Before you throw that soaking wet washing into the tumble dryer, consider that each load generates more than 3kg of greenhouse gas, stacks up your electricity bill and isn’t actually great for your clothes.
These laundry day tips will help you hang washing to save your wallet and the environment and your favourite t-shirt!
Use hangers to dry without creasing
Hang t-shirts, shirts and dresses directly on to coat hangers as soon as they come out of the washing machine to reduce the need for ironing. As water drips out of the fabric the weight of the garments will make them dry crease-free.
Plus, putting your clothes away in the wardrobe will be a breeze!
Give each item a good shake to remove creases from the spin cycle then hang to dry on a plastic coat hanger. This method eradicates creases in most “quick dry” fabrics but stiff cotton shirts or linen garments will still need a quick once-over with the iron.
Overlap corners of washing to save space
It doesn’t take long to run out of space on the washing line on days when you find yourself contending with multiple loads of laundry.
Maximise hanging room by overlapping the edges of your clothes when pegging them down. More space, less pegs – win, win.
Hang across, not along, the line
A brilliant hack to help accommodate supersized laundry loads is to hang items across rather than along the line. Just make sure there’s plenty of air flow and light around your washing line or clothes horse to ensure wet clothes don’t become musty and smelly before drying out.
Hang your socks together
Avoid playing annoying games of ‘sock snap’ by hanging pairs together to dry using a portable hanging peg dryer.
This is a cost effective hanging solution that you can pick up for just a few dollars at Bunnings and most discount variety stores. this nifty invention provides a dedicated spot to hang socks, which makes it easier to keep pairs together, while freeing up precious space on the line for other items.
Utilise sunshine to fade stains
Stuck with an annoying stain that has resisted your best attempts to remove it with specialised detergents or an overnight soak? Head outside to harness the power of the sun. Nature’s stain fighting superhero, sunshine can lessen the appearance of a variety of stains and has the added bonus of helping to make whites appear brighter. Plus, it’s free!
Tackle stubborn stains with household ingredients
To attack hard-to-shift coffee, wine and food stains make a paste with vinegar and baking soda. Apply directly to the stain then leave for five to ten minutes before washing as normal.
When it comes to pesky makeup stains, particularly foundation or fake tan, apply dish washing detergent directly to the stain prior to washing then run through the machine on a hot cycle.
Turn clothes inside out to stop fading
While sunshine is great for making white clothes shine, it’s the enemy of bright colours and darker hues. Colour rich items fade quickly in direct light so you’ll need to hang them in the shade, or turn them inside out, to minimise sun bleaching.
Add protection over your clothesline
If you want your clothes to dry as fast as possible but don’t want to risk fading, or having your clean laundry ruined by a surprise downpour or a bird with good aim, consider rigging up a tarp above your clothesline. A handyman can install hooks to make this easy to put up and take down.
Protect items drying on a clothes horse by threading the handle of a golf umbrella between the center rails and voila, you have protection from all elements (and birdlife!).
Hang cleverly to avoid peg marks
Peg marks are the pits – but you can avoid them with these hanging hacks.
Hide ugly peg impressions by pegging dresses from the hem and t-shirts from the armpits along the sleeve seam.
As a general rule peg tops at the hem, and bottoms at the top. For jeans, shorts and trousers fold the waistband seam over the washing line and peg in the seam, or flip and peg at the leg hem.
Remove excess water from handwashing
Clearly clothes will dry faster when not dripping wet. Remove excess moisture from hand washed garments by laying them flat on a towel before rolling them up and squeezing them out. The towel will absorb a substantial amount of water while preventing your clothes from looking crinkled and wrung out.
Dry knits flat to avoid stretching
For materials prone to stretching, such as jersey or wool knits, lay the item flat to dry. An outdoor table, chair or even a trampoline can become a temporary drying space. Put a towel down underneath to prevent the clothing from absorbing any surface stains.
Organise as you hang
Save time sorting by allocating a section of the clothesline to each person in your family, or if you live on your own, allocate each line to a particular type of clothing. Then as you unhang and fold the dry clothes they will be neatly ordered.
Tumble dry in less time by adding a towel
Of course, it’s not always perfect drying weather.
For days when there’s no sunshine in sight, speed up the time it takes for a load of wet laundry to dry in the tumble dryer by adding a dry towel in at the start. The towel will help absorb excess moisture, reducing drying time (and the cost of running the dryer)!