1. Throw A Wad Of Aluminum Foil In The Dryer
Sara at Budget Friendly Diva explains how this can act as a dryer sheet, lasting for six months before you need to switch to a new aluminum ball.
2. Use Vinegar To Soften Tough Fabrics
According to the cleaning and organizing expert Ask Anna, the vinegar from your pantry not only helps soften even the stingiest of fabrics, it can also get rid of lingering odors while acting as an antibacterial.
3. Use Chalk To Get Out Grease Stains
Apartment Therapy swears that rubbing a little chalk into the stain before tossing an item in the wash will soak up every pesky grease issue, from lipstick to bacon!
4. Throw Ice Cubes In The Dryer To Get Rid Of Wrinkles
The folks at Lifehacker tested this one out and can confirm a wrinkle-free result — so long as you don’t use too many ice cubes, run the dryer on the hottest setting, and don’t overcrowd it with too many items at once.
5. Add Salt To Keep Colors From Running
The Lifehacker crew also recommend this trick. Apparently, the chloride found in salt helps protect vibrant colors and keeps them from fading too fast in the wash.
6. Remove Ink Stains With Hairspray
Jillee at One Good Thing explains how the alcohol found in both hairspray and hand sanitizer can act as a powerful solvent. After saturating the stain with either product, allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes and then throw it into the wash as usual.
7. Write Directions On The Machines With Dry-Erase Markers
Whether you’re like me and are constantly forgetting when an item you ran through the washer shouldn’t go in the dryer (or if have kids who can never remember the simple steps required to do the chore themselves), Parent Hacks explains how dry-erase markers are the perfect way to make everything clear.
8. Un-Shrink Clothes With Conditioner
Lindsay from Down by the Bay thought she would have to say goodbye to one of her favorite dresses when it shrank in the dryer. However, after soaking it in lukewarm water and ordinary hair conditioner, she was able to stretch it back out to its original form!
Jillee at One Good Thing also had the same successful results using baby shampoo to soften the fibers.
9. Boil Lemons To Brighten Dull Whites
Lifestyle queen Martha Stewart shared this tip for reviving dingy white clothes: toss sliced lemons into a pot full of water and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and add your clothing items. Let them soak for an hour and then wash as usual.
For an extra boost, let them dry out in the sunlight rather than throwing them in the dryer.
10. Add A Tennis Ball While Drying Blankets And Pillows
This is another trick that gets the Lifehacker crew’s seal of approval. Adding two or three tennis balls into the dryer with comforters, pillows, and other bedding will not only help them remain nice and fluffy, it can even help them dry faster.
Of course, make sure they’re clean tennis balls.
11. Pour Coffee Or Tea In With Black Clothes
Obviously, you shouldn’t do this with a load of anything other than strictly black items, but as wikiHow explains, adding two cups of one of the brewed drinks adds a natural dye that helps to strengthen or revive the items’ original color.
12. Use Baking Soda And Vinegar To Clean The Washer
Most importantly, you can’t forget that all of the grime that you’re rinsing off can leave some lingering ickiness in your machine. Apartment Therapy recommends running an empty load with baking soda and vinegar to refresh your washer.
If you’re feeling like going above and beyond, grab an old toothbrush or some cotton ear swabs to really get into the crevices and give them a good wipe down, too.