6 Must Have Tools for Better Laundry

Interior of laundry room in contemporary home

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When you get ready to do laundry, you grab some detergent and maybe a fabric softener and dryer sheet. But six other tools should be in your laundry room or clothes closet that will help you keep your clothes looking better and lasting longer. They are inexpensive, but if you use them, you'll be amazed at how much better your clothes can look.

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    One of the most aggravating problems with knitted clothes is fuzz or pilling. You wear a knit shirt or sweater a few times, and suddenly small balls of fuzz appear under the arms or across the front. These happen when the fabric rubs against itself or something else causing friction. Friction breaks the fibers, and then they tangle causing little balls of fuzz. There are ways to prevent pilling, but if it happens, you can remove the fuzz safely without causing holes.

    D-Fuzz-It is simple to use fabric comb that removes fuzz from napped, woven or knitted fabrics. It can be used on coats, blankets or sweaters and works on all wool, cashmere, cotton or synthetic fibers

    The small comb is approximately three inches long and two inches high. The handle is a heavy "tortoise-shell" plastic and holds a wire mesh that feels like an emery board. There are no sharp edges that can accidentally cut fabric. It is operated by hand so no electricity is needed or batteries to replace.

    To use, hold the fabric taut with one hand or stretch it over a curved surface to help hold it flat and taut.and brush quickly and lightly with the D-Fuzz-It. 

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    Wool Dryer Balls

    Wool dryer balls


    Wool dryer balls help reduce static cling, soften fabrics through gentle abrasion and reduce drying time (saving money) by keeping garments and fabric separated during the drying process to increase air flow. The wool balls also make your clothes more static free.

    You can find a variety of dryer balls on the market from PVC dryer balls that look like a little hedgehog to wool felted balls. Or, you can make your own. All are designed for use in an automatic gas or electricity powered tumble dryer. 

    Wool dryer balls are an alternative to adding fabric softeners to laundry as a way to keep clothes soft and static free. If you choose a 100 percent natural wool ball (not a synthetic ball), you can avoid chemical substances and fragrances that can be harmful to sensitive skin.

  • 03 of 06

    Proper Clothes Hangers

    Clothes hangers

     Photo by MML

    While some people like to have matching hangers throughout a closet, most of us don't give clothes hangers much thought. Maybe we should.

    Using the correct type of hanger will reduce the need for ironing, prolong the life of your clothes and help the garment hold the proper shape. Wire hangers like those from a dry cleaner should only be used temporarily for clothes. They are not strong enough to support the weight of heavy fabrics and can rust and discolor fabrics.

    Choose padded, wide wood or molded plastic hangers for coats, suits and any heavy fabric. For slippery fabrics like nylon and silk, hangers with a napped surface will keep straps and fabrics in place. Skirt hangers work well for both skirts and slacks and prevent creases.

  • 04 of 06

    Mesh Laundry Bags

    Mesh laundry bags


    If you think mesh laundry bags are only for hauling dirty clothes to the washer, it's time to think again. Small mesh laundry bags are a must-have tool to keep your clothes looking their best.

    The mesh bags are perfect when washing lingerie, silk or delicate items in the washer to prevent snags and pulls. The bags are also great for keeping kids' socks, baby clothes, and mittens from getting lost and even caught in the washer drain. The bags are even great for travel because an entire outfit can be placed in the bag and the dirty clothes brought back home in the same bag.

    Mesh laundry bags can be tossed in the washer and right into the dryer and used again and again.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Home Dry Cleaning Kit

    Dryel kit
    Courtesy of Dryel At Home Dry Cleaner

    Home dry cleaning kits are a product or tool to have on hand to quickly freshen and remove small stains from dry clean only garments and less expensive than a trip to the dry cleaner. 

    There are several home dry cleaning kit brands available on store shelves and online that you can use at home or a laundromat with a tumble dryer. The kits include a reusable cleaning bag, moist cleaning cloths and a stain remover to use for spot cleaning. After you have purchased the starter kit, refills of the cleaning cloths are available as well as additional stain remover pens.

    They are safe and reliable for freshening clothing and removing most water-based and light stains. The convenience is exceptional, and they are less harmful than professional dry cleaning for the environment, due to a less caustic cleaning solution, less time on the road to pick up and deliver clothes, no protective plastic bags, and no extra wire hangers.

    They don’t work as well as a professional cleaner on heavier grime and stains. And they do not provide a well-pressed, crisp final product.

  • 06 of 06

    Lint Brush or Lint Roller

    Reduce and remove laundry lint
    Comstock Photos/Getty Images

    There should be a lint brush or lint roller in your laundry room (and dressing area, desk, and car) to give a finishing touch to every outfit. Lint, dandruff or pet hair is not attractive on any fabric and having a tool to capture it is a must.

    A good lint brush is also handy to lift the fibers after wearing or cleaning velvet, velveteen, corduroy or any napped fabric.