Make your laundry chores easier to manage week-to-week. Learn the secret to a simplified laundry routine, along with all my favorite laundry tips and tricks.
Laundry: The one chore that cannot be ignored no matter what. We all have to wear clean clothes and look presentable, at least most of the time. It only makes sense to focus on talking about laundry for a change.
I’ve talked before about spring cleaning, organization tips, and deep cleaning a bathroom. But I haven’t touched the laundry subject yet. So, here we are.
I’m actually very proud of my laundry routine and all my super frugal laundry tips that I just had to share.
I use natural products and methods for my regular washing routine. I also stick to a simple, but rigid, routine to always keep clean clothes on hand and laundry piles to a minimum.
All without doing it every single day.
Now, maybe you have a large family and there’s no avoiding doing laundry every single day. I completely understand that.
But for a couple, or even a small family, it is very manageable to do laundry only about twice a week.
I can’t say I’m exactly passionate about doing laundry, but I am passionate about running a tight ship in my household. Cleaning and chores are a top priority for me.
I don’t leave messes around the house and I don’t like a dirty home. For me, it all starts with maintaining a strict but very easy laundry routine. I swear by it.
I even have some other laundry tips and tricks up my sleeves, too. Some of them were popular among older generations years and years ago but have since died out, while others I kind of just figured out on my own.
I personally don’t like to spend a lot of money on crazy chemicals or detergents to wash clothes. I don’t like long, confusing methods either.
I just need to wash the clothes, not sanitize them or make them feel like the softest angel wings sent down from heaven. They don’t need to smell like a Bath and Body Works store or have all these other things that detergent companies try to sell.
Clothes just need to be clean. That’s it. That’s the secret!
I just keep it simple. That’s how I manage to run our household. Keep it clean, but keep it simple.
Now, let’s get into my laundry routine and all my favorite laundry tips and tricks. I hope some of these will be useful for you!
My Easy Laundry Routine and Tips
Practical, easy routine
My laundry routine is this. We do laundry, religiously, on every third day. Meaning, if we do laundry on a Monday, we have two days off in between until we need to do laundry again on Thursday. Then I won’t have any again until Sunday. And so on and so forth.
Why does this work?
Well, this works for us because we don’t like to do laundry every single day. We also don’t want it to pile up over an entire week and spend an entire day washing, sorting, folding, etc.
This allows us a break in between but keeps things in check. We don’t have to go a week without wearing our favorite t-shirt/shorts/whatever because we do it often enough. Yet we aren’t constantly having to remember every single day to throw something in.
However, I acknowledge that larger families may need to wash daily. Clothes from multiple children who like to play outside and get dirty can really pile up quickly.
Personally, I like the every third day schedule because it’s not hard for me to remember when I last did it. If I were to only do it on two set days per week, say every Monday and Friday, it would be even easier to remember but our laundry basket in our bedroom would just be overflowing and we’d have to do more than our regular two loads, which would really take up the whole day. If you live by yourself or don’t go through too many clothes, maybe one or two set days would work better for you. This is just what works for us. Like clockwork.
My husband leaves for work around 6:45 and throws the laundry in. After I get up and get ready, I’m ready to throw in another load. I continue this throughout the day. Before dinner all of our clothes are washed, dried, and put up so we can both relax for the evening.
I know some people don’t have the luxury of working from home, but just having a routine can help a lot. One person focusing on starting it and the other finishing it. Or maybe one person has the task of throwing everything in and keeping it going but the other folds/hangs everything when it’s done.
I promise, there is not much of a science to it. We just know what each of us is expected to do and do it.
Because laundry is a simple routine for us, we don’t loathe laundry day or put it off altogether. I mean, we still don’t love it, but it’s at least manageable.
Once you get your own routine down, it’ll become second nature and you won’t have to stress over it anymore.
Vinegar is a secret weapon.
Vinegar is the household item that can be used to clean just about anything. I use it for an all-purpose cleaner, for cooking, and for cleaning the washer, inside and out. Additionally, did you know vinegar can be added to each load of laundry?
It naturally kills germs, deodorizes clothes and helps prevent build-up–on clothes and in the washer. Some even use it in the last rinse cycle as a fabric softener.
Supplement with washing soda.
I am obsessed with this washing soda HERE, and I use it in every single load of laundry. It’s an oldie but a goodie.
It adds cleaning and freshening power to clothes being washed. In fact, all I typically use to wash our clothes are vinegar and washing soda. Stain-free, odor-free clothes every time… Great for those on a budget, too, which means this is one of my favorite laundry tips.
Hang dry clothes.
I wish I did this more often. Our laundry room isn’t exactly my favorite place since it hasn’t been renovated in our drab, old, unfinished basement. So I don’t exactly have a spot to hang lots of clothes to dry at the moment. But I plan on doing this more once we renovate it.
I also would encourage you, if you can find an affordable option, to invest in a clothesline outside. I personally will wait until we have a privacy fence, so our clothes aren’t on display.
But there is nothing like clothes dried outside in the fresh sunshine. A huge energy and money saver. And perfect for bleaching cloth diapers, too, I might add.
Invest in a mesh laundry bag.
If you have any delicate clothes, I highly recommend investing in a mesh laundry bag to wash these in. Especially great for bras and panties, it allows clothes to be washed while also providing a protective layer in between clothes and other items.
These are also a must-have for the cloth-diapering families out there.
Repurpose large wicker baskets.
I don’t know why baskets, especially large woven laundry baskets, are so expensive. Though I imagine it has something to do with the hours of weaving them…
I do love a stunning basket, though. Perfect for adding some neutral stylish storage to any laundry room.
My solution: Find second hand baskets at thrift stores and garage sales. They usually sell for dirt cheap. Especially compared to craft or home department stores.
Though I admit to spending a pretty penny on our large laundry basket for our bedroom, any additional baskets for hauling laundry up and down the basement stairs will be acquired secondhand.
Trust me, this will save you so much money. You can even repurpose smaller baskets for laundry room use. They’re perfect for holding socks and underwear or storing dryer balls, soaps, essential oils, etc.
Hot water for germs. Cold water for stains.
Stick to using cold water when possible. Not just to save on energy costs, but it prevents fading on dark/bright clothes and prevents shrinking. Plus, cold water is perfect for getting out most types of stains (though not all).
Hot water, on the other hand, speeds up the chemical reaction of detergent which helps get clothes cleaner, faster. It also kills viruses and bacteria. However, most of us don’t need 100% sterile clothes. So best to use this only when truly needed.
Be careful about homemade laundry detergent recipes.
If you’re pretty crunchy like myself, you may have made your own laundry detergent before. Luckily, I only did this a handful of times many years ago. Let me warn you, though. Many of these do more harm than good.
Over time they not only leave unwanted residues on clothes, they can also damage washers. Homemade detergents are notorious for building up in washing machines and then harboring mold and mildew. Not good. Instead, opt for natural alternatives like vinegar and washing soda.
Switch to non-chlorine bleach.
Non-chlorine bleach is the best bleach option to use. I personally use Seventh Generation Non-Chlorine Bleach HERE and like that I’m able to use it on both whites and colored clothes.
Additionally, it has both a longer shelf life and does not damage the fibers in fabrics like traditional bleach can. We use this sparingly, but it is great to have on hand for certain instances. One bottle usually lasts us 6 months or so.
Rewear clothes a second time before deeming them “dirty.”
Okay, this is my favorite laundry tip for doing less laundry in general. If clothes aren’t visibly soiled or don’t smell, they’re likely still okay to wear another time.
I promise! No one will know… looking at you, my husband. He is notorious for getting the tiniest speck of dirt on something and immediately “needing” to change clothes. He goes through at least twice as many clothes as I do. Don’t try to argue with him about it, though. Ha!
I, on the other hand, am happy to rewear items such as pajamas, the occasional t-shirt, and shorts if I haven’t sweated in them or gotten anything on them.
Furthermore, many clothes like jeans and bras, for example, cannot be washed after a single use because they would get worn and faded much too quickly.
Air them out between use and wash them only when they begin to have an unpleasant scent or are visibly soiled. I’ve heard some say you can wear jeans 10 times before they should actually be washed… Trust me, following this principle will quickly decrease the amount of laundry you wash.
Obviously, you have to draw the line somewhere. But generally, I only wash an outfit if I’ve worn it for the entire day. Just use common sense.
Invest in wool dryer balls.
I love wool dryer balls. Invest in a pack of 3-4 and they’ll last for months. They decrease static electricity, decrease drying time, and you can add essential oils to them if you absolutely must have scented laundry.
I have actually never bought laundry sheets in my life. Wool dryer balls are more effective, more affordable, more natural, and gentler on the environment. They’re the way to go.