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The Way You Have Been Doing Your Laundry is Wrong

The Way You Have Been Doing Your Laundry is Wrong

It’s an awful feeling. You go into the dresser to pull out your favorite shirt. The one you wait all week to wear again. The day after laundry day shirt. You pull it out, so excited to wear this shirt and it’s stained or it’s faded or it’s torn in the corner. How can you save your other favorite clothes from a similar fate? Try these laundry hacks for better clothes that last longer.

Leave The Swimsuit Out of the Washer

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    Your swimsuit has already taken a beating in the chlorine of the pool — which degrades the material — and in the sun and salt of the ocean or beach. Don’t subject it to harsh detergents or the agitator of a washer. Instead, handwash your suit with bleach free detergent and hang them to dry.

    Hang Black Clothes to Keep Them Black

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      Black pants and shirts will fade in the dryer no matter how hard you try to keep them black. Repeated washings and dryings are hard on black clothes, so if you need to keep your black work pants from going gray, hang them after every washing. Spot clean them between washings to keep them blacker even longer.

      Use a Dry Erase Marker for Laundry Reminders

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        Have a shirt that can’t be hung up? A sweater that must not go in the dryer? Get a dry erase marker with a Velcro tab and stick it to the washer lid. Every time you have something that needs to be taken care of differently than the rest of the load, write it down on the washer lid. Just writing “black pants” on the lid can remind you — or the person transferring the clothes — to keep the black pants out and safe from their dryer-fading fate.

        Rinse Down Items One More Time

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          Stop sending your down jackets and comforters to the dry cleaners. Instead, go ahead and put it in the washer on warm but then run it through the washer ONE MORE TIME without any detergent to make sure the detergent is removed from the feathers under the fabric. Then, put the jacket or comforter in the dryer with a couple of clean tennis balls. Reduce the possibility of clumps by pulling your coat or comforter out and breaking up any clumps that may be forming.

          Pin Small Items Together

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            Have a baby? Does she have tiny, little socks? Washing something tiny, like Barbie clothes? Use a safety pin to pin them together so they don’t separate during washing.

            Hang Your Clothes

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              Hang your clothes outside old style to save them from the deteriorating effects of the dryer. Want to air dry your clothes but don’t have space for a floor rack or a clothesline outside? Take an old wooden ladder, paint it a color you like and hang it from the ceiling above your washer and dryer — or in another space that works for you. Use hangers, “S” hooks or other hooks to hang your clothes from them and dry them. You can even weave clothesline through it and hang your clothes traditionally with clothespins.

              Use the Power of the Sun

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                Hang stained clothes in the sun and the sun will remove the stains. Make sure the clothes are very wet when you hang them. This is also a great way to “bleach” out whites like large sheets or pillowcases.

                Use Hand Sanitizer to Kill Ink Stains

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                  Hand sanitizer or hairspray rubbed lightly into an ink stain. Let it set for 10 minutes and then wash as normal in hot water.

                  Don’t Wash It – Spritz It!

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                    Need that shirt again tomorrow? Don’t have enough quarters for the laundromat? Want to preserve that shirt as long as possible and you know that washing it will deteriorate it faster? Spritz it with a mixture of white vinegar and water (about 1 cup of white vinegar to two cups of water in a spray bottle). Hang the shirt from a hanger and spritz away — especially any problem areas — and then let it dry on the hanger and hang dry.

                    More by this author

                    Michelle Kennedy Hogan

                    Michelle is an explorer, editor, author of 15 books, and mom of eight.

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                    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                    1. Exercise Daily

                    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                    The basic nutritional advice includes:

                    • Eat unprocessed foods
                    • Eat more veggies
                    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                      5. Watch Out for Travel

                      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                      6. Start Slow

                      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                      More Tips on Getting in Shape

                      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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