6 Hacks That Will Change the Way You Do Laundry

Most of us know the laundry basics like separating darks and lights, but Vikki Martin from Cotton Inc. shares her favorite hacks for removing stains, unshrinking the clothes you thought were goners, and more. 


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Get rid of stains like an expert.

stained shirt

Photo by Meredith Photo Studio (NY) / Bryan E. McCay

Photo by Meredith Photo Studio (NY) / Bryan E. McCay

To remove any stain, gently rub any soap you can find (dish, bar or hand) and a few drops of COLD water into the stain. Scratch it with your fingernail for 20-30 seconds or until the stain disappears. If the stain doesn’t disappear, before washing, rub detergent directly onto what’s left of the stain and pre-soak in cold water. If the stain isn't completely out, don’t put the item in the dryer. Otherwise the stain will set permanently.

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Tip: Softeners set stains.

fabric softener for laundry hacks

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

Did you know detergents with fabric softeners in them actually cause stains to set in? If you do use softener, never put liquid fabric softener directly on fabrics as the softener itself can cause stains.

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Use correct amount of detergent.

measure detergent for laundry hacks

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

Did you know using too much detergent is actually worse than not using enough? Using too much can speed up the wear and tear of your clothes, sending your money down the drain. But not using enough is also bad because trapped dirt can make clothes look dingy. Take the time to measure the proper amount of detergent required for your load.


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Easily unshrink your favorite t-shirt.

shrunken t-shirt

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

Thought your favorite shirt was shrunk forever? Nope! In a sink, soak your shirt in warm water with three Tbsp. of hair conditioner for five minutes. Stretch your wet shirt out on a flat surface to the desired size and keep it in place with household weights such as heavy jars or cans. Leave it out to air-dry.


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Keep towels absorbent.

towel care for laundry hacks

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

Too much softener can turn towels into nonabsorbent, ineffective rags. Using dryer sheets only every three to five laundry cycles prevents this and keeps towels soft and absorbent. Another option is to do towels last and reuse a dryer sheet that has gone through at least two other dryer cycles.


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Use laundry’s secret ingredient.

liquid measure

Photo by Waterbury Publications Inc

Photo by Waterbury Publications Inc

A half cup of white vinegar added to the rinse cycle works like magic to kill germs, whiten whites, get rid of odors and makes your clothes soft and fluffy. Perfect for college students using university dorm washers!