Let’s talk about laundry. We all have to do it, and when you become a parent you have to do it a lot, but there can be so many questions that pop up throughout the process. How do you narrow down the perfect system? What stain removers should you use? What are the best products to use? Can doing laundry be more environmentally friendly?
Well, after all my research, trials and errors, YouTube watching, blog reading and phone calls with my Grandma I have finally created a great system with awesome products that is simple and leaves our clothes clean and smelling awesome!
I’m going to start with the toughest topic because as a parent stains are some of my worst enemies. Tell me if this has ever been you – you put your child in a super cute outfit that you probably spent too much money on from a designer or a small business and then it gets [insert staining item] on it. Well, It’s taken me almost three years to figure out a stain removal system that can get out almost any stain and that super cute outfit can live to give you all those insta worthy pics another day!
First, not every stain is created equal and I’ve found that depending on the severity and the time between the stain attaching to the clothes and the stain removal starting can matter a great deal in how much elbow grease is needed to get that stain out. No matter the type of stain, I usually start with the same two products.
- Homemade stain remover spray – it’s the easiest recipe (1:1 ratio of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide) and I soak the stain in the spray as my first step. I find it works better than store bought and is way cheaper (if you prefer store bought, I like Resolve).
- BunchaFarmers Stain Remover – my second step is to rub this into the sprayed stain, and stuff really gets into the stain. Also, this stuff lasts. I’ve been using it for over a year and I’m still using the first bar and I use it a lot!
Now depending on the stain I might soak the sprayed and rubbed stain in some water with a bit of laundry detergent – soaking is best suited to poop disasters because that shit really needs to soak!
Then, it’s good to go into the washer. Note that I do not do laundry everyday, so I may do my two steps, but it’ll have to sit for a few days before being washed. In those cases, I might give it an extra spray on wash day, but I usually don’t have to.
So, what happens if this two-step system doesn’t get the stain out and you’ve put your clothes through the washer and the stain is still there. Well then I usually repeat the two steps, but may also use a tooth brush to get into that stain a little more. ALSO, there are a few types of stains that don’t respond well to the two-steps – I’m talking about markers, pen, paint, etc. In these cases I will spray rubbing alcohol onto the stain, rub with a toothbrush and let it sit for a while. This will almost always do the trick to remove the stain. Alcohol is my go-to for any tough to remove stain. All it takes are a few simple ingredients and you can remove any stain.
How often do you do laundry? I do laundry twice a week (sometimes only once a week) and usually 2-3 loads each time (depending on the number of towels/sheets I have to wash). I see things all over blogs, YouTube and Instagram about people doing laundry everyday. I’m going to be a little controversial here and say, STOP THAT! Do you know how much water, electricity and product you are wasting by doing this? ALSO, I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine having to fold laundry that many times a week, I can barely handle folding laundry twice per week.
Now I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about my system. I keep it pretty simple, I separate darks/colours and lights. I do all our family’s laundry at the same time, so there’s no separating of Paige’s laundry from ours ( to reduce the amount of loads to do). Then there is a load of towels and sheets. I don’t wash our sheets each week because I don’t see the need to, but I understand that some people do and that’s cool, you do you. I think a laundry system needs to fit with your own personal preferences and family needs. For our family, I wash our sheets every second week (sometimes longer depending on various factors) and it works for us.
When washing, I prefer to use the speed wash setting with an extra rinse and in cold water. I use warm water for towels and sheets. I find this reduces the amount of time in the machine thus reducing the electricity usage. I have energy efficient machines, so they use a small amount of water as is.
With my system ready to go, let’s talk about laundry products. I use a few things, but it’s all really simple.
- OxiClean crystals – I put a scoop into each load and I think it helps with stain removal and prevents colours from dulling.
- Fabric softener – I do not buy fabric softener because I think it is a waste of money. I use vinegar with a few drops of lavender and peppermint essential oils. It serves the exact same purpose as fabric softener without the added chemicals and fragrance.
- Bleach – Yeah, no! I never use bleach for anything in my home and I would never use it in my laundry. However, I do like an added stain removing and colouring brightening boost, so I add hydrogen peroxide to the bleach spot in my washer.
- Detergent – I’ve been using Tide for years and it’s the brand my mom used, too. I’ve always liked it and I usually buy the stain boost variety. I want to note I think a little goes a long way with detergent and I only use about half way to the number 1 in the cap because I don’t think you need too much to get your clothes clean – the water and agitation will do most of the work. On the subject of detergent, I recently discovered TruEarth detergent sheets that are so much better for the environment. I only use half a sheet per load – to use I rip half a sheet into smaller pieces and put them in the detergent spot of my washer. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and it’s doing a great job. I plan to keep using it, and some of my family may be receiving it as stocking stuffers this year.
When drying, I typically put all of our clothes in the dryer – I know a lot of people hang their clothes to dry and when I have “work clothes” in the wash I will hang those, but generally I put everything in the dryer on low heat.
With my dryer, I like to skip the fabric sheets and use wool balls with a few drops each of lavender and peppermint essential oil on them – it’ll leave your clothes with a spearmint scent that is so wonderful.
In summary, do laundry less, skip expensive products in favour of vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and essential oils and switch to wool balls in the dryer. With those few things you’ll have stain free, clean and great smelling clothes that are better for the environment, your sanity and your wallet!
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or you can reach out to me on Instagram (@jenn.buxton).
Until next time!