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8 little-known laundry secrets

8 little-known laundry secrets
By Flow Wall
July 1, 2015

Most of us are already familiar with the basic rules of laundry: Always sort your whites from your darks, use hot water to kill germs and never throw delicates in the dryer. But there are a few extra tips and tricks that will help you destroy those stains, brighten those whites and keep your clothing looks brand new for years. Need we say more?

1. WD-40

This might seem odd, but WD-40 is one of your best assets when it comes to removing oil stains from your clothing. Simply spray a little on the offending stain, then cover it in baking soda. Using an old tooth brush, rub the baking powder gently into the stain. Wash the garment as usual, and voila!

2. Never wash your towels with your clothing

When you only have a small load to run through, it's easy to just throw everything in together. However, when you wash your towels with your clothing, the rough fabric can create "pill" (those little balls of fabric that collect on the surface). Keep them separate so your stuff stays safe!

4. Don't let dyed whites ruin your day

There's a quick and easy way to fix this. Start by soaking your pink-ish clothing in warm water mixed with a little baking soda, salt and detergent. After about an hour or so, wash your clothing again as normal. Come to think of it, baking soda is such an important laundry asset, you should always keep a box on your utility room shelves.

5. When in doubt, add a little baking soda

Even with the best detergent on hand, it can sometimes seem like your clothing just isn't getting as squeaky clean as you'd like. Don't worry - this fix is possibly the easiest of all. Just add a bit of baking soda to your load, along with the normal amount of detergent, and wash as usual. As a bonus, this also makes your clothing extra soft.

6. Substitute lemon juice for bleach

That's right! Lemon juice is just as effective as bleach in a pinch. Fill a bucket with extra hot water and add about half a cup of lemon juice, then soak the offending garment for an hour or two. Pour this entire bucket - clothing, juice and water - into the washing machine, then run the load as normal.

7. Hang and fold everything as it comes out

Most folks already know that the faster you fold and dry your clothing, the more wrinkle-free everything turns out. Throwing everything in a hamper and taking it to your room can already make your clothing a little unruly, though. To cut down on wrinkles, bring hangers directly into your laundry room and hang your items as you pull them out of the dryer.

8. Use a dry-erase marker

In bigger families, there's always a risk that someone will throw an item they shouldn't have into the dryer. To make sure this doesn't happen to your favorite pair of jeans, use a dry erase marker to denote this on top of your washer. "Jeans don't go in dryer!" is sufficient enough!