Here’s a bunch of handy hints and tricks for helping wash day go a little smoother. Because I don’t really have another spot for it but want to keep this info archived, I’ve tucked in an old starch recipe for stiffening crinolines at the bottom of the page. Lots here, I hope you find a tip or two beneficial enough to add to your routine!
5 Ways To Correct Common Bloopers & Mistakes
Wet Laundry Left In Machine Too Long = Stinky:
- To get rid of the mildew smell, redo the load with 1 cup of vinegar tossed in with the detergent.
- If it’s a basket of whites that can handle bleach, use bleach instead.
Red Sock + Whites = Pink Clothes:
If there was a red article hidden in a batch of whites, you’ll find the results = pink garments. If this happens, do not dry–keep them wet until you can treat with a fix:
- Rewash in hot temp…as hot as the linens will safely tolerate without shrinking or damage.
- Rewash with bleach or Rit (a dye/color remover) if the fabrics can handle it.
If load was mistakenly dried before the pink-disaster discovery, still try soaking in bleach or Rit. It may take several attempts and the dye might be too firmly set but still worth a shot.
Linens Left Sitting In Dryer Too Long = Wrinkles Galore:
- Put a wet bath towel in with the articles and turn the dryer on for 15 minute intervals. When the crumpled mess / wrinkles are gone, remove and fold immediately. Use a wet hand towel instead if it’s only a few small pieces.
Lint Fluff All Over Items:
- Wash towels, sweaters and other fuzzy stuff separately.
- Make sure the lint traps in both machines are emptied after each use.
- You could be filling the washing machine too full, not enough room for the soapy water to agitate and work on the pieces.
- Dryer is too full or timer set too long. Reduce the time and load amount.
- Turn dark garments inside out as you toss them into machine so lint is mainly hidden on the inside as they’re worn.
- The drainage hose may have a problem (ie. partially clogged). Have a plumber inspect.
Powdery Residue, Streaks or Clumps:
- When using powdered detergent, make sure to add it first to dissolve and suds up before clothes are tossed in.
- Load size is too big…either increase the water level or reduce the number of linens processed in a single batch.
- Double check the measure of detergent you are using, streaks of residue will appear if too much.
A Little Help With Washables: Short & Sweet Tips
Here are a few pointers previously published on Tipnut as Quick Tips that I’ve moved to this single page for better organization.
- Before laundering apparel soiled with grass stains, try dabbing a generous amount of vinegar into the patch first–this should aid in lifting the green right out.
- If there’s a Liquid Paper or correction fluid smudge on garments, try applying a bit of suntan lotion to a slightly damp cloth then blotting over the blotch, gently rubbing with the grain or weave of the fabric if possible. Repeat as necessary until all is removed. Be careful with delicates and make sure the fiber content will easily rinse out the suntan lotion. An informative sheet highlighting numerous stain removal approaches is located here: Handy Fabric Stain Guide For Laundry Dilemmas.
- To Iron Embroidered Linens: Place material embroidered side down over a white terry towel then press (wrong side up). This preserves the direction of the stitching without flattening it. You could also do this in reverse: first lay the embroidered side up, then place a terry towel on top, then press.
- Try adding a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle when cleaning plastic tablecloths, this encourages them to turn out soft and pliable.
- For brand new, brightly colored solids or print fabrics/clothing: Soak first in 1 tsp Epsom salts to one gallon of water. Helps prevent fading as well as dyes running in future washes (which can then transfer to the rest of the textiles or produce dingy results).
- Bottle up a 50/50 mix of vodka and water to spray on suit jackets, coats, shirts, blouses, etc., to freshen the armpit area. Lightly mist or spray the vodka mix underneath the arms of the apparel, hang until needed. If garments are otherwise unsoiled, this is a great budget saver since it reduces professional cleaning costs. Don’t miss the whole page offering more remedies Beat Armpit Sweat: The Ultimate List To Get The Nasty Yellow Out.
- When letting down a hem there’s usually an outline showing where the original hemline was. Try sponging that line with a 50/50 water and vinegar solution. Next cover with a damp pressing cloth and apply hot iron. This may take a few tries, but I’ve had good luck with this procedure.
Vintage Starch Recipe To Stiffen Crinolines
*Originally published May 17, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization
1 cup boiling water, 1/2 cup sugar. Boil and cool. Add: 1 tbsp. gelatine and thin down to thickness needed.
Dissolve 1 package gelatin in the sugar water solution. Clean and thoroughly rinse crinoline then soak and squeeze the piece in gelatin mixture. Remove and drain without rinsing. This will stay stiff longer than starch.
*Found on loose sheet of an old cookbook. Included here because one just never knows when they’ll need a crinoline ready to wear ;).