Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Working Mom Laundry Tips

There is always a pile of either laundry to be done or laundry to be put away in our house. It never ends. As a working mom, I do not have the luxury of deciding when to do the laundry. Basically it is whenever I am in the house. Here are a few things that I do or have learned to improve this process:

The first thing I do in the morning (5:45ish) is turn the dryer on so that it will dewrinkle the clothes in it. As soon as the boys are on the bus at 6:45 I fold those clothes and put the wet clothes from the washer that I started the night before, start the dryer, and then load up the washer. I set my timer on the washer to finish washing about a half hour before I get home. That way, I do not get moldy clothes because they sat wet too long. If you do not have a timer on your washing machine, you may want to make that a priority on your next purchase.

I wash small things like whites on the weekends and big things like towels and comforters during the week. It takes a lot more time to fold the small things than the big things. This may seem like a simple concept but it took me a while to come to this process!

When I get home, as soon as I go upstairs, I turn on the dryer to dewrinkle the clothes. After I put the kids to bed, I fold the next load, put the wet things in the dryer, start it, and reload the washer. I set the timer again to finish a half hour before we get up.

To prevent a moldy smelling washer, when not in use, leave the lid open. Also, occasionally throw in some bleach and start a hot wash cycle empty. If you don't have time to move wet clothes to the dryer, atleast open the washer lid containing the wet clothes until you do.

We have a high efficiency front loader washer. In my experience, the HE detergent caused mold to build up in our washer and did not do a good job cleaning clothes. So I switched to regular detergent and then no longer had a problem. Our washer has been running just fine for years on regular detergent.

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11 comments:

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Hmmm...I didn't even know there were washers with times! Next time I will go that route for sure.

:)

{ L } said...

Very helpful! Thank you so much!

Jendeis said...

Another person who didn't know there were washers with timers. What a great idea!

Now that DH is back to work, I'm back to a similar routine - one load a day (rebook in the morning and when I come home from work; folding at night or right after I get dressed in the AM).

Christina said...

question- I have an HE washer and I was afraid to put regular detergent in it because of the suds. Do you just use less than recommended or the usual amount?

Dr. Mom said...

Actually, I put the regular cap full in the machine. Occasionally, it does sud up but the machine appears to pause until the suds subside. I also press the button for a second rinse most of the time as well. Since I am not around waiting for it to finish I don't mind adding the time.

Christina said...

Thank you for sharing the regular detergent tip. I'll try it. I also have a timer and LOVE this feature as well!

It's Algood said...

So, I don't have a timer and this is what I do. Get up in the morning and start the load in the WASHER then in about 45 minutes (or before I leave for the day), I start the dryer. When I get home I have dry clothes in the dryer and nothing in the washer. I don't do 'smaller' loads but rather don't care if they wrinkle loads during the week....whites, towels, sheets. On the weekend I do my permenant press stuff that I want to get out before its wrinkled. Similar concepts! I didn't know timers were on washing machines too. So who is going to make an oven that goes from refrigerator to oven to make dinner while I commute --- affordable?

Dr. Mom said...

I want one of those when they come out! Too bad I probably wouldn't be able to afford it!

M in Tenn said...

Interesting tip about the mold & HE detergent. We had been using regular but switched to HE for reasons that I don't really know. I think my dryer has a timer, but it never dawned on me to use it... My husband stays home with the kids, so I guess I've never really had to think about it. I blog about my life with a stay at home husband at http://wifeofhousehubby.blogspot.com.

Tara said...

Thank you for this post. These are great ideas on how to keep the laundry under control. Laundry is my most dreaded chore (seriously, I would rather clean toilets). I am going to try some of these tips this week!

ChiefFamilyOfficer said...

Thanks so much for the tip about regular detergent - I've felt that because of the rubber ring, the tendency to mold is greater in the frontloading HE washer we got last year. I'll have to pick up some regular detergent when I can get it cheap and see if it makes a difference.