9 Laundry Hacks that Really Work

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.

55 comments
  • Lizzy September 13, 2017 at 6:49 AM

    Love this! I am horribly lazy when it comes to laundry (mostly folding and putting away). These tips are very helpful, and I am going to need to go buy that Glamorous Wash!

    • Angela Lanter September 14, 2017 at 7:38 PM

      I’m bad at putting the clothes away too. Sometimes I let it sit in the basket for days, but I’m great about actually washing and drying the clothes lol!

  • Brittany Blackburn September 13, 2017 at 7:22 AM

    I do love your home & cleaning posts, & I’d love a closet organization/tour post! I wash my bras weekly in my bathtub, & it gets a cleaning too! 😉 I learned about those laundry bags when I started working at the animal clinic! They’re great!

  • Tara September 13, 2017 at 7:39 AM

    Please do post about your closet organization! Side note – my favorite stain remover is the baby oxiclean spray. I find it works better than the regular oxiclean spray. What detergent do you use for regular washes? I recently switched to biokleen cold water and like it but always looking for good products.

    • Angela Lanter September 14, 2017 at 7:36 PM

      OOOHH I’m going to buy some Baby Oxiclean ASAP! Thank you!
      For regular washes, my normal combo is Tide pods + Downy Unstoppables (Teal/Green bottle). The scent is amazing! I fill the bleach tray with white vinegar for my normal white washes (not bleach days) also. I’m promising you, the Tide + Downy combo is so good, I’ve had houseguests leave with photos of my laundry combo because their bed and towels smell so good that they want to recreate it at home lol!

  • Erin September 13, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    Omg yes please do a closet tour/organization tips!

  • Kat September 13, 2017 at 11:30 AM

    This was very helpful!! I’d love for you to do a blog on more cleaning & organization tips and a closet tour!! I’m always having trouble figuring out the best way to organize my clothes and shoes – and how to keep my house clean and organized in general!

  • Karolina September 13, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    Please do!!!:)

  • Yoli De Avila September 13, 2017 at 12:08 PM

    Yas! We want more.. 🙂

  • Brooke September 13, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    I’d love to see a closet tour! You spent 3 days getting it together, you might as well show it off 😉 I love these tips and will have to try that glamorous wash! I love when clothes keep their clean smell! What laundry detergent do you use for your regular cycles?

    • Angela Lanter September 14, 2017 at 7:30 PM

      Haha that’s true! Truth is, I spent longer than that, but three days solid of reorganizing and putting away the clothes I can’t wear until after the baby comes.
      For regular wash, I love Tide Pods mixed with Downy Unstoppables (Teal/Green bottle). I’m promising you, the scent of the two combined in amazing! I’ve had houseguests take photos of my laundry products to buy them when they get home lol!

  • Michelle Johnson September 13, 2017 at 12:39 PM

    This was such a great post! I now have a few new tips thanks to you! I do like these type of posts. And yes, I would love love love to see your closet and how you organize it!

  • Whitney September 13, 2017 at 12:52 PM

    Love this post! And would love a closet tour/organization post too! xo

  • Melissa September 13, 2017 at 12:58 PM

    Just moved into my first place which means my first walk in closet!! (Gah!) So I would love to see a closet tour for any tips and tricks!

  • Lily September 13, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    Thank you thank you thank you for sharing!!!! I am so excited to put these to the test and see if they’ll solve some of my problems. Please do a closet tour video! I am about to move into a new home and would love to see what you’ve done and your ideas. Love you always!

  • Denise September 13, 2017 at 2:22 PM

    So will the above white sheet-washing tips help with my 8 yr old daughter’s socks? They start out white and after playing they are brown! And I cannot get them back to white!

    • Angela Lanter September 14, 2017 at 7:23 PM

      Oh YES! When I have nasty sock stains, I use stain remover spray (whichever you’re most comfortable with) then also through them in with the sheets for bleaching day if they’re all white!
      I also found this post on Pinterest and I’m curious if it works: http://bitzngiggles.com/using-vinegar-to-whiten-whites/
      I add white vinegar to my bleach tray when I’m washing whites normally, I think it helps boost the color!

  • Z September 13, 2017 at 5:29 PM

    I just moved to a new house and I would love to check out your ideas about organizing and cleaning closets, id also love to see your’s and get inspired by it

  • Kimberly September 13, 2017 at 6:57 PM

    I will definitely be using these tips. Thanks for the step-by-step instructions! Looking forward to a tour of your new closet 🙂

  • Madison September 13, 2017 at 8:19 PM

    I would love a closet organization post! You should include tips and tricks for those of us with smaller closets too! I have a teeny tiny closet and would love to find a way to make the most out of the space. So excited to try these laundry tricks!

    • Angela Lanter September 14, 2017 at 7:20 PM

      Oh girl, I grew up with a tiny closet at home that I shared my whole life with my mom! I found ways of storage that would probably make your head spin lol! Are you using under the bed storage? Those containers are life savers! Also, I always rotate clothes out/in by the season to ensure I have enough room to fit what I can currently wear without going crazy trying to find it!

  • Esti September 14, 2017 at 4:32 AM

    Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to try theses tips on my laundry. I’m always looking to improve on my home chores and organization, so yes pls share more❣️

  • Toni September 14, 2017 at 4:58 AM

    Omg! Need closet help now!!

    • Angela Lanter September 14, 2017 at 7:17 PM

      Oh girl I LOVE me some closet organization! I’m thinking I’m going to wait to post until after I get all my hangers converted to velvet… Or should I not wait??

  • Haley Jackson September 14, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    I know you said you use the towel detox every 1-2 months. Exactly how do you wash your towels normally day to day, and what types of colors of towels do you wash together? How often do you do the bleach on your sheets, and when not bleaching how do you normally wash them each week? What detergents, color brighteners, softeners, etc do you use normally for regular loads. What type of clothes do you wash together? LOVE THIS KIND OF POST!!!

    • Angela Lanter September 14, 2017 at 7:16 PM

      Hi Haley!
      Okay so I try to keep laundry day down to one day a week, which I’m sure will change once the baby gets here! For now, I do 2-3 loads on Mondays: whites, lights and darks. If I don’t have enough to make three full loads, I do 2 loads: lights/whites and darks. Those loads include my towels: white towels in with whites, light grey towels in with lights (or whites) and dark towels in with darks.

      As for bleaching my whites, I only do this when I notice my whites getting dingy looking. So I’d say maybe once every 1-2 months.

      I wash my sheets every week. My normal wash includes: Tide Pods, Downy Unstoppables and dryer sheets (I’m between four different brands right now, trying to figure out which one I like best!) For all white loads, I add white vinegar into my bleach tray in addition to the Tide and Downy Unstoppables in my wash.

      As for dryer sheets: I’m currently testing out: Bounce, Honest Co, Mrs. Meyers and Seventh Generation. I’d love to go the natural route, but I’m seeing which one delivers the best results. I feel like nothing beats the scent of Bounce sheets. I’ve gone through probably 3 full packages of the Honest Co. dryer sheets and I really like them, but they don’t give that scent boost that Bounce does. Mrs. Meyers is just okay in my opinion. I just got the Seventh Generation sheets in from Amazon yesterday, so I haven’t had a chance yet to test them out!

      Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

  • Kristen B. Smith September 14, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    I have been married for 25 years and still love to learn more about home organization so yes, a closet post would be great!

    • Angela Lanter September 14, 2017 at 6:58 PM

      I love home organization! I have a video coming this weekend showing how we organized my entire beauty room and makeup collection, so I hope you like it!

  • Vivianne September 14, 2017 at 6:02 PM

    oh my gosh this is gold! Literally have been working on our laundry for the last few hours so this was perfect timing! haha would love to see more posts like this! and definitely closet organization hacks! 🙂

    • Angela Lanter September 14, 2017 at 6:56 PM

      Thank you! I love home decor, organization, cleaning, all that fun stuff… But I never know if y’all will think I’m boring for sharing my hacks lol!

  • rosie barrow September 16, 2017 at 6:49 AM

    Thanks Angela, what an eye opener, so glad to get these lifetime tips to keep
    my laundy immaculately clean. cant wait for the master closet/oganisation.

  • Zsuzsa Schiller September 17, 2017 at 3:15 AM

    Any idea how I can best clean the white thick very visible rubber sole on which is now typical on sneakers ?

    • Angela Lanter September 17, 2017 at 10:59 AM

      I spray the soles with Shout then add Oxiclean to the washing machine. The visible parts of the soles are like brand new and the bottoms are much cleaner!

  • Taa September 17, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    While I already have the bulk of your suggestions in play in my home, #1 “Deep Cleaning Towels”, and #7 “Toss the Iron, Grab the Steamer”, I CANNOT WAIT to try. I HATE IRONING!, and have always wondered about using a steamer instead, but none of my friends use steamers. I just wonder if they are as effective for cottons, and linens as I believe they would be for polyesters, stretch fabrics etc… AND are they more time efficient than the
    tedious iron??? I am game to give it a try after 50 years of doing something that while it will gets the job done is too time consumptive. When I have down time, I don’t want to use it for ironing. I will look for the brand you have suggested.

    • Angela Lanter September 17, 2017 at 10:59 AM

      Hi Taa! Personally, I use a steamer on everything… All types of clothing, bedding and even my slipcovered furniture. The results are always great! For things like my duvet cover with linen edges, I take that to the dry cleaners and have it cleaned and pressed to ensure that it stays white and the edges are crisp.

      I’ve tested multiple steamers and the best one I’ve used to date is definitely this one: http://rstyle.me/n/csep7yy2tw

  • Sofia September 17, 2017 at 10:28 PM

    I totally agree with you on like… all of this. But the thing that made me really wanna comment is the one thing you said about DIY soaps that don’t do the work. Oh. My. God. I thought I was the only one having these problems! I mean, everyone using these DIY/all natural detergents or soaps always rave about how nice they are and I’m here like…wtf? What am I doing wrong? The only thing our DIY soaps did was making our clothes smell like a dumpster and they were just as dirty as when they were in the laundry bag. So, you really made my day here, telling me that you too don’t think they work. Anyway, this was such a great post! Xoxo Sofia

    • Angela Lanter September 18, 2017 at 10:11 AM

      THANK YOU! I felt like such a failure over the DIY soaps! My clothes smelled like dirty hair and didn’t look clean either… So went back to my trusted Tide! 🙂

  • Natalie Redman September 18, 2017 at 4:40 AM

    Definitely buying a steamer when I move into my own place. Ironing just takes too long.

  • Becca October 6, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Doing my towels like this today! I noticed they are not smelling the best and remembered reading this post!! Can’t wait to try! Thanks!

  • Georgina November 10, 2017 at 6:11 AM

    These tips are ACE. I’ve just moved into my first home so all of these deep cleaning tricks are new to me.

    Question: for #1, how hot should the water be on the final cycle for towels?

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