Helpful hints for washing and drying clothes

June 30, 2015

If you have the tendency to struggle with your laundry, never fear. Here are some tips to keep your wash days simple and clean.

Helpful hints for washing and drying clothes

Keep your iron clean

You're pressing your nicest 100 per cent cotton white blouse or shirt in preparation for dinner with your boss when — oh no! — the iron leaves a black streak on the collar. Sound familiar? You can say goodbye to marred garments by cleaning your iron regularly. Try one of these methods to rid the soleplate of burned starch and other debris:

  • Lay several sheets of wax paper on the ironing board, turn the iron on low and the steam off and run the iron back and forth over the wax paper several times.
  • Fill the iron with white vinegar, turn the heat on high, switch on the steam and let the iron spew for about five minutes. Empty the iron and refill it with cool water. Shake the iron gently, drain it and wipe the soleplate with a clean cloth.
  • Unclog steam vents by poking them with a cotton swab dipped in a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. A toothpick will unclog smaller vents.

Make an improv drying rack

Running a dryer bumps up your electric bill, so if you're thrifty, you'll want to air-dry any items you can. But don't think you need a sunny day or even a clothesline or store-bought drying rack. Just suspend an old (clean) refrigerator shelf or oven rack from a beam in your garage or basement and hook wet clothes on coat hangers onto the rack. Smart move!

Add mouthwash to your washing machine

Add 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) of your favourite mouthwash to your empty washing machine and run it through a cycle to disinfect using this household product that virtually everyone has in their bathroom.

Clean your dryer vent from the outside

Stuffed-up dryer vents can, in worst case scenarios, cause fires, but most of us never think of examining the vent on a regular basis from the outside. To do so, carefully lift up the vent flap and clean it out — assuming that it's not inhabited by any of the following creatures: pigeons, skunks, fox kits, snakes, field mice or raccoons (this is a favourite passageway into a warm house). If you do have visitors, call your local animal control.

We all have to deal with wash day, but these helpful hints will get you through it all looking — and feeling — like a pro!

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