No matter how hard you try to avoid it, there always seems to be laundry overflowing from the bottomless wicker laundry basket. It can seem like a never-ending chore. And while you may be able to breeze through it on autopilot, we have a few tips and tricks up our freshly laundered sleeve that you haven't tried yet. Try a couple of these helpful laundry ideas on your next load for unbelievable results.
Prep Your Laundry
Prepping may seem a bit obvious for some people, but bear with us; you might discover a new tip or two. When we think of how many times we’ve heard about the dreaded red shirt turning the whites pink, or the washer and dryer mysteriously eating socks, we can’t help but keep this one on our list. Prepping your dirty items may include pre-sorting with our favorite 3-Compartment Wicker Laundry Basket or:
- Tossing socks into a mesh wash bag to ensure the number that goes in come back out
- Turning delicates inside out, including t-shirts, to avoid pilling
- Zipping up zippers, aligning Velcro, and tying drawstrings and bows to help prevent twisting and tangling of your garments
- Leaving buttons unbuttoned to avoid added stress and stretching on the buttonholes
- Sorting like colors into separate wicker laundry baskets
Don’t Overdo It with the Detergent
Although most detergents come with fill guidelines in the caps or scoops, your clothes may benefit from using less than the recommended measurement. Too much detergent can cause soap suds that captures dirt and deposits it back into your load. Try dialing back the amount of detergent you use per load; as much as half the recommended amount. You’ll also put a bit of money back in your pocket with the soap you'll save.
Help, I Shrunk My Favorite Shirt!
It happens to the best of us. There’s always going to be a favorite blouse or child’s sweater that goes in one size but comes out another. Here's a helpful hack that might save the day:
- Fill a bucket or sink with lukewarm water
- Add in one capful of baby shampoo
- Place your garment into the water and allow to soak for several minutes
- Relax the clothing fibers by gently kneading the material
- Without rinsing, gently squeeze out most of the water
- Lay the garment flat on a clean towel
- Begin to roll the towel and garment up at one end, to the other
- Gently press on all areas of the towel to absorb the remaining water, then unroll
- Place your garment on a clean, dry towel
- Gently stretch and reshape to the original form
- Air dry completely
Sustainable Laundry Practices
We’re all about doing our part to promote sustainability. We have a variety of earth-friendly tips to help make laundry day eco-friendly.
Wicker Laundry Baskets
Replace those flimsy plastic laundry baskets with a beautifully hand-woven wicker basket. Combining décor with functionality, wicker laundry baskets aren’t an eyesore when left in plain sight. Our artisans carefully craft each wicker basket from sturdy rattan. You’ll love our variety of wicker basket shapes, sizes, and colors. Rattan baskets are known for their durability, you’ll love their lasting qualities Add something about the durability of rattan and how much longer our wicker baskets last over plastic baskets.
Make Your Own Fabric Softener
Fabric softeners contain fragrances and residue that can agitate allergies, asthma, and skin irritations. They may also block airflow in your dryer by leaving buildup on your lint screen and moisture sensors. Making your softener is quick and can relieve aggravation. Add 1/4 cup to 1 cup of white vinegar to your load during the final rinse cycle. That’s all there is to it! Quick safety tip: don’t mix vinegar with your bleach loads.
Vinegar is also a powerful tool when used with baking soda in your towel loads. Do you ever notice a less than pleasant scent on your freshly washed towels? Do you feel a little stiffness building over time or wonder why they don’t seem super absorbent anymore? When you use too much detergent or softener, it builds up in the towel fibers, reducing their ability to be adequately cleaned. So, the next time you dry off, the water reactivates that undesirable scent that's in the towel from previous washes. But there’s hope. You can bring life back to your towels and boost their absorbency with these two everyday household items. Try our favorite odor-fighting hack to strip residue from the towel fibers:
- Wash a load of towels with hot water and one cup of vinegar. No detergent or softeners are necessary.
- Re-wash the load in hot water and ½ cup of baking soda.
- Dry as usual. No dryer sheets are necessary.
Wash with Eco-Friendly Detergents
Why not get the same fresh, clean clothes without harmful toxins? The laundry detergents you are using create a buildup of toxic chemical residue, which are then inhaled and absorbed into your skin daily. These pollutants pose a threat not only to your health, but also to animals and the environment. Switching to natural detergents significantly reduces your exposure to health concerns, including possible carcinogens. You can even add ½ cup of borax to your detergent. It’s a natural mineral known to soften water, whiten whites, and act as an anti-bacterial.
Washing with Cold Water
Why not cut down on your utility bills by saving energy and lessening the strain on the electricity grid? When you choose warm or hot cycles, approximately 75% of the energy for your load is put into heating your water.
Cold water offers several benefits beyond being eco-friendly. You'll notice your clothing lasts longer, colors remain truer, tough stains like wine are easier to remove, and you avoid shrinkage. Add a teaspoon of salt to your load to help keep colors from fading. It’s also a misconception that hot water is necessary to disinfect your laundry, so why not go cold?
Wash by Hand
Did you know your natural fiber-made clothing could be hand-washed instead of dry-cleaned? Linen, rayon, and wool, for example, can handle a gentle hand washing, so skip the trip to the chemically riddled dry cleaners when possible. Load up a wicker basket with delicates and do a little hand washing instead.
Use Wool Dryer Balls
Wool dryer balls are also a great way to help with sustainability for your laundry. They help to dry your clothes faster by preventing laundry from clumping together. The dryer balls also retain the heat they receive from the dryer and boost the drying process. On top of that, they are made from a renewable resource (wool) and last much longer than your single use dryer sheets. We also love that they increase fluffiness and decrease static.
Aside from cutting down on your energy use and utility bills, air-drying your items in the sun provides your whites with natural bleaching. Toss your laundry into our easy-to-carry Ombak Weave Oval Laundry Wicker Basket and enjoy a little fresh air and sunshine.
For small or lightweight items, put your salad spinner to good use. Excess water will be removed quickly, without jeopardizing delicate pieces. Prepare to be amazed by how well this hack works!
If you picked up a few helpful ideas, grab those wicker baskets and tackle that load of laundry with your new favorite tips. If you’re ready to add a little functional beauty to your laundry routine, we have the perfect hand-woven wicker laundry baskets for all your needs.