Manufacturers of laundry products would have consumers believe that if we are not using their particular products, then we simply aren’t doing laundry properly. While we all have our favorite products tucked away in our laundry rooms, purchasing all marketed laundry products would be to invest a small fortune and a waste of time. For those who find themselves doing laundry for the first time, allow me to give you a few tips on how to stock a laundry room for cost-effective clothes laundering.
The first thing you will need to stock a laundry room with ( aside from a washer/dryer) is laundry detergent. If you own a new front loading type washing machine, use the laundry detergent recommended by the manufacturer. If you are like myself and still do laundry in the top loading type of washing machine, then chose your favorite brand of laundry detergent. Being new to the world of washing dirty clothes, you will have to experiment with several different brands and types of laundry detergent before you settle on a favorite brand.
I prefer liquid laundry detergent for two reasons: 1- Some brands of powdered laundry detergent do not completely dissolve in the wash cycle and leave tiny bits of the laundry detergent on clean clothes. This never happens with liquid laundry detergent. 2- Liquid laundry detergent also doubles as a stain and spot remover.
Using slightly less than the recommended amount of your favorite brand of laundry detergent in a cold water, short wash cycle will keep your colors bright just as well, and much cheaper, than laundry products designed for this purpose.
Keep a box of dry bleach in stock in your laundry room for the occasions when colored clothing, like kid’s clothes, get overall stains.
Stock a laundry room with fabric softener to soften clothes and reduce static cling. Liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets produce the same effect, you’ll just have to use the different types to determine which you prefer. Using slightly less liquid fabric softener than the manufacturer recommends and/or cutting your dryer sheets in half will give the same softening effects and save money.
You will need liquid bleach and a measuring cup in your laundry room. In my experience, bleach is bleach, buy the cheapest brand to stock a laundry room with. Use your measuring cup for diluting the bleach prior to adding it to the washing machine. Hold the measuring cup under the water as it comes into the washing machine, measure 1/2 cup of water then fill the remaining 1/2 cup with bleach, add to wash water before you add the laundry.
Miscellaneous items you will need to stock a laundry room:
An inexpensive box of baking soda-add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a load of extra smelly laundry to deodorize the clothing.
A bottle of white vinegar-if you live in an area that has hard water, add 1/2 cup of vinegar to each wash load.
A toothbrush or other small, nylon bristled brush. When treating stains or spots, apply the stain remover, or liquid laundry detergent to the stain on the underside of the garment and work it in the fabric with the brush.
A small mesh bag for washing delicates or small items. Put your delicate fabrics in the mesh bag and toss in the washing machine along with a load of laundry.
Stock your laundry room with scissors, a sewing needle and thread. If you have these items in your laundry room, you will be more inclined to replace the button that popped off or repair that torn seam.
With the multitude of laundry products on the market, you can spend more money and stock a laundry room with specialty washing, stain removing, smell good products.
But why stock a laundry room with money, when a few basic laundry products will do the job?