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17 Laundry Hacks to Save You Time and Money

It's laundry day again! It might not be your favorite day, so check out these 17 hacks that will make doing the laundry less of a hassle.

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HH Handy hint ice cubes wrinkle remover dryer laundry hackFamily Handyman

Say Goodbye to Wrinkles

Ditch the time-consuming iron or handheld steamer to get wrinkles out of a shirt or slacks. Throw a few ice cubes or a wet washcloth in the dryer with your wrinkled clothes. As the ice melts and the water turns to steam, it will remove the wrinkles. This trick isn’t as effective with heavier clothing but is a miracle for lighter fabrics. The best part is that you don’t have to set the dryer for longer than 10 minutes for it to work. These 20 small laundry room ideas make the most of what little space you have in your laundry or utility room.

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HH Scrap Clothes Air Dryer Hanger laundry hackFamily Handyman

Instant Drying Rack

Does your family have a lot of clothes that cannot be put in the drier? Even those collapsible drying racks with several bars for draping wet clothes still aren’t enough for big laundry days. And if you hang wet clothes on top of wet clothes, it lengthens the dry time significantly and can even leave your clothes smelling a little musty.

To fix your air-drying space shortage:

  1. Grab a 1×2 board from your scrap stash in the garage
  2. Trim it to fit across a few joists overhead in your basement laundry room.
  3. Tack it in place with a heavy-duty nail in each joist.
  4. Then you can air-dry several more pieces of clothing using hangers!
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HH writing notes on washing machine laundry hackFamily Handyman

Write Notes on the Washer

Stop shrinking your sweaters! When you put a load of clothes into your washing machine, use a dry-erase marker to note on the lid which items should not go into the dryer. That way, whoever switches the load from the washing machine to the dryer will know which items to leave out for line drying.

The enamel finish on most washing machine lids is similar to a whiteboard, and dry-erase markers can be removed easily with a dry paper towel.

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shutterstock_95680816 laundry wash bright colors laundry hackarosoft/Shutterstock

Wash Bright Colors With Salt

You can use salt to prevent colors from fading. Just toss a teaspoon of salt in with your dark clothes to help make the color last longer. Washing colored clothing inside out can also help maintain color. If you’re having trouble with your washer or dryer check out these repair tips.

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pool noodle hanger hack with dress pants laundry hackFamily Handyman

Pool Noodle Hanger Hack

Add a crease-eliminating pad to your hanger with a pool noodle! (We found that smaller-size noodles work better than larger ones for this handy hint.) Use a utility knife to cut the noodle to size and then slice it open lengthwise. Then slip the noodle onto the bottom bar of the hanger. The extra padding is perfect for hanging dress pants in your closet. It prevents that dreaded crease, saving you time because you won’t have to iron it out before you can wear the pants!

Plus, check out these 25 pool noodle hacks that will improve your life.

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HH cleaning around lint trap on dryer laundry hackFamily Handyman

Paint Stick to Clean Lint Buildup

Even if you empty your dryer’s lint trap before each load, chances are there is still lint buildup around the area that could potentially cause a fire. So it’s important to deep clean the area once in a while, and this handy hint will get the job done.

Wrap a clean rag around one end of a paint stir stick. Remove the lint trap and clean out the area with the rag-covered stick. To help the lint stick to the rag, dampen it with water first. Plus, check out these other dryer lint cleaning tips.

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jeans laundry hackPicha.S/Shutterstock

Freeze Your Jeans

If you like to wear your jeans more than once between washings, stick them in the freezer between wears. The frigid air will kill bacteria that can cause odor.

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FH19MAY_594_08_044-1200 remove grease HH laundry hackFamily Handyman

One Wash Cycle Away from a New Shirt

Being a self-confessed klutz, I’ve needed to learn how to treat clothing stains. For a grease stain, I turn to white chalk. Just rub the chalk on the stain and the chalk powder absorbs and lifts out the grease, so it’ll come out in the wash. – Jean Reeves. See 13 more laundry tips from the Family Handyman archives by clicking here.

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shutterstock_82991716 salad spinner laundry hacknito/Shutterstock

Use a Salad Spinner

If you have some articles of clothing you don’t want to put in the dryer, use a salad spinner to remove excess water. Then hang them on a rack to dry.

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collapsible clothes storage closet laundry hackFamily Handyman

Above Units Clothes Storage

Folding hanger rods collapse against the wall when they’re not in use, saving valuable space in tiny rooms. They’re great for wet clothes and sporting gear. The Arrow Hanger single- and double-hanger versions shown are available on Amazon.

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HH pouring wax into waterproof fire starters laundry hackFamily Handyman

Don’t Just Throw That Lint Away!

To properly build a fire, you need tinder. Fortunately, we all have a readily available supply: dryer lint! Rather than throwing it out give it another use!

How to make these waterproof fire starters:

Stuff each well of an egg carton with dryer lint. Then pour melted wax into each well and let them cool. The wax waterproofs the dryer lint and carton and helps the starter burn longer.

Ready to make a fire pit a part of your backyard entertainment scene? Here’s what you need to know before you start.

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shutterstock_150550232 aluminum foil laundry hackSergiy Kuzmin/Shutterstock

Use Aluminum Foil

If you’re out of dryer sheets, throw a ball of aluminum foil in your dyer. The aluminum will fight static buildup and help keep your clothing separated. Check out these 22 brainy ways to use dryer sheets at home.

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foam pipe insulation next to washing machine laundry room laundry hackFamily Handyman

Stop Losing Socks

Stuff a strip of foam pipe insulation into the space between your washer and dryer or along the wall. That way, socks can’t slip into the abyss. Here are some great tips on how to organize a laundry room.

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skinny laundry room cart laundry hackFamily Handyman

Skinny Laundry Room Cart

A lot of laundry rooms have a narrow wasted space either next to or between the washing machine and dryer, and it’s usually a hideout for socks and lint. To take advantage of this space, build a simple plywood laundry room cart on fixed casters to hold detergents and other laundry supplies. Check out 18 more easy organizing ideas.

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HH lint log fire starter laundry hackFamily Handyman

Another Use for All That Lint

To properly build a fire, you need to have tinder (easy-lighting material), kindling (finger-size sticks) and fuel (logs). To make fire starters, I stuff empty toilet paper tubes with dryer lint. My dryer lint “logs” light quickly and easily burn long enough to light up the kindling. And I don’t have to resort to lighter fluid! Have you ever heard of a Swedish fire torch?

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Quick Laundry Drying Hack HH laundry hackFamily Handyman

Quick Drying Laundry Hack

Waiting for clothes to dry is annoying. Especially if you’re in a hurry. My solution is to throw in a dry towel with the rest of my wet laundry to speed up the process and get on with my day. Or, you could use one of these 9 ways to dry clothes without a dryer.

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smelly washing machine laundry hackFamily Handyman

Clean Your Machine

Your washing machine does need to be cleaned regularly (here’s how). Every couple of months set your washer to the largest load setting and hottest water temperature. Add a quart of white vinegar and a cup of baking soda and let the washer agitate for a minute. Then open the lid or pause the cycle and let the mixture sit for an hour. Scrub any parts, such as the lid, with a toothbrush to remove buildup. After an hour, let the cycle complete and run a second cycle on hot to remove any residue left behind. And if you want to take it one step further and pamper your clothes, give laundry stripping a try. Your clothes will thank you.