Don't worry; we know the secret tricks to whiter whites, and we want to share them with you. After all, everyone should know what natural element acts as a bleach. We also have the solutions to problems you may be all too familiar with, such as mixing in coloured laundry with a load of whites.
We don't expect you to know these laundry-room secrets; heck, you have a job to go to and kids to get off to school! You have things more important to think about than how to super-chargedetergent, so that's why we're here. We've rounded up 10 simple laundry tricks that you never knew you needed, so take a peek to learn our secrets for cleaner, better smelling shirts, shoes, trousers, jackets, linens -- pretty much any kind of fabric that could be in distress.
10: Save Your Dyed Whites
Before putting anything in the dryer, soak the damp clothes in a solution of baking soda and warm water with 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup detergent added to it. Grab your favourite detergent and wash as usual. If all goes according to plan, your whites will be white again when the buzzer signals the end of the cycle.
9: Drying Out Shoe Odours
For a tidy, efficient way to move the chalk pieces into and out of your shoes, consider wrapping them in small scraps of cheesecloth and tying the tiny bundles with twist ties.
Another easy way to help remove moisture (and odours) from the insides of shoes is to crumple up newspaper and stuff it inside the shoes when they are not being worn. Be sure to use fresh pieces of newspaper each time.
Whether you use newspaper, loose bits of chalk or the little, homemade shoe sachets, be sure you remember to remove them before you slip your feet back into the shoes!
8: Steam Out Tobacco Odours
To remove tobacco odours from wool clothing, run hot water into the bathtub and add 2 cups white vinegar. Then hang the garment on the shower rod and close the bathroom door. The vinegar in the rising steam will remove the smell of smoke without damaging the fabric.
7: Dull Jeans’ Shine
Still, to put your mind at ease, try this quick tip to dull the shine. After laundering as usual, spray the shiny area with vinegar and, without rinsing out the vinegar, allow it to dry before wearing. The only thing shining will be your smile, once you have your favourite jeans back -- embarrassment-free.
6: Fade Scorch Marks
But just in case, even the most skilled and attentive of us have done it before -- you stop paying attention for two seconds too long, with the iron in your hand and the white shirt underneath, and you're left with a scorch mark. Maybe you can save the shirt by just wearing a jacket over it. Or maybe you can try our easy trick and not have to hide anything!
If your iron got too hot while your hand lingered or mind wandered, fixing the scorched fabric is as easy as stepping outside. Hang it on a laundry line in direct sunlight; the sunlight's natural bleaching action will help to fade the scorch mark. No jackets or expensive cleaners needed!
5: Dirt-Proof Tennis Shoes
Sorry, but you've been tricked once again. It's true that canvas shoes are hard to clean once they get dirty, but if you prepare ahead of time, you can keep them looking like they came right out of the box.
Spray new canvas tennis shoes with starch before wearing them, and the dirt can't become embedded in the fabric. The shoes will always be easy to clean, and no one will be able to guess that you've had them for years.
4: Fixing Flannel Fabric
For stubborn stains on flannel fabric, pour 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon glycerine into a deep, wide-mouthed plastic cup, mix them together using a fork (the way you whisk milk into raw eggs to make scrambled eggs) and smear the mixture onto the stain. Wait about 30 minutes for it to loosen the stain and then launder the item as usual.
3: Boost Your Detergent
Adding baking soda to a washing machine's rinse cycle will help your clothes become more thoroughly rinsed, and they will resist the stain build-up that can sometimes come with hard water. The baking soda helps the detergent work better and acts as a deodoriser for some of those rougher-smelling clothes. They'll also feel softer -- another bonus! Cleaner clothes, softer fabric and no extra money spent -- you can't beat that!
2: Roll Up a Lint Remover
Make your own lint remover by rolling up an old magazine or thin mail-order catalogue and wrapping wide adhesive tape around it so the sticky side faces out. Pass it lightly over clothing or upholstery fabric to remove lint, bits of thread and stray hairs. You'll cover a bigger surface area and get the job done faster!
1: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Bleach!
Just about any fabric (except silk) can be bleached a whiter and brighter colour by soaking in a mixture of lemon juice and very hot water. First, mix 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1 gallon of very hot water. Soak the clothing in it for at least one hour, though it can soak as long as overnight. Afterward, pour the lemon juice mixture into the washing machine, then wash the garment as usual.
As a bonus, your clothes will have an extra scent of freshness!
So there you go, 10 handy hints that you never knew you needed!