Who likes doing loads and loads of laundry? Pretty much nobody. Laundry duty is, for most households, a sworn enemy to Funtime. (There are some things you can do to make laundry day more enjoyable, but it’s still pretty lame.) If you can’t make it fun, we say you can at least make it shorter and easier.
Here are nine helpful laundry supplies that you shouldn’t live without:
1. Bleach Pen
Bleach pens make great travel companions when you need to remove a stain but don’t have quick access to your normal laundry tools. There are also about 19 other household uses for bleach pens like cleaning shower doors, decorating fabric or whitening tile grout.
2. Stain Remover
Whether you go store-bought (one of our favorites is Seventh Generation’s) or homemade (such as gentle dish detergent or hydrogen peroxide) a stain remover is a must-have item that should be on everyone’s laundry list.
3. Soft-Bristled Brush
Along with your stain remover of choice, invest in a soft-bristled brush to work the stain fighter into the fabric. If you’re using a homemade stain remover, it’s also a good idea to invest in a spray bottle (store-bought stain removers typically come in spray bottles) so you can spritz the Bejeezus out of the stained clothing.
Eyedroppers are perfect for applying a super small amount of stain remover to an area – great for targeting smaller stains (and conserving your laundry supplies). When you have a delicate piece of clothing you’re tending to, precision is key.
5. White Vinegar
Here’s a secret: adding ¼ cup of white vinegar to your wash acts as a natural fabric softener. Vinegar softens your laundry without any of the negative side effects of traditional fabric softeners. White vinegar is also a stain-fighting master when it comes to removing sugar-based stains (like juice, jam and ketchup) and even perspiration stains.
6. Static Guard Spray
Static cling makes laundry suck just a little bit more. But sometimes that extra punch of suck can really drive you crazy. Plus, those little tricks like using dryer sheets or shaking your clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer doesn’t always solve the problem. For this reason, we suggest having a bottle of Static Guard spray in your laundry arsenal.
7. Mesh Bags
Mesh bags for laundry were invented to protect delicates, but you can also use them to prevent lost socks, protect knits that risk snagging or unraveling, lace shirts or anything else you don’t want getting bashed about by a normal wash cycle.
8. Baking Soda
There are more than a few reasons to use baking soda as a cleaning agent for your laundry, but our favorite is this: baking soda can be rubbed into wine, vomit, coffee and pet stains to remove the worst of mess. All it takes is a little sprinkling, a damp cloth and a soft brush to scrub.
9. Mini Ironing Board (and Iron)
It may go without saying, but every home should consider investing in an iron and ironing board. Save precious space in the laundry room by getting a miniature ironing board as opposed to a full size version. This is especially helpful if you only iron certain clothes once or twice a year.