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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.

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                    Michelle Kennedy Hogan

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

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                    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                    Boundaries are limits

                    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                    • When do you feel disrespected?
                    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                    • When do you want to be alone?
                    • How much space do you need?

                    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                    Sample language:

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                    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                    Final Thoughts

                    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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