Smell Good, Save Money, Look Crisp: Hack Your Laundry
Clothes: you probably wear them, and eventually you gotta clean them. But, with a few simple laundry hacks, cleaning up your wearables can be quicker, cheaper, and less wrinkled—giving you more time to focus on wearing your clothes rather than maintaining them.
First off, before tossing something into the laundry, consider whether it needs to go in. Excess washing can damage the fabric of your clothing, and if you live in a place where you pay for laundry, it gets expensive. For heavier fabrics (particularly jeans) that may smell but which aren’t actually dirty, there is a cheap and easy solution to kill odor without Febreeze or the laundry machine: the freezer. As weird as it sounds, popping a pair of jeans in the freezer over night will kill any lingering odor and leave them smelling like pretty much nothing (unless something in your fridge is spoiled). This works even in tiny built-in minifridge freezers—the important thing is to get the jeans pretty cold for a length of time. Your roommate may give you a weird look, but this hack really does work.
If clothes really do need to go into the wash, you can avoid paying for super-expensive laundry detergent by washing your clothes with baking soda. About 3/4 cup of baking soda can be tossed in with your laundry as you would powdered detergent, and it does wonders to clean your clothes for a fraction of what laundry detergent would cost.
For those who want laundry detergent, the DIY route can still be significantly cheaper than buying from the store. These recipes includes easy-to-purchase ingredients (Borax, washing powder, and soap, primarily), and make a ton of detergent. If you can convince your friends to help you with the cost of the ingredients, it’s definitely more cost-effective than store bought detergent. For those with scent allergies or other problems with commercial detergent, this can also be an easy way to control exactly what you’re washing your clothes with.
Once washed and dried, clothes will need to be hung or folded. For t-shirts, the staple of any college kid’s wardrobe, the following quick-fold video (originally from BoingBoing) illustrates a way to fold shirts that a Gap employee would be in awe of. Best of all, it’s super quick and will amaze your friends if your friends care about t-shirt folding.
Hacking your laundry process gives you more control over an otherwise boring chore. With these tips, you should be looking crisp, smelling good, and saving money—and who can argue with that?