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Genius Hacks That Make Laundry Day Less of a Hassle

Doing the laundry might not be your favourite chore, but these time-saving tricks will definitely make it easier.

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Laundry hacks - washing coloured clothesPhoto: Rozhnovskaya Tanya /

Laundry hacks to keep coloured clothes bright

You can use salt to prevent colours from fading. Just toss a teaspoon of salt in with your dark clothes to help make the colour last longer. Washing coloured clothing inside out can also help maintain colour.

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Ice cubes meltingPhoto: Aleksandr Grechanyuk /

Say goodbye to wrinkles

Ditch the time-consuming iron or handheld steamer to get wrinkles out of a shirt or slacks. Throw a few ice cubes or a wet washcloth in the dryer with your wrinkled clothes. As the ice melts and the water turns to steam, it will remove the wrinkles. This trick isn’t as effective with heavier clothing but is a miracle for lighter fabrics. The best part is that you don’t have to set the dryer for longer than 10 minutes for it to work.

Get your clothes cleaner with these expert laundry tips.

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Brilliant laundry hacks - Drying RackPHOTO: FAMILY HANDYMAN

Instant drying rack

Got a lot of clothes that can’t put in the drier? Even those collapsible drying racks with several bars for draping wet clothes still aren’t enough for big laundry days. And if you hang wet clothes on top of wet clothes, it lengthens the dry time significantly and can even leave your clothes smelling a little musty.

To fix your air-drying space shortage, hack yourself an instant drying rack:

  1. Grab a 1×2 board from your scrap stash in the garage
  2. Trim it to fit across a few joists overhead in your basement laundry room
  3. Tack it in place with a heavy-duty nail in each joist
  4. Air-dry several more pieces of clothing using hangers

Find out more dollar store solutions for life’s little dilemmas.

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Laundry hacksPhoto: Family Handyman

Write notes on the washer

Stop shrinking your sweaters! When you put a load of clothes into your washing machine, use a dry-erase marker to note on the lid which items should not go into the dryer. That way, whoever switches the load from the washing machine to the dryer will know which items to leave out for line drying. The enamel finish on most washing machine lids is similar to a whiteboard, and dry-erase markers can be removed easily with a dry paper towel.

A variation of this laundry hack can help you remember when your car’s due for an oil change.

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pool noodle hanger hack with dress pantsPhoto: Family Handyman

Pool noodle hanger hack

Add a crease-eliminating pad to your hanger with a pool noodle. (We found that smaller-size noodles work better than larger ones for this application.) Use a utility knife to cut the noodle to size and then slice it open lengthwise. Then slip the noodle onto the bottom bar of the hanger. The extra padding is perfect for hanging dress pants in your closet. It prevents that dreaded crease, saving you time because you won’t have to iron it out before you can wear the pants.

Find out what laundry day was like in the 1930s.

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cleaning around lint trap on dryerPhoto: Family Handyman

Deep-clean the lint trap—with a paint stick

Even if you empty your dryer’s lint trap before each load, chances are there’s still lint buildup around the area that could potentially cause a fire. It’s important to deep clean the area once in a while, and this handy hint will get the job done: Wrap a clean rag around one end of a paint stir stick. Remove the lint trap and clean out the area with the rag-covered stick. To help the lint stick to the rag, dampen it with water first.

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Sticks of white chalkPhoto: Ivaylo Ivanov /

Laundry hacks for treating a grease stain

Being a self-confessed klutz, I’ve needed to learn how to treat clothing stains. For a grease stain, I turn to white chalk. Just rub the chalk on the stain and the chalk powder absorbs and lifts out the grease, so it’ll come out in the wash. —Jean Reeves

Find out how to wash “dry clean only” clothes at home.

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Salad spinnerPhoto: Target Shot /

Use a salad spinner

If you have some articles of clothing you don’t want to put in the dryer, use a salad spinner to remove excess water. Then hang them on a rack to dry.

Discover more home hacks that’ll save you money.

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collapsible clothes storage closetPhoto: Family Handyman

Invest in smart clothes storage

Folding hanger rods collapse against the wall when they’re not in use, saving valuable space in tiny rooms. They’re great for wet clothes and sporting gear.

Find out more home organizing hacks to maximize storage space.

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dryer lint usesPhoto: Shutterstock

Don’t just throw that lint away!

To properly build a fire, you need tinder. Fortunately, we all have a readily available supply: dryer lint! To make a do-it-yourself waterproof fire starter, stuff each well of an egg carton with dryer lint. Then pour melted wax into each well and let cool. The wax waterproofs the dryer lint and carton and helps the starter burn longer.

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HH lint log fire starterPhoto: Family Handyman

…Another take on lint-based fire starters

No wax? No problem! You can build a basic fire starter simply by stuffing dryer lint into empty toilet paper tubes. These dryer lint “logs” light quickly and burn just long enough to light up the kindling.

Find out more items you should be repurposing instead of tossing in the trash.

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Laundry hacks - crumpled aluminum foilPhoto: guy42 /

Use aluminum foil

If you’re out of dryer sheets, throw a ball of aluminum foil in your dyer. The aluminum will fight static buildup and help keep your clothing separated.

Psst—the uses for aluminum foil extend far beyond laundry hacks!

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Laundry hacksPhoto: Family Handyman

Stop losing socks

Stuff a strip of foam pipe insulation into the space between your washer and dryer or along the wall. That way, socks can’t slip into the abyss.

Here are 13 washer/dryer problems you’ll regret ignoring.

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skinny laundry room cartPhoto: Family Handyman

Squeeze more storage into your laundry room

A lot of laundry rooms have a narrow wasted space either next to or between the washing machine and dryer, and it’s usually a hideout for socks and lint. To take advantage of this space, build a simple plywood laundry room cart on fixed casters to hold detergents and other laundry supplies.

Check out more small space storage hacks you’ll wish you’d known sooner.

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Laundry hacks - clothes in dryerPhoto: SViktoria /

Laundry hacks to speed up drying time

Waiting for clothes to dry is annoying, especially if you’re in a hurry. When you’re pressed for time, throw a dry towel in with the rest of your wet laundry to speed up the process.

Here’s what you need to know about laundry stripping.

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Laundry hacks - clean washing machinePhoto: Rozhnovskaya Tanya /

Clean your machine

Your washing machine does need to be cleaned regularly. Every couple of months, set your washer to the largest load setting and hottest water temperature. Add a quart of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda and let the washer agitate for a minute. Then, open the lid or pause the cycle and let the mixture sit for an hour. Scrub any parts, such as the lid, with a toothbrush to remove buildup. After an hour, let the cycle complete and run a second cycle on hot to remove any residue left behind. Your clothes will thank you.

Now that you’ve got these laundry hacks under your belt, find out the laundry mistakes everyone makes (and how to fix them).

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman