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Laundry hacks to save time

1. Reshape a stretched jumper

Soak stretched jumper in a tub of tepid water with a squirt of hair conditioner, it can be moulded back into shape. Just make sure you lay it flat to dry.

2. Speed drying trick

Need a school uniform or other garment dried in a hurry? Throw a dry towel in with the wet item of clothing in the dryer and it will be ready to wear quick-sticks.

3. No more odd socks

Give each child a mesh washing bag to hang in their room for dirty socks. Once a week, collect all the bags, toss them in the wash and the pairs will stay together.

Have a separate washing basket for socks and undies so you always wash them together.

4. Chewing gum be gone

Instead of trying to scratch the sticky stuff from your kids’ clothes, place the gummed garment in the freezer. When the gum is frozen it can be broken apart and easily removed.

5. Keep sheets neat and tidy

To keep your linen cupboard organised and tidy, store folded sheets in one of the pillowcases from the set. You’ll no longer have to rummage through the linen cupboard hunting for matching sheets and pillowslips.

6. Remember this emergency stain solution

Get to a mark before it becomes a stain and you’ve got a good chance of removing it. For a go-to stain treatment, make a paste out of bicarbonate soda and water. Apply the paste to the offending area with a damp sponge, leave it for 10 minutes and then rinse off. If the stain remains, use the best removal remedy here.

7. Banish tissue disasters

Oops. Did someone leave a tissue in their pocket and it’s gone through the wash? Never fear. Toss the whole load in the dryer and the tissue bits will be sucked into the lint filter. When the load is dry, give it a good shake. Place back in the dryer for 10 more minutes to remove any stray white threads still clinging to clothes.

8. Prevent black jeans from fading to grey

Keep your blacks black by adding a couple of cups of brewed coffee or tea to your machine’s rinse cycle.

9. Use a salad spinner to help undies dry faster

If you don’t have a dryer, but the family needs clean undies, try this — pretend they are lettuce and whiz them in a salad spinner. The spinning motion will remove most of the moisture and you can hang them on the line to dry in record time.

10. Banish bacteria

If your tea towels and dish cloths are a health hazard, disinfect them by adding 15ml of Dettol to the rinse cycle.

11. Tumble dry faster with tennis balls

Toss a couple of tennis balls into the dryer to fluff up towels, quilts and other bulky items. The balls will bounce around, getting rid of lumps, while speeding up drying time.

12. Discover the power of vinegar

Naturally soften fabrics. Simply add 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle.
Protect clothes from fading.
Pre-soak garments to remove grub and grime.
Mix with bicarb soda to attack stains.
Reduce lint and static by adding 1/4 cup to the rinse cycle.
Soak new clothes in diluted vinegar to remove nasty chemicals before you wear them.

13. Make folding sheets a cinch

Hang sheets with the crease exactly in the middle and they will be easier to fold evenly when you bring them in off the line.

14. Nix crayon stains

If your little artist has drawn on more than just the paper while colouring, never fear — crayon stains can be easily removed with WD-40. Simply spray on, set aside for five minutes and then rub the stain with a sponge soaked in hot water and dishwashing liquid. Once removed, spray the area with stain remover and run through the wash on the hottest setting.

15. Line dry and save

Did you know the sun is a natural stain remover and sanitiser? It’s also free. The dryer on the other hand is a huge energy sap, being the second biggest drain on household electricity after the fridge. Gulp. Line dry whenever you can and you’ll save money and the environment.

16. Remove glue the easy way

If craft time has resulted in glue-covered clothes, try this — cover the glue stain with Vaseline and then peel pieces of it away. Once removed, squeeze dishwashing liquid over the Vaseline and rub it in until the Vaseline has lifted from the fabric. Rinse and wash as normal.

17. Reduce your ironing

Halve your ironing load by hanging shirts on the clothesline on hangers. This will keep them in shape and help the creases to naturally drop out. When the shirts are almost dry, toss them in the dryer for 20 minutes. With any luck they won’t require pressing.

18. Make a cheap fabric sheet

Instead of spending money on expensive dryer sheets, simply soak a face washer in fabric softener, wring out and allow to air dry completely. Then add to your tumble load in place of a fabric sheet. It will last for ages.

19. Dry up grease stains with chalk

Grab some of your children’s white chalk to keep in the laundry for absorbing greasy stains. Simply rub it on and the chalk powder will absorb the grease, making the stain easily removable when washed. Don’t have chalk? Use baby powder instead.

20. Remove grass stains the easy way

If the kids have had a great time outdoors, chances are your washing basket is going to be full of grass stains. Get rid of them by applying rubbing alcohol — or methylated spirits — first in a 50:50 alcohol and water solution to avoid the stain bleeding and then moving on to straight alcohol.


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