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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 March 13, 2019

                    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                    1. Work on the small tasks.

                    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                    2. Take a break from your work desk.

                    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                    3. Upgrade yourself

                    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                    4. Talk to a friend.

                    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                    7. Read a book (or blog).

                    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                    8. Have a quick nap.

                    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                    9. Remember why you are doing this.

                    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                    10. Find some competition.

                    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                    11. Go exercise.

                    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                    12. Take a good break.

                    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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