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Updated on Sep 1, 2020. Posted on Dec 26, 2014

23 Surprising Laundry Tips You Didn't Know You Needed

So you won't have to go buy more socks the next time you run out of clean ones.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

1. Ditch the chemicals and DIY your own detergent.

practicallyfunctional.com

Get all the instructions here.

2. Or make your own laundry detergent tabs.

pinsandprocrastination.com

Get all the ingredients and the full how-to here.

3. Skip the dryer sheets for longer-lasting, more absorbent towels.

Chris Amaral / Thinkstock / Getty Images

4. If your towels have already seen better days, use vinegar and baking soda instead of detergent.

Getty Images / Thinkstock

Boost absorbency and get rid of the towel stank for good. All it takes is two washes in hot water; the first with vinegar, and the second with baking soda.

5. Learn how to wash your filthy baseball cap.

themamasgirls.com

Check out all the steps here.

6. Use a simple reminder board to help sort your clothes upfront.

sarahhearts.com

No more dryer mishaps.

7. Unshrink clothes using baby shampoo and a towel.

Julie de Leseleuc / Getty Images / Thinkstock

Just soak the shrunken piece of clothing in lukewarm water and baby shampoo, work through to relax the fibers, and gently stretch. Get the full tutorial here.

8. To prevent the dreaded sneaker bang, wedge knotted laces in the dryer door.

9. Or buy one of these ingenious sneaker dryer bags.

amazon.com

Like this one from Amazon.

10. Use a salad spinner to remove excess water from clothes you don't want to put in the dryer.

amazon.com

Air-dry time = cut in half.

11. Skip the dryer sheets — use long-lasting dryer balls instead.

bedbathandbeyond.com

Soft and fluffy sheets without the waste or expense. Also, HEDGEHOGS.

12. Or DIY your own using aluminum foil.

Getty Images / Thinkstock

Bonus points for softening while the aluminum reduces static.

13. Learn to decode the laundering tags on your clothes already.

14. To prevent color fading, toss your clothes in the wash with a teaspoon of salt.

Getty Images / Thinkstock

Keep your brights brighter AND prevent color bleeding on the first wash.

15. And wash dark clothes inside out to keep them from fading, too.

Getty Images / Thinkstock

16. Make sure you're washing things at the right temperature.

Kamil Macniak / Thinkstock / Getty Images

It may sound obvious, but not all detergents work in cold water! Double-check before you set your machine.

17. Keep your sweaters in shape by drying them flat instead of on a hanger.

crateandbarrel.com

Items that easily stretch out — like sweaters — should be laid on a hanging rack (like this one) or any flat surface.

18. Clean your washing machine on the reg.

cleanmama.net

You clothes can't be clean if your machine isn't. Get the how-to for both front-loading and top-loading washers here.

19. Not all stains are created equal. Learn how to remove each one for spotless clothing.

web.extension.illinois.edu

The University of Illinois published an extended stain guide for ultimate removal. Save your clothes!

20. Save time and energy by throwing a dry towel into your dryer with your wet laundry.

Getty Images / Thinkstock

This will reduce moisture in the dryer and speed up the whole process.

21. Stinky jeans have no chill. Skip the washing machine and keep them in the freezer between wears.

Getty Images/iStockphoto Kamil Macniak

The cold will apparently kill bacteria that causes odor. Just remember to let them warm up before putting them on.

22. Hate ironing? Try to eliminate wrinkled shirts and dresses with this speedy hanging hack.

View this video on YouTube

23. Learn how to fold a tee in two seconds for a fast and efficient post-laundry routine.

View this video on YouTube

Way better than piling your clothes on the floor.

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