Do you find yourself feeling like there is never enough time in the day to get everything done? The task of doing laundry can be one that we often put off or even try to avoid because it’s a huge burden when you’re a busy mom with lots of other things to do. Luckily, there are some hacks and tips that will make this task a lot easier and save you lots of time! From delegating clothes folding to items that help with stains, these hacks will help you breeze through your laundry without breaking a sweat.
The laundry pile grows
When it’s just you or you and your partner, you can do laundry once a week or even less frequently and still have enough clean clothes and towels to make it to the next laundry day. Laundry probably doesn’t take much of your time either if you have a laundry machine and dryer at home.
Add on children and pets, and it’s another story. The mountain of dirty clothes just grows and grows! One child is asking for his sports uniform. The dog’s blanket smells because of dirty paws and slobber. And your sweaters are getting stuff on them just from being a mom.
How do you get through that pile of laundry?
Read on for 20+ time-saving laundry hacks for busy moms.
1 | Designate a laundry day
These two systems work equally well depending on your preference:
#1: Have a set laundry day. Some people do well with a set laundry day each week. They focus on laundry only on that day and can focus on other things when it’s not laundry day.
This is the system that works best for me. I do laundry on Saturday because all the necessary clothes for the week like favorite clothes, uniforms, and sportswear have been worn and are ready to be washed.
I start the wash on Saturday afternoon or evening. If I’m busy then or there’s more to be washed than normal, I’ll do the laundry on Sunday too. I try to take advantage of the sun to air dry items that can’t go in the dryer.
#2: Do laundry throughout the week. Some people like doing laundry throughout the week. Doing a load or two of laundry each day or every other day fits nicely into their schedule. This works if you have a few hours each morning or can put in a load of wash when you get home each evening.
2 | Have other family members do the laundry
One way to save time on laundry is to have family members including children help out. Knowing how to do laundry is an essential skill. Show your children how to sort laundry, check pockets for tissues, coins, and other debris before washing, and follow the direction for each type of clothing.
You can designate certain days of the week for different family members to do laundry, or you can have everyone rotate through different tasks. For example, Mondays and Wednesdays could be designated for putting away laundry and making beds. Tuesdays and Thursdays could be designated for doing regular laundry loads. Or let your children be responsible for maintaining their own laundry schedule.
3 | Put away clothes when the laundry is done
The best thing to do is fold and put away clothes once they’re done in the dryer. This keeps the clothes from getting too wrinkled and keeps the washer and dryer area tidy.
This is a tough one for me because I can let clothes sit in the dryer for days. I’ll forget what’s in the dryer and search several drawers and rooms for an item.
This is an easy task for other family members to do, so ask for help if you could use it.
4 | Have your family sort their laundry
With dirty laundry, have your partner and children sort their laundry when they put them into the hampers or laundry baskets. This way the dirty laundry is presorted for you when it comes time to do the wash.
Children might need help with this but they’ll soon learn which item goes where because they when they wear the same clothes week after week.
I have a laundry container that consists of two halves. One side is for dark laundry and the other side is for light laundry. Items that need to be hand-washed are kept separately.
After the laundry is dry, have your partner and children retrieve and sort their own clothes. Children can fold and put away their own clothes. This also might take some training, and they may not fold items well or even at all, but children can live with wrinkled clothes. And you’ll spend less time on the laundry!
5 | Upgrade your washer and dryer
If your laundry pile is growing faster than you can manage because of a small washer and dryer, it may be time to upgrade your appliances. Before you think of the cost, also consider the savings both in terms of money and time. Washing machines and dryers have come a long way. They are now frequently water efficient and energy efficient so they use less water and energy.
6 | Use mesh laundry bags
Mesh laundry bags are a life-saver. Put smaller items like pairs of socks in them to stay together during washing and drying.
The mesh bags are also great to use when washing delicate items like bras, face masks, and sweaters that can easily become tangled or stretched out of shape.
Many items that say hand wash can be put in the washing machine in a mesh lingerie bag or tied pillowcase. For clothes with sequins or embroidery, you’ll want to turn them inside out before putting them in the bag or pillowcase for added protection.
7 | Use delayed start for washing and drying
Some washers and dryers have a delayed start feature that allows you to program when the machine should run. This is nice for being able to load the washer or dryer but wait until after the baby wakes to turn it on.
It can help you save money by running while you sleep if your electricity is cheaper at a certain time of day such as overnight. Of course, you should be careful to run appliances when you are home to prevent any accidents.
8 | Wear clothes more than once
Wearing clothes more than once before washing them is another great way to do less laundry. If you wear an outfit twice instead of once, you’ll have 3-4 outfits versus 7 outfits to wash at the end of the week. You’ll save your clothes from more wash wear and save on water and electricity too.
- Wear clothes such as jeans, t-shirts, and sweaters several times and wash them only when they become visibly dirty or smell.
- Hang clothes or place them on a drying rack to air out between wears.
- Don’t wash towels after every use. Towels take up a lot of space in the laundry, which means doing more loads. To avoid that, wait until the towel has been used several times or becomes visibly dirty or smells bad. This will help prevent your towels from becoming prematurely worn-out too.
9 | Buy wrinkle-free clothing
Wrinkle-free clothing is a godsend for busy moms. It’s one less thing to worry about. You don’t have to spend time ironing clothes, and they’ll still look put together.
These are a few things you can do to keep your clothes wrinkle-free:
- Hang clothes up as soon as they come out of the dryer.
- Don’t overload the washer and dryer. This will help your clothes wash better and dry quickly, which will avoid wrinkles.
- Use a fabric softener to help reduce wrinkles and static cling.
- Put a few ice cubes or a small wet cloth into the dryer. The moisture will create steam to remove wrinkles.
There are also some great wrinkle-free clothing options on the market. Look for items that are made of wrinkle-resistant material and designed to retain their shape.
If things are still wrinkled, then you may have to do a quick ironing or steaming, but try to avoid that as much as possible.
10 | Use the right setting for the load
It’s easy to set the washer to the normal setting all the time, but not everything that’s washed needs to be in the wash for an hour. Items such as new clothes, lightly worn clothes, and delicate clothing can be washed on a quick cycle or gentle cycle. This will save your items from laundry wear as well.
11 | All dirty clothes go in the hamper
It’s easier to do the laundry when all the dirty clothes are put in the hamper. Everything is already in one place. Using a hamper also helps to avoid that build-up of clothes on the floor that can quickly become an eyesore.
Make sure the hamper is in an easily-accessible spot so everyone can quickly toss in clothes when they’re ready to be washed. Then empty the hamper or do the laundry regularly so that it doesn’t become too full.
12 | Pre-treat stains before the clothes go in the wash
One of the best ways to save time on laundry is to treat stains before washing clothes. Then you aren’t setting the stain in the washer or dryer and having to try washing the item multiple times to get the stain out.
13 | Soak heavily soiled items
Heavily soiled items should be soaked before they’re put in the washer. This will help to loosen up the dirt and soil and make it easier to wash the item.
Fill a sink or bucket with warm water and add a few drops of dish soap or laundry detergent. Place the heavily soiled item in the water and let it soak for at least an hour and better if it’s longer.
Then remove the dirt and soil. You may need to scrub the item a bit with a brush. Rinse the item off with cold water and place it in the washer to be washed with the rest of the load.
14 | Treat white clothing #14
Treat white clothing to keep them white. Try one or several of these methods but not all at once.
- Soak clothes in hot water with baking soda for a few hours before washing them.
- Add a cup of baking soda into the wash cycle.
- Add distilled white vinegar to the wash cycle.
- Use a commercial product such as OxyClean.
15 | Use dryer balls #15
Place dryer balls inside of your dryer to reduce the amount of time that it takes for clothes to dry. They will help to separate items during the cycle, ensuring that everything is dried evenly.
16 | Use the dryer moisture sensor
Make sure the dryer moisture sensor is turned on. This will help to save time because it will turn off the dryer when clothes are dry, so you can put in the next load right after. This also prevents over-drying, which speeds up the wear and tear on your clothing.
17 | Add a dry towel to dryer
Add a dry towel to the dryer to absorb some of the moisture of the wet load, thereby saving drying time. But set a timer or remember to take the towel out of the dryer after about 5-15 minutes and let it dry as well. If you leave it in the dryer, it will add to the moisture and the entire load. Towels are bulky and heavy!
18 | Wring out additional water with an extra spin
Most washing machines can be programmed to complete an extra spin cycle. Wringing out additional water with an extra spin can help to speed up the drying process. The dryer won’t have to work as hard to dry the clothes.
19 | Multi-task while doing laundry
Make a point of fitting laundry into the schedule when you can multi-task and come back to it when you’re done. For example, start a load in the washer before you start another errand like making dinner or taking a shower.
If your washing machine and dryer don’t signal when they’re finishing or are in another room where you can’t hear them, set a timer so that you get to the next load instead of forgetting about the laundry.
It’s the worst when you forget about a load of laundry in the washer overnight, and they have to be washed again to keep from smelling.
20 | Clean your washing machine from time to time
When I moved into my new house with an old washer, I couldn’t believe how dirty it was. There was dirty and mold crusted into the rubber.
I scrubbed the machine thoroughly and used these cleaning tablets while running the washing machine on the hottest water setting.
You can also use white vinegar and baking soda to a wash cycle for a natural cleaning method.
Your clothes will come out cleaner and smelling better.
21 | Wash toys in the laundry machine
Did you know that you can wash stuffed animals and fabric toys in the washing machine? Toys can hold germs, dirt, and mold, so toss them into the washing machine to easily get them clean again.
Check care instructions before putting anything in the wash. If it has metal or a place for batteries, it can’t go in the wash.
Put washer-safe toys in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase tied closed for washing. Check that small parts such as zippers and buttons are intact or remove them. When done washing, dry the items on low heat in the dryer.
By the way, you can wash the dog’s stuffed animals like this too!
22 | Use dryer sheets or a lint brush to clean the lint trap
Dryer sheets and a lint brush help clean the dryer lint trap more efficiently. Wrap a used dryer sheet around something long like a brush and sweep through to the bottom of the lint trap making sure you don’t lose the dryer sheet along the way.
Laundry can be such a burden for busy moms, but there are many small hacks and time-saving tricks to make it easier and faster, so you can enjoy that time with your family instead.