Ordnung Muss Sein Series: Laundry hacks and survival tips.
One of the inevitable mummy tribulation has got to be laundry. Hopefully these tips make things easier.
1. Tools maketh a woman
Invest in a good washing machine that can meet your needs and is energy efficient. It doesn't have to be expensive but buying second hand to save money is not always a good idea you don't want a situation where every time you want to wash you are afraid your electricity bill will rocket. Look out for the setting I like washing machines that have setting according to the loads I frequently wash like cotton wash, jeans wash, gym wear, dedicates etc.
2. A load a day saves nine
No ifs or buts do a load a day! Unless you live alone doing a load a day is a life saver. The problem with laundry is the huge piles and you really don't need this to be overwhelming. I read a really helpful tip where a mum of a family of four did one member's load a day for example her husband's clothes on one day, her son's cloths on the other etc so that as soon as she finished she knew she was putting it away in one place.
3. Helpers Helpers helpers
Gone are the days when I thought things that make laundry easier are just are marketing ploy. Now, anything I see I try it at least once. Here are my favourites.
Stain remover(Vorwasche/Flecken Spray): Helps treat stains immediately.
Lint remover balls (Anti-Fusselbälle): Helps remove all those lint and little specks of stuff on our clothes. I must confess I have not seen a huge difference with these. But when it comes to those pesky lint balls every little helps I also try to put a microfiber (Mikrofaser) cloth in every wash. They are great lint catchers.
Colour catching sheets(Farb- & Schmutzfangtücher): I don't know how I could have survive without these. I don't remember the last time the colours in my clothes run into each other and I do believe it keeps my colours brighter for longer. I also pop salt in my coloured wash because the chloride found in salt helps protect vibrant colors and keeps them from fading too fast in the wash.
Wash nets: Another life saver for my delicate wash
Bleach (Well kind of) In Germany, you are not going to get any product that says straight of 'bleach' . I have however discovered that products like Domol Hygiene-Reiniger mit Ativ Chlor work just like the bleach we have back home. I use it to pre soak all my whites. I even use directly in the washing machine prewash section when I am washing whites only.
Whitening aids: I swear by products like Fleckenentferner Oxi Power Weiß,which I always include in my washing powder and non bleach to prevent that dull graying in whites and keep them brilliantly white. I also recommend the Feinwaschmittel White Sensation It whitens without bleaching
Wash Disinfectant: Because sometimes you have to mix some undesirables together.
Waschperfume: I love the smell and I also use them to make fragrance sachets.
4. Attack stains
There is nothing more painful than new clothes being ruined by terrible stains. In order to save myself the drama and stress I treat stains immediately. As soon as my child takes of her clothes I just spray it with a stain remover (Vorwaschspray) and take of the stain before I wash. Those that I have missed I soak them before washing.
5. Drying\Dryer hacks
When drying On drying racks do straighten out the clothes so they do dry out as straight as possible.
If you do not iron fold as you take them of the rack or drying line to save extra work. Pair socks together when drying to avoid the missing pair palava. I recently discovered this Kleinteilhalter that works magic for that. (see the image below) You can get it from Bauhaus, Rossman and online.
Living in Germany you know it takes for ever for clothes to dry in the colder months that is why a dryer is a good idea. Again go energy efficient if you are to get one.
I fold and pin things together in my dryer to get them ironed especially sheets. I also use dryer sheets(Trocknertücher) to cut down on drying time. I also cut them up and put in wardrobe for a great smell.
Another hack is adding two or three tennis balls into the dryer with comforters, pillows, bedding and even puffer jackets. This will not only help them remain nice and fluffy, it can even help them dry faster. I have also invested in dryer balls. that do a similar thing.
6 . Ironing Hacks
When it comes to ironing hacks don't forget point number one invest in a good iron I had no idea what joy ironing could be until I got hold of a Tefal Iron. (The one I use pictured below cost 33 Eur on Amazon)This steam iron glides over everything and doesn't burn. It does a great job and has even has fallen over hundreds of times and is still going strong. A good sturdy ironing board also helps.
A trick I do is to iron similar things on top of each other. For example all my child's cotton vests on top of each other so that the ones underneath are being straightened and easy to iron whilst I am ironing the one at the top. It really saves time..
I also love ironing aids like ironing spray and spray starch.
7. Putting away hacks
Laundry isn't really over until the clothes are put away. I will advice you involve your family in the the folding and putting away process as much as possible.
When I put the clothes away the longer they stay that way the happier. I am that is why I swear by this folding guru. I have taught everyone I know and the love it. it saves space and clothes stay that way even when those little ones rummage their grubby hands through it.