Shorten Laundry Day! 3 Time Savers

Shorten Laundry DayToday's laundry appliances with preset cycles and programmed stain removal tips have taken much of the guesswork out of washing and drying clothes, but there's only so much these machines can do. Doing laundry is, unfortunately, still very much a hands-on activity. Here are three innovations that will make this routine chore easier and faster to do:

1. One of the newest single-dose laundry detergents to hit the market is Wisk's Deep Clean PowerBlasts ($6 for 24-count). Just toss one pack into a regular size laundry load (use two for extra large or heavily soiled loads) and the concentrated cleaners go to work cleaning, whitening, and even removing trapped body soils and sweat. I've never been a fan of messy measuring and drippy detergent bottles, so I love how neat and easy these packs are to use. They dissolve quickly in all water temperatures and I have to say that when I washed my husband's t-shirts with Wisk PowerBlasts, they came out as white as when I add bleach. I'm sold. Remember to keep these and all laundry detergents and cleaning products out of reach of children. And, check out The American Cleaning Institute's new initiative to help spread the word about the importance of following safe laundry practices and maintaining a safe laundry room.

Related: How to Organize Your Laundry Room

2. With the MiracleFold Laundry Folder ($25) from Above Edge, your sweaters, shirts, pants, even towels will be folded so neatly they'll look like you just plucked them from a store shelf. This plastic device is hinged in all the right places to guarantee that every item gets folded the same way every time. And, of course, neater folding means neater drawers and closet shelves. To fold, say, a t-shirt, simply open the three-panel MiracleFold on a table or flat surface. Place the shirt face down and align the top of the garment with the top edge of the MiracleFold. Fold up the bottom of the garment so it's aligned with the lower edge. Flip the left panel to the center (to fold the left side of the shirt) and flip it back. Flip the right panel to the center (to fold the right side of the shirt) and flip it back. Flip up the lower half of the center section and then flip it down to produce a perfectly folded t-shirt. I like that this tool is larger than others I've seen, making it more useful for large size garments and towels. It even comes with an adhesive-backed hook for wall-mounted storage.

3. Once the laundry's clean and folded, it has to be put away. That's where the must-be-neat Laundry Bag ($25) comes in. It's a lined cotton twill compartmentalized laundry bag that can be placed inside a laundry basket or used with its shoulder straps as a tote. The three sections (two small and one large) separate folded socks, shirts, towels and other laundry for easy carrying to the bedrooms or linen closet and the mesh top has a drawstring closure to keep everything in place. I think this is an innovative way to streamline a monotonous task.

Related: 8 Household Cleaning Tips from the Experts

If you are in the market for a new washer, dryer, or iron or just need help solving common laundry problems, check out our online Streamlined Clothing Care advice. To see how we test laundry appliances, detergents and stain removers, and all the products we recommend, sign up for a Good Housekeeping Research Institute tour.

- By Carolyn Forte

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