9 Laundry Hacks that Really Work

150 150 Angela Lanter

I’m a little OCD about my home (organization and cleanliness) and even more so about my laundry.  These past four months of transition as we’re still trying to get settled into our new home have drove me nuts!  I’m still trying to find new homes for everything, which is so outside of my personality.  I like order in my home.

On to the laundry…  I don’t let anyone touch my laundry.  I have very specific things I do to ensure my clothes are perfectly laundered.  Laundry day is on Mondays in my house.  The beds get stripped, the clothes get sorted, and I get to work.  As you can probably see, I’m a little intense about the topic, lol.

I’ve tested so many different laundry products and hacks that I know exactly what works and what doesn’t work for me.  In case you’re a woman after my own laundry-loving heart, I compiled a list of my favorite hacks to make your life a little easier.

Laundry Hacks that Really Work angela lanter hello gorgeous

1. Deep clean your towels.  Ever notice that your clean towels don’t smell so clean?  Or maybe your towels don’t seem to absorb like they used to after a shower?  The problem could be fabric softener build up, which leaves your towels stiffer, stinkier and less absorbent than usual.  Several years ago I found a hack on Pinterest that works like a charm.  Now, I try to wash a load of towels (all colors) with this method every month or two to keep our towels in tip-top shape.

Here’s how I do a towel detox:  Wash your towels on normal cycle with HOT water and add one cup of white vinegar.  I have a front-load HE washing machine, so my detergent tray can’t hold a full cup.  I add the vinegar directly to the drum.  Skip detergent and softener (trust me on this one).  After that cycle is complete, add 1/2 cup of baking soda (again, directly to drum) and run on normal cycle with HOT water.  Skip the detergent and softener again.  After the second cycle is complete, dry as normal.  The smell is gone and your towels are as soft as when you first bought them, pinky swear!

2. Keep your whites white.  If you have an all white bed like me, keeping your whites bright is essential.  When using bleach, I add all of my whites to my washer and add only bleach (to the bleach tray).  I skip detergent and softener when using bleach.  I find detergent and softener can interfere with the bleach doing it’s job.  I run the washer on the whites cycle in COLD water.  If you don’t have a white cycle on your washing machine, just run a normal cycle with cold water.  I then run a second cycle on normal with my usual detergent and softener to get out the bleach smell and add an extra rinse on to ensure that all traces of the bleach are gone.

Sometimes, bleaching can cause your whites to begin to yellow…  What a pain in the butt!  My mom suggested using white fabric dye when your whites do yellow, to bring them new life.  I haven’t tried this method, but she says it really works.

Laundry Hacks that Really Work angela lanter hello gorgeous

3. Skip the homemade laundry soap.  Cue the angry comments about this one…  Here’s the thing, I’ve personally tested homemade detergent recipes many times and it just doesn’t work for me.  Yes, you’ll save money by not buying detergent.  But the homemade soaps that I have DIY’ed just don’t work as well as store bought.  Sorry, but it’s the truth.  They don’t get out the tougher stains and they don’t leave your clothes smelling as fresh.  I found myself washing with my homemade soap, drying, seeing the stains didn’t come out, then having rewash and spot treat with a stain remover because my DIY soap just didn’t have the soap strength to handle it.  By the time I was wasting all the extra water to rewash what the DIY soap couldn’t get out the first time, I wasn’t doing the environment or my water bill any favors.

4. Read all. the. tags!  I spend so much of my laundry time reading individual clothing tags about how to wash and dry them.  Taking the time to do it right has saved me so much money because I avoid shrinking, destroying the shapes/materials and colors bleeding…  Therefore, I don’t have to replace the pieces that I damage from not washing them properly.  Score!

Laundry Hacks that Really Work angela lanter hello gorgeous

5. Use special detergent for your delicates.  I discovered Glamorous Wash a couple weeks ago when I ran out of my {discontinued} specialty laundry soap.  I posted about this detergent on Insta-Stories and was blown away by how many of you were raving about it.  Y’all never disappoint!  This soap is amazing.  I use it to wash a delicates load every couple of weeks, when I have enough for a full load.  I use it to wash my silk pillowcases, pregnancy pillow case, sleep masks, undies, bras and any delicate tops or PJs.  The scent lingers forever and I’m obsessed.  Every time I open my lingerie drawer it smells heavenly.  The scent is so strong (in the best way possible) that I can smell my bra through my clothes…  And I love it!  One Gorgeous Girl DM’ed me and said that she uses unscented Tide pods and Glamorous Wash together to get her clothes with tough stains clean but still smelling great.

PS- Always wash your delicates on the delicates cycle!

6. Use laundry bags.  This is a new discovery for me…  And I’m wondering what on earth I’ve been waiting for.  I have a small laundry bag that I use to wash my sock liners, shoelaces and other easily lost items.  It’s so nice not having that one random sock lying there for months because I washed them together in the first place!

Laundry Hacks that Really Work angela lanter hello gorgeous

Dress:  Goodnight Macaroon

7. Toss the iron, grab a steamer.  I’m probably going to go down in history as the world’s worst ironer.  I can’t iron to save my life.  It wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t want things to be wrinkle-free…  But I do.  So steaming is the answer for the iron-challenged, like me!  I have been through many, and I do mean many, steamers.  They all seem to have something about them I don’t like…  Biggest problem of all is when they leak.  I finally found one that I love, this Conair Steamer.  Here are the reasons why this one stands out among the rest (that are now in my trash can): it heats up SUPER fast (40 seconds!), it stands up (no spills or steam on your wood floors), it doesn’t leak and it has a long cord.  All of those things combined make for a great steaming experience.  I used this bad boy on Sunday to steam all of my shirts and dresses during my great closet purge, and it is hands-down the best steamer I’ve used.

8. Spot Treat before washing.  If you wash some stains, you’ll only set them into the fabric, making them harder to remove.  Recently, Soka left a small stain behind on our ivory front room sofa and we were able to fully remove it with a clean microfiber cloth, hydrogen peroxide and some elbow grease.  If you need to know which products to remove what stains, this is a great cheat sheet.

9. Use your washing machine to bring new life to your sneakers.  I’m often tempted to just toss out my dirty sneakers rather than clean them because they look beyond help.  Wrong!  A run in the washing machine can do wonders to even the dirtiest of tennis shoes.  Here’s how I do it (nabbed these tips from Pinterest): Throw a couple of old towels in the washing machine.  I prefer to use towels that I don’t care are mixed with dirty shoes, so car washing or garage towels are perfect.  Remove your shoelaces and put them in your handy dandy small laundry bag.  I use Shout stain removal spray and spray the crap out of the fabric parts of my shoes.  I’m guessing any stain remover will do, but be sure to really soak the dirty fabrics to get them good and clean.  I throw my shoes and bag of shoe laces on top of the towels, then add 1-2 more towels on top.  I then add in my normal detergent as well as a scoop of Oxiclean to really knock out the stains and also clean the bottoms and interiors of the shoes.  I run my concoction on the delicate cycle.  After the cycle is complete, if there are any remaining stains on the fabric portions of the shoes, I douse them in stain remover again, and run a second cycle on delicates with Oxiclean.  I typically don’t wash my shoelaces twice unless they need it.  Honestly, I think you’ll be shocked at how clean your shoes will get!

PS- I often take my shoes to the shoe repairman up the street to clean my heels and replace the bottom of my heel.  It’s usually about $10 and my shoes stay in great condition.

I’m working on perfecting my master closet this week.  Leave a comment below if you would like me to do a post about my closet organization and/or a closet tour.  Also, please let me know if you like these types of home and cleaning posts.

My First 5 Months/20 Weeks of Pregnancy Favorites

150 150 Angela Lanter

Isn’t it interesting that my mom and Mawmaw’s generations referred to pregnancy length by months?  They’d say I’m 5 months pregnant right now.  Nowadays, we describe our pregnancies by weeks.  In fact, we talk pregnancy in weekly terms as if it’s always been that way.  I’m interested to know when that shift happened from months to weeks?

If you’re following along on Hello Bump Podcast, then you are already very filled in on my first 15 weeks of pregnancy.  In fact, Episode 10, Week 15 released this morning.  You can listen via iTunes, Stitcher or straight from this blog post (below) if you haven’t already downloaded it.

Today’s post goes out to my fellow pregnant and soon-to-be pregnant mamas who are interested in some of my must-have products from my first 20 weeks of pregnancy.  These are all products personally tested and approved by me.  Scroll down for a description of each item and a few sentences about why they made the “Angela Approved Pregnancy List.

first 5 months of pregnancy favorite products 20 weeks pregnant angela lanter hello gorgeous

My First 20 Weeks Faves:

  1. Maeband Maternity Belly Band:  If you’re like me, you want to wear your regular shorts, jeans and pants for as long as possible while pregnant.  This belly band helps you do just that.  It’s a cloth band with velcro on both ends that hooks through your belt loops and secures with the velcro.  I’m currently wearing a size Small and have it in the navy blue color.  The Maeband makes it possible for me to wear my pre-pregnancy bottoms without an issue.
  2. Leachco Snoogle Body Pillow:  This was my first pregnancy purchase and definitely my most used/loved.  I can’t sleep at night now without it.  My chiropractor suggested this pillow to help keep my hips aligned while side sleeping, which in turn has majorly helped to ease my lower back pain.  I originally bought the pillow on Amazon without a cover, trying to save money.  I quickly realized I needed a pillow cover (i.e. pillow case) and ordered the jersey grey, which means I didn’t actually save myself any money at all.  If you are looking for a pregnancy pillow, look no further.  But buy the pillow that comes with the case.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.
  3. Maternity Undies:  Early on in my pregnancy, I posted on Facebook about my need for maternity undies and asked for suggestions.  Quite a few women said they never needed new undies throughout their entire pregnancy…  Which made me feel like there was something wrong with me for needing them so early on.  But my oh-so-loved CK’s were literally sinking into my skin, leaving indents.  I researched undies online and bought pairs from several different brands.  This style from Giftpocket is hands down my favorite.  I wear them every single day and don’t have a single complaint.  If you’re interested in my pre-pregnancy favorite underwear, check out this blog post.
  4. Bellaband:  Another option for wearing your pre-pregnancy bottoms from Ingrid and Isabel that I love.  The Bellaband gives a smoother look to your bottoms than the Maeband.  This only matters if you’re wearing a tighter top.  If you wear mainly loose tops or sweaters, you’ll be fine with the Maeband.  If you prefer to wear tighter fitting tops, then go with the Bellaband.  I have the Bellaband in a size 1 in white.
  5. Bra Extender:  If you listen to Hello Bump, then you’ve heard Matt get on me about my bras being too tight.  This extender has helped ease my discomfort immensely.  Those extra two inches made a big difference for me.  I just received a bra from Third Love in the mail yesterday, so I’ll let y’all know my thoughts once I’ve had a good chance to wear it.
  6. Maternity Leggings:  Another one of my first purchases was maternity leggings.  These leggings are great for every day wear and have a side zipper detail on the ankles.  They come with a crossover panel in the back which helps with lower back support.  If you’re interested in more casual leggings that are better for working out, then check out this pair from Beyond Yoga/Beyond the Bump.  The material is more like a super soft tee shirt, whereas the Ingrid & Isabel pair are thicker and better for a dressed up look.
  7. Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion:  I’ve been a fan of in-shower body lotions since Olay first debuted theirs when I was in high school.  I love the idea of moisturizing while I’m in the shower for one less step for when I get out.  I’ve suffered from dry, itchy skin during my pregnancy.  This lotion has helped moisturize, hydrate and keep my skin itch-free.  Honestly, I like both the Nivea and Olay lotions equally.  I do think I like the original (purple bottle) scent of Olay the best.
  8. Natural Calm:  I’ve been taking Natural Calm since January and I love it.  It helps me relax and sleep better, prevents constipation and helps prevent muscle cramps and headaches.  I think magnesium is an awesome way to fight against the pregnancy constipation that we all hear nightmare stories about.  Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking this supplement; my doctor approved it for me.
  9. Pink Stork Pregnancy Bath Salts:  I’ve been a bath taker all my life.  After first finding out I was pregnant, I shied away from baths.  Then the infamous cyst hit me like a brick wall and I had no choice but to take sitz baths.  It was during that period that I realized all the hub-bub about baths is silly.  I take warm, not hot baths, and I limit myself to 10 minutes.  These salts are also packed with magnesium to give you that same calming effect.  I also frequently use Aveeno oatmeal bath mixes to help soothe my dry, itchy or stretching skin.
  10. Bio-Oil:  I researched stretch mark prevention and every where I looked, this oil was recommended.  Of course I ordered myself a bottle from Amazon Prime right away.  I love the scent and it leaves my skin feeling silky smooth.  Luckily, I don’t have any stretch marks yet, but I still have another 4 months to go.  I also really love the Honest Company Organic Belly Balm because the scent is so calming for bedtime.

What are some of your pregnancy must-haves?  I’ve already discovered new products I love this past week that I can’t wait to share with y’all.  Be sure to watch my daily Insta-stories on both my personal account and the Hello Bump account to see the different products for both me and Baby Lanter that have been arriving.

Shop This Pregnancy Post:

Hello Bump Recap: 8 & 9

150 150 Angela Lanter

This week has been one of those weeks. If you follow me on Insta-stories, then you know why this post is late… My computer crashed.  And it was totally my fault.  I had the bright idea to clean fly guts from the area where my screen meets the keyboard with Windex.  The cleaning was a success, but I unfortunately burnt out my monitor.  Talk about frustrating.  I have now been laptop-less for a week and I feel like I’m going crazy lol.

On to the podcast!  Monday we released episode 8 in which we’re covering week 13 of pregnancy.  Depending on who you ask, second trimester begins on week 13 or week 14.  We were so excited at the prospect of second trimester, so we took the liberty of believing we crossed that landmark at week 13.  This week, we had our second trimester OB appointment and ultrasound.  Matt believes he saw the gender in the ultrasound and the ultrasound tech confirmed that she knew the gender…  But we have to wait for my blood results to come back before we find out for sure.  Personally, I love the gender guessing game.  Using old wives tales to try to figure out the gender is just all in good fun…  I think it sorta drives Matt crazy though, lol.

We also chat about the Zika virus threat and prenatal vitamins.  Then I uncover my weird obsession with polygamy based shows…  I just so badly want to understand the psychology behind the lifestyle.  Just to clarify, not the disgusting marriage of underage girls to old men.  I’m talking along the lines of the tv show, Sister Wives.  It’s such a foreign concept to me and something that I would never be able to do.

Listen here to episode 8:

Next up we have episode 9 which is week 14…  So we are officially official with the second trimester claims!  I rate my first trimester as a F, but Matt thinks it’s not as bad I do.  Easy for him to say!

I’m also taking you through our move process and our hectic schedule leading up to our vacation in Florida.

Do you have any travel traditions with your hubby?  I talk about our Facetime tradition and how much more safe it makes me feel.

We also chat about my first flight since being pregnant and the precautions we took.  In case you’re interested, these are the travel compression socks I wore on the flight.  I feel like they really did make a difference in my flight experience.

Also, anyone else love Raising Cane’s and Zaxby’s as much as I do?!

I wanna hear how you shared your pregnancy news with your friends and family!  Leave a comment below and tell me your story!

Listen here to episode 9:

As you may have noticed, we did not upload yesterday, on our regularly scheduled day due to the holiday.  There will be a brand new episode of Hello Bump available tomorrow morning per our usual upload schedule.  🙂


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