Clever Laundry Tips & Tricks HGTV Stars Swear By

When you think about HGTV and laundry, laundry room renovations may be the only thing that comes to mind. Yet, your favorite stars also have some clever tips and tricks that actually make the chore itself that much easier. For example, did you know that you don't really need to be sorting all your clothes by type and color> Well, only if you follow Jasmine Roth's advice, that is. Or if your kids are constantly knocking over the piles of laundry that you spent all morning folding, Jenn Todryk has a solution for you to stop this from ever happening again.

Whether you want to save some money on your energy bills, do your bit for the environment by washing in cold water, or just actually get your clothes truly clean for once, your favorite HGTV stars have a tip for that. Laundry doesn't have to be a soul-destroying time-suck of a chore, nor does getting a stain out of your favorite shirt require you to have all the rules for water temperatures and laundry soaps memorized. This is how the professionals do laundry — the easy way.

Keep a table in the laundry room

The laundry room can be quite a hectic place in the home, yet Joanna Gaines has a tip to keep things a bit more peaceful. "I brought a table and chair into our laundry room a few years ago when I realized the place where I wash and fold may be one of my favorite spaces in our home," she shared on Instagram. Since she spends so much time in the laundry room anyway, it only made sense to carve out a pocket of peace in the chaos. The HGTV star journals at the table, but uses it to fold her laundry, too. Keeping the mess contained to one room like this, instead of hauling the laundry to another space for folding, is helpful for those with busy lives.

If you have the space in your laundry room, any sort of table will do. Although a solid piece of furniture, as opposed to one with a separate top and base, is likely best so you can avoid any wobbling or tipping. Even in smaller laundry spaces, a designated countertop that you keep clear for laundry can have the same impact as Gaines' table.

Use a vodka spray to deodorize unwashable items

There are some things that just don't go in the washing machine, but they still stink. For example, tennis shoes might be okay to get wet, but sneakers or boots with fabric are not. To get around this, Martha Stewart is a fan of using a vodka spray to eliminate unwanted odors. In a cheeky "Dry January" campaign, Stewart advised that you can spray unflavored, colorless vodka on items you simply can't wash. The alcohol, if not diluted with water and only lightly misted, can suck the stink right out.

While fans were confused if this ad for Tito's was a joke or a genuine suggestion, Patric Richardson of "The Laundry Guy" confirms it's totally true. "You can spray your gym bag with vodka; if you go to your favorite restaurant and you leave [smelling like food], you can spray that with vodka," he told Apartment Therapy. "If you stand next to a smoker, you can spray that with vodka." It's a great option for things you simply can't wash — or just don't have the time to. For the best results, remember that the higher the alcohol content the better, as it will be stronger. 

Doing a load a day means less laundry

Sometimes the worst part of laundry is that we leave it all to the very last minute. It's the worst possible chore, because it will take you all day, or even all weekend, to get through it. Yet Jasmine Roth has a laundry trick that works for her family, and might work for yours, too. Do a little bit of laundry every day! "Another no-brainer, but I think we could all use this reminder! Seriously: If you don't mind running a small load a day (or every other day, depending on how much laundry you have in your household), it's worth it," she wrote on her blog. "That way it doesn't pile up!" Yes, it's still technically the same amount of work, but many find that eating one bite of the laundry elephant at a time is much easier to pull off than trying all at once.

And Roth isn't the only HGTV star to tackle the chore this way, Jenny Marrs does the same! "We do laundry every day in our house because we have so many kids and so much laundry," she told ABC15. If you have any environmental concerns, you don't need to do laundry each night just for the sake of it, but rather every time you have a full load. This way, it's the same amount of water and energy, just spread throughout the week.

Stop using so much detergent

You might think that if your clothing smells quite bad, or has a lot of stains, that the solution is to just pour more soap in with your loads. Lots of laundry detergent can only help, right? Well, Patric Richardson wants to debunk this laundry myth once and for all. "Everybody uses too much soap or too much detergent. "Your clothes will actually get cleaner because it will completely rinse out," he said in an interview with HGTV. "If something doesn't completely rinse out, then it's holding the detergent in the water but with that it's holding on the dirt from the washing machine because it's all trapped in there together. So cut back on how much you use and your clothes will be cleaner."

This doesn't mean skimp out on detergent, as you do need soap to get your clothes clean. Instead, take a close look at the soap's packaging. Stick to the recommended measurements based on the size of your load, whether it is powdered or liquid. However, there is one form of soap to stop using altogether: laundry pods. "There's enough detergent in one pod to do five loads of laundry," Richardson said, advising consumers to stay away.

Keep a stain removal chart in the laundry room

What temperature of water is best for coffee stains? How long should you soak an oil-based stain, if at all? There are many different tips and tricks to getting stains out of laundry. And while Martha Stewart is well respected in the realm of home keeping and laundry essentials, even she knows that it's not worth it to memorize all the different laundry combinations. Instead, go easy on yourself and keep a cheat sheet in your laundry room.

"Always keep a stain removal chart ... right in your laundry room," she told viewers on YouTube. Yet, the chart on its own won't do you much good, as Stewart continued to explain the second half of the tip. "Keep a little kit with all the ingredients, the alcohol, the acetone, the vinegar, the mineral oil. All of these items will help you remove any tough stains. Just follow the directions on the chart." Thus, gather a small arsenal of stain-fighting options and keep them right next to their directions. This way, you can refer to the chart at a glance, depending on the type of stain you have, and not have to hunt down an answer and the correct stain remover each time.

It's okay to use bleach, just know the difference between types

Because of its strong smell and power to strip color, some of us might be afraid to use bleach. Yet, when used properly, oxygen bleach is one of the greatest laundry super powers out there. "Oxidation is like rust but for clothes," Patric Richardson told HGTV. "All you have to do is get oxygen bleach ... and it comes right out. It's the easiest thing in the world."

Oxygen bleach is a little different from chlorine bleach in that it is slightly gentler on fabrics and has a different active ingredient. Though both are great at killing germs and bad smells. "Oxygen bleach is great for little doggie accidents. It's better than any [odor and stain remover.]," Richardson continued. "Get rid of those and get oxygen bleach. It will remove color, it will remove odor. Just add about 3 tablespoons to the washing machine and it will ... take it right out." When shopping for this kind of bleach, reach the label carefully. It should contain hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, or sodium perborate, NOT chlorine.

Use cold water so you don't have to separate colors

Nobody wants to end up with a load full of pink whites due to one rouge red sock, yet pre-sorting your laundry can take forever. Luckily, Jasmine Roth has a laundry tip that means you can skip this step entirely. It just comes with a small caveat. Stop separating your laundry! "I feel like this tip needs to come with a loud disclaimer: ONLY IF YOU WASH WITH COLD WATER," Roth wrote on her blog, with emphasis. "Because if you don't separate your laundry by color and wash it all in warm water... YIKES." That's how you end up with running colors and ruined clothes.

Yet, by swapping for the cold cycle, this separation is no longer an issue. "This means I can throw a bunch of stuff all in the laundry — Hazel's clothes, mine, some dish towels, etc. — and get more loads done more efficiently," Roth continued. Washing in cold water is also better for the environment, as it uses less energy. This is because the machine doesn't have to heat up the water, which is where most of the power consumption comes from. So, this laundry tip is a win-win!

Let laundry spill out of the laundry room

While some folks might prefer to keep all the laundry chaos confined to one room, sometimes that's just not practical. If you have a smaller space, or it just gets too hot in there, you need a dedicated folding station instead. Jenn Todryk of "No Demo Reno" has hers on her kitchen's island. "It's my favorite spot to do it because my stacks are up high and no small manic child can mess it up," she wrote on her Instagram. This is a great hack, as most counters are tall enough that you can fold in peace, without little hands undoing all of your progress.

Counters are also tall enough that you don't have to bend over or lean too far down to get to the clothes, saving you from straining your back. Plus, counters are flat and hard, making it easy to get precise folds. If you don't have an island, or feel worried about your counters being sticky — your kitchen table might work just as well. Give it a quick wipe before you lay down each load, or have a laundry tablecloth that goes down before the clothes do, just to keep everything clean.

Adding shelving and storage to the laundry room keeps things on track

Most of us also use our laundry rooms as general storage for the house. There are cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, and maybe even Christmas decorations all over each other in a space that's often much smaller than it should be. "Design Star" winner Emily Henderson had a great tip for keeping your laundry room organized: shelving! 

When remodeling her home, she noticed that, while she couldn't add much storage horizontally because of the room's size and shape, vertical storage was more than fair game. Often, this is the case for at-home renovations too. You might not want to knock down walls, but you can add a few wooden shelves. "All in all, I truly think it's going to be a daily life changer," she wrote on her blog. "It's clean, so functional, so organized and it lends itself to making sure that we keep our lives in order." If you aren't interested in custom-built shelving, buying a customizable organization kit from somewhere like IKEA or The Container Store can have a similar impact.

Fold your clothes tightly to save space

If you have limited storage space or would just prefer your closet to have more of a chic look than it currently does, there is a non-renovation option. Longtime HGTV star Nate Berkus took to social media to share his tips on how the secret to an organized closet with plenty of room is really just all in the folding.

"I am a great folder ... now I feel the need, I'm compelled, to show you how I fold basically everything," he shared in an Instagram video demonstration. "I'm starting with sweatpants." Berkus goes on to explain that he understands that sweatpants are just one of those clothing items that are just so awkward to store. However, by using his technique, even the most bulky or oddly-shaped clothes can be placed in the drawer with no problem at all. The key is to create folded-up bricks out of your clothing. This way they are all a similar size. To achieve this, once you fold the item in half, tuck in any protruding bits sticking out the sides. Then, you can fold the item in thirds to achieve the storage-optimized brick.

Add essential oils to fabric softening sheets for a chemical-free fresh smell

There are many benefits to using dryer sheets. Using one to two sheets per load can make your clothes less staticky, give fabrics a softer feel, and make your laundry smell fresher over all. However, you might find that the pre-scented dryer sheets smell a bit too strongly for your taste. In some cases, they might also aggravate your allergies. If you are looking for a more natural solution, Martha Stewart luckily has a fresh-smelling option that is chemical-free.

"So, these fabric softener sheets, these are unscented," she told her audience on YouTube. "You can add a little bit of essential oil to a sheet like this. A little lavender oil. Maybe eucalyptus if that's what you prefer. Or a little bit of tangerine oil. This really smells very good." You don't have to soak the sheets to get the best results, as Stewart recommends just one drop per sheet. This is a natural way to give your linens the fresh scent of your choice.

A steam closet can make all the difference

Lugging your dry cleaning out to the store can be such a chore, especially if you have to make a special trip for just one item. So much so that you might put off, leaving your dry clean-only items out of commission for a good while. Yet, Jonathan Scott is a fan of new technology that will make everyone's lives easier. Welcome to dry cleaning at home! "I'm going to continue bringing you guys all the cool tech around the house and this is incredible because why go to a dry cleaner anymore? That's so last year," Scott joked to his Instagram followers. "This is the [LG] STUDIO Styler. You can essentially do all of your dry cleaning, without chemicals, at home."

Scott went on to demonstrate the machine's many features, including a de-wrinkling service, an ironing option, plus an option to clean germs off of things like plush toys and sports equipment. The device can easily be installed in place of a closet, as it is tall and narrow. "This is something that I think will become a staple in everybody's laundry room," Scott said with confidence. The familiar design appears easy to use, making dry cleaning that much less of a hassle