9 top laundry hacks

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Doing laundry is one of those never-ending tasks that cuts into time you'd rather pretty much spend on anything else. It's easy enough to toss in a load of clothes and then switch them over to the dryer later, but admittedly, it's a bit of a pain. As soon as you think you've folded and put away the last pair of pants, you turn around to find a brand new mountain of dirty clothes in the basket.
It doesn't have to be like this! Laundry should be one of your simplest chores, not the one that takes up every spare minute of your time. So before you start yet another load of laundry, consider throwing in the towel. Literally.
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1. Dry towel trick
If you waited too long to start a load of laundry and part of the outfit you need still isn't dry, there's a way to run it through the dryer faster. Throw a clean, dry, white towel in the dryer with your other items and run the dryer for half its usual time. The towel will pull moisture out of your clothes, drying them more quickly.
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2. Freeze your jeans
Washing your jeans after every wear will make the color fade faster and will weaken the fabric, making it easier to rip. If you're worried about odor or germs between washes, put your jeans in the freezer overnight after you've worn them. This technique will freeze away odor and bacteria without damaging the denim.
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3. Lemon juice
Some days you just don't have time to run your favorite outfit through an entire laundry cycle before you need to wear it again. Or it's dry-clean only, but you have to wear it tomorrow. If the clothes still look clean but smell a little funky, you can make a spray from 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 cup water. Spray the item all over and then hang it up to dry.
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4. Lemon essential oil
If you accidentally leave your clothes sitting around in the washing machine for a few hours, you're going to need to freshen them up a little bit. As we've already noted, lemon can be used to combat odor in basically any situation. Just drop a smidgen of lemon essential oil into the rinse cycle and run the machine again.
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5. Change collector
While this doesn't directly affect your love or hatred of doing laundry, it might make the process more fun. If you do laundry for more people than just yourself, then you're probably in the habit of checking pockets for loose change, tissues or other forgotten items that might not survive the spin cycle. Make this task less of a drag by putting a change collector in your laundry room. Every time you find a few coins, drop them in the little basket and see how long it takes them to add up to a semi-substantial amount (like, you know, a dollar).
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6. Mobile laundry station (h/t Hoosier Homemade)
A great way to make laundry easier is to have everything stored together for quick access. To do this, you can make a laundry stand (on wheels!) that will hold your detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets and anything else you might need. You can even stack in some baskets to make sorting your clothes easier.
7. Remove ink stains
If you do a lot of writing throughout the day, or you work in an office or school, then you probably end most of your days with pen marks on your clothes. But if you throw them straight into the washing machine, the ink will likely bleed, making the stain worse and possibly transferring it to other clothing as well. Before you put the affected item in the laundry, squirt some hand sanitizer on the stain and rub it in. Let the hand sanitizer soak in for about 10 minutes, then wash the garment on a regular cycle. When you remove it, the stain should be gone.
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8. Soap dispensers
You can make your laundry room look a little cuter and eliminate potential messes in one shot with this hack. Instead of keeping those bulky detergent containers sitting around, put your detergent and fabric softener in soap dispensers. Not only will it look better, but it will ensure that you don't spill detergent everywhere and that you'll get only as much as you need for each load of laundry.
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9. Laundry schedule
If you dread the thought of doing laundry because you feel like you never get a break from it, it's possible you're over-washing your clothes. Many people don't realize that you don't have to wash every article of clothing after each wear. Some items, like jeans, can be worn multiple times before you need to wash them (unless you spill something on them, of course).
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