necessary
    dry outside whenever possible

  • We have an unused large shower. I put up another shower curtain rod inside to hang more clothes on to dry. Also a folding drying rack. Jeans can be hung up by their belt loop with a hook.

  • Hang your clothes outside to dry if possible. The bending and stretching is a great workout, not to mention that it doesn’t cost anything and the smell can not be duplicated by anything you buy in the store! And if I may add, when my children were at home, instead of folding their clothes, I sorted them straight from the clothes line, or dryer into their own laundry basket which they took to their rooms and folded themselves as they put away. Saved me time and kept them busy!

  • Hang your clothes outside to dry if possible. The bending and stretching is a great workout, not to mention that it doesn’t cost anything and the smell can not be duplicated by anything you buy in the store!

  • My favorite laundry tip…..I have a 7yr old and a 5yr old. Whatever I find in the washer/dryer is mine! I’ve found lots of money, hot wheels cars, pocket knives, etc….. (I usually slip the toys back in to their playroom). They have learned to clean out their own pockets because they don’t want me to keep it! Also love the peroxide/Dawn for stains!!!!

  • Add 1 c. vinegar to newly purchased black clothes and blue jeans to help keep their color. I seriously love vinegar!!! It’s like nature’s answer to so many things.

  • I would LOVE to try out 7th Generation laundry detergent. I currently make my own laundry detergent because I have 2 sons and am trying to keep the most natural products in my house. Maybe 7th generation is just that product!

  • I would love to try the Seventh Generation line! My tip is to have a good laugh and praise the person doing the laundry. My teenager and my husband help with the laundry – we trade off – and I have learned to relinquish the power of chore authority!

  • I used to do my husband’s laundry, but after I repeatedly (but accidentally) forgot to NOT dry his shirts and they shrank one load at a time over the course of a month or so, he took over all of his own laundry. That was by far the best accident ever! My favorite laundry tip is using vinegar instead of fabric softener.

  • I absolutely love 7th Generation products! My favorite laundry tip is using wool dryer balls to help reduce drying time and static in place of dryer sheets-I used Jillee’s tutorial to make my own!

  • I love Seventh Generation, it’s a good back up plan for when I run out of my other stuff. My favorite laundry tip is one that gets the laundry done! I have a morning routine that goes something like this: Wake up, stand up, turn off alarm and put on sweat shirt (I use as my robe), make bed (prevents you from getting back in bed!), pick up laundry basket, get my girl’s basket, walk to laundry room, empty baskets into sorted piles on floor. I pick up the whites, put in washer add Jillee’s presoak and start it soaking. I feed the chickens in the laundry room (yes, but they are babies and will go out with the others in a couple of weeks). I head to the kitchen to start the hot beverage of the day and then into my bedroom again to get dressed after showering, brushing teeth and cleaning up. I then go and check on the status of the animal chores (we’re on a farm) and back to the kitchen to start breakfast and the laundry room to move a load and start the next.

    All in all, the whole routine starts at 545 am and ends by 7. That includes over 80 animals and three people. We all have our part and we all have our jobs to do. Hubby’s routines don’t start until he gets home. His routine is mostly to sit and unwind at a football game or news on the tv.

    Routines worked when we lived in the city, too. Just take out the chickens and add school work (we home school) and there you are. I have routines for menus (we’re gluten and grain free, too) and both my girls participate in sports, so we have laundry routines for getting uniforms in on time. I found that when I don’t have a routine, nothing gets done. Astrid tasks, a great app helps me keep on task.

  • My tip is that I wash all the clothes that are made out of recycled water bottles with only zipper, button, and velcro free items. That way none of the recycled clothes are snagged and ruined in the wash. Since these clothes don’t bleed at all it doesn’t matter what I throw in with them. Since I usually have two loads of colors I do what I call a “soft load” of the recycled clothes, t-shirts, boxers, and dark socks. Then I do a “hard load” of jeans and cargo shorts with all the zippers and velcro.
    I would love to try the 7th gen stuff as it seems my skin allergies are starting to act up with even the free and clear laundry soaps.

  • Just love the idea for the diabetes supplies. I get so tired of how we keep our 9 year old daughter’s and our adopted 13 year old son’s supplies. They have two different types so it takes up more space. I will think a little more about that. Right now I have a big plastic grape container that could fashion as a holder – ummm. We also recycle juice containers and use them as our used needle holder. Keep the ideas coming.

  • Don’t really have any laundry tips. I was everything that is possible in cold water, use a detergent free of perfumes and dyes, and when washing any of my husbands clothes I always do the extra rinse cycle to make sure that it all washed out. If I use anything that made him itch….all I know is that if he doesn’t sleep due to itching…I don’t sleep!!! So now I make sure that I ALWAYS use the right detergent!!!

  • I never use a pre-treat solution-I always use just a little of the soap I am using for the load. If it gets out those little grease spots well–then I will use the laundry soap. Problem is I have never found a natural soap that will remove those little spots! Maybe this one will? I’d love to try and find out-and I could write it in my weekly column that I write for our local newspaper! I’m always looking to add a little tip here and there!

  • I love using Seventh Generation dishwasher soap and TP! My laundry tip is to fold as you go! I now fold the clothes as I take them out of the dryer. Yes, it takes time right then, but the clothes don’t get wrinkled sitting in the basket and require re-drying or ironing, (which saves energy too!)

  • My favorite laundry tip is don’t forget to DRY it!! I was the worst to forget but recently my hubby bought a washer/dryer combo that washes and dries in the same machine! I love it! No more sour clothes and I have more time to play with my babies :) And I have heard good things about Seventh Generations and I would love the chance to try some of their products! Thanks Jillee!

  • My tip, since I still have dryer sheets my son bought, use the used ones to clean the lint screen with them It works like a dream. They can also be used more than once.
    Another tip, if you are still using dryer sheets, tear them in half. They work just as well. Unfortunately, I also have several bottles of fabric softener to use up. SO, I will be soaking a hand towel in it to use.
    Would love to win some of 7th Generations products.

  • I have been using the no-grate liquid laundry detergent from your blog for several months now and am very happy with the way it works. Also the DIY fabric softener. I have started soaking a wash cloth with the fabric softener, letting it completely dry and using it as a dryer sheet. The softener lasts so much longer that way! It can be used for several loads before you have to soak it again. I’m thinking of trying the recipe for the powdered laundry detergent to minimize the storage space I need for the detergent since I like to make up a lot at one time. Thanks for all the DIY’s! They have really helped my budget and they work great!

  • I will have to say, I am not much of a laundry fanatic. My favorite laundry tip to someone would be – Read this Post – it has informed me on things I have never heard before, and I am excited to try them. I love your re-purposing of the laundry boxes. That however, is something that I have done. Love it, and they turn out so cute as they are created and coordinated for their purpose.

  • Jillie, thanks so much for the great ideas. My husband is diabetic, and I am going to use your container idea for his syringes!!! I have been a recycler from WAY BACK! I love new ideas for way to re-use and re-purpose. Merry Christmas!!!

  • After this many comments I am sure I am repeating what others have said. I’m also a fan of the homemade laundry products and to pretreat stains accordingly. I absolutely love the hair conditioner fabric softener you introduced me to. Soft, smells good and when I use a more natural conditioner I know I’m not using petrochemicals.

  • I retired last year from 31 years of nursing. My laundry tip for uniforms is this: First buy quality uniforms from a reputable maker. Then Always wash in cold water and Never Ever put them in the dryer. If you don’t have time to hang them on hangers then at least drape them over a chair. I have uniforms yet that I wore for six or seven years and still are in the closet lookin’ good.

  • My favorite tip is to use white vinegar instead of fabric softener–it makes your towels soft without fabric softener, which makes towels less absorbent. Just don’t use too much, or your clothes won’t smell like your laundry detergent!

  • MY favorite laundry tip? Jillee’s dry DIY Laundry soap!!! BEST. SOAP. EVER!

    I also have a 3 year old who has potty accidents. The DIY laundry soap + vinegar = clean kid laundry with no residual urine smell.

  • Favorite tip: If I happen to run out of fabric softener, or don’t have the time to whip up a new bunch, I use a half of a nonscented fabric softener sheet with a few drops of lavender on it and toss it in the dryer…works in a pinch. Thanks, Jillee, and Seventh Generation for your generosity and the opportunity to try the products.

  • Would love to try 7th Gen products! Not avail here in Cow Town!

    I use many of these tips but a few others:

    Get some HANGER CLIPS. These are small curved (Like a regular hanger) top with a CLOTHES PIN base. They are GREAT for clipping small items like kids stuff you needed to hand wash; socks–I hand wash my socks –bras; delicate undies; handkerchiefs–any small thing or a larger thing with one clip on each end. These can be found at RV/camping places or VT Country Store (and surely other places!) for a few $$$ and last for a good long time–also GREAT for travel! Hang any where and things dry in short order. AND the clip part is ATTACHED so unlike skirt hangers you are not standing there wondering WHERE the OTHER clip went! I use these on my curtain rod; shower rods; towel rods or even a door knob will work!

    Use a dry clean towel to lay your hand washed item on –flat!-and then roll tightly and press with your hands to let the towel sop up the excess water. You can twist gently if needed. Then shake out and use clip hangers or line dry or a rack to dry.

    A dryer rack is only bulky when SET UP. Otherwise it folds almost flat! And using it is priceless but—the trick is to find SPACE!!! Set it up in the shower stall or bath tub–measure before you buy one!! — or in a spare room; the garage; the breezeway–it doesn’t have to be hot it has to have air circulation. IF you worry about someone putting something on there that might drip get a boot tray pan that fits under it plus an inch or two on each side.

    There are still “spring loaded” dryer racks out there! These mount to the wall or a cabinet door and fold flat; when wanted you flip them out and they lock in place and you have several wood rods that fan out–great for diapers; dish towels, socks–again with the socks!!!—and if you “loop” over the dowels you can hang quite a few undies or dishtowels with hang loops etc. Also pot holders! And our fave use–gloves and mittens! You just put the open end on the rod and push til the rod is in a finger or just to the end of the palm area and et voila! Hats and scarfs too—great for a mud room.

    IF you are serious about not using a clothes dryer machine– buy or make–simple designs avail on line or think of how a ladder is made—an ENGLISH HANGING AIRING RACK. This hangs over your laundry equipment (or where ever you want it or can fit it!) and raises and lowers on a pulley to load and unload and it can stay up to dry or down and be raised when not in use. You could put one of these in the garage; spare bath; cellar; porch; many English homes have them in the kitchen! Endless possibilities. And even in those home owner assoc. houses you might be able to do this on a covered porch.

    If you have a partly dried item that you need RIGHT NOW–use your hair dryer!

    JILLEE—How did you KNOW I was looking for some creative re-use for clear containers–and that I JUST got a HUGE box of pump supplies that is overwhelming my storage space!!!! Another “source” of nice clear boxes is merengue (sp?) cookie boxes! Trader Joes or Christmas Tree Shops have great flavors and they are so nice for holiday trays and then you have the nice sturdy boxes!

  • For those of that that line dry our clothes, one of the vinegar fabric softener recipes you folded already helps keep them soft, but if you’re line drying to keep your power down, which I know we are, our towels even with the fabric softener are stiff BUT putting them for a 5 minute tumble in the dryer really softens them up. No more scratchy towels. =)

  • My favorite laundry tip is color coded hangers.
    Mine are pink. Hubby’s are white, son’s blue, #1dau-black, #2dau-green.
    It makes laundry sorting so much easier. Kids are gone now but hubby and I still use color coded hangers.
    As for laundry aids, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and your homemade products are all I use.

  • I used to own a dry cleaners so I have a couple of tips not listed above. Never rub a stained area, you run the risk of ruining the fibers, tamp gently up and down with the brush instead. Your goal is to push the stain remover into the fibers, not to rub the stain out, the normal washing process will get the stain out if you tamp the stain remover in.

    Tip 2: Several people have mentioned not overloading the washing machine. It is just as important to not “under load” it. A large part of the cleaning process is the clothes rubbing against each other. It takes just as much electricity to wash a small load as it does to wash a full load.

    Tip 3 Proper sorting is the best way to keep your white clothes white. My ratty old white tee shirts are still white as new because I never ever wash any thing but whites with whites. It is the transfer of fibers or lint from colors (even light colors) to whites that dull them most often. I sort darks, lights and whites.

    Tip 4 It is the food you have dropped on your clothes that moths lay their eggs on. Then their babies eat the food and accidently the fabric too. Winter coats are most often moth eaten because they are most often hung up without being cleaned. Always have them cleaned or wash them at the end of winter.

    Tip 5 Take your clothes out of the plastic bag that the dry cleaner puts over them before you put them in your closet. The bag is only meant to protect them until you get them home. That plastic is not acid free. If it gets wet from a water leak or a humid home it can damage your clothes. There are special acid free bags for storage. They are usually blue. I have seen them at Walmart but rarely. Dry cleaners usually sell them. They are worth the small investment for heirloom quilts, baby clothes, or any items you want to protect long term.

  • My tip is to alway wash towels in hot water. Since I have so many and they are stored in the bathroom I put a dryer sheet between every other towel. I have never had to replace them and they help the towels to smell like they just came out of the dryer insteed of sitting on the shelf for a week or two. If I don’t they can smell stale form just sitting there with the steam and moisture from showers and what not.
    I also use my homemade laundry paste to pretreat all my cloths. Haven’t found a stain it can’t get out from messy underwear, ( my 4 year old sometimes has trouble) to grass and red clay stains, to food stains. It even gets out my husbands black grease stain for his work cloths.

  • I LOVE the idea of the little packets!! I will definately be looking for those! My best laundry tip would be to make your laundry room inviting.. so you want to spend time in there!! It is something i have really been wanting to do!!!

  • I use Lestoil on my kids’ clothes when they get paint/grease/tree sap/mud on them. Which is way more often than you would think. Pinesol and a stiff plastic bristled brush also take out dried latex house paint from clothes. Don’t ask how I know that:) I have been making my own powdered and liquid laundry detergent for a few years and it has saved us so much money! Especially when my 7 year old son decides to wash his own clothes. I don’t worry as much on the amount he puts in because it is so inexpensive (It is roughly 6 cents a load using the powdered detergent).

  • It seems my favorites are used by lots of people. I love to use Dawn on greasy stains and vinegar to rinse towels jeans and sweat pants softens towels and helps them absorb water better.

  • I’ve been using Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day hand soap as a stain pre-treater. It didn’t work for us as a hand soap – took the skin right off my hands. I hated to throw it away, so now I keep it on a shelf in the laundry room and it’s really handy to just pump a squirt or two on a stain before I toss something in the wash. It really gets stains out.

  • I love all the tips so far and many of the things that have been mentioned, I use also. I do like the idea of hanging clothes to dry to help put some moisture into the air. Would love to try the detergent products. I have looked at it also and have been curious how it works.

  • My sister uses 7th Generation and I’ve always wanted to try it- can’t find it in my small town.
    My tip- If anyone complains about the way I wash the clothes, then they are on their own! Hubby does his own work shirts after complaining that I was “shrinking all of them” in the dryer. Yeah, not shrinking…. but it took him doing his own laundry for a while to appreciate that.

  • I abhor ironing, so I make sure not to overload or leave clothes in the dryer after it stops running. Sometimes I don’t get to them quickly enough. I keep a spray bottle with water in it to mist them garments and hang them on hangers. Space them out to dry. No ironing needed! I also try to make sure all clothing items are not inside-out or wadded up at all. Clothes are cleaner and easier to fold/hang after drying.

  • My favorite laundry tip deals with towels…I wash towels separately from other laundry (although it’s fine to wash kitchen and bathroom towels together). I wash on hot and add a cup of white vinegar to the wash water (in addition to the vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser). Then, I dry them on hot for the longest dry cycle. My towels never get sour any more! Now I have to try to remember how long they’ve been in use so I know when to wash them!

  • My favorite laundry tip is for saving money and getting my “whites” clean. Since we are retired, I wash our clothes only in cold water. But your whites don’t always come out white. So, I have started filling the machine with water, clothes and homemade detergent. I let the machine agitate for 2-3 minutes. Then I stop the machine and let the whites soak for about an hour in the soapy water. I start the machine up and it continues to run the cycles. Our whites have never been whiter and I’m able to save money using cold water.

  • Rubbing alcohol (or hairspray b/c it has alcohol in it) removes ink from fabric. Also, hydrogen peroxide removes blood from clothing.
    Love my “Jillee” helpful hints!!

  • My tip is for owners of front loading washers. If you will leave the door open after removing the clean clothes from the machine, you’ll never have that moldy, mildewy smell in your washing machine. I’ve had mine for 2 years now, and never had a problem with odors in the machine.

  • After I read your post about how to whiten vintage linens, I remembered the trick my mom taught me years ago. It’s super simple and super easy. Just give them a good soak in a solution of water and dishWASHER detergent (not liquid dish soap). Rinse out and launder as usual. They will come out beautifully white and fresh.

    Love LOVE the blog and can’t wait to try making my own laundry detergent. I’m somewhat OCD when it comes to laundry ;)

  • My tip is very basic…..don’t overload your washing machine! Too full, and it won’t matter what detergent or softener you use. The clothes will come out dingy and wrinkled. (The Voice of Experience….HA!) Thank you, Jillee, and thank you, other readers for all of the great tips……

  • If you have a stain put a clothes pin on it before it goes in the hamper. That way you will remember where the stain is and treat it before it goes in the wash.

  • My family has alot of livestock and runs a feed business. They get “grease” type stains on their t-shirts from carrying feed bags and working with animals. I put a dap of Lestoil on the stain and rub it in , then scrunge the piece into a ball and let it sit for a few hrs if I have time. After washing with my homemade detergaent the stain removes easily even manure stains. I only use cold water and air dry everything. I threw away the 30 yr old dryer we had 5 yrs ago and do not miss it. I hang outside almost yr round. If it’s raining I hang inside on collapsible racks, in winter placing them over heat vents to dry and help moisterize the air.

  • Nice job on the gift bags. My laundry tip is….Fels Naptha soap. I’m hooked on the stuff. I rub it everywhere…spots, collars, armpits, cuffs. Works like magic. And, believe it or not, I love the smell!

  • I’m a massage therapist so my sheets get that icky old massage oil smell so I like to add in some borax and washing soda to my detergent to bring down the stale odor.

  • My favorite laundry tip is to thin down fabric softener and dip a rag into it (wring it out) then toss it in the dryer as a fabric softener sheet.

  • Spray really bad grass stained knees with Shout (or equal product) and then sprinkle oxygen cleaner – cleans everytime!! Would love to try the 7th generation products :)

  • Love the tote bags!! My tip would be to wash you blue jeans zipped up and inside out. It helps them to look newer longer. I also wash all of my good cloths this way. If there are any snags or anything on that line, it would happen to the inside so the repair, if any, would not be seen.

  • Maybe I’m crazy, but I always keep my towels in the dryer longer than I think they need to be in there. I’ve noticed that when the towels feel dry, they aren’t always completely dry, and they lose their “freshness” pretty quickly. Also, and I think you have touched on this before, Jillee, fabric softeners have waxiness that builds up in the towels. Too much buildup is another cause for that mildew-y smell. Instead of using fabric softeners, use vinegar instead.

  • Loved the repurposing job you did! I would like to try this laundry soap. My tip is to tie a knot into anything that has to be treated for stains before washing. As you sort clothes and you come to a ‘knotted’ item, you will know to look for the stain and treat. That tip came from a blog…..wouldn’t it be funny if it was Jillee’s tip!

  • My favorite laundry idea is to keep a lint brush near the dryer and if I notice any pet hair or lint I can take care of it right away before the clothes go in the closet.

  • Would love to try these products…working towards using more natural products and being healthier. : )

    I think everyone has covered all my laundry tips…only thing I didn’t see was teaching all my kids how to wash their own clothes….I got tired of hearing everyone complaining about their stuff getting mixed up with someone else’s or being washed with their brother’s “nasty” clothes (I have 1 son and 3 daughters)…so my solution was everyone gets to wash their own clothes!! (Also dry and fold and put away). Worked like a charm. : )

  • I have several favorite laundry tips.
    *I buy only one brand and style of black socks. No need to match them when they are all the same. (and I don’t buy navy socks at all…)
    *If clothes have been stained they don’t go in the hamper, they get hung off the side, that way I know to pre-treat.
    *Once a week wash the lint screen in soap and water, store-bought fabric softener has wax in it and it builds up on the lint screen, which blocks air flow.
    *Use the lint on the lint screen to wipe up the small pieces of lint that don’t come off, it sticks to itself like magic!

    Jillee, love your blog and all your great ideas and “recipes”!

  • I velcro a dry erase marker to the top of my washing machine. If I wash anything that can NOT go in the dryer, I write a note right on the top of the machine so I won’t forget. (it also helps just in case anyone else decides to “help” with the laundry) When I’m done- it wipes right off!!

  • Love the boxes and would love to try some of the 7th Generation single packet detergents. Perfect for me. I am a social girl and sometimes will wear something such a short time that it’s not really dirty but I still want to freshen it. I mist it and toss it in the dryer on low or air only for a few minutes with a dryer sheet. Trick is to get it right out of the dryer and hang up.

    I also love Dryell and would love to know if anyone has a home version of this.

  • I just “happened” upon your site a few weeks ago when I was looking for a good hand lotion recipe. I made your laundry soap from the recipe on your site and fell in love with it ! I’ve been giving it out to my friends so it will not last me a year :). I am a scrapbooker and have soooo much 12 x 12 paper . I am going to try making one of these bags out of a box I have laying around ! I can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeve. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAVE A GREAT NEW YEARS ! ! ! ! ! !

  • I’m too lazy to pretreat. I throw in a load of wash before going to bed but leave the lid up on the clothes washer and the load soaks all night in the soapy water. Just put the lid down in the morning and the load finishes up.

  • Vinegar and baking soda and free and clear seventh gen detergent . I’ve stopped using fabric softener which I was previously addicted to. I feel so much better about laundry now !

  • I used cut up t-shirts instead of paper towels and when my pile is running low I soak the dirty ones in a bucket of OxyClean and hot water and they’ve stayed bright white for months!

  • I make my own laundry soap now, but when I bought it, I bought the ones that smelled good. They all do a generally good job cleaning. I would love to try this soap based on the smell!

  • My favorite thing for laundry is my sweater rack that I use for airdrying all my delicates. I wash all my lacey, knitted, embroidered clothes in a pillowcase with a zipper on it. Also my bras! Then dry them on the 4 tier sweater rack. It was a gift that I have never been able to find, but it is 4 tier with a fan all along one side of it so they dry very quickly!

  • My favorite laundry tip is to make your own! (Though I’d still love to win this prize because I LOVE winning!) It’s economical and environmentally friendly to DIY. I make the liquid kind. You don’t have to use an expensive Minute Maid orange juice container for it either. Use repurposed vinegar jugs!

  • I would love to try their products! I am a stay at home mommy, homeschooler, organic farmer/rancher (trying to be as sustainable/responsible as possible), while taking care of 2 special needs boys, a hubby and large menagerie of critters on the farm. We get nice & dirty here!! Don’t have any great tricks up my sleeve (pun) but have lots of laundry to test new tips on. I do try to soak stains out before laundering and I use vinegar in all my washing (dishes too not just laundry).

    p.s. Love your tips, tricks, topics & tid-bits!

    Blessings,
    ~Yolanda :o)

  • Would love to win Seventh Generation laundry products. For greasy spots I use dry face mask type clay on both sides of the fabric asap after getting the stain. If I’m not at home, I try to put corn starch or flour or even powder on the stain. Once the oil is soaked up by the dry ingredient, it easily washes out.

  • My laundry tip: for hand laundry, I don’t use the expensive hand-laundry detergent — I use a bar of Zote soap and the scrubby board part of my deep sink. It cleans well, rinses well, and I save a ton of money.

  • Unless you want to post to Australia I can’t go in the comp but my tip for my husbands greasy clothes (truck driver) is to put a cup of COKE-COLA in with the first water! It doesn’t go sticky and you can’t smell it but the acid in the drink eats the grease away! Safe to say we never drink the stuff it’s place is in the laundry only :) really works!

  • Oh dear, you don’t need muscles and a hammer, you need a Cropadile! The same place where you bought your Scrapbooking paper should sell it. It’s a fabulous tool that cuts holes, yes, even in something as thick as the detergent box and sets the grommets. And it slices through like butter! You might have to use ribbon instead of the sturdy rope stuff you used as handles but ribbon is prettier anyway and still very cheap when on sale or from the dollar store!

    Laundry tip? Hmm, I am not so good at Laundry. I guess alway use a bra ball or lingerie bag for bras. Oh. And if you have a blouse or shirt with ties on it, put it in a bag large enough for sweaters. Mine caught and twisted so badly the stitches tore and I don’t think it will ever be right again and it was a favourite!

  • I love the vinegar wash then the baking soda wash to get your towels smelly free..learned that from you Jilly..
    Love the homemade detergent also. Would like to try 7th generation. Have heard good things about it.

  • My favorite tip/idea is to do the laundry by person or items. I wash all the son’s clothes/husband’s/mine/towels/etc by themselves it helps when it comes to sorting out clothes, especially socks. It has saved me loads of time (pun intended ;) idk why I hadn’t thought of that sooner!

  • My tip is an old but reliable one… when I see a blood stain on a shirt for instance (and with my husband and his tools, this happens plenty, believe me) I use hydrogen peroxide – pour it right on the blood and it fades right out. Sometimes you have to repeat several times, but I learned this trick from a nurse and so far it has worked like a charm for me.

    Never have used the 7th Gen laundry products but would love to try! I do use their dish soap!

    Thanks,

    Deb

  • My biggest win was back when we had a woodstove in the house we lived in, and I had disgusting, grimy cloths from cleaning the window to wash. I also had some dishwasher soap that I didn’t like how it worked in my dishwasher, so tried the dishwasher powder to wash the grungy cleaning rags. It became my go-to for garage rags as well. Loved it!

  • Favorite laundry tip is pre-treating stubborn stains like blood, grass, anything kid related. I use a 1 part liquid dish washing soap to 1 part ammonia ratio. Let that sit for a spell and if its blood then soak in extra cold water. Give it a rinse about 6 hours later if it hasnt come out then put in fresh cold water for another 6 hours. May have to retreat but usually gets mine out. Toss with like colors and wash.

  • My favorite laundry tip is hanging drying my clothes as much as I can. I do this mostly inside. It not only saves money on electricity, but it also adds less wear on my clothing by getting tossed around in the dryer.

  • My favorite laundry tip…. stay out of my wife’s way! (Now before I get any hate mail, I do most of our cooking and my fair share of dishes, and I can do laundry, but my wife does a better job!!)

  • To get the ground in dirt out of white (ONLY WHITES) baseball pants, football pants or sports socks, I use a powdered rust remover called Iron Out. Do NOT use this on colored clothes!!!!

  • Use 1/4 cup of baking soda in the wash and vinegar in the rinse of towel loads no fabric softener your towels will stay fresher and fluffy soft…..happy washing

  • I would love to try 7th Generation laundry products!
    Here is a last ditch effort laundry tip. I got a spot of olive oil (from scampi sauce) on a brown shirt that I love. I didn’t know the spot was there until after it came out of the dryer. I tried EVERYTHING, including vinegar, dawn, etc. The shirt sat for almost a month and then I got a “bright” idea. I took the whole shirt and submerged in in a cup of olive oil (cheaper stuff not evoo) and left it sit for a couple hours. Squeezed it out and rinsed it in the sink and then put it through a regular wash and it was finally gone! I know this was extreme, but I really love that shirt and now it is as good as new!

  • Love the gift bags you made out of the soap box and scrapbooking paper. I don’t use boxed detergent so I agree with the other Susan, “Now you need to come up with some alternate use for those big plastic containers of liquid laundry detergent with the push-button spouts!”

    My favourite laundry tip is to make sure you have time to put away the clothes from the dryer. I need to think about this before I start my laundry. Otherwise they sit and get all wrinkly.

  • I have 2 favorite tips. The first is to use a dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda mixture to get out the armpit stains on your clothes. This also works well for some other stains. Mix it up, pour it on, let it sit 15 minutes then wash. My other favorite is to use lemon juice to get rust stains out of clothes. My washer is old an leaves little rust stains on my lighter colored clothes. I just pour some lemon juice on the stains, rub it in with an old toothbrush, let sit for an hour, then wash as normal. Works every time!

  • Would love to try 7th generation. Love the upcycling idea; I have a list of empty containers that my daughter-in-law saves for me.
    Couple of things I do:
    These two been doing for years– keep a bank (not a see through one to tempt your to spend it) on the washer, when I find change in pockets I make a deposit. When it gets full the money gets split between the “laundry staff” (me). Also when ever my plastic fabric softener cup (or cap) gets a build up I toss it in with a load.
    My new habits– I do one load nearly every day and I have 2 metal dryer racks (Lowe’s called Minky, the wooden one fell apart). This way I don’t waste time getting everything to fit on one drying rack & the load drys faster. Also I can skip the hard to fill bottom racks to allows more air flow and save my back. Something I have given too much thought to is: when I fill the rack I make sure the clothes hang centered then, when I remove them I simply pinch the center and fold the item against me; they are folded in one motion. I use the dryer very little.
    Second thing if I get really backed up on laundry, I go to the coin laundry. It is expensive, but I learn a lesson and move on (this rarely happens anymore). Then I don’t feel so overwhelmed.

  • I’m probably not the first to write this, but HONESTLY, I’m NOT going to read all 300+ tips posted above mine ;-)

    Dawn (or other dishsoap) on stains followed by almost boiling water. Does the trick for greasy-type stains.

    Would LOVE to try these products AND get the boxes!

  • With all the great tips on here I’m not surprised if someone has mentioned this one already… If you have something like that is really absorbent like towels that don’t seem to smell as fresh or feel as fluffy and clean after the wash you can “refresh” them. First by washing once with hot water and 1 c. white vinegar. Then wash a second time with hot water and only 1/2 c. baking soda. Towels and other absorbent materials can absorb too much gunk from soaps and softeners over time and it makes them less effective. Washing your towels like this every now and again will keep them delightfully fluffy and fresh.

  • I make my own laundry detergent. For those DIYers out there who do the same, if you like your laundry to be scented, but perhaps your hubby doesn’t want to smell like flowers… or you want your work clothes to have an energizing scent and your bedding to smell relaxing… Customize each load with a few drops of essential oils. Citrus for energy, lavender for calmness, sandalwood for your hubster. …or whatever your personal favorites are for each of those. I have gels naphtha in my detergent which is scented, but the essential oils are stronger scents so there is not a competition of smells going on. :)

  • Okay, you had me at insulin pump supplies! Our son is also a Type 1 using a pump and I was hoping one day you would show how you organize your son’s supplies. It is a problem of immediate accessibility at times. I will look into this product, my allergies require no scented detergents. Laundry tip: have a sense of humor…it really helps. My husband has been asking me for years, “are you planning to climb Mt. Neverrest today? I need socks.”

  • My favorite tip is that I taught my kids to do their own laundry at a very early age. When they have enough whites to do a load they do one. Same with darks. I will help fold and put away but it saves tons of time in sorting out whose clothes go where. When they were really little and we did mixed loads I bought them each a certain brand of socks, so we knew who they belonged to.

    My youngest child was in first grade when he started doing his own laundry, so don’t underestimate their ability. (However, they don’t do many dishes so it may be a trade off ; )

  • I add vinegar to the rinse to help take the musty smell out of towels or the sweat smell from my husband’s exercising clothes. 7th Generation sounds like some good soap!

  • You are just so clever. I love reading your tips! Boy would I love to spend a day with you!!! I also would love to try the new Seventh Generation products. My tip is not to use old Milk gallon jugs when making your homemade laundry detergent. After several uses, they seem to leak. I’m on the hunt for better containers so I can make some more detergent!!! Thanks for all your tips and tricks!!!

  • My favorite laundry tip is to skip the dryer sheets and invest in some good dryer balls. They help reduce the time your laundry is in the dryer and they reduce static cling! You can add some essential oils to get fragrance like the laundry sheets, and best of all… since they’re reusable over and over, you save money too!

  • I use Seventh Generation’s cleaner, I havent tried the laundry detergent, sadly I am not good at the papper craft side of things I am a little afraid of how the totes would come out if I wore to try.

  • From your web site I just recently made my own laundry detergent and LOVE it! I always dread when it is time to buy detergent at the store and now I don’t have to (although I wouldn’t mind winning some, *wink, wink*). I have a 3 and a 5 year old, so my laundry skills get tested every day! Thanks for the tutorial on the laundry box/gift bag. They turned out super cute!

  • My tip is to hang all your slacks and jeans to dry. I sometimes have then hung all over the shower, dining chairs, etc. But it helps keep the color, and the fit! There is nothing worse than shrinking a good pair of jeans.

  • i would love to win. i have to buy dertegent when we go some where, as is often to messy to take with us, but because of sensitive skin, i cant use alot of other peoples detergents.
    i would loveto give them a try, because i need something that works as well as what i make, but is transportable, and would love to give the lil packets a try, but when i go on trip, and buy am usualy in hurry and not the time to try something new, so i go with what i know

    i already posted my tip on a stephani’s post, as seemed would help her, but i copy and pasted on here, as i didnt know if that would be a entry…

    making your own powdered takes ten muinuts, cost about 10-12 bucks and makes over 600 loads.
    there are several recipies out there, but mine is
    3 bars grated fel-naptha
    1 lrg box borax
    1 lgr box washing soda
    mix all then put through blender in batches to get rid of chunks of fels- naptha, and use 1 tbl spn per load in bottom of washer. put vinager in your fabric softner despenser if you have, or in a downy ball if you dont have a dispenser, and drop in.

    if you have hard water, add two boxes (about 3 lbs) or 1 bag (about 7 lbs) of baking soda, and one large box of water softner. then use 2-3 tbls spns.
    it will begin to even take out old stains after a few washes… my friend has tea towls thatshe has had for years, and the one that is on top has been used a few times, and she told me other day, she noticed is getting whiter…

    my laundry tip goes along with stephani coment, and would be perfect for any one, but esp some one with kids or that dont have much time (like any of us do)

    you get several large square roling baskets. they are about 2 ft tall and deep and maybe 18 wide.
    on each of these put a paper with what goes in it. and sort them for loads, not colors.
    we do a bleach one, and so is a all white paper with a towl, a shirt and socks drawn on it in white.
    then we have a jean one, that is colored blue.. (next time i replace will use printer or construction paper)
    we have one that has blankets and sheets on it, and so on.
    sort em as to how you do laundry, then alls you have to do is reach in and grab or pick up and dump, no sorting.

    • I have dealt with this same problem. We travel quite a bit & I like my own laundry soap, so I have started using the little ziplock bags that only hold about 2-3 Tbsp. I put one load worth of detergent in each one & they take up no space when travelling & are pre-measured for a load when we need them.

  • I have always wanted to try Seventh Generation products! I would love to be picked! :)

    Instead of buying expensive stain removers I just dab on a bit of detergent let it sit for a few hours then wash! Every stain I’ve done this too comes out just as well as if I had used a stain removing product.

  • Tip: I use vinegar in my rinse along with fabric softener, and use (-: which I made, thank you :-) wood dryer balls. Thanks for this oportunity to win. Would love to try Seventh Generation.

  • I would love to try 7th Generation products, please pick me! :)
    My favorite laundry tip is something I learned from the blood bank where I donate regularly: hydrogen peroxide (the regular kind, used for antiseptic purposes) will remove blood from clothing. It will even remove the old dried stains if you let it soak long enough.

  • I love to use Biz as a presoak for whites. My sister introduced me to it 28 years ago when her twins were babies and she discovered this would take out baby spit up. I have been a customer since! Would love to try the seventh generation laundry supplies. I actually use their Natual dish liquid Free & Clear in a 3M dish wand and use it to scrub my fruit. It doesn’t leave an aftertaste in case you don’t get it all of in the rinse!

  • I’m using 7th Generation Laundry Detergent for the first time now and love it! I’d really like to try their other products as well.

    I use vinegar in the final rinse water, especially with towels.

  • My favorite laundry tip is using a mesh lingerie bag for delicates. I have even taught my girls to use them when they started wearing little bras. Now they are older and when they do their laundry they yell “hey mom where the zipper bag!” Makes me giggle everytime. Love your tips and all the follower tips as well!

  • I have never tried Seventh Generation laundry products, but I would be very interested in trying. My laundry tip is to add a dry towel to your dryer load to cut down the drying time.

  • I agree that the homemade fabric softener is great. I try to treat stains as the clothes go into the hamper. Otherwise I forget by the time I get ready to wash the laundry.

  • I am still giggling about your soap box comment. You were talking about how to use the soap boxes, and you were standing on one! I am wracking my brain for a laundry tip that hasn’t already been shared. Not easy. I’ll just share a couple of observations. My daughter was an exchange student in Poland last year, and she said that very few people there use dryers. They hang everything on drying racks. It certainly saves on electricity. I don’t really have space for a drying rack, so I hang all of my delicates (not everything) from hangers on my four poster bed frame. I do so much laundry that I almost always have clothes hanging off my bed, so that’s not cool, but you gotta work with what you got! When my kids are gone, I’ll be able to use the rod in what will become the spare bathroom. Also, I use the lavender sachets from Trader Joe’s in the dryer. I stopped using regular dryer sheets many years ago, and I’m just learning about the vinegar thing in these comments! I’m sure I could make these myself, but I’m still working my way into the world of natural and homemade cleaning products, and that’s one of my last holdouts!

  • Wow, reading all of these tips was amazing. I had no idea about some of them. The only tip that I use is to throw in a ball of aluminum foil in the dryer. Helps with the static greatly

  • Monica Bryanthttps://onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/12/these-are-a-few-of-my-favorite-things-giveaway.html#comment-56983 says:

    My laundry tip is to have separate bins for each load of laundry: a colors bin, darks bin, whites bin, delecates bin and linen bin. This way it’s so easy to just dump a bin of clothes in the washing machine without ever having to separate!

  • My favorite laundry tip is one of yours- I use your homemade Shout gel on EVERYTHING! My daughter is 9 months, and I swear she gets more on her clothes than she does in her mouth. I’m surprised she’s a healthy weight because her clothes are hardened they’re so caked with junk!

  • I use DIY laundry soap, my formula is simple, it’s equal parts finely grated bar soap (plain soap, Ivory or one of the castile soaps), borax and washing soda (NOT baking soda). I use a tablespoon per load of laundry and it works great! If you use your grey water on plants, omit the borax, it will kill plants.

    When I wash by hand, I prefer using Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds, it dissolves in water better than the DIY dry stuff, and it works great!

    Wretha

  • I have never used any Seventh Generation products but would welcome a chance to try. I also use Dawn, vinegar and foil balls. I made the liquid laundry detergent months ago and I recently mixed a batch of the dry version as part of my daughters Christmas gifts. I have also made some lotion bars and the body lotion concoction as well as the body wash and the vinegar with hair conditioner for fabric softener. My best tip is to use the laundry sorter if you have room for one. I have a 3 section sorter with a hanging bar across the top. I also use a wicker hamper for husband’s work clothes. One more…hang up those used bath towels to dry, never throw in a hamper wet where they will sour and mildew.

  • My tip is to use an old electric toothbrush head for stain removing. Just put the stain remover on the spot, pull the material taught & use the toothbrush on the spot for about 30 seconds, coming at the stain in different directions & go in circles. That should work to remove the stain. Of course, be careful with the fabric you use on this tip, you don’t want to do this with delicate fabrics.

  • My best laundry tip is to shake out each piece of clothing before it goes in the dryer as this will greatly reduce or eliminate wrinkles. Obviously this only applies to shirts and pants unless you really like wrinkle-free underwear:)

  • My favorite laundry tip is to try to get someone else to do it for me! It doesn’t seem to work very often. Would love to try Seventh Generation. Thanks so much for all your great ideas.

  • My laundry tip of the day is to never use bleach with water hotter than 75 degrees. it will leave a film on your clothes or not be as effective because it starts to break down the chemical makeup of bleach itself. sometimes you even see black flakes or black balls in your laundry after you’ve used bleach with hot water that is why.

  • Adorable totes Jillee! That would a great classroom project as well! Have the student bring an empty laundry (or 2 so that there is extra for the kids who forget or don’t use boxed), then for fine motor skills such as scissors and glue have the students make the totes….and then the totes can be used to take art work home at the end of the semester or used as winter gift bag to take home that cute “gift” the students make for mom or dad or if your school has a “holiday gift shop” (ours is put on by the PTA to give kids a chance to shop for their family). Oh, it could also be used as a “show and tell bag” if it fits inside their new box/bag they can bring it show and tell! I love this little box idea-Thanks! I use Seventh Generation dishwasher soap and laundry soap-LOVE IT!!!! Now for my favorite laundry tip: hydrogen peroxide takes out every stain I have ever encountered, I keep a bottle with a squirt type lid right there by the washer. I also add about a cup or two (depending on how big the load) to my whites and lights and the come out vibrantly white!

  • In my house, the best “tip” well, more like trick, is just to get my kids to get their laundry INTO the laundry room! All of our soap/fabric softener is home made & works great! (LOVE JILLEE for this!) Our budget is tight & ANY thing new to try is worth it at least once! I have friends who love 7th Generation & would be pea green if I got some for free! :-)

  • My favorite laundry tip would have to be the sorting method that my family uses. First all clothing articles must be checked for any items in pockets, second all clothing must be put in a designated basket (darks, lights, and whites) And third I just throw whatever is in each basket into the washing machine. It makes laundry so much easier for this momma of 3 boys!

  • I would love to try Seventh Generation laundry products; my favorite tip is to apply a mixture of Dawn dish detergent with hydrogen perioixde to remove stains.

  • My favorite tip that i’ve come across:
    To prevent socks becoming MIA- place in a lingerie bag and launder as usual :)
    **Works great when laundering clothes for multiple family members as you don’t need to separate by owner.

    The re-purposed box is magnificent~ love it!

  • I love blue dawn for grease and always use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser, but my all time favorite tip is that I have trained my family to tie up their clothes if there is a stain. This has saved me a ton of time and set stains to deal with.

    I love your blog – you are so talented and I have learned so many things that have saved time and money! Thanks for “One Thing”!

  • I would love to try the Seventh Generation detergent. I love their household cleaners, but have been making my own detergent for awhile. My tip is to throw tennis balls in the dryer with smaller comforters. Helps fluff them back up.

  • I love Seventh Generation paper products and I love to try their laundry products. I recently realized that I am an odd duck because I LOVE to do laundry. I think it has something to do with instant gratification. I make my own fabric softener with hair conditioner and vinegar. I love the way the vinegar helps soften my clothes and there is much less static. I also will soak a hand towel or wash cloth in fabric softener and set it out to dry. Once dried, I throw the towel in the dryer. Depending on the size of the towel I can get at least 10-15 loads of clothes dried.

  • I love using reusable dryer sheets I make out of multipurpose cloths (think shamwow!). No extra trash, pennies to use and my laundry always smells fresh and clean. BTW – I love 7th Generation products, including their dish detergents. Your gift bags are too cute.

  • I too use vinegar during the rinse cycle, started using it only on workout wear like compression shorts, etc. and slowly converted to using it for all the wash loads! Would love to try the Seventh Generation laundry products :)

  • My favorite laundry tip is: have patience when removing tough stains. I have two older sons who love hot sauce and it really stains t shirts or shirts. I apply vinegar many times, soak in cold water sometimes overnight. I rub the stains again with vinegar and rinse then apply a bar laundry soap to the stain and rub again before putting in a cold wash. This has saved 100’s of dollars in clothing and I have become famous in my family for being such a scientist in the laundry room (lots of other tricks but this is the one that has saved me the most money) Would love to try Seventh Generation.

  • I would love to win! My laundry tip is to use blue dawn on grease stain, we drive truck so I know it works, and to check pockets before throwing clothes in the wash.

  • I sometimes add vinegar to my wash. Every time to my load of towels (because let’s face it, once the towels have been in the hamper for a few days it is very hard to get them REALLY clean). Vinegar works like a charm every time.

  • It would be kinda cute to see one of these with the lid still on it. The lid could shut with a button, and be held together with a hair tie. The handle could be at the top of the box. It looks like the box is already reinforced there.

    I make my own….so I’m not sure if I’m going to try it, but I sure LOVE THIS IDEA! Thanks for sharing!

  • I haven’t tried Seventh Generation, but it sounds like a company that I would like to deal with! Love the idea of removal labels on the products, in addition to a really good product inside. My hint is a two-fer. Since retiring, I have my husband do his laundry and I do mine! To make it easier for everyone we each have two baskets for our personal laundry – whites and dark colors. Then I have another basket for miscellaneous laundry – special table clothes, kitchen towels, etc. I sort these and do these when I have enough for a small load. With the hubby doing his laundry and me doing my own, we haven’t had to try to figure out which socks and t-shirts belong to which person, as we have had to do in the past! This would also work with your children – give them their baskets and let them learn about using the washer and dryer. I think age 10 is a good age for that chore.

  • Some of my favorite tips are to air dry as much as possible, year round. We dry outside in the summer and inside in the winter but if we have a nice day I’ll hang stuff out in the winter. (We live in Michigan) Next is my homemade pretreater. One part liquid laundry soap (I use Era), one part white vinegar, one part ammonia and one part water. I mix in a squirt bottle and put some in a spray bottle. Spray, scrub and wash. I have used it for 20 years and it was a life saver when our kids were little. I make my own laundry soap but still buy a bottle of Era to make my pretreater. I also use vinegar for fabric softener. I’m known as a Laundry Queen, stains have no chance at my house. Even my now adult kids call about stains or sent the item over for me to tackle. Like how to remove tree sap from new basketball shorts-rubbing alcohol did the trick.
    Love your site Jillee.

  • I haven’t used Seventh Generation in 20 years…would love to see what it is like here. So many good tips and I’ll be trying the one with the sheets as I just unrolled some last night!

    Anyway, treat stains from the BACK at first! I like to turn them over onto a white bar towel that stays in my laundry room. I lie the clothing on it, stain side down, and treat it from the back. Doing it from the front can drive the stain deeper into the fabric, esp if you are scrubbing in any way. You can check the towel to see if the stain is still coming through and then until there are no more ‘spots. Then treat from the front, throw it in the washer. I’ve found that this is a much better way of getting them out with less work.

    And I have my kids tie the arms/legs of any article that needs treating loosely together so I notice it (if I can’t get them to take it to the washer immediately for treating).

    And white socks for the men in the family. Never have to match them, toss them in all in to bleach/whiten with Jillee’s wonder concoction. I try to get my daughter to safety pin her socks together in pairs to toss in the wash, failing that, put them in a lingerie bag. Apparently she’s okay wearing mismatched socks to school.

  • My favorite laundry tip is Dish soap for stains. Seriously, it gets out just about EVERYTHING. Why buy Shout when all you need is a tiny little dab of dishwashing soap for a more reliable result. (Note: Ink stains are the toughest but I have found that cheap, cheap hairspray – think Aquanet – gets the job done 99% of the time). Have a great day :D

  • My favorite laundy tip is to make your own! I haven’t bought laundry soap from stores in months. The homemade version cleans your clothes just as well and leaves it fregrance free so it doesn’t irritate my sons skin. And it lasts WWAAAYYY longer than store bought- recipes yeild a lot and not much goes a long way! It may be my favorite DIY I’ve come acrossed on your page. Thanks Jillee!

  • My laundry tip is to add the detergent as the washer is filling with water. Let is disperse in the water and then add the clothing. Let the clothing sit in this detergent/water solution for about 10 minutes and then run the wash cycle. This give the detergent a chance to work on the dirt and loosen it up. This will yield cleaner clothing.

    And I do hope to win this detergent. I’ve not tried this brand and I’d love to try it.

  • I would love to try the Seventh Generation products. My tip would be to keep your laundry area clean and organized; and you might also like to 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 this chore, and I think I feel even more energized as a result.

  • My favorite tip would be to attempt to clean a spot as soon after it happens as possible. The longer it sits, the less chance there is of removing it. Thanks.

  • Always zip up and close up everything than can be closed and zipped. Separate items into loads appropriately. Always use vinegar in the rinse cycle and felted wool balls in the dryer.

  • Due to your recommendation I would really like to try this product! I do like what you showed us on how to decorate the containers & think it will be useful on other things also! Thank you for the opportunity to win this product.

  • I love Shout for Grease Stains! It is an aersol, and I have used it to remove crayon from my children’s clothing that I both washed AND dried!! However I am all for all-natural and the scent of 7th Generations sounds wonderful:)
    P.S. I just found your website thru another blogger and I am in LOVE!

  • I’ve heard of Seventh Generation but have never tried it. This would be my chance. My laundry tip to is make sure the hoses to your washing machine are securely in place in the drain pipe. They can work themselves loose over time and a flood will ensue. You don’t want the huge mess that happened to me when I set the washing machine and then went out to do errands only to come back to a flood all over my kitchen floor.

  • Well, everyone beat me to the laundry ideas :) My family has so many allergies we would like to try the 7th generation to see if it could work for us. We get rashes from everything and anything we put in the wash! Right now I use your vinegar/conditioner solution with slightly less conditioner, and that seems to work, but it took a few times to find one that worked. Most of my tips have been said: we use safety pins to keep our socks together, we keep our laundry in seperatly bins so it doesn’t have to be separated when its time to wash, we always check the pockets, and I also keep a dry erase marker magnetically on my washer so I can make notes on it. Like don’t dry red shirt.

    I have a tip for your potatoes Jillee. For the hasselback ones, when it comes time to slice them, take two wooden skewers and put them on either side of the potato. When you slice down it will prevent you from slicing all the way through to the cutting board. You will get the perfect slice each time!

    I love the bags and supply boxes you made!! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  • I’ve found most of my washing tips right here. My fav is the vinegar for fabric softener. Love the results without the fragrance. I’ve always avoided store bought fabric softeners because of the strong fragrance left behind, so glad I found this great alternative.
    My only personal tip… fold the clothes directly out of the dryer. I fold everything and put into individual piles on top of the washer. (sometimes even the dryer as we have 5 kids) No baskets of laundry to be left until later. Everyone comes down and gets their own clothes to put away or else I’ll put at their place on the kitchen table. No more clean clothes thrown all over bedroom floors.

  • My favorite laundry tip is using dawn for greasy stains. For some reason, grease is attracted to me and I have to use it a few times a month. I addition, if you have a really stubborn grease stain (I washed a sweatshirt that I wore while cleaning up a broken bottle of olive oil and I dawned it up and missed a few spots and when I pulled it out of the dryer and the grease had SPREAD! UGH!!!) and I didnt want to keep washing it hoping to get all the spots. So I put dawn on the grease spots I saw and then poured boiling water through the back of the shirt. Hint: do this only if you are sure the fabric can handle it. Like not your best sweater :). Anyway, it worked beautifully, just a few small stains are left!

  • I have 3 matching laundry baskets I use to sort in addition to a few more load piles on the floor. As I do loads on laundry day, I can rotate and always have an empty basket for transporting. I sort all shirts and pants according to who they belong to and hang them over the back of the sofa. At the end of the day, I sit down and fold all of it at once while watching my favorite tv shows. The laundry gets folded, and I have absolutely no reason to feel guilty about watching a little tv.

  • Favorite Laundry Tip…like so many others vinegar. All of our bath towels are so fresh and clean now. Thanks Jillee. I check your blog everyday. I love love love it!

  • My tip is to always check all pockets before you wash. It’s amazing what the Mr accumulates in his pockets. Saves a lot of headaches later, plus I get to keep any cash found. Win!

  • I love the idea of a reused laundry box as a beautiful tote. Amazing job!! My laundry tip: Fels Naptha soap – it really gets stains out of my laundry. Thanks for all the great tips :)

  • I keep vinegar and dawn in the laundry room. We always zip the zippers and never dry bras and swim suits. We aways use mesh bags for socks and daintys, no more washer eating socks now.

  • My favorite laundry tip is from the blog, washing whites in hot water and vinegar, then again in hot water and baking soda. My towels come out so sparkly and fluffy (and ABSORBENT!!!). I think I may have to check out 7th Generation (win or lose) since my son has really bad eczema. Thanks for running this offer and exposing me to some new stuff!

  • Love the box bags! Great job Jillee! My favorite laundry tip is using corn starch/baby power/baking soda/flour (ie: whatever I have on hand) to absorb an oil stain off of clothing. Just rub the dry power into the stain, add a little extra powder after rubbing and let sit for at least a day. If it doesn’t remove it completely the first time, you can keep doing it over and over again. Works for me!

  • Would love to try the Seventh Generation laundry products. My tip has worked for me almost without incident for years. Whenever a pair of pants goes into the hamper, I check all the pockets, then zip the fly. When it comes to laundry day, if they’re already zipped, no worries, and if they’re not zipped, I know to check if there’s anything….I rarely have unplanned items go through the laundry any more, and the zippers don’t catch on other items. Solves two problems at once and a pretty easy process.

  • Wow could I use this. I’m allergic to regular petroleum based detergents.

    My favorite laundry tips are: cold water wash, cold water rinse…it won’t set stains if you forgot to pre-treat a greasy stain (provided you don’t put the item in the dryer).

    My other tip: don’t overload the machine! Overloading the machine means the agitator has to work harder and water and detergent can’t properly “slosh” through your clothes to clean them. Or rinse out the dirt and soap properly.

  • My tip is about the cleaning the lint tray. I didn’t learn this tip until I was in my 30’s. I even wrote a post about it on my blog….Yes it’s that life changing. Lick your finger BEFORE swiping the lint from the tray, Off it comes like magic. The key is the BEFORE part :)

  • I love the fact that commercial manufacturers are finally taking the bold step to make natural laundry products. So the Seventh Generation would work well beings I use mostly the liquid homemade with the Fels Neptha bar, borax and washing soda. Thanks for running this offer. Ckay in SD

  • My best laundry tip is to buy a dry erase marker, glue a magnet to it and keep it attached to the washer or dryer. My oldest daughter checks the washer and dryer lids for notes in the after school and my husband checks for notes in the early morning. That way they know if the washer is full or needs filled, or what type of clothes are in either one. It’s helped to save several items from ruin as well by labeling the washer with ” pink sweater needs to air dry flat” or “no bras in dryer!”. Lol. The husband doesn’t understand this. I have even left notes that simply say ‘I love you.’ It’s a great system.

  • Thanks for the chance to enter! Your box/bags are great! I use plain old blue Dawn dish detergent for stains, even AFTER they have been in the dryer! I also use vinegar as a rinse, love what it does for my towels.. so soft AND, WOOL DRYER BALLS! *with a light Patchouli EO scent*
    Thanks again Jillee!

  • Not so sure it’s a tip, but since I do the “washing/drying” part (yes, we have machines), my husband generally does the folding (after a few instructional sessions early in the marriage, he’s very good at folding)…every once in a while, I time the laundry so I can get it folded before he gets home. He definitely appreciates not having to do this chore every now and then and his attitude when he does have to fold is much more pleasant!

  • My sister has a quilt that our Mother made 25 years ago and she stored it in a garbage bag in the attic of her home. The quilt has a cross-stitched design on a white background. She wanted to use it finally, but it was really yellowed (dark yellow). I tried using almost a quart of hydrogen peroxide in the washer, but it did not take the yellow out. I decided to wash it again using a little bleach. It looks like brand new and it didn’t fade the cross-stitching. I really don’t like using bleach, but this time it worked wonderfully.

  • I take Sundays for laundry day. The house is clean from the scrubbing it got on Saturday. And I can sit in my jammie pants Watch and old movie on TV and just fold warm clean smelling clothes. My other tip is to have children. I make them carry the laundry up and put it away as well as hang up the hang up clothes!
    ;-)

  • One of my fav tips is to use shampoo on collars…gets that dirty ring out better than anything else I’ve tried because shampoo cuts body oils. Would love to try Seventh Generation Laundy products.