Smart Ways To Use Pool Noodles & Other Household Items For An Easier Laundry Day

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When it comes to time spent on laundry each week, Avon Cleaners estimates the household chore takes around three hours. This includes time for prepping the laundry, washing and drying the clothes, and folding and putting away the clean items. Just like doing dishes, laundry is an essential task that quickly becomes overwhelming if it isn't kept up with. To make this chore easier, homeowners can incorporate a variety of hacks that make use of pool noodles and other common household items.

Pool noodles are great as a buffer and not only keep clothes from wrinkling, but also help balance washing machines. Drink dispensers can be repurposed to quickly pour out laundry detergent and a garden hose can be tweaked to successfully remove lint from deep inside a dryer's lint trap. While you can incorporate just one or two of these smart strategies, combining them is a great way to save both time and energy when laundry day rolls around.

Use pool noodles to prevent wrinkles while air drying clothes

According to Visual Capitalist, 13% of a home's energy is used by a washer and dryer. They report that this costs the average household $143 per year. If you're looking for ways to cut back costs, air drying clothes instead of placing them in a dryer is a great option. Plus, you may already air dry some delicate items that you don't want damaged or shrunk in the dryer. The challenge that comes with air drying is keeping the clothing wrinkle free. Surprisingly (or not), as long as you have a pool noodle available, you can dry your clothes so that no creases are present.

To use a pool noodle to revolutionize the way you hang-dry your laundry, grab a foam noodle and a knife. Cut a section of the pool noodle to fit over the bottom rung of your clothes hanger. Create a slit down the center of the noodle and then slide it over the rung. Add the clothing item you need to dry and hang it up. If you prefer to use a drying rack or a clothesline, you can also cut pieces of the pool noodle to fit over the slats or rope. The pool noodle has a smooth surface that keeps the clothing from wrinkling or having creases that often come from the hanger, rack, or clothesline.

Create a pool noodle sock stopper

Samsung reports that a whopping 15 socks go missing in the average household each year after being placed in a washing machine. Chances are you have a bin full of mismatched socks in your own home. Since socks are small and slippery, it isn't hard for them to slide behind or alongside a washer and dryer during the cleaning process. One way to prevent this and reduce the number of socks that mysteriously disappear in your home is to utilize a pool noodle to catch falling laundry.

Fixing a pool noodle to the sides and backs of washers and dryers is an excellent hack to ensure you never lose another sock around your machines. Take one pool noodle for the side of each machine. If your washer and dryer do not touch, you can also grab one for sandwiching in between the machine as well. Use Velcro or double-sided tape to attach the foam noodles. You want them to curve upward at the ends, rather than laying straight. Place additional noodles behind the washer and dryer. The pool noodles will now capture wayward socks that slide off of the machines during loading and unloading.

Keep your washer balanced using a pool noodle

An unbalanced washing machine makes a lot of noise, which is especially troublesome if you have a sleeping baby or toddler at home. In addition, the constant shaking of the appliance puts added wear and tear on it that could lead to the need for a replacement much sooner than expected. Fortunately, balancing a washing machine can be as easy as adding a pool noodle to either side of the appliance.

To quiet your unbalanced washing machine, slide a pool noodle in between the washer and the wall. It's best if you can push it down a little ways instead of leaving it up near the top. Repeat this process on the other side of the washing machine. Depending on your home, the washer may be sandwiched between two walls, or it may have a dryer on the other side. You can slide the foam noodle in between the washer and dryer. You don't need to curve the pool noodles like you did when you created the sock stoppers above — laying them straight is fine.

Toss tennis balls in the dryer to reduce static and shorten drying times

There's nothing more frustrating than opening the dryer to find all the clothes have clumped together, leaving them full of wrinkles and static. Since these clothes balled up during the cycle, there's a good chance they are still damp. One household item that is sure to fix this problem is some tennis balls. Tennis balls are safe to use in a dryer and they work quite well to prevent the items in your machine from sticking together.

First, grab some clean tennis balls. You want ones that has never been used before, otherwise you risk transferring any dirt or marks from the balls onto your clothes. Toss the tennis balls in your dryer with the clothes you plan to dry. Turn the knob to your preferred dryer settings and you're good to go! Tip: Tennis balls also work well to prevent jackets, pillows, and comforters from becoming distorted and flat during the drying process.

Create an odor-absorbing sachet for your laundry basket using pantyhose

Laundry baskets are essential to keep soiled laundry in one place until laundry day rolls around. Since many households don't do laundry every single day, the items in the basket can begin to release an unpleasant odor after a few days. If your child has a sports uniform or you have a work outfit in the basket, this can happen even sooner. One way to keep the laundry basket smelling fresh is to drop a homemade odor-absorbing sachet made from a pair of pantyhose in the bottom.

Take a pair of pantyhose and cut across each leg at the knee. Scoop several tablespoons of baking soda into the bottom of each foot. Add about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil to each of the sachets. A few options that work great to combat foul odors include lavender, lemon, rosemary, cinnamon, fir, and tea tree essential oil. Tie a knot at the open end of the pantyhose sachets to keep the baking soda from leaking out. Toss the sachets into the bottom of the hamper. Note: These odor-absorbing sachets also work well when placed inside a pair of shoes.

Use a garden hose to clean out the dryer's lint trap

In order to prevent a fire, it's important to keep your dryer's lint trap clean. While it's easy to remove the lint screen and scoop away all the lint, it's much harder to get the mess that's sitting deep down inside the trap. This is because most vacuum attachments aren't thin enough to fit down into the compartment. One household item that works to reach the evasive lint is a garden hose. The hose is pliable and can bend to fit in the slot. Combine the garden hose with the vacuuming power of a Shop-Vac, and soon after your lint trap will be nice and clean.

Cut off a section of an old garden hose with a utility knife. It should be several inches longer than the depth needed to reach the bottom of the lint compartment. Use duct tape to secure one end of the garden hose to the end of the hose on your Shop-Vac. Flatten the open end of the garden hose and push it down into the lint compartment. Turn the vacuum on and move the hose around to collect all of the trapped lint.

Keep hangers organized with an upright paper towel holder

Before doing laundry, it's essential to read all of the items' proper care tags. Not all clothing or linens are safe for drying in a machine. As you take these items out of the washing machine, you'll want to immediately hang them up to air dry. Having to hunt for hangers, however, can be quite a pain. One helpful hack that allows you to keep a set of hangers organized and at the ready involves the use of a paper towel holder.

Purchase an upright paper towel holder that is designed to rest on a countertop. A holder that hangs from under a cabinet will not work for this. You'll find upright paper towel holders are available at Walmart for under $4. Slide the hangers over the upright rods that make up the paper towel holder. Keep the stack of hangers on a cart next to your washer or dryer or set them on the shelf above the machines. You can now quickly grab one for any clothing item that needs to be air dried.

Repurpose shoe organizers to hold all of your laundry supplies

If space is an issue in your home or apartment, you may not have a way to keep all of your laundry supplies neat and organized. Plastic shoe organizers that hang from doors can be repurposed to hold all of your laundry supplies, and they are perfect because they don't take up much space. You can pick up one of these handy products on Amazon for under $9. There's even the option to get the organizer in a variety of colors.

Slide the provided metal hooks through the rings at the top of your shoe organizer. Use the hooks to hang the organizer from your utility closet door. If you don't have a door near your washer and dryer, you can install nails or hooks into the wall by your machines and hang the organizer from there. After you've got the shoe organizer all set up, begin filling each of the pockets with laundry detergent, fabric softener sheets, stain sticks, brightening pods, and any other items you need to properly wash and dry your clothing.

Use shower curtain rings to dry and store scarves

Whether you have a handful of scarves to keep you warm during those cold winter months, or a collection of fashionable scarves to add color or style to an outfit, you'll need a way to dry and store them. You may be surprised to learn that a simple hack using a set of plastic shower curtain rings is the answer. The best part is that shower curtain rings are sold at most dollar stores for just $1.

There are two ways you can use the shower curtain rings. You can attach them to the curtain rod over the window in your laundry room or fasten them to a clothes hanger to be hung in a closet. Once you've got the rings in place, simply take each scarf from the washing machine and slide it halfway through one of the rings. Make sure the scarves are spaced out a little to allow for proper airflow. The rings will help the scarves dry wrinkle free. You can also use this system to store the scarves once they've fully dried.

Combat static cling with aluminum foil

Dryer sheets are designed to leave a film on clothes to make them softer and free of static. If you're looking for a natural way to combat static cling that doesn't involve the use of chemicals, all you need to do is reach for a roll of aluminum foil and create a few balls to toss in the dryer. This hack works because aluminum foil is able to attract the static electricity, keeping it from attaching to your clothing.

Grab a roll of aluminum foil and pull the foil until you have about 12 inches. Tear that sheet off and repeat the process two more times. You now have three sheets of aluminum foil. Place the sheets on top of each other and then scrunch them up into a ball. Roll the ball around on a table or countertop to get rid of any rough edges. Set the ball in your dryer the next time you need to do laundry and you'll find the clothes come out dry with no static. Depending on how often you do laundry, you may even be able to use the same ball for up to a year. That's a huge savings for your budget compared to the cost of dryer sheets!

Repurpose drink dispensers to discharge your liquid laundry detergent

Some laundry detergent and liquid fabric softener bottles are too big to fit in the cabinets above a washer and dryer. Additionally, dispensing the solution is often a pain, as well as a bit messy. To make your laundry day easier, consider transferring the detergent and fabric softener to a set of drink dispensers. You can get a fancier set on Amazon that comes with its own stand for under $30, or head to Dollar Tree for a set with a much more budget-friendly price tag.

Take the top off of the drink dispenser and begin filling it with your laundry detergent. Screw the lid back on and repeat the process for your liquid fabric softener. If your washer doesn't have a designated compartment for the detergent, you may want to keep the cap from your original detergent bottle for measuring the proper amount of liquid for your wash. If you'd like, you can also hang a mini-chalkboard tag from each dispenser to give it a label. You can also use the dispensers for storing bleach or white distilled vinegar, which are handy when tackling laundry stains and odors. Warning: This method isn't the best for thicker laundry detergents, as they won't come out of the spout as easily.

Create a countertop for over your washer and dryer using an old piece of wood

Is your laundry area lacking a space to prepare clothes for washing or to fold clothes once they've come out of the dryer? One simple solution is to grab a piece of plywood and create a countertop that fits directly over the top of your washer and dryer. This hack only works for front-loading machines, however, as the board would prevent access to top loaders.

Measure the space over your washer and dryer and cut your piece of plywood to fit in that space. If the piece isn't big enough, you can always glue a few boards together using wood glue and a set of clamps. Once constructed, sand the top of the plywood to get it ready to absorb a stain. Select a stain for your countertop and then paint it onto your board. You may need to add two or three coats to get your desired look. Wait for the stain to dry and then set the homemade countertop over the washer and dryer. Tip: If you don't want the board resting on your washer and dryer, you can install cleats to each side wall and then rest the board on the cleats.