Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Laundry Tips

I can never sit back and relax.  I've got to make things difficult for myself.  A couple of months ago, I decided that this summer would be the summer to teach my 7 and 9 year olds to do laundry.   Why now and not next year, I don't know, maybe because I'm just tired of doing it.

They've helped me with laundry before, but this time, I want to train them to be able to sort, wash, and dry on their own.  I'll still help with the folding as I prefer my clothes not to be a big wrinkly mess.

Sweetie Pie is the easy one.  I can get her to do anything, she is always willing to please.  Most times I don't even have to bribe her.  But, the Spencinator, he's a totally different ball game.  Getting someone with autism to do a non preferred task, well, that takes a lot of motivating.   This is where his preference for a particular type of shorts/pants will be to my advantage.  He 'conveniently' ran out of the shorts he likes to wear on Monday and stated that he had nothing to wear.  I had been preparing him for this day, even before school ended, saying this summer he's going to learn to do the laundry.  So when I mentioned to him that he'll have to do a load of laundry, he didn't fight me.  I gave him some control over the situation by giving him a choice of doing lights or darks.  He choose lights.  I guided him in sorting the colors and he carried the laundry into the laundry room.

Sorry this picture is blurry, but I just had to show you this basket.  It is very similar to this one
Sterilite 12228003 Wheeled Hamper with Titanium Handles and Wheels, White
except my handle isn't retractable.  I just love this laundry basket because it has a handle and wheels.  I have even carried it one handed down the stairs with a baby in my arms.  Makes carrying laundry so much easier, especially since you can just pull it behind you - really saves your back.

I showed him how to work the dials and how much soap to put in.  He got a little help in loading the washer too.  So the first week of doing laundry went OK.  I'm hoping with each passing week the kids will do more and more of it on their own.  Meaning I'll be doing less and less of it!

And speaking of laundry, I've seen a few laundry tips on Pinterest that I thought I'd share.

Like this one about using a foil ball instead of a dryer sheet found over at:

I tried this and it worked just as well as using a dryer sheet.  The types of clothing that gets static-y when I use a dryer sheet, still get static-y using a foil ball.  And I even tried 2 foil balls, and then 2 foil balls plus a dryer sheet.  For some reason my fleecy fabrics and my silky type fabrics always end up with static.  That is unless you don't fully dry them.  So now instead of using a foil ball or a dryer sheet, I don't over dry my clothes.  I'll still use an occasional dryer sheet for those static attracting fabrics, but for the rest of my laundry, I don't use dryer sheets anymore.  And no one in my family has noticed.  Even my husband who was leery about it at first hasn't noticed a difference in softness, smell, static, or anything.

And this one about using chalk to get rid of grease and oil stains:

I don't know if this works, as I haven't tried it on a new grease stain.  I neglected to read the fine print where it states that "once that stain sets, no amount of chalk will save you",  and tried it on an existing grease stain which did not come out.  So I still have my chalk ready and waiting for the next grease stain so I can put this claim to the test.


 Another laundry tip I haven't tried is:
using baby powder to prevent sweat stains on white shirts.

Anyone tried this?  Does it really work?

I also haven't tried using
Dawn dishwashing liquid and Hydrogen Peroxide to remove armpit stains.

Again, anyone have luck using this technique?

Another laundry tip that I've been doing is to run the washing machine for an additional spin cycle after it is finished the regular washing cycle.  I usually do this when the load in the dryer isn't done drying yet so I can't switch the laundry.  The extra spin cycle helps to dry the clothes faster when you put them in the dryer which saves time and energy.

Any other laundry tips you guys want to share?   How do you get out set in stains?
How do you get your kids to help with laundry?

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