Doing laundry for yourself is a bit daunting at first, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. While a lot goes into proper laundry care, don’t overwhelm yourself trying to learn everything at once. Even after doing laundry for years, you will still learn new things. Don’t be hard on yourself! In this blog, we’ll go over the basic laundry checklist you’ll need to get started.
The first thing you’ll need is a good detergent. Good doesn’t necessarily mean expensive, so don’t think you have to buy the priciest option. If you have certain needs or requirements for your detergent, consider that when picking one. For example, if you have sensitive skin, choose a detergent that says “free and clear” or is formulated for sensitive skin.
There will be a ton of options available, and it might take some time to find one that works for you. Start by buying the smallest container possible to make sure you like the detergent before committing to a large container. Try asking your family or friends what detergent they use if you feel overwhelmed by options.
Fabric softener smells great and can make your clothes soft, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Softener leaves a film over your clothes that can build up over time. This can cause odors or damage your clothes. However, if you choose to use fabric softener, use the smallest amount possible and only use it every 2-3 times you do your laundry so it doesn’t build up.
A great alternative for your laundry checklist is white vinegar. White vinegar naturally softens your clothes, is good for your washing machine, and helps with odors. Just add ½ cup to a normal load in the softener compartment. We promise your clothes won’t smell like vinegar!
A great stain remover is invaluable for your toolkit and one of the most important items on our laundry checklist. Find a great all-purpose stain remover, and you should be able to tackle most tough stains. If you’re on a budget or don’t want to buy another laundry item, you can just use your detergent. Take a small amount of laundry detergent and gently blot it onto the stain. Let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes before washing it.
Dryer Sheets/Balls (Optional)
You might get static cling depending on a few factors, such as where you live. If this is an issue for you, you’ll need dryer sheets or wool dryer balls. Dryer sheets can cause a film to occur on your lint trap and lower the ability for air to flow through it. They might also irritate sensitive skin or cause a build-up on your clothes. If you want a more sustainable option, buy some wool dryer balls. Depending on how frequently you use them, you should be able to use them for 2-5 years, so they’re definitely budget-friendly.
Finally, you’ll need something to transport your laundry in. Whether it’s down the hall to your laundry room or across town to a laundry mat, you need something to put your laundry in. Baskets, hampers, or mesh bags are great options for this.
Getting started doing your own laundry might be intimidating. It’s hard to separate what’s good from what’s popular. Really, the basics you need to do laundry are just detergent and something to transport your stuff in. If you want a little more, get white vinegar/fabric softener, stain remover, and some dryer sheets or balls. Once you get those few things, it’s time to get washing. Before you know it, you’ll be washing laundry like a pro!