8 Clever Laundry Hacks For Time-Poor Parents

These smart laundry tips and tricks will save you time and hassle
Peter Cade via Getty Images

1. Fold a T-shirt fast

Folding T-shirts as soon as they’re dry will help keep them wrinkle-free until you wear them next – and here’s the speediest, neatest way to do so:

1. Lay the T-shirt on its back, then pinch its right shoulder near the collar with your left hand and directly below around midriff level with your right.

2. Holding the shirt, swing your left hand under your right, taking hold of the bottom of the shirt just below your right hand with your left hand.

3. Gripping tightly with both hands, uncross them and lie the shirt on top of its left side so that it’s folded in on itself.

Sounds complicated? Search for ‘Japanese shirt folding method’ online for video demos - once you’ve mastered this technique, it’ll take you under three seconds to fold your T-shirts like they do in posh clothes’ stores.

2. Cut down on (elbow) grease

No need to run down to the shops for speciality washing powders - many common stains can be removed with a little care and attention.

  • Blood - soak both sides of the fabric in cold water then wash in lukewarm soapy water before giving it a final rinse.
  • Lipstick - loosen the stain with glycerine or a prewash stain remover, dab, then rinse before washing.
  • Red wine - sprinkle the stain liberally with salt and let it soak in. Once dry, brush off the excess then wash with laundry bleach if needed.
  • Fruit juices - dab the stain either with citric acid (found in lemons or laundry treatments) or vinegar (white is best on fabric) then wash in warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

3. Take the sweat out of the wash

Hands up who’s got sweat stains on their favourite white shirt (actually, on second thoughts, keep your hands down)? We’ve got a simple solution to turn them from yellow to white quickly. Simply give clothing a good soak in soapy water before washing, and then wash as normal.

4. Get a smart washing machine

You’ve got to admit it, appliances these days are fiendishly clever at saving us time. Take the Bosch i-DOS* – it cuts down on how long you spend doing the washing by working out just how much detergent to use based on how dirty your load is and how hard the water is. All you have to do is add detergent once for about 20 washes and let i-Dos dose each wash for you. What’s more, precision doses guarantees perfectly clean laundry every single time.


5. Slash the ironing

Fed up with battling the ever-present pile of ironing? Drying shirts and T-shirts on hangers will help them keep their shape, and creases will mostly drop out. Then, when they’re almost dry, spray them with a solution of lavender oil and water to see the wrinkles fade – or pop them in the dryer for 20 minutes. Either way, you should get away without ironing them at all.

6. Seeing a shrink?

So, you’ve shrunk the other half’s favourite sweater and need a quick fix? Try this speedy solution and they’ll never know: soak it in tepid water with a blob of hair conditioner mixed in. Give it 10 minutes, then mould the sweater back into shape. Dry it flat and use the cold wash next time…

7. Clean machine

A washing machine that’s clean on the inside will ensure perfect results every time. Washing machine cleaner cleans the interior drum which reduces spots and marks on your laundry. If you live in a hard water area you should also use a descaler once every three months to protect your machine from harmful limescale build-up.

8. Dry in time

Wet washing taking ages to dry off? Pop a dry towel into the tumble dryer to speed things up. If line-drying is more your thing, hang out washing according to which family member it belongs to. That way, when you bring it in, you’ll quickly sort the washing as you go.


*Bosch i-DOS – want to find out more?

The Bosch i-DOS has more genius features you should know about:

1. It’s super energy-efficient – at A+++, it’s 30% more efficient than the top-class washers. The EcoBar Plus shows how much energy and water your wash is using.**

2. It’s quiet – thanks to the EcoSilence Drive, making it perfect for a machine that sits in a kitchen-diner.

3. It’s a time- and energy-saving appliance – the VarioPerfect function lets you choose how to save.

4It’s a gentle washer – the WaveDrum keeps your clothes looking good.

**WAWH8660GB model included, for more information visit Bosch-Home.co.uk.