Do Your Laundry Like A Domestic Goddess

Breeze through that pile of washing and tackle stains with these brilliant, low-cost tips

Doing your laundry is much more than load, wash, rinse and spin. These handy tricks are worth noting so you'll know how to prolong the lifespan of a favourite tee, and just what to do when a shrunken sweater needs rescuing.

Clean your washing machine

A clean machine means a fresher wash. Once every two to three months, fill the machine with warm water and throw in two cups of white vinegar. Let it stand for an hour, then run the cycle as usual.

Keep your whites bright

Baking soda and white vinegar are natural brighteners for your whites. To use, add some — one cup of baking soda or half a cup of vinegar — into your machine load of laundry. For brightly coloured clothing, try adding a teaspoon or two of salt to your load.

Get stains out easily

For grease stains, put baby powder on the spot to absorb the oil immediately. Wine stains should be soaked in white wine (just enough to cover the area) then cover it with a thick baking soda paste. Let it sit for a few hours, then rinse. Here’s another cool trick — deodorant streaks can be removed from a garment by gently rubbing the protective foam found on dry-cleaning hangers against the fabric.

Scent your bedlinen

Before your sheets are done in the cycle, add a few drops of lavender oil to the load to get them smelling heavenly! It’ll probably help give you a better night’s sleep too.

Soften old towels

If your towels are feeling stiff and scratchy, revive them with a mixture of vinegar (one cup) and baking soda (half a cup) instead of detergent.

DIY a skin-friendly detergent

Got sensitive skin? Instead of using chemical-filled detergents, make your own with this recipe.

Unshrink your clothes

If you use a dryer, we’re sure you’ve shrunk more than a garment or two. Try this: Soak the garment in a solution of water and three tablespoons of hair conditioner for five minutes. Wring it out so it doesn’t drip, lay it on a towel and try to stretch it to its original size. Not guaranteed to work on every material type, but hey, there’s no harm and not much cost in trying it.