Whether you're a newbie to doing laundry or not, these Laundry Love tips from "The Laundry Evangelist" Patric Richardson's book just may forever change the way you do this common chore.
Laundry Love is basically the laundry BIBLE. This book offers you both new tips you hadn't heard of before AND dispels common myths about washing your clothes. You will live by his methods after reading it (I certainly did!) and will return to it to refresh your memory (along with your clothes).
In addition to writing Laundry Love, Patric Richardson is the host of a television show and has sold out "laundry camps" to thousands of people. He gained a love of laundry as a toddler from his grandmother and honed his skills over several decades, including as an employee of Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. He also has a laundry products store in the Mall of America!
Richardson says laundry is an act of love, and I personally see it as an act of gratitude for the clothing you own. When you learn the right ways to do laundry, you can also save a lot of time and money in the long run.
For me, it's about both appreciating and taking care of my investments. I like to try to maintain a personal capsule wardrobe in which I buy only what I truly love and need and wear it a lot.
Thinking of my wardrobe this way changed the way I thought about laundry and is what got me interested in Laundry Love. I have implemented Richardson's Laundry Love tips for about a year now, and I absolutely swear by them, including the products he recommends. I do it all, and it's changed my life.
(And while these tips are meant to provide a quick and easy, helpful resource for you, I definitely recommend reading Laundry Love too. In addition to the endless tips it contains, you will love Richardson's Midwestern charm and anecdotes too.)
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FAQs About Laundry Love Tips
- Make the laundry room or space in your home comfortable and cheerful.
- Have your laundry supplies on hand and accessible.
- Multitask by spending quality time with your loved ones while laundering and/or doing something fun like listening to an audiobook.
- Lessen your time spent laundering by using the express cycle and wool dryer balls.
- Use quality products that work well.
- Change your mindset. Wearing freshly laundered clothing is a blessing!
- A horsehair brush for stain removal
- A spray bottle of ½ vinegar and ½ water to lift oily stains and odors
- A spray bottle of ½ vodka and ½ water to lift odors
- A spray bottle of ½ rubbing alcohol and ½ water to lift stains
- Baking soda to fight stains and odors, whiten whites, and soften fabrics
- A bar of laundry soap to treat stains
- Oxygen bleach for color stains (like underarm stains and red wine or juice)
- Laundry flakes for use in the washing machine (or The Laundress Signature Detergent, the Darks Detergent, the Sport Detergent)
- Mesh bags for delicate clothing
- Wool dryer balls to cut drying time
- Crease Release to avoid unnecessary washing
- A good steamer
- A steam generating iron
- Cedar blocks for storage
Note: Many of the products Richardson recommends are from The Laundress, a woman-owned brand backed by Ivy League diplomas and committed to science, quality, clean ingredients, and eco-friendliness. I ADORE this brand too and ONLY use their products. While they are pricy, you use very small amounts of them and save the costs of things like dry cleaning and replacing worn-out clothes.
Laundry Love Tips
Sort the clothes you are washing properly. Richardson recommends five categories, regardless of what the item is: whites, blacks, cool, warm, and athletic.
Note: "Dry clean only" clothes should NOT be dry cleaned because it's too harsh. Instead, use a tablespoon of soap in a bin of warm water and hand wash the items. You can also wash a cashmere sweater in the washing machine in a mesh bag and hand dry it.
Protect delicate clothing. For example, turn silky items inside out and place them in mesh bags. Place wool items in mesh bags with rubber bands to make them as tight as a sausage casing. You can also use mesh bags for underwear.
Tackle stains and odors for good. Use a spray bottle of ½ vinegar and ½ water to lift oily stains and odors; a spray bottle of ½ vodka and ½ water to lift odors; and/or a spray bottle of ½ rubbing alcohol and ½ water to lift stains. Use oxygen bleach for color stains (like underarm stains and red wine or juice). You can also use a laundry bar of soap and a horsehair brush for stain removal.
Add the right ingredients to your washing machine. Add baking soda to fight stains and odors and soften fabrics. Keep whites white with a tablespoon of oxygen bleach (but don't use it for silks or woolens). Use plant and essential oil-based detergents, such as his laundry flakes for use in the washing machine (or The Laundress Signature Detergent, the Darks Detergent, or the Sport Detergent, depending on what "pile" you are washing).
Use LESS detergent than recommended. This way, it fully washes out of your clothes and makes your clothes cleaner than they are with more soap.
Wash with warm water on the express cycle. It may surprise you to learn that cold water settings don't clean your clothes well. And, unless something is really, really dirty (like athletic clothing), your clothes won't need a longer cycle.
Note: Richardson believes ANYTHING can be washed in the machine, as long as it can fit!
Decide what to air dry and what to put in the dryer. Hang drying your clothes makes them last about a year longer. But, wool dryer balls can help cut down on drying time.
For even more, read the full book Laundry Love.
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