Adding salt to laundry may seem like an odd thing to do, but it’s extremely effective at preventing dark colors from bleeding, and yellowing in whites. Salt also has some stain-removing properties, especially for blood and grease stains.
How to use salt:
- For preserving the colors of dark-colored laundry items, add 1 cup of table salt to the rinse cycle.
- Blood-stained items should be left to soak in salty water before laundering.
- When dealing with grease stains, sprinkle the salt generously over the stain and let it absorb the grease prior to washing the item.
Ink stains can be extremely pesky and tough to remove. In cases like these, isopropyl alcohol does the trick. Simply soak a sponge in alcohol and dab the alcohol on the ink stain until the fabric is fully saturated. The stain should start fading. Then rinse the item with plenty of cool water, and finish by washing the laundry item as usual.
Please keep in mind that isopropyl alcohol can have a mild bleaching effect, so this trick works best for light-colored fabrics.
Related Article: 8 Awesome Uses For Rubbing Alcohol
Dishwashing liquid is one of the best grease stain removers. After all, it’s been developed specifically to dissolve grease. And you can certainly take advantage of these grease removing powers when you’re dealing with stubborn oil or grease stains.
How to use dishwashing liquid:
- Spread just one drop of dish soap over the stain, then transfer the stained item to the washing machine and proceed to wash as usual.
- For especially stubborn stains, start by dampening the stained area with water, then add a few drops of dish soap and rub the area to work it into the fabric. Leave the dish soap to work for 5 minutes, then rinse the item with cool water and wash as usual. If the stain isn’t completely faded, you can repeat this several times.
- For whites, it’s best to use clear dish soap.
Related Article: 15 Alternative Uses For Dish Soap You Never Knew
Stains are not the only laundry concern. Unpleasant odors are just as much of an issue. If you’re struggling with sweat stains on shirts and sportswear, smelly socks, or musty towels, mouthwash is a real-life saver! Simply add 1 cup of sugar-free alcohol-based mouthwash to the wash cycle or 1/2 cup of the mouthwash to the rinse cycle.
Baking soda has a variety of interesting uses for your laundry; so many we’ve written a detailed article about it right here: Baking Soda Is Great For Laundry - Here’s How to Use It. In short, baking soda can help remove stains and odors, softens fabrics, and brightens whites.
How to use baking soda:
- To brighten white or soften fabrics, soak the laundry item in a solution of 1 cup baking soda and 1 gallon (4 l) of water.
- To use the baking soda as a booster, sprinkle 1 cup of the powder into the drum of the washing machine before loading the laundry.
- Remember NOT to place baking soda in the detergent dispenser of the washing machine. This may clog up the dispenser.
Coffee or black tea
Coffee and tea are certainly prone to leave stains on clothing, but these drinks also have their uses in aiding your laundry too. Namely, leftover coffee and tea can help set black colors and maintain the dark color. And not to worry - your laundry won’t smell like coffee. To darken black clothes, just add 2 cups of brewed black tea or coffee to the rinse cycle.
If you love to wear a crisp white shirt, you surely know how difficult it is to maintain its bright white color over time and keep the garment free of stains. Unexpectedly, aspirin can help you protect your whites from going grey over time, and it has some extra stain removal power too.
In order to use aspirin in laundry, dissolve 5 aspirin tablets in hot water, let the water cool to room temperature, and then soak the white laundry item overnight before washing as usual.
Related Article: 9 Surprising Aspirin Uses
Lemon juice is acidic and has natural bleaching powers that can certainly help brighten whites and remove rust stains from laundry items. Like salt and aspirin, lemon juice can lighten fabrics, so avoid using it on dark or colorful laundry items.
The best way to use lemon juice is through spot-treating stains. Strain any pulp from the lemon juice and then soak a clean sponge or cloth in the juice. Blot the stain with the sponge, let the stain fade for a few minutes, and then wash the laundry item as usual.
Laundry softeners and laundry perfume can make your laundry sticky and stuffy, especially if you live in a high-humidity climate. If that’s a problem you’re dealing with but you’d still like your laundry to smell fresh, try adding essential oils to the laundry instead.
Apart from adding a pleasant scent to your laundry, essential oils also have natural antibacterial and mold-fighting properties. These properties give essential oils the ability to actively fight odors, and not just add a pleasant smell to your laundry.
How to use essential oils:
- Add 3-5 drops of lavender, tea tree, or rosemary essential oil to 1 portion of laundry detergent (preferably unscented) and use in the wash.
- Make your own laundry perfume spray by combining 1 1/2 ounces of water, 1 1/2 ounces of vodka or rubbing alcohol, and 30 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake well, and spray over fresh laundry to give it a pleasant scent.
Like baking soda, vinegar has a variety of uses in the laundry room. For details, refer to our post on the topic here - How Vinegar Can Benefit Your Laundry. Apart from adding freshness and softening fabrics, vinegar is also a great way to handwash delicates, especially if combined with an equal amount of baking soda.
Using vinegar in the washing machine is easy: just add 1 cup of white vinegar into the fabric softener compartment right before the final rinse cycle of the wash.
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