laundry http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5355/all en-US The 7 Best Pieces of Homemaking Advice From Martha Stewart http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-pieces-of-homemaking-advice-from-martha-stewart <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-best-pieces-of-homemaking-advice-from-martha-stewart" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000018281549.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Martha Stewart's name is synonymous with clever tips and tricks. Even as time has advanced, her tips remain the gold standard of anything homemaking. Here's a collection of some of her most useful advice on anything from flavoring foods to cleaning your grungy down comforters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money?ref=seealso">7 Old Fashioned Skills That Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. Hard Boiling Eggs</h2> <p>Eggs are inexpensive, portable protein bites that are nutritious and delicious to boot. I've used Martha's instructions on <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/354061/perfect-hard-boiled-eggs">how to hard boil eggs</a> many times with perfect results. Place a dozen eggs in a large saucepan and cover with an inch of cold water. Bring water to boil over medium heat, then cover and remove from the burner. After 12 minutes, transfer to a colander and soak in cool water to stop the cooking process. Eggs (in shells) stay good for three days, sometimes longer.</p> <h2>2. Preserving Herbs</h2> <p>Martha helps us save money by offering some tips on how to <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/247551/preserving-herbs">preserve summer herbs</a> for fall and winter enjoyment. There are several methods you can try, including wrapping herbs loosely in tulle fabric inside the fridge. In a couple of weeks, the herbs will dry out and can be packaged in a tin. Blanching and freezing is another great way to preserve and will also keep colors vibrant. Or you can blend a pint of olive oil with a bunch of blanched herbs before freezing into an ice tray for flavorful oil cubes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts?ref=seealso">Preserving In-Season Foods for Off-Season Feasts</a>)</p> <h2>3. Creating a Cleaning Bucket</h2> <p>Save time on your chores by creating a <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/340652/spring-organizing-tips/@center/276989/organizing#234877">cleaning bucket</a> with all your supplies in one place. Martha suggests adding a glass cleaner, all-purpose spray, an assortment of scrub brushes, rubber gloves, and a few towels to your collection. My tip? Make your own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners">DIY cleaning supplies</a> and pick up the rest at your local dollar store.</p> <h2>4. Folding Fitted Sheets</h2> <p>Are your fitted sheets crumpled in the linen closet like mine? Martha shows us the right way to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-a2FR1iwqg">fold these fitted sheets</a> to eliminate wrinkles. To start, hold the top two corners in each hand. Flip the right side over onto the left and shake the sheet to get everything lined up correctly on the bottom. Feel your way down the elastic to the next corner and flip it over the others. When you get the final corner squared away, you should be able to fold everything into a neat, flat package.</p> <h2>5. Cleaning Stainless Steel</h2> <p>I have a good collection of stainless steel pots and pans I love to use for the bulk of my cooking. Unfortunately, they're marked up from heat and hard water. Martha explains that the best way to get your stainless gleaming again is to rub them with a cloth <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/266191/cleaning-stainless-steel">soaked in white vinegar</a>. Wash after each use to prevent a film from forming. And never soak, as it will result in a pitted surface.</p> <h2>6. Laundering Down</h2> <p>With the cold weather season ahead of us, I'm getting ready to pull out our down comforters again. The thing is, I've never washed them &mdash; and they're getting funky. Martha shares that I don't need to take these things to a professional. Instead, I can <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/270108/laundering-down">launder my down</a> by using a mild, low-sudsing detergent in a front-load washer (I'll need a few quarters for the laundromat). To dry, just go through the spin cycle and then tumble on low.</p> <h2>7. Storing Fresh Greens</h2> <p>Fresh kale is one of my go-to snacks, but I feel like it goes bad the minute I stick it in the fridge. Martha offers a simple <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/973761/how-wash-and-store-greens#973761">wash and dry method</a> that will keep greens kicking longer. Just dunk them in cold water to loosen dirt and debris, dry in a salad spinner, wrap loosely in paper towels, and store in a plastic bag. It's as easy as that! (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fruits-and-veggies-that-stay-fresh-a-month-or-longer?ref=seealso">10 Fruits and Veggies that Stay Fresh a Month or Longer</a>)</p> <p><em>What's your favorite bit of homemaking advice from Martha Stewart?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-pieces-of-homemaking-advice-from-martha-stewart">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternative-ways-to-cook-outside">8 Alternative Ways to Cook Outside</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-camping-cooking">10 Tips for Camping Cooking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-spectacular-uses-for-that-lone-can-of-fruit">8 Spectacular Uses for that Lone Can of Fruit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-kitchen-skills-that-will-save-you-money">7 DIY Kitchen Skills That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-food-strainer-my-new-old-fashioned-gadget">The Food Strainer: My New, Old-Fashioned Gadget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Food and Drink advice cleaning Cooking homemaking laundry martha stewart Mon, 24 Aug 2015 15:00:23 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1532873 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Laundry Detergents http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-laundry-detergents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mom_baby_laundry_000050679488.jpg" alt="Mom and baby doing laundry" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Finding the right laundry detergent requires a combination of choosing what works best on your clothes, with what your personal preferences are. If you have a high efficiency washer, then using a traditional detergent can cause excess suds. Instead, the Soap and Detergent Association recommends that you look for an HE detergent that is designed for your washer.</p> <h2>What is Laundry Detergent?</h2> <p>Laundry detergent can remove dirt, stains, and other marks from your clothing. It can also make your laundry refreshed, brighter, smelling great, and looking like new. There are a range of detergent types available, such as liquid, powdered, and detergent pack forms. There are also a range of detergent scents and options to choose from, so you can easily find one that best suits your household or business. We&rsquo;ve covered some of the most effective detergents to help you choose the right one to efficiently clean your dirty laundry in no time.</p> <h2>Top 5 Laundry Detergents</h2> <h3>Tide Pods Laundry Detergent</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YHKVCM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004YHKVCM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2RZMAXXYZL7CIKFL"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/tide%20pods.jpg" width="237" height="250" align="right" alt="" />Tide Pods</a> are a favorite brand amongst picky consumers and national review sites, including Consumer Reports. As Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best seller in powder laundry detergent, these no-mess Tide Pods are neat and clean, lightweight, and easy to store. They are very easy to use, just toss one in the laundry and you&rsquo;re done. They also don&rsquo;t cost much more than comparable laundry detergent. These 3-in-1 pods are also a Good Housekeeping choice for one of the best laundry detergents due to their superior cleaning power.</p> <p>Along with containing detergent suitable for colors and whites, each pod also contains a stain remover and brightener to reveal your cleanest, brightest clothes. They can be used with regular or high efficiency washers, in any water temperature. They are also available in an array of fresh, clean scents to suit your personal preferences. If you are used to traveling to a nearby laundromat, then these are ideal. They are much lighter, easier to transport, and easier to use than traditional, heavy detergents.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YHKVCM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004YHKVCM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=2RZMAXXYZL7CIKFL"><em>Currently $18.98 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Tide Original Scent High Efficiency Liquid Laundry Detergent</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LN23HHM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00LN23HHM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=LURILWCHR7QCMWPK"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/tide%20original.jpg" width="153" height="250" align="right" alt="" />Tide Original High Efficiency</a> is consistently a favorite brand on Consumer Reports and is one of the most popular options amongst consumers. As Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best seller in liquid laundry detergent, this high efficiency liquid detergent is phosphate-free and made of biodegradable soaps. It contains more cleaning ingredients and less water, resulting in a low-sudsing formula. The updated formula has more active ingredients than before, so you can use less in each load, saving you money over time.</p> <p>Only one small cap of detergent is needed for each load, so you get the same number of loads in a smaller bottle. The original scent is fresh and clean, but there are a variety of scents to choose from, to best suit your personal preferences.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LN23HHM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00LN23HHM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=LURILWCHR7QCMWPK"><em>Currently $11.97 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Wisk Deep Clean</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZYGYLM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003ZYGYLM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3DICP5BAMSXLOOLW"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/wisk.jpg" width="161" height="250" align="right" alt="" />Wisk Deep Clean</a> is an affordable option that can stand up to some of the most popular, expensive brands out there. In an independent study by ABC News, Wisk Deep Clean was rated highest among conventional brands and high-efficiency brands. Wisk is also a Consumer Reports&rsquo; choice for the best laundry detergents and has been a beloved brand for years thanks to its stain-fighting abilities.</p> <p>Along with outstanding customer reviews, professionals also find it best for work uniforms as it offers a deep clean and can reveal the cleanest, brightest, whitest laundry, compared to other detergents. It can handle even the toughest stains, like grass, blood, tea, and chocolate stains. The liquid detergent cleans very well (even in cold water) and can brighten clothes more with FBA (fluorescent brightening agents). It is available in a variety of clean scents, as well as a free &amp; pure option. With options for HE and standard washers, you can use this with any washing machine. It is also easy to use with legible directions and visible markings in the cap.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZYGYLM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003ZYGYLM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3DICP5BAMSXLOOLW"><em>Currently $7.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Tide Plus Coldwater High Efficiency Liquid Laundry Detergent</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LN23BL4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00LN23BL4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5XEYIVP24POZMVN6"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/tide%20coldwater.jpg" width="151" height="250" align="right" alt="" />Tide Plus Coldwater</a> is a favorite brand amongst households and national review sites alike. As a Good Housekeeping choice for one of the best laundry detergents, this Tide for cold water proved to remove more tough stains in cold water than other detergents were able to accomplish in hot water. Even grass, chocolate, and blood stains are no match for this cold water detergent. By using cold water on your laundry, you can expect to save about 50% on your monthly energy bill. This detergent works efficiently, has a craveworthy fresh scent and superior color protection, offers a more effective solution for your delicate fabrics, and can save you money on your monthly water-heating bill.</p> <p>This is a Consumer Reports&rsquo; choice for the best laundry detergents and with overwhelmingly positive reviews, it&rsquo;s a popular option for homes with high efficiency washers.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LN23BL4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00LN23BL4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5XEYIVP24POZMVN6"><em>Currently $11.97 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Arm &amp; Hammer Liquid Laundry Detergent</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IO2YFHK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00IO2YFHK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7CCMS4WGZD4B5HGD"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/arm%20%26%20hammer.jpg" width="256" height="250" align="right" alt="" /></a>As Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best seller in commercial laundry detergent, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IO2YFHK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00IO2YFHK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7CCMS4WGZD4B5HGD">Arm &amp; Hammer</a> detergent can clean away even the toughest stains. It is ideal for all machines, including high efficiency washers, and can be used in all water temperatures, on all laundry, even dark loads. It is designed to power out dirt and odors and will leave your clothes clean, fresh, free of stains, and smelling great. It contains the power of Arm &amp; Hammer, as well as special agents to trap soil in the wash water.</p> <p>One affordable bottle is enough for 140 loads, making it ideal for commercial laundromats and households with heavy laundry needs. The bottle also contains two pouring spouts, a clear top for dispensing the detergent and a blue top for allowing air in, preventing a vacuum seal from forming.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IO2YFHK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00IO2YFHK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7CCMS4WGZD4B5HGD"><em>Currently $12.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best laundry detergent. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-trash-bags">The 5 Best Trash Bags</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-measuring-cups">The 5 Best Measuring Cups</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-measuring-spoons">The 5 Best Measuring Spoons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-woks">The 5 Best Electric Woks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">Defensive Laundry: 9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping cleaning supplies laundry laundry detergent product reviews Wed, 06 May 2015 09:00:26 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1399490 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Laundry Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making http://www.wisebread.com/11-laundry-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you-were-making <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-laundry-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you-were-making" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-doing-laundry-469754783-small.jpg" alt="woman doing laundry" title="woman doing laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you hate doing laundry, raise your hand.</p> <p>I can't see you, of course, but I'm confident that 99% of you reading this post dread laundry day. The sorting, the switching, the waiting, the folding, the unexplained disappearance of an arbitrary item. When will it all end? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer?ref=seealso">25+ Secrets to Keep Your Clothes Brighter, Whiter, and Lasting Longer</a>)</p> <p>Well, at least you can make the thankless task a little easier to bear by avoiding these mistakes that are costing you time, money, and a bit of sanity.</p> <h2>1. You're Not Using Laundry Detergents That 'Rinse Clean'</h2> <p>Most of the leading laundry detergents are scented and given names that bring to mind a summer rain or a spring breeze. While they make our clothes smell fresh as a field of fragrant lilacs, it's not exactly getting your clothes &quot;clean.&quot; Your clothes are clean in the sense that the dirt and grime has been eliminated, but as a result there's chemical detergent residue left behind.</p> <p>Michelle C. Smith, an entrepreneur and blogger who specializes in making <a href="http://blog.mamasuds.com/">all-natural personal cleansing products</a>, says, &quot;The biggest laundry mistake people are making is not using a laundry detergent that rinses clean &mdash; or has a fragrance, for example. This residue is left on your clothes and then most people put a dryer sheet &mdash; full of material that leaves more residue &mdash; in the dryer with their clothes because they don't like how their clothes feel.&quot;</p> <p>To solve this problem, try swapping your normal brand with an all-natural, fragrance-free brand &mdash; or<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes"> learn how to make your own laundry detergent with natural ingredients</a>.</p> <h2>2. You're Using Too Much Detergent</h2> <p>Are you a detergent eye-baller like me? What I mean by that is that I pour an amount of detergent into the cup that I think looks right for the load and toss it into the washer. It must stop now.</p> <p>Mona Weiss, who talks about even more laundry mistakes over at <a href="http://econutssoap.com/eleven-things-people-overlook-when-doing-their-laundry/">the Eco Nuts blog</a>, says that overdosing on detergent can result in dingy, worn-out clothes over time, along with a worn-out budget.</p> <p>&quot;If you're using a 'measure to this line' type of detergent, make sure you read the directions and make sure you are measuring to the correct line,&quot; she says. &quot;There are also many a lazy laundry-doer that just pours what looks 'about right' directly into the laundry machine and hopes for the best. That's literally pouring money down the drain.&quot;</p> <h2>3. You're Overfilling the Machine</h2> <p>Weiss also touches on another laundry mistake that I'm guilty of making &mdash; overfilling the machine. It's a no-no: completely counterproductive &mdash; and costly.</p> <p>&quot;If you're all about saving money, then adding a few more clothes to the washer so you don't have to do another load is the worst possible idea,&quot; she chides. &quot;It's so inefficient, it's anti-efficient. If your clothes can't rub up against each other during the wash then they're not getting clean, which means you'll have to wash the whole load over again. You may as well do a quick rinse in the sink under the faucet, because that's the level of 'clean' you're going to get. Some top-loading machines have a line to show where the water goes up to &mdash; your clothes level should be under that. Not up to the line, under. When in doubt take two things out.&quot;</p> <p>Or 12, in my case.</p> <h2>4. You're Not Checking Your Pockets Thoroughly</h2> <p>How many times have you screamed in horror when you discovered that you left something in your pocket because you were too lazy to do a thorough check?</p> <p>Somehow a crayon snuck into my dryer once (it wasn't pretty), there's been bubblegum in there, and countless burst pens, of course. All manner of paper gets mangled and destroyed, and sometimes there are items that I no longer recognize, or &mdash; better yet &mdash; have no idea why they were in my pockets in the first place. I'm lookin' at you, Matchbox car.</p> <h2>5. You're Spending Too Much Time Sorting Baby Clothes by Color</h2> <p>In general, most of us sort our own clothes in light, white, dark, and denim piles &mdash; although my method only includes three piles: whites, denim, and everything else that isn't those two things &mdash; because we don't want any of the dyes bleeding onto other garments. I'm totally on board with that; many of us spend a lot of money on clothing, and we need to make sure it lasts as long as possible.</p> <p>Babies, on the other hand, are a different story.</p> <p>First, any parent will tell you that the laundry from a baby never quits. I've seen some kids go through four outfits in a day, and I'm like, you need to learn how to stop vomiting all over yourself, dude. Second, these are babies we're talking about here &mdash; professional mess factories who don't have jobs or anybody to impress &mdash; so there's no need to spend anymore of your precious time sorting their bottomless hamper into separate stacks. Save for keeping dark navy and deep red items away from the whites, says Jennifer Porter, a <a href="http://satsumadesigns.com/baby-laundry-basics/">blogger at Satsuma Designs</a>, toss it all in on the &quot;Miracle&quot; cleaning setting and get on with your day.</p> <h2>6. You're Spending Money on Chemical Stain Removers When Home Hacks Work Just as Well</h2> <p>Have a whole arsenal of store-bought stain removers in your laundry room? Props to Kelly Ripa for being a formidable product endorser, but you're wasting your money. You have powerful stain fighters in your home right now that are not only cleaner than their chemical counterparts but work just as well &mdash; if not better. Porter recommends that we &quot;avoid harsh stain removal chemicals and instead use baking soda from the orange box in your refrigerator and mix with a bit of water to make a paste. Let paste rest on stain for 20-30 minutes and launder as usual.&quot;</p> <h2>7. You're Not Protecting Your Delicates as Well as You Should</h2> <p>Porter and Weiss both recommend placing delicates and other small items into a zippered mesh bag so they enjoy gentler cycles, and so you can reduce the risk of your socks and undies ending up in the Great Garment Abyss.</p> <p>&quot;Add years of life to bras, save folding time, and beat the dryer sock gremlins when you use a cotton wash bag for lingerie, socks, and baby items (booties, socks, mittens, and more) for laundry cycles,&quot; Porter says.</p> <p>Weiss seconds her sentiment: &quot;There is no black hole and [your garments] don't vanish into thin air. They do, however, get sucked into tiny places like underneath the agitator, under the gasket, or into the dryer vent. Simple solution &mdash; put all socks, underwear, lingerie, handkerchiefs, and tiny baby things into zippered mesh bags.&quot;</p> <h2>8. You're Not Following the Care Instructions</h2> <p>If your garments are coming out on the other side of a wash and dry ruined, there's something wrong &mdash; and it's probably your fault. Not all garments should be treated equally, so it's important to read the care instructions on your clothing before you launder them. It's generally recommended that denim be turned inside out before washing on cold; many cotton items have special instructions; and please, pleeeeease, whatever you do, don't put anything wool in the washer or dryer unless you plan to pass it down to your five-year-old nephew when the cycle has finished.</p> <h2>9. You're Not Adding Vinegar to Your Stinky, Sweaty Workout Gear</h2> <p>Marathon runner Marigrace McKay told me that she adds one cup of vinegar to the washer to take the funk out of her gear, so I did a little digging to verify her claim. She's <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Add-Vinegar-to-Laundry">100% correct</a> &mdash; vinegar acts as a deodorizer to neutralize bad smells &mdash; and there are several other practical applications for vinegar in the wash, including protecting clothes from fading, acting as a natural bleaching agent, and combating lint and static clings.</p> <h2>10. You're Wasting About Half the Costly Energy During the Dry Cycle</h2> <p>Want to cut your dryer bill by almost half? It could be possible.</p> <p>Matt Kilsdonk of <a href="http://www.helpfulreviewer.com">HelpfulReviewer.com</a> provides this smart tip to save energy and money: &quot;You can reduce your drying time by half, by simply adding a dry towel to your load of wet laundry,&quot; he says. &quot;The surface area of the dry towel helps absorb moisture and speeds up the drying time of the rest of the clothes.&quot;</p> <p>He notes, however, that it's important to take the now wet towel out mid-cycle and air dry it. &quot;Leaving the towel in the full cycle will not reduce the drying time,&quot; Kilsdonk explains.</p> <h2>11. You Might Be Taking Mom for Granted (and She'll Get Back at You)</h2> <p>The usefulness of this tip is debatable, but I found it hilarious nonetheless. Kate Kassian, proprietor of <a href="http://www.buffalogalsmercantile.com/contact-us.html">Buffalo Girls Mercantile</a>, shared words of wisdom.</p> <p>&quot;My tip: Never C.O.D. your dirty laundry home to mom. You will never see it again. True story.&quot;</p> <p>Let that sink in for a minute, friends. It gets funnier the more you think about it.</p> <p><em>Do you have other laundry mistakes that we should avoid? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-laundry-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you-were-making">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">Defensive Laundry: 9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer Without Spending Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions">How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips clothes clothes washer detergent dryer laundry wash Tue, 02 Dec 2014 13:00:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1260491 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Simple Ways to De-Stink Your Stuff http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-de-stink-your-stuff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-simple-ways-to-de-stink-your-stuff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stinky-shoe-462286999-small_1.jpg" alt="smelly shoe" title="smelly shoe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you have teenagers, animals, or a dirty job, you've probably had to deal with less desirable smells in your clothing, bed linens, or furniture. Sometimes those smells come out with an easy run through the washing machine &mdash; but what about those nasty smells that linger after a good cleaning? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-essential-tricks-for-quick-and-easy-cleaning?ref=seealso">25 Essential Tricks for Quick and Easy Cleaning</a>)</p> <p>Read on to find ways to take the stink out of just about everything.</p> <h2>1. Musty Smells</h2> <p>When clothes, bedding, and coats get that no-so-fresh smelling, it is often due to how the item has been stored. This musty smell can sometimes be removed with a cycle in the washing machine, but when that's not enough, try one of these other two options.</p> <p>A cup of vinegar in the wash and another in the rinse cycle can deodorize the fabric without leaving it smelling like vinegar.</p> <p>Baking soda can also remove the smell. Try adding a cup of it to the wash, and wash as hot as the fabric allows for to freshen up the items.</p> <h2>2. Mold and Mildew</h2> <p>Mold is not only unsafe to breathe, but it also leaves an unpleasant smell on the fabrics it touches. Bleach can safely remove mold, but that only works on white fabrics that can tolerate the bleach.</p> <p>When bleach is not an option, borax can be used.</p> <p>Borax is a natural mold killer that also deodorizes fabrics. Add half of a cup to some hot water, giving it time to dissolve before adding it to the washing machine. Run the items through the wash on the longest cycle possible to maximize the borax. When fabrics can't be run through the washing machine &mdash; or bleach is not an option &mdash; add borax to water with some mild detergent to spot wash out the mold.</p> <p>Another option for removing mold and mildew is to purchase a product that is meant for cleaning outdoor furniture and boats. Starbrite M-D-G Mildew Odor Control Bags or anything that contains chlorine dioxide will work. Other options for killing mold and removing the smell is to try a cup of baking soda, vinegar, or ammonia with one gallon of warm water.</p> <h2>3. Stinky Feet</h2> <p>Stinking up shoes is a part of life whether you are a kid, a teen, an athlete, or someone who doesn't like socks. It's something most of us have to deal with at some point.</p> <p>If it is your feet that are funky smelling, a simple wash might not do the trick. You may need to wash, exfoliate the dead skin, dry your feet completely (pay attention to the area between the toes), and then spray them with sanitizer or a product meant for athlete's feet. To prevent the smell from returning, you can sprinkle your clean feet with baking soda before wearing shoes.</p> <p>If it's shoes that are are in need of some de-funking, add some baking soda to the shoes each night. If the smell lingers, put them in a bag with baking soda and close it up tight overnight. You can also wash some shoes in the washing machine to clean them.</p> <p>Another option is to freeze the shoes. Freezing kills the odor-causing bacteria in the shoes.</p> <h2>4. Body Odor</h2> <p>Whether it is your running gear, you teen's football uniform, or the winter hat that your youngest always wears, body odor can be difficult to remove from clothing. This is especially true for the armpits of many shirts. A regular washing in the washing machine may not be enough to take the stink out.</p> <p>Your first order of business is to &quot;strip&quot; the clothing of things like residual detergent, fabric softeners, and perfumes. To do this, wash your clothes with half a cup of white vinegar as well as your regular detergent (be careful to never add too much detergent to a load). The vinegar will help get rid of the oils left behind on the fabric.</p> <p>If that is not enough to get all of the stink out, soak the clothing in a bucket of water with half a cup of baking soda. Agitate the fabric periodically while allowing the fabric to soak for a few hours. If the stink persists, you can add a paste of baking soda and water to the fabric (this works especially well on the armpits).</p> <h2>5. Cigarette Smoke</h2> <p>Most fabrics, bedding, and clothing can be washed to remove the odor. If it doesn't come out with one washing, use one of the above tricks with vinegar or baking soda to fully remove the smell.</p> <p>Removing the smell from cars, furniture, and your home may be more difficult. Wood, plastic, and metal can be washed with a mixture of warm water and vinegar. To wash the wood, wipe it down quickly with a sponge and the solution; wipe dry with a towel and allow to air-dry. Plastics and metals can be allowed to soak in the solution for two to three minutes before rinsing complete and allowed to air dry.</p> <p>The vinegar smell will not last long, but if the smell bothers you, adding a few drops of essential oils may help (lemon or lavender would be a good choice). Linoleum floors, ceilings, walls and plastics can be washed with a water and bleach mixture will help to remove the smells from those that are safe from bleach.</p> <p>For cigarette smoke that is really set in, repainting the walls and ceilings may be necessary. Carpets can be professionally cleaned, but it may be best to replace them altogether; you can also try an industrial strength spray that is used for hotel rooms, such as <a href="https://www.nokout.com/Remove-Smoke-Fire-Odors-with-Nok-Out.html">Nok-Out</a>. For walls, treat them with a product like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=kilz+stain+blocking&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Akilz+stain+blocking">Kilz</a> after they have been thoroughly washed.</p> <h2>6. Campfire Smell</h2> <p>After a weekend of camping or just a night in the backyard with a firepit, your clothes can take on the smell of smoke and campfire that lasts for ages. Wash all fabrics with a cup of vinegar along with your regular wash cycle. For items that can not be washed in the machine, hand wash or seal up in a garbage bag with baking soda. Change out the soda daily until the smell is gone.</p> <h2>7. Burnt Food</h2> <p>The smell of burnt popcorn, bacon or anything that has cooked too long can last in your home for a long time. The best course of action is to clean up the pan, stove, and oven, open the windows to air out the house, and then set a pot of potpourri on the stove to simmer. You can make potpourri with some orange peels, cloves, and enough water to cover or just water and cinnamon sticks (check frequently to re-add water as needed).</p> <h2>8. Animal Smells</h2> <p>Pets bring an extra level of love to any home; they also bring an extra level of stink. Getting the animal stink out of furniture, bedding, and your home can be as simple as a trip through the washing machine but sometimes, that is not enough. For furniture, upholstery, and carpeting use a product called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002ASLMW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002ASLMW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OETF53H6WR7FV6FE">Nature's Miracle</a>.</p> <p>For stubborn animal smells like skunk attacks, skip the tomato sauce and try a mixture of 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and a few drops of dish detergent. Rub this mixture onto whatever has been affected and let it set for a bit of time then wash with regular soap appropriate for the item. Be careful on what you put hydrogen peroxide on &mdash; it can bleach out some materials.</p> <p>When it comes to taking the stink out of anything, the three best items to have on hand are white vinegar, baking soda, and mild detergent. You may want to keep a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in a cupboard as well (it has many other great uses as well).</p> <p>The great thing about these items is that they are all inexpensive and very easy to locate.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite way to de-stink? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-de-stink-your-stuff">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-pieces-of-homemaking-advice-from-martha-stewart">The 7 Best Pieces of Homemaking Advice From Martha Stewart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer Without Spending Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips cleaning laundry odors smells stink Mon, 18 Aug 2014 17:00:03 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1185601 at http://www.wisebread.com 25+ Secrets to Keep Your Clothes Brighter, Whiter, and Lasting Longer http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laundry-200405422-001.jpg" alt="laundry" title="laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just about every article ever written about dressing well on a budget extols the virtue of buying timeless, classic wardrobe staples that can be worn year after year. What is always left out of those articles, however, is how to keep those garments looking timeless, and not completely worn out and faded after one season of wearing. Here are some tips on how to keep your clothes looking new.</p> <h2>Stop Washing Your Clothes</h2> <p>I know. This sounds counter-intuitive. But every time you do a wash load, you are damaging your clothes. Don't believe me? Look at your lint trap.</p> <p>So, the first step to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">keeping clothes looking new</a> is to take steps not to get them dirty in the first place.</p> <h2>Rotate Your Wardrobe</h2> <p>Even rotating between two suits or two bras or two pairs of shoes will extend the life of both items. Textiles need time to dry out. Letting your clothes air for even 24 hours between wearings will allow stretched fabric fibers to pop back into shape and will dramatically reduce the build up of stinky bacteria.</p> <h2>Stop Washing Your Clothes in the Machine</h2> <p>Personally, I believe that the washing machine was (and remains) a key component to <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_and_the_magic_washing_machine">women's emancipation</a>, as it gives ladies, the primary washers of clothes in this world, more free time to do things like read a book. That said, most washing machines are designed for speed and convenience, not for long-term clothes keeping.</p> <p>Although hand washing can be a huge drag, washing clothes by hand is not only gentler on fabrics, it also allows the washer (you) to find stains, holes, snags, and other damage to garments while they are still fixable. If you can find the time to hand wash your delicate items or your darks, do it. How many hours does it take you to earn the money to buy those clothes? Is it more than the hour it will take you once a week to wash a load of laundry in the sink?</p> <h2>Use Less Detergent</h2> <p>The manual for my 10-year-old, front-loading washing machine tells me to use ONE TABLESPOON of detergent per load of laundry, but the machine's detergent cup holds a half cup. This is totally confusing, as are the overly large measuring caps and scoops included with every package of laundry detergent. Using more detergent won't get your clothes cleaner. In fact, it will actually make your clothes dirtier, your washing machine dirtier, and both your washer and your clothes <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748703808904575025021214910714?mg=reno64-wsj&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052748703808904575025021214910714.html">more susceptible to breakage</a>.</p> <h3>Use the Smell Test</h3> <p>If you can't find the manual to your machine, or you wash your clothes at a laundromat, cut your detergent dose to 1 tablespoon and see if your wash gets clean. If your clothes still smell sweaty, add a bit more detergent. If your clothes don't smell dirty, coming out of the wash, continue to reduce your detergent dose until you find your own stink threshold, which varies according to personal B.O. and the type of the garment. For example, I use a full tablespoon of detergent to wash my towels and my underwear, but a scant teaspoon for my dress shirts.</p> <h3>Use Another Smell Test</h3> <p>According to my aunt, who is a textile designer, if you can smell the detergent in your clothes when they come out of the washer, you are using too much detergent. When used properly, detergent is engineered to lift dirt out of fabric, and then get washed away in during the rinse cycle. Detergent companies love to tout their &quot;fresh laundry&quot; fragrances for the same reason that the fill line on their measuring cups aren't measured in tablespoons &mdash; they want you to use too much of their product.</p> <p>Fresh laundry, for the record, should smell like wet fabric.</p> <h2>Stop Using Fabric Softener</h2> <p>Fabric softener is like hair conditioner; it works by adding fat to the textile fibers. While you may like the slippery feeling of conditioned clothing on your skin, fabric softener residue attracts dust and lint, which can break down fabric. Additionally, the oils in fabric softeners make fabrics more water-resistant, and less absorbent, resulting in useless microfiber cleaning cloths and bath towels that don't really get you dry.</p> <p>Try using a cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle, which will not only soften clothes, but help the detergent rinse free.</p> <h2>Stop Overfilling Your Washer and Dryer</h2> <p>Even if you have one of those new-fangled steam-cleaning washers, you still need to leave room for your clothes to move around. Likewise, you clothes will dry faster if they aren't pressed up against your wet towels.</p> <h2>Use a Mesh Bag for Your Delicates</h2> <p>If you are tired of untangling a knot of wet bras and stockings from the rest of your wash, invest in a mesh lingerie bag. In addition to saving time untangling, it will protect your delicates from getting damaged by your more rugged garments. I bought mine at the 99 Cent Store.</p> <h2>Stop Dry Cleaning Your Woolens</h2> <p>If you are like me, dry cleaning is not an option because it's too expensive, terrible for the environment, and inconvenient. What's more, dry cleaning actually damages wool and cashmere by stripping the naturally occurring oils out of the fiber, which weakens the textiles and makes them more attractive to moths. It's the clothing equivalent of chemically processing your hair; as with your bleach job, try to space out your treatments.</p> <p>Ignore the dry clean only label in your suit jacket. Most top suit <a href="http://www.marcoliver.com/garment.html">designers recommend brushing and steaming</a> instead of dry cleaning. Rather than dry cleaning an entire garment, ask your cleaner to spot treat stains instead.</p> <p>Edith Eig, the knitting guru and owner of the celebrity-packed yarn store <a href="http://laknitterieparisienne.com/">La Knitterie Parisienne</a> in Studio City, California, is also down on dry cleaning. Instead of dry cleaning sweaters, Eig recommends soaking sweaters in cool water with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001W93UWS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001W93UWS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WW2HTEYFIC53NXIC">Eucalan</a>, a non-toxic, no-rinse textile wash that cleans and conditions natural fibers. (I use Eucalan on everything from my sweaters to my silk blouses to my dark finish denim jeans.)</p> <h2>Invest in a Clothes Brush</h2> <p>While a good steamer still costs around $150, a professional-grade <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003B3YESC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003B3YESC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=UXE24BQERAQMRHVG">clothes brush</a> costs about $20, so this spa treatment for suiting is within grasp of most people who wear fine wool suits.</p> <p>Wool is a natural fiber, and like your hair, it's a good dirt collector. Brushing your suits not only loosens the dirt trapped in the fabric, it's also a good moth prevention method. Contrary to popular belief, the favorite meal of clothes moths isn't wool, it's the minuscule food particles and dandruff left on clothes that they really love to chow down on. Brushing your woolens mechanically removes these bug snacks from your clothes with no harsh chemicals.</p> <h2>Stop Using Your Dryer</h2> <p>The inside of a lint trap is all the evidence you should need to see that clothes dryers eat clothes. The combination of high heat and agitation is terrible for fabric. It should be noted that the French, who are constantly being held aloft as the <em>chicest</em> people with the smallest wardrobes, aren't huge fans of clothes dryers, because they are expensive to buy, costly to run, and take up too much valuable floor space. So, if you truly want to dress like a French woman (or man), you should line dry your laundry like the French, too.</p> <h2>Take Steps to Prevent Fading</h2> <p>Turning clothes inside out before washing helps prevent fading during both the wash and drying cycle. If you forget to turn your clothes inside out before you wash them, just do it before you dry them.</p> <p>If you line dry, (and you should) try drying your clothes in partial shade to avoid sun damage. (Since I live in sunny Los Angeles, I hang my laundry out at night. By the next morning, my clothes are usually dry.)</p> <h2>Sort It Out</h2> <p>A little extra prep work before you wash can add years to your wardrobe.</p> <p>Anyone who has been to college knows someone who accidentally washed one red sock in the white load and spent the rest of the year wearing pink underwear. In addition to carefully sorting laundry before it goes into the washer, check for hidden red socks lurking on the wet wall of the washer after you remove colored loads. In addition to sorting laundry loads by color, it's also smart to sort by fabric type and dirt level. If you wash your delicate darks with your towels, you will end up with the worst of both worlds: linty blacks and dingy linens.</p> <h2>Keep Your Equipment Clean</h2> <p>Just like towels don't stay clean just because they are only used to dry off clean bodies, your laundry equipment won't stay clean because of its proximity to soap. Regularly <a href="https://shine.yahoo.com/at-home/laundry-101-clean-washing-machine-181200212.html">cleaning your washing machine</a> won't just extend the life of your clothes, it will also extend the life of your machine.</p> <p>I learned this the hard way: a dirty clothes line results in dirty clothes. My clothesline is exposed to wildlife, weather, and Los Angeles smog. If I forget to wipe it down on a regular basis, I am rewarded with smog stripes on my white t-shirts. Learn from my mistake.</p> <h2>You're Soaking in It</h2> <p>Soaking clothes, even in plain water, overnight helps loosen dirt and stains.</p> <ul> <li>Soak bloody laundry in cold water. Bloodstains will soak out in cold water, but can set permanently even in warm water. After soaking, wash the bloodstain in cold water with hand soap or a paste made from table salt and water, rubbing as necessary, until the stain is gone. Launder as usual.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you've accidentally set a stain by washing it in hot water or by putting it through the dryer, try soaking the stained garment in a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Immediately rewash the item in cold water.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are you trying to save your grandmother's christening dress? Yellowed vintage fabric can be revived by a one to two week soak in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FO7F5RC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00FO7F5RC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CDY7HFP6A7BOS2ZH">Biz detergent</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The Nuclear Option: To remove the most stubborn food stains from kids' clothing, my friend who is a nanny, adds one cup of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001T8W7MQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001T8W7MQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=G6NFHGM7OOUO7ZOT">Cascade dishwashing powder</a> (or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000V72992/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000V72992&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4N7R767ZLNSTQIPC">Barkeeper's Friend</a>) and one cup of powered <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JJ8B8O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001JJ8B8O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=UACFR3LOJC5KZ2DM">Clorox II</a> to five gallons of hot (not boiling) water. Soak clothes overnight in this solution, and launder as usual the next day. According to her, this will remove 90% of stains that will not come out with normal laundering. She calls this the Nuclear Option because it can damage delicate and not color-fast fabrics. However, this recipe has allowed her to keep a lot of stained clothes out of the garbage.</li> </ul> <h2>Spot Treat Stubborn Stains With Products You Already Own</h2> <p>There's no need to buy special cleaning products when you have just-as-good as store bought cleaning products already on hand.</p> <ul> <li>Spot treat ballpoint pen ink stains with cheap hairspray. Holding the can four inches above the stain, and liberally spray the stain. Then blot the stain with a clean rag. Repeat. Then wash the garment as usual.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Remove red wine stains with table salt. While the stain is wet, pour a thick layer of salt over the stain and then dunk in cold water. Repeat until the stain disappears. If you spill wine at dinner, soak the stain with club soda, add salt, and then wash the stain out the minute you get home.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use lemon juice and sunlight to bleach out stains on vintage fabrics.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>To remove mildew stains, rub lemon juice and table salt into the stain, then sun-dry the fabric.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Treat ring-around the collar with shampoo. If your shampoo cleans the scalp oil from your hair, it will clean the neck oil from your collar.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If bleach is no longer getting your dingy whites, white, add &frac12; cup of hydrogen peroxide to the washing machine once it's full of water. Allow the load to soak 30 minutes. Then, add HALF your usual dose of detergent and wash as usual.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pretreat stubborn food stains like coffee or mustard with shaving cream the night before laundry day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>To remove yellow armpit stains from white shirts, mix two crushed aspirins with &frac12; cup of warm water. Saturate or soak the stains in the aspirin solution overnight, then wash as usual.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cover oil stains with talc, baby powder, or cornstarch. Lightly press the powder into the stain and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Brush off the powder. If the stain persists, repeat. Then treat the stain with your regular stain remover before washing the garment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you've just washed a stained garment and the stain persists, do not put it in the dryer, as the heat will just set the stain. Retreat the damp garment with stain remover and rewash.</li> </ul> <p><em>What is your favorite laundry tip for keeping clothes looking fresh longer?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">You&#039;re Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">8 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tricks-that-make-you-look-skinnier-without-being-skinner">12 Tricks That Make You Look Skinnier (Without Being Skinnier)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips clothes washing clothing fabric care laundry Tue, 13 May 2014 09:00:20 +0000 Max Wong 1139068 at http://www.wisebread.com You're Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead) http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/84521763.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was in middle school, I remember girls being horrified at the thought of wearing the same pair of jeans twice in a single week. Even worse, if your jeans hadn't been washed after just one wear, you obviously didn't have good hygiene habits. There are certainly times when I wish I was still a kid, but with regard to those ways of thinking &mdash; I'm so happy to have evolved. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer?ref=seealso">Defensive Laundry to Help Your Clothes Last</a>)</p> <p>Not only is chronically over-washing clothing wasteful of precious resources, but it's also costly in a number of other ways. There's tons of detergent involved, utilities costs (water and electricity), time and energy, as well as the negative impact frequent washing has on the clothing itself. So, save yourself some money and lighten your load a bit, quite literally.</p> <p>Here are 10 ways to break out of the wash cycle.</p> <h2>1. Inspect Before Tossing</h2> <p>Before you mindlessly toss your clothes into the laundry basket at the end of the day, consider if they are truly soiled or not. Items like underwear and undershirts or exercise clothing will certainly need more washing than, say, a sweatshirt or jeans that have been layered or otherwise kept out of dirt's way. A lot of the clothes that are currently in our laundry baskets are &mdash; for all intents and purposes &mdash; clean. So, break the habit and learn the basics of <a href="https://shopping.yahoo.com/news/wash-handbook-000000296.html">how long certain items last</a> without a full wash.</p> <h2>2. Hang to Dry Breathe</h2> <p>It's OK to do a little sniff test to ensure your clothing is still somewhat fresh after a day of wear. What will keep items that way longer is picking them up off the floor and hanging on an open rack to let air circulate around and through the fibers. Plus, letting them linger on the floor only invites more dirt (or, if you have pets, worse!) and opportunity for wrinkles to develop.</p> <h2>3. Skip Washing Entirely</h2> <p>For those items that don't need immediate washing, push the envelope a bit. Tullia Jack, PhD student at RMIT University, challenged a group of 30 people to wear the same pair of jeans at least five days each week for a three-month period without washing them. They discovered that after all those wears, they &quot;<a href="http://theconversation.com/the-dirt-on-clothes-why-washing-less-is-more-sustainable-11531">weren&rsquo;t visibly dirty</a> and they didn't get smelly.&quot; Now, you don't need to go the whole three month challenge, but start with a week and work your way up to a month. You might surprise yourself!</p> <h2>4. Spot-Treat</h2> <p>And just because you're skipping the total washing experience doesn't mean you can't treat little stains that might plague your otherwise clean clothing. Martha Stewart has a rather elaborate guide for <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/265555/removing-stains-the-basics">removing stains from clothing</a>. Also check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt">6 Secret Homemade Stain Removers</a>.</p> <h2>5. Freshen and Press</h2> <p>For clothes that might get wrinkly with wear, simply hang as you would the others to air out. When it comes time to wear again, spritz with some <a href="http://theimperfectmarriage.weebly.com/14/post/2012/02/linen-and-ironing-spray.html">DIY linen and ironing spray</a> and iron out those kinks. Alternatively, you could spritz clothing until damp with a little spray (or just <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/hot-tip-no-iron-ironing-1-135847">plain tap water</a>) and hang to dry, which should loosen and smooth wrinkles.</p> <h2>6. Keep Up With Routine</h2> <p>For duds that require more frequent washing, be sure to keep up with your laundry habits. This method is a simple way to avoid re-washing items forgotten overnight in a machine (musty smell). Worse? I've had clean and dirty clothing get intermixed and not been able to discern between the two categories. Set designated laundry nights or days and try to get the job done in a couple hours versus spreading it over the course of a week. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-missing-socks?ref=seealso">Where to Find Missing Socks</a>)</p> <h2>7. Change Into Play Clothes</h2> <p>If you have kids (or act like one yourself), you may wish to save your more expensive items by changing into &quot;play&quot; or lounge clothing when you return home from the day's responsibilities. You don't need to wash these at-home clothes as often as you would the nicer items &mdash; just wash once or twice each week, depending on the level of soil.</p> <h2>8. Rinse Well</h2> <p>A trick my husband and I use for exercise clothing: If it's just a simple pair of shorts, a sports bra, or a tech t-shirt &mdash; take it in the shower with you after your workout. From there, rinse well with cool water. Then wring out and hang to dry. You can wear again for tomorrow's run!</p> <h2>9. Wear Protection</h2> <p>It's clear that keeping clothes cleaner from the start means washing less. You need not live in a bubble to do so, however. As an avid home cook, for example, I have several aprons in my collection to protect my clothing from the various spills, splatters, and stains I encounter on a daily basis. If you garden or do other messy activities on the regular, wear similar protective layers to keep your garments covered. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-keeping-your-kitchen-clean-while-you-cook?ref=seealso">Keep Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook</a>)</p> <h2>10. Choose Fabrics Wisely</h2> <p>Certain materials lend themselves to fewer washes better than others. If you'd like to do far less laundry, <a href="http://wptest.myshopify.com/pages/wool-science">wool clothing</a> might be a good option for you. The natural fibers resist stains, odors, wrinkles, and moisture. Wool even regulates body temperature so you're likely to sweat less and, in turn, not soil clothing as often. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-dont-need-to-clean?ref=seealso">You Don't Need to Clean Wool</a>)</p> <p><em>How often do you wash your clothing? Any tips to share for those of us looking to cut back?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kilowatts-a-killer-tips-for-air-drying-clothes">Kilowatts a Killer? Tips for Air-Drying Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer">25+ Secrets to Keep Your Clothes Brighter, Whiter, and Lasting Longer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/line-drying-your-laundry-frugal-or-foolish">Line Drying Your Laundry: Frugal or Foolish?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house">8 Other Green Cleaners Already in Your House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home clothes washing clothing conservation laundry Mon, 28 Apr 2014 09:36:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1136962 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laundry-4148922-small.jpg" alt="laundry" title="laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've gone shopping for clothes lately, you know that making a few new additions to your wardrobe can involve dropping some serious cash. I mean, who decided that regular button-up oxford shirts are worth $45 each? And on what remote mist-covered island are monks weaving denim that makes jeans worth $155 a pair? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-frugal-fashion-makeover-ever-refresh-your-wardrobe-for-25-or-less?ref=seealso">Refresh Your Wardrobe for Under $25</a>)</p> <p>As the price of clothing goes up, so does my interest in doing whatever I can to stay out of clothing stores. But regardless of how much you spend on your clothes, making them last longer is just a sound part of good frugal strategy. Thankfully, there are some very effective steps you can take to help keep your duds looking good and wearing well.</p> <h2>1. Buy Quality</h2> <p>First, let me stress that higher quality doesn't always have to mean a higher price tag. To help your clothing last longer, start by learning how to spot better made products. Check the fabric content, the quality of stitching, and look for reinforced seams, and dense weaves. Within the parameters of your budget, begin to consider each piece of clothing you buy as an investment and choose pieces that will last year after year. (see also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-wardrobe-basics-for-women-that-are-worth-investing-in?ref=seealso">Wardrobe Basics Worth Investing In</a>)</p> <h2>2. Rotate</h2> <p>If you're like me, you tend to gravitate toward a few select clothing items and just wear them to death. But this approach can lead to a threadbare wardrobe in no time at all. Rotate shoes, suits, jeans, and other pieces to let them air out, avoid wear and tear, and give them a break from the constant wash and dry cycle.</p> <h2>3. Treat Stains Fast</h2> <p>Stains are a part of life, but the faster you treat them the less likely they are to permanently turn your clothing into abstract art. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0037KMI0K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0037KMI0K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Stain pens</a> and wipes are easy to use and convenient to carry in your purse or the glove compartment of your car. If you're treating a stain on-the-go, just make sure to follow the directions carefully and then pre-treat more thoroughly and launder quickly when you get home. Not sure how to treat different types of stains? Check out this <a href="http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/pdf3/stain_removal_basics.pdf">handy stain removal chart</a> from Martha Stewart Living. And for stains on clothing that are specifically grease and oil-based, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">review these stain removal tips</a>.</p> <h2>4. Wash Less Frequently</h2> <p>Some items like socks, underwear, and swimwear should get a thorough washing after each use, but other items don't really need it. Instead of automatically tossing jeans, sweatshirts, and sweaters in the &quot;to-wash&quot; pile after a single wear, spot-treat any stains, let items air-dry, and fold. You can usually get three or four wears between washing.</p> <h2>5. Use Less Detergent</h2> <p>Follow the amount guidelines on most detergent bottles and you'll be sudsing your clothes to within an inch of their lives. Remember, more detergent doesn't equal cleaner clothes. On the contrary, too much soap makes it difficult to get a thorough rinse &mdash; and that makes it much easier for dirt and oils from our skin to stick to fabric. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes?ref=seealso">5 DIY Laundry Detergents</a>)</p> <h2>6. Lighten the Load</h2> <p>As tempting as it is to make laundry day shorter by stuffing the washer to the brim, crammed loads can damage our clothes. First, overstuffed machines don't clean and rinse clothes as effectively. Second, when machines are packed too densely, clothes rub together constantly during the wash and rinse cycles and that wears out fabrics.</p> <h2>7. Avoid Over-Bleaching</h2> <p>Chlorine bleach is caustic and will damage nearly any fabric in the wrong concentration. Make sure to use the right amount of bleach and dilute it properly with water. Typically, bleach stains on clothing result from washing machine bleach dispensers that aren't rinsed out completely, accidental spilling and splashing, and bleach that's added to laundry in the wrong concentration. If you're unsure how to whiten and brighten safely, check out the specifics on <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Bleach-Your-Clothing">how to bleach your clothing</a>.</p> <h2>8. Read and Follow the Care Tags</h2> <p>It's important to read the care instructions on clothing carefully and choose the <a href="http://laundry.about.com/od/laundrybasics/a/watertemperatures.htm">correct water temperature for laundry</a>. Hot water and extreme dryer heat can set untreated stains and cause shrinking and discoloration in some fabrics. When in doubt, hedge your bet by washing in cold water and air drying or drying on a low heat setting &mdash; it's much less likely to damage fabric. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener?ref=seealso">What's in Your Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softener?</a>)</p> <p>If you need proof of how the wrong laundry cycle can chew up your clothes, take a trip to your local thrift store. Sprinkled throughout the inventory of good used clothing, you'll find the inevitable &quot;oops!&quot; item &mdash; the men's XL wool sweater that looks like it was tailored for a toddler (no doubt the result of an unfortunate machine wash-and-dry mishap). When I see these items, I can't help but cringe a little for the original owner who surely kicked himself as he opened the dryer door.</p> <p>New clothing is like anything else we buy &mdash; it represents an output of our cash and cash is essentially a token of our time and labor. With retail prices creeping up in this category like most others, caring for our clothes is really just for caring for our budgets and bottom-lines. Every good year we can get out of a shirt, a fleece pullover, or a pair of skivvies, is money in the bank.</p> <p><em>Have you had a regrettable laundry moment? What tips and tricks do you use to help your clothes last longer?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-to-keep-your-clothes-brighter-whiter-and-lasting-longer">25+ Secrets to Keep Your Clothes Brighter, Whiter, and Lasting Longer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer Without Spending Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">You&#039;re Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cute-and-frugal-diy-clothes-you-can-make-for-your-kids">20 Cute and Frugal DIY Clothes You Can Make for Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-frugal-fashion-makeover-ever-refresh-your-wardrobe-for-25-or-less">The Greatest Frugal Fashion Makeover Ever: Refresh Your Wardrobe for $25 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Style clothing clothing care fabric care laundry Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:24:16 +0000 Kentin Waits 1129221 at http://www.wisebread.com The Greatest Frugal Fashion Makeover Ever: Refresh Your Wardrobe for $25 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-frugal-fashion-makeover-ever-refresh-your-wardrobe-for-25-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-greatest-frugal-fashion-makeover-ever-refresh-your-wardrobe-for-25-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wardrobe-3888494-small.jpg" alt="wardrobe" title="wardrobe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="172" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're all busy. When you're busy, it's hard enough to do basic things like eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise. Keeping up a quality wardrobe that lets you show off who you are in a fun, refined way often falls by the wayside. If money is an issue, it's even easier to let things slide, since browsing when you can't buy anything is just plain depressing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wardrobe-makeover-for-moms">10 Steps to Update Your Look on a Budget</a>)</p> <p>But all of us in need of a revamped wardrobe are in luck, because it's cheaper and easier than most of us think (or, at least, easier than I thought!) to refine your look and make sure you're saying what you want to say every time you get dressed.</p> <h2>Before You Shop</h2> <p>One of the best ways to revamp your wardrobe is to start with what you have. Think this is backwards? Let me show you how it works.</p> <p><strong>Analyze Your Wardrobe</strong></p> <p>Before you do anything else, look through your whole wardrobe. This means everything, including the clothes you have stashed away in the back of your closet. Look even at items that are too big or too small, as they can give you clues to what you like and don't like. Then, put all the clothes you don't like or that don't fit into one pile, and prep the rest for laundry.</p> <p><strong>Deep Clean Your Clothes</strong></p> <p>Depending on the age of your clothes, what they're made of, and your usual washing practices, you may need to do different steps here. The idea is to make your existing clothes look as good as they possibly can. Bleach your whites, and treat for armpit and other stains. Make your colored items pop and your dark items look crisp. Wisk DeepClean Power Blasts are known for helping with this project, but you can always treat stains with a Tide pen and add OxyClean to your detergent for all around cleaner clothes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">Defensive Laundry: 9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <p><strong>Revamp Tired Items</strong></p> <p>This can mean any number of things. Cover holes or stains that you can't get out with applique, patches, or handmade flowers; or <a href="http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=522554&amp;page=1">mend them</a>. Go over the stitching on boring items with a contrasting color, or add ribbon. You can even shorten or remove sleeves, change a hemline, or <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/sewstacie/39-ways-to-reuse-restyle-and-rewear-your-old-t-s-9gri">restyle a T-shirt</a>. When it comes to revamping your clothes, you're only limited by your creativity.</p> <p><strong>Trade-In Time</strong></p> <p>Find a local consignment store that has items you'd like to own, and take in any clothes that you own, but don't wear, for a trade-in. Keep in mind that many consignment stores are choosy, and will only take clothes that are in good condition, made by name brands, and/or in the particular style that the store specializes in.</p> <p><strong>Host a Clothing Swap</strong></p> <p>If you like your friends' clothes, and you're all around the same size, host a clothing swap. There are <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/clothing-swap-party-exchange/">many ways to do this</a>, but the gist of the idea is that everyone comes together with the clothes that they don't want anymore and everyone gets to shop from the other closets. Anything not taken home is generally sent to a thrift store or donated elsewhere.</p> <h2>Shopping</h2> <p>Once you've done everything listed above, it's time to do a bit of shopping with your $25. It will help if you decide what you are looking for before you go, so you don't end up spending money on something you don't like or that will not be useful to you.</p> <p><strong>Shopping Second-Hand</strong></p> <p>One of the best ways to find quality clothes at a much-lower-than-retail price is to buy items second-hand. This takes some extra time and energy, as you often have to look through hundreds of items that you don't want to find a few that you do, but you can often buy several name-brand items for less than $25. Be sure to go to thrift stores when you have some extra time, so you won't feel hurried as you browse the racks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store</a>)</p> <p><strong>Jewelry</strong></p> <p>If you generally feel good about your wardrobe but you just want to spice things up a bit, jewelry can be just the thing. <a href="http://www.moddeals.com/list/womens-necklaces">$25 can get you a decent statement necklace</a>, or a couple pairs of new earrings or a new bracelet. With a limited budget, you won't be able to buy a lot of jewelry or even whatever you want. With some patient searching, though, you should be able to find a piece or two that will help you say what you want to say with your clothing.</p> <p><strong>Scarves</strong></p> <p>Scarves are similar to jewelry in that they can change or enhance a look without much effort on your part. Again, you won't be able to buy many scarves or even every scarf you want, if you're on a limited budget. For <a href="http://www.overstock.com/Worldstock-Fair-Trade/Purple-Blue-San-Antonio-Scarf-Guatemala/4015370/product.html?refccid=2BRFHM4GU4ML4OCIV6KV5KM4KQ&amp;searchidx=20">interesting choices</a> (and often lower prices) try an ethnic market. African, Indian, Mexican, Native-American, and Asian markets often sell scarves in fabrics and prints that you won't find elsewhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-accessories-to-kickstart-your-style">Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a>)</p> <p><strong>The Skinny Belt</strong></p> <p>A simple skinny belt, in black, white, brown, or grey, can add versatility to many outfits. Belt a shirt or a dress under the bust, at the waist, or low around the hips, for three <a href="http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/fabuless-fashion-the-power-of-the-skinny-belt/">entirely different looks</a>. Experiment with what you like best and what looks best on your body. You may find that you like the belt worn several different ways, or you may prefer one or two. Either way, you've added versatility to your wardrobe.</p> <p>Revamping your wardrobe on a budget takes some focus and intentionality, but you'll feel better about the way you look when you're done. Don't be afraid to take your time so that you can figure out your style and what looks good on your body, and buy accordingly. Happy hunting!</p> <p><em>What are your favorite, frugal ways to freshen your look?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-frugal-fashion-makeover-ever-refresh-your-wardrobe-for-25-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer Without Spending Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories">10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">Defensive Laundry: 9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-accessories-to-kickstart-your-style">Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">8 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Style accessories laundry new wardrobe Thrift shopping Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:24:32 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 981038 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Dryer Sheets http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-eco-friendly-dryer-sheets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-your-own-eco-friendly-dryer-sheets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid-5242638-small.jpg" alt="bed" title="bed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not only is this laundry solution seriously smart, it is also awesomely eco-friendly. For only pennies, you'll have dryer sheets that can be used over and over and over again. What makes these dryer sheets better than their store-bought counterparts is they can be personalized with your favorite scent and are free of any toxic additives. Along with leaving your clothes feeling soft and fresh, they'll smell clean and ready for wear. And once you try them, you'll wonder why you never made them from scratch in the first place.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Homemade-Drain-Cleaner-30796532">RELATED: Homemade Drain Cleaner</a></p> <h2>What You'll Need</h2> <ul> <li>1/2 cup of vinegar</li> <li>8 drops tea tree or other essential oil</li> <li>Sealabe container</li> <li>Cotton cloths</li> </ul> <h2>Directions</h2> <p>1. Start by cutting your cotton cloths into smaller sections. I used inexpensive dish towels from the dollar store, but old tee shirts or linens would work wonderfully too.</p> <p><img width="350" height="350" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/dryer2.jpg" alt="Dryer sheet ingredients" /></p> <p>2. Mix together the vinegar and essential oil in a small bowl. Vinegar is a natural softener, and the essential oil gives your clothes a gentle, natural scent. Pour the mixture over the cloths until they are dampened but not soaked. Keep in a securely closed container.</p> <p><img width="350" height="350" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/dryer3.jpg" alt="Making dryer sheets" /></p> <p>3. To use, simply remove a sheet from the container, squeezing any excess liquid back into the jar, and toss into the dryer. To reduce static cling in clothes, reduce the heat temperature of your dryer. When clothes are dry, simply place the sheet back in the jar for use later.</p> <p><img width="350" height="350" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/dryer1.jpg" alt="Homemade dryer sheets" /></p> <p><em>Photos: </em><a style="text-decoration: none; color: #888; border-bottom: none;" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Make-Cleaning-Wipes-29438958"><em>Sarah Lipoff for POPSUGAR Smart Living <br /> </em></a></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Putting on soft clothes that just came out of the dryer is great — but traditional dryer sheets are filled with chemicals. Instead, make this eco-friendly version. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img width="300" height="95" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Clean-Your-Stainless-Steel-Sink-30688216">How to&nbsp;Clean Your Stainless Steel&nbsp;Sink</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Homemade-Leather-Furniture-Cleaner-30606503">Homemade Leather Furniture Cleaner</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/DIY-Dishwasher-Baking-Soda-Bombs-30594360">Clean Your Dishwasher With a Baking Soda Bomb</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-eco-friendly-dryer-sheets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">You&#039;re Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-repair-a-dripping-faucet">Should You Repair a Dripping Faucet?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners">Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living Home dryer green cleaning supplies laundry Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:24:32 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 980712 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Washing Machines http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-washing-machines <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-washing-machines" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laundry-1717477-small.jpg" alt="laundry" title="laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The washing machine is a staple appliance in any household because of our need to keep our clothes fresh and clean. But while many of us are familiar with the use of a washing machine, what happens when we have to purchase a brand new one for our homes? There are a number of factors to consider when purchasing a new washing machine, and this list is here to help you figure it out.</p> <h2>What Is a Washing Machine?</h2> <p>A washing machine is an appliance that is used to wash laundry. The process includes immersing and agitating dirty clothing in water mixed with detergent and/or bleach. There are two main types of washing machines: top-loading and front-loading machines. Top-loading machines are the least expensive of the two, but also do not wash as well and use up more energy. High-efficiency models help mitigate this problem, but these come with a higher price tag. Front-loading machines perform better and more efficiently than top-loaders, but they&rsquo;re also more expensive.</p> <h2>Best 5 Washing Machines</h2> <h3>Maytag Maxima XL MHW7000AW</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BJMKH5Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJMKH5Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="186" height="200" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/MTMaximaXLMHW7000AW.jpg" /></a>The most highly rated front-loading washing machine on Consumer Reports, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BJMKH5Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJMKH5Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Maytag Maxima XL MHW7000AW</a> was well-reviewed in washing performance, energy, and water efficiency. With a carrying capacity of 4.3 cubic feet, it can fit a very large load of laundry and has a number of automatic controls to ease the washing process. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BJMKH5Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJMKH5Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $1,079 on Amazon Marketplace</a>.</p> <h3>Samsung WF210ANW</h3> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10926682?sid=bguidelink&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Ftracking.searchmarketing.com%2Fclick.asp%3Faid%3D1068615263&amp;cjsku=326990-149-WF210ANW"><img width="186" height="200" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/SamsungWF210ANW.jpg" /></a>While the usual trend is that front-loading washing machines are typically more expensive than top-loaders, the <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10926682?sid=bguidelink&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Ftracking.searchmarketing.com%2Fclick.asp%3Faid%3D1068615263&amp;cjsku=326990-149-WF210ANW">Samsung WF210ANW</a> offers front-loader efficiency without the hefty pricetag. However, while the Samsung does comply with Energy Star standards, users agree that it is only mediocre in terms of washing performance. Its noise and vibration levels are also not top-of-the-line and it has a relatively large cycle time. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10926682?sid=bguidelink&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Ftracking.searchmarketing.com%2Fclick.asp%3Faid%3D1068615263&amp;cjsku=326990-149-WF210ANW">Currently $699.00 at Lowe's.</a><img width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" src="http://www.tqlkg.com/image-2822544-10926682" /></p> <h3>Whirlpool Duet WFW97HEX</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004B987Y2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004B987Y2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="180" height="200" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/WhirlpoolDuetWFW97HEX.jpg" /></a>Well-reviewed at both Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004B987Y2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004B987Y2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Whirlpool Duet WFW97HEX</a> is known for its Precision Dispense Ultra system that allows you to select detergent concentration and water hardness, giving you great control over your laundry. Users agree that it tackles heavily dirty laundry with ease and is highly efficient, saving you both water and energy. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004B987Y2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004B987Y2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $1,410.99 on Amazon</a>.</p> <h3>LG WM2650HRA Front Load Steam Washer</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007GD1CK6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007GD1CK6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="172" height="200" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/LGWM2650HRA.jpg" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007GD1CK6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007GD1CK6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">LG WM2650HRA Washer</a> is considered by many users to be a great front-loading washing machine at a price that does not break the bank. With a large carrying capacity of 3.6 cubic feet and 9 different washing programs, this LG can take care of just about any laundry load. Additionally, users find the special steam cycle to work on even the toughest stains. However, best plan ahead if you intend to use the steam cycle &mdash; it takes at least 2 hours to finish. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007GD1CK6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007GD1CK6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Currently $817.99 on Amazon Marketplace</a>.</p> <h3>LG WT4801CW</h3> <p><a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11054902?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.searsoutlet.com%2Fd%2Fproduct_details.jsp%3Fpid%3D83850%26mode%3DbuyUsedOnly&amp;cjsku=WT4801CW"><img width="165" height="200" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/LGWT4801CW.jpg" /></a>A Consumer Reports Best Buy, the <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11054902?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.searsoutlet.com%2Fd%2Fproduct_details.jsp%3Fpid%3D83850%26mode%3DbuyUsedOnly&amp;cjsku=WT4801CW">LG WT4801CW</a> is considered the best top-loading washing machine available. Not only is it highly efficient, it doesn't suffer from the performance problems of its fellow brethren, all the while maintaining a reasonable price tag. Users of this LG also note that it is quiet and easy to use. The biggest complaint against this washing machine is that it is not the most gentle on clothing, and laundry can get tangled or wrinkled after being washed. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11054902?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.searsoutlet.com%2Fd%2Fproduct_details.jsp%3Fpid%3D83850%26mode%3DbuyUsedOnly&amp;cjsku=WT4801CW">Currently $599.93 at Sears Outlet.</a><img width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" src="http://www.ftjcfx.com/image-2822544-11054902" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-washing-machines">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aaa-batteries">The 5 Best AAA Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fabric-softeners">The 5 Best Fabric Softeners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-blankets">The 5 Best Electric Blankets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best washers buying guide laundry product reviews washer washing machine Thu, 16 May 2013 10:24:31 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 973810 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Out-of-Fashion but Totally Frugal Old Tools http://www.wisebread.com/10-out-of-fashion-but-totally-frugal-old-tools <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-out-of-fashion-but-totally-frugal-old-tools" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4622574783_822f4c92f9_z.jpg" alt="typewriter" title="typewriter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all love the convenience that modern technology affords, but that convenience often comes with a hefty price tag.</p> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to pay top dollar for newfangled devices, however. You can save a sizable sum by swearing off appliances and other tools with batteries and cords in favor of their old-fashioned counterparts that only need a bit of elbow grease to get the job done.</p> <p>Time to get nostalgic then. Here are 10 such tools. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-10-items-to-borrow">The Best 10 Items to Borrow</a>)</p> <h2>1. Push Reel Mower</h2> <p>This early lawn mower design makes me laugh because it&rsquo;s probably one of the most dangerous devices ever made. I&rsquo;m sure some fingers and toes were lost in the '50s and '60s due to curiosity and negligence. But if you're smart enough to know that you shouldn't stick your digits anywhere near spinning, exposed blades, you'll be OK. The push reel mower is powered by forward motion, so you're saving money on gas versus a modern-day push mower or an extremely expensive riding mower. Plus you'll get lots of exercise trying to push it around the yard to get the job done. This frugal device is not for the faint of heart &mdash; it's a serious workout. Bring water.</p> <h2>2. Washboard</h2> <p>The first thing I think of when the image of a washboard pops into my head is &ldquo;Emmet Otter&rsquo;s Jug-Band Christmas;&rdquo; I think it was a beaver who used this tool as his instrument of choice. While you&rsquo;ll be hard-pressed to find a washboard outside of an antique store, this is a frugal tool that I can totally get behind. A lot of my clothing is delicate &mdash; wools, cashmeres, etc. &mdash; so I sometimes prefer to wash single items by hand. The washboard can help release the stains much quicker than trying to scrape them out with your fingers or a quarter (and don&rsquo;t act like you&rsquo;ve never done the latter).</p> <h2>3. Eggbeater</h2> <p>While it&rsquo;s called an eggbeater, this device is a multipurpose beater that preceded your handheld electric mixer or that coveted Kitchen Aid. I&rsquo;m not sure why it was even used for eggs in the first place &mdash; a fork works just fine to beat eggs in my house, as I&rsquo;m sure it did for the pilgrims &mdash; but the beater came in handy for other mixtures (like cake batter) that required more beating gusto than a fork can produce. While the old eggbeater is frugal, it&rsquo;s also a tool that requires strength and stamina. Have you ever tried beating anything with this device? After about 30 seconds you&rsquo;ll realize why it&rsquo;s extinct.</p> <h2>4. Paper Maps</h2> <p>Confession time &mdash; I have never used a paper map to get anywhere because I don&rsquo;t know how to read a paper map. Does anyone, really? The only examples I&rsquo;ve seen of people using paper maps end in them arguing and crumbling it up &mdash; which is not a sign of people who are getting along fine with the map. (Besides, by the time I reached driving age, MapQuest was invented.) The benefit to paper maps over your phone or GPS, however, is that there are few errors. Paper maps are painstakingly created so they&rsquo;re virtually perfect, whereas today&rsquo;s technology can malfunction and send you off course.</p> <h2>5. Meat Grinder</h2> <p>If you want to avoid paying premium prices for ground beef, invest in a meat grinder and turn cheap cuts of beef into hamburger patties with just a few cranks of the handle at home. A meat grinder is ideal for any kind of meat that you want ground up, and some versions have an attachment so you can turn ground meat into homemade sausages. Throw those puppies on the grill, and you'll definitely wow the crowd with your culinary skills.</p> <h2>6. Payphone</h2> <p>Are you as surprised as I am when you see a payphone? And when did they all disappear? It was like some covert government operation eliminated all the payphones one night while we were sleeping. In any case, the payphone is infinitely cheaper than your cell phone when you compare how much you actually talk on the phone by how much you pay for it. The base rate of my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kick-that-cell-phone-contract-save-with-a-prepaid-plan">cell phone plan</a> (just to make calls) is $46.99 a month. Last month I talked for 42 minutes total, which means that I paid $1.11 per minute. If I didn't like texting so much or reading Wikipedia at night under the covers while my husband is snoring, I'd definitely drop my mobile plan and seek out a payphone when I need to make my two phone calls a month.</p> <h2>7. Typewriter</h2> <p>There are plenty of arguments on why the computer is superior to the typewriter, but if you have no use for the Internet and you don&rsquo;t mind producing documents spotted with Wite-Out, by all means return to using the typewriter and save. Plus, a typewriter has that retro-cool thing goin' for it. It's also the perfect device to use if you want to be crafty with gift tags or individual thank-you cards.</p> <h2>8. Floor Sweeper</h2> <p>Dyson does an excellent job of making a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/upright-vacuum-cleaners-buying-guide">vacuum cleaner</a> look sexy; people think I&rsquo;m crazy when I ask for these newfangled products for Christmas. (Yes, I might be the only boy in the world who is happy to receive appliances and cookware as gifts.) However, if you don&rsquo;t want to spend upwards of $400 dollars on that brilliant ball design, a floor sweeper will pick up all the same crud from your abode for much less. Other benefits include no cord to trip over or wrap up and no noisy motor to send your dogs into a tizzy.</p> <h2>9. Abacus</h2> <p>One of my Facebook friends suggested this old-fashioned-but-frugal tool, and I agree 100%. Anybody who was in high school in the late &lsquo;90s knows that most modern curriculums required a high-priced, huge calculator designed by &mdash; for the most part &mdash; Texas Instruments. (I should have bought stock in that company 10 years ago.) The truth is, though, my purchase of that calculator was a major waste of money because I couldn&rsquo;t care less about any kind of math beyond basic arithmetic (and because I mostly used it to play games in math class). I didn&rsquo;t need algebra, calculus, or trigonometry then, and I sure as heck don&rsquo;t need it now. Long live the abacus and its simple, cheap system of teaching us how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.</p> <h2>10. Can Opener</h2> <p>Another confession &mdash; when I was living on my own for the first time, I had no idea how to operate a manual can opener. It was foreign to me because I grew up with an electric one. But just because I didn&rsquo;t know how to use it doesn&rsquo;t mean that I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s a valuable tool. In fact, I think an electric can opener is probably the most useless modern device mention on this list. I also think it was invented by the laziest person on the planet. Comparably, how much faster does an electric can opener open a can than a manual opener opens a can? Like five seconds? Come on. I&rsquo;ll stick with the thing that costs $3 instead of the one that costs $30.</p> <p><em>Time to chime in. What other old fashioned, frugal devices can you think of? Do you still use any of them instead of the modern devices? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-out-of-fashion-but-totally-frugal-old-tools">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">You&#039;re Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-improve-the-life-of-your-lawn-mower">7 Ways to Improve the Life of Your Lawn Mower</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home cell phones cheap tools laundry lawn mower Fri, 15 Jun 2012 10:24:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 935064 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Save Up to $1,500 a Year on Laundry http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-up-to-1500-a-year-on-laundry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-up-to-1500-a-year-on-laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5938737375_d0f1cc8b9f_z-1.jpg" alt="Save Up to $1500 a Year on Laundry" title="Save Up to $1500 a Year on Laundry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on saving up to $1500 a year on laundry, steps to take after a job interview, and how to save on utility bills.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://beingfrugal.net/2012/03/15/save-up-to-1500-a-year-on-laundry/">Save up to $1500 a Year on Laundry</a> &mdash; Save around $200 a year by making your own laundry detergent. [Being Frugal]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Steps-Take-After-Job-Interview-2871452">5 Steps To Take After A Job Interview</a> &mdash; After a job interview, remember to take time to do some self critiquing of your performance. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://canadianfinanceblog.com/8-tips-how-to-save-money-on-utility-bills/">8 Tips: How To Save Money On Utility Bills</a> &mdash; Ditch your dryer to cut back on your utility bills. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2012/03/20/cheap-ways-to-relieve-your-aching-back/">Cheap Ways to Relieve your Aching Back</a> &mdash; Give your back some relief by getting up and moving around every 45 minutes. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2012/03/20/seven-times-not-to-use-coupons/">Seven Times NOT to Use Coupons</a> &mdash; Don't use coupons to buy something you wouldn't normally want or need. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.newlywedsonabudget.com/2012/03/spring-cleaning-for-two/">Spring Cleaning with a Spouse</a> &mdash; When cleaning with your spouse, resist the urge to reclean something your spouse has already cleaned. [Newlyweds On A Budget]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/career/working-while-traveling-getting-stuff-done/">Working While Traveling: Getting Stuff Done</a> &mdash; If you have to work while you travel, make sure you bring a priority list with you so you remember to complete the most important things first. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://steadfastfinances.com/blog/2012/03/19/7-smart-tips-for-teaching-your-kids-about-money/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SteadfastFinances+%28Steadfast+Finances%29">7 Smart Tips For Teaching Your Kids About Money</a> &mdash; Teach your kids about money by encouraging them to be entrepreneurs. [Steadfast Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/03/suggested-tips-on-receipt.html">Suggested Tips on Receipt</a> &mdash; Have you noticed that on your receipts, sometimes suggested tips show up at the bottom? [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-access-fresh-local-produce">How to Access Fresh, Local Produce</a> &mdash; Head to your local farmers market to pick up some fresh, local produce. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-up-to-1500-a-year-on-laundry">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">You&#039;re Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">Defensive Laundry: 9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips laundry Wed, 21 Mar 2012 10:24:26 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 913085 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Other Green Cleaners Already in Your House http://www.wisebread.com/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5507117873_5570caedd2_z.jpg" alt="man staring at lemon" title="man staring at lemon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've probably heard of the amazing cleaning properties of baking soda and vinegar. However, did you know that you probably have several other natural green cleaners in your home? These lesser-known household cleaners are better for the environment, effective at cleaning, and easy on your wallet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">30 Household Products Vinegar Can&nbsp;Replace</a>)</p> <h2>Borax</h2> <p>Borax is the natural salt of boric acid and is mined in places like Death Valley, California. It is a 100% naturally occurring substance and is a useful all-purpose cleaner in the home. However, unlike other natural cleaners like vinegar or baking soda, it is not entirely harmless. A significant dose of the chemical can be toxic, so keep the box of Borax stored out of reach of children and pets (just as you should keep laundry detergent out of reach &mdash; it's toxic if ingested).</p> <p>That being said, Borax is mild enough to use for all sorts of household purposes without harm. I usually mix it with a drop or two of liquid soap and use it to scrub the scum off my bathtub and bathroom sink. It works better than commercial cleaners, without the fumes, bleach, and caustic chemicals. It&rsquo;s also non-abrasive. In fact, it&rsquo;s so mild that I usually just give my bathtub a scrubbing while I&rsquo;m in the shower and rinse off any leftover Borax with the hand-held shower head, something that would be downright dangerous with a commercial cleaner.</p> <p>I also add a couple of tablespoons to my laundry to boost the cleaning power of my detergent. Borax helps to remove stains (it makes a great pre-wash soak for stained clothing), and by softening the water, helps the detergent to work better. My Canadian friends rave about <a href="http://www.mcguirenaturals.ca/proddetail.php?prod=Bar025&amp;cat=10&amp;PHPSESSID=ce512641c3abe65744789c624a52ee64">McGuire Naturals&rsquo; organic stain removing stick</a>, in which the first ingredient is &ldquo;enhanced borax.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s perfect for children&rsquo;s clothing on which you don&rsquo;t want to use artificial perfumes and dyes.</p> <p>Borax is a natural insecticide and can be used to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen">keep the ant population down</a>. It can also help keep your drains clear when used regularly &mdash; pour some Borax powder down the drain and follow with boiling water. You can also mix it with water and vinegar to make a great window-cleaning solution.</p> <h2>Castile Soap</h2> <p>Castile soap is a fancy name for organic vegetable-based soap. It is a mild and gentle biodegradable soap that comes under a variety of brand names (most commonly, Dr. Bronner&rsquo;s pure liquid soap). Soaps are generally made of natural ingredients (as opposed to detergents, which are synthetic), and are thus better for your health and for the environment.</p> <p>You can use Castile soap to clean laundry &mdash; although soaps are not as effective as detergents if you have hard water, they also won&rsquo;t wear out fabrics as quickly. Try using it with a few tablespoons of Borax or baking soda to up the stain-fighting factor and to soften the water. Dilute soap with water to clean floors and counters. Mix Castile soap with baking soda to scrub stains off of dishes, sinks, bathtubs, counters, etc. Mix the soap with water and vinegar to make your own spray cleansing solution. You can use it to wash dishes and even to wash your car!</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve also mixed soap with water to spray on the leaves of my plants &mdash; this helps to get rid of unwanted pests and insects.</p> <p>Pure Castile soap is cheap and it makes a natural and gentle body wash. Buy unscented liquid Castile soap to shampoo your dog; it&rsquo;s organic and won&rsquo;t irritate his nose with synthetic perfumes. And because pure Castile soap is biodegradable, it makes a great camp soap for your next camping trip.</p> <h2>Rubbing Alcohol</h2> <p>Most people have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in their first-aid kit, and it works really well at getting off the sticky gunk left after peeling off a store label. However, be careful as rubbing alcohol is a very strong solvent and may damage the finish underneath. I use it to clean the gunk off ceramics and the glossy covers of books. It can also work as a spot cleaner to dissolve ink stains in clothing and fabrics. Use it to clean greasy fingerprints off of telephones, keyboards, and printers (it disinfects them too).&nbsp;</p> <p>Be careful to avoid exposure when using rubbing alcohol; try not to breathe in fumes, and wear gloves to prevent hands from drying out. Rubbing alcohol is toxic if ingested, so keep it out of reach of children. It&rsquo;s also highly flammable, so don&rsquo;t use it near an open flame. In spite of being quite a strong and irritating solvent, it has a <a href="http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703198/ISOPROPYL_ALCOHOL/">low impact on the environment</a>.</p> <h2>Hydrogen Peroxide</h2> <p>Again, raid your first-aid box for cheap and natural household cleaners. Hydrogen peroxide is great on cuts, but did you know that it also kills mold and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew">mildew</a>? Dilute one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water, and spray it on moldy grout and tile. Rinse off an hour later.</p> <h2>Lemon</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-alternative-uses-for-lemons">Lemon juice</a> is a great natural, non-toxic cleaner that cuts grease really well. Wipe mixing bowls with a slice of lemon before beating egg whites to ensure no trace grease ruins the fluffiness of the eggs. Rub a slice of lemon over a cutting board to help clean and disinfect. Grind up a few wedges of lemon or some leftover lemon peels in the sink garbage disposal to clean out grease and get rid of bad smells. Wipe sinks and fixtures with lemon juice for a nice shine.</p> <h2>Cornstarch</h2> <p>Sprinkle cornstarch on a carpet and allow it to sit for 30 minutes to absorb dirt and odors before vacuuming. It works the same way as a dry shampoo for your hair, as it absorbs the grease, then brushes right out. Cornstarch can help remove fresh stains from fabric or carpet &mdash; make a paste of water and cornstarch, apply it to the stain and allow it to dry, then brush it off or wash it out. This works especially well for stubborn grease stains.</p> <h2>Club Soda</h2> <p>This party staple works especially well to treat fresh stains. As soon as a spill occurs, pour club soda over and blot with a towel.</p> <h2>Salt</h2> <p>Plain old salt can shine up tarnished brass and copper. Rub the surface with salt and vinegar or salt and lemon juice to bring it up to its original shine. Sprinkle salt on a fresh wine stain and the salt will help draw the stain out of the fabric.</p> <p><em>What&rsquo;s your favorite all-natural cleaner?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">You&#039;re Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kilowatts-a-killer-tips-for-air-drying-clothes">Kilowatts a Killer? Tips for Air-Drying Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/line-drying-your-laundry-frugal-or-foolish">Line Drying Your Laundry: Frugal or Foolish?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener">Toxic Laundry: What’s in Your Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softener?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home green cleaners household cleaners laundry Mon, 05 Mar 2012 11:36:18 +0000 Camilla Cheung 909703 at http://www.wisebread.com Toxic Laundry: What’s in Your Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softener? http://www.wisebread.com/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laundry_on_the_line.jpg" alt="Baby socks line drying" title="Baby socks line drying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fabric softeners, dryer sheets, fabric sprays...and now laundry crystals. Most American laundry rooms are beginning to look like home chemistry labs. Liquids, gels, foams, and fragrances are mixed and remixed in a never-ending (and quite ironic) search for &ldquo;freshness.&rdquo; It makes me wonder what, exactly, our clothes and linens are going through that requires them to so be thoroughly and aggressively treated. Are all these products really necessary, or have we wholly embraced some trendy loft full of marketers&rsquo; whiteboard dreams? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defensive-laundry-9-ways-to-help-your-clothes-last-longer">9 Ways to Help Your Clothes Last Longer</a>)</p> <h2>The Chemicals</h2> <p>Some of these products are actually harmful to our bodies. According to the EPA and industry-generated Market Safety Data Sheets, fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain a laundry list (pun intended) of dangerous petrochemicals that are often used in untested combinations. There are enough toxins and carcinogens in most of these products to make Erin Brockovich stand up and take notice. Here are just a few:</p> <p><strong>Chloroform</strong></p> <p>In fabric softeners, chloroform is a solvent and aromatic agent.&nbsp;</p> <p>Potential dangers: Chloroform is an anesthetic, neurotoxin, and carcinogen. It's on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list. Inhalation of chloroform fumes depresses the central nervous system. In high concentrations, chloroform may cause headache, gastrointestinal problems, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation of the respiratory tract, and loss of consciousness. It aggravates kidney, liver, heart, and skin disorders.</p> <p><strong>Ethyl Acetate</strong></p> <p>Ethyl Acetate is a solvent used in the manufacture of dryer sheets &mdash; it disolves easily and leaves behind only a pleasant smell.</p> <p>Potential dangers:&nbsp;This narcotic is also on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list. It irritates the eyes and respiratory tract, and may cause headache, anemia, and damage to the liver and kidneys. Prolonged exposure may lead to defatting of the skin and dry or cracked skin.</p> <p><strong>Linalool</strong></p> <p>Linalool is an alchohol compound that has a pleasant flower-like smell and is often used to scent dryers sheets and fabric softener.</p> <p>Potential dangers: Linalool is a narcotic that causes CNS disorders and can cause respiratory problems and impair motor activity.</p> <p><strong>Phthalates&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>In dryer sheets, phthalates are typically part of the &quot;fragrance&quot; ingredients. Phthalates help scents last longer.&nbsp;</p> <p>Potential dangers: Phthalates are getting more and more attention in the European Union and in the U.S. as the scientific community explores the health effects from long-term exposure. Phthalates are additives used in the manufacture of children's plastic toys to make them softer and more flexible. They're also a common ingredient in wide range of cosmetics and scented products. Phthalates have been linked to breast cancer, allergies, and reproductive system problems.</p> <p>To find out what other chemicals are in your fabric softener and dryer sheets, check out the article in Natural Life Magazine <a href="http://www.naturallifemagazine.com/0608/softener.htm">Are Soft Clothes Really Worth It</a>?</p> <p>This toxic recipe of chemicals isn't doing our clothes and linens any favors either. Fabric softeners are designed to be absorbed into the fabric&rsquo;s fibers &mdash; creating a lasting fragrance and softness. But over time, these chemicals build up in our clothes and the residue can attract dirt and grime. Why are we buying laundry products that make our stuff dirtier? On towels, fabric softeners interfere with the natural absorbency of cotton and can make that plush bath sheet about as an inviting as polyester pantsuit.</p> <h2>Fabric Softening Alternatives</h2> <p>If you want all the benefits of dryer sheets and fabric softeners, but don&rsquo;t want to invest in a hazmat suit to get them, there are alternatives. To soften fabric, add a quarter cup of baking soda to the wash cycle or a quarter cup of white vinegar (don&rsquo;t combine with bleach) to the rinse cycle. For more natural commercial products, check out Seventh Generation&rsquo;s Natural Lavender Scent Fabric Softener that uses vegetable products instead of chemicals to soften fabric. A Canadian company, Maddocks, has created a reusable dryer sheet called Maddocks&rsquo; Static Eliminator &mdash; it&rsquo;s non-toxic and hypoallergenic.</p> <p>I'm no scientist, and of course every consumer should to do his own research on these chemicals, but the more gunk and goo I pour into my washer and the more perfumed sheets I toss in the dryer, the less clean I feel. Water, a bit of detergent, some good old fashioned agitation, and a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/line-drying-your-laundry-frugal-or-foolish">line dry</a> takes care of most things. Save yourself a few bucks and guard your family&rsquo;s health in the process &mdash; shut down the laundry lab and consider experimenting with some kinder, gentler options.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/toxic-laundry-what-s-in-your-dryer-sheets-and-fabric-softener">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house">8 Other Green Cleaners Already in Your House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-washing-your-clothes-too-often-what-to-do-instead">You&#039;re Washing Your Clothes Too Often! (What to Do Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage">&quot;Can you spare a square?&quot; 5 quick tips on toilet paper usage.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Green Living chemicals green cleaners laundry Fri, 27 Jan 2012 10:48:21 +0000 Kentin Waits 874624 at http://www.wisebread.com Absolut Repurposing: 17 Uses for Vodka http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/absolut.jpg" alt="Girl with vodka bottle" title="Girl with vodka bottle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In college, I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. In a place where you can buy a liter of some of the finest vodka for only $3 and street stands sell bottles of the drink for 50 cents, it's no surprise that I came across some odd uses for the vodka while abroad. Here are ways (besides drinking) to make the most of it. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors</a>)</p> <h2>Household Cleaning</h2> <p>Did your in-laws just call giving you a 10-minute warning that they're on their way over &mdash; and you're all out of cleaning supplies? For the following remedies, mix one part vodka to three parts water in a spray bottle for any of the following cleaning methods. Then let sit and wipe clean with a damp cloth.</p> <p><strong>1. Shine and Polish Most Surfaces and Jewelry</strong></p> <p>Porcelain, glass, chrome, stainless steel, and most metals can be polished with the help of vodka. (Always be sure to test an out-of-sight spot on any surface you're unsure of.) And don't try to clean any sensitive jewelry, like pearls, opals, and porous jewels with vodka.</p> <p><strong>2. Remove Soap Scum</strong></p> <p>Whether it's on your bathtub, shower, sink, or faucet, soap scum can be easily removed with vodka.</p> <p><strong>3. Clean and Kill Mildew</strong></p> <p>You know the pink mildew that builds up on your bathroom caulk? The vodka's alcohol will kill it.</p> <p><strong>4. Clean Mirrors and Windows</strong></p> <p>Vodka works wonders in removing everything from toothpaste to hairspray from your mirrors and things like kids' fingerprints and dog-nose prints from your windows.</p> <p><strong>5. Remove Glue (and Other Sticky Stuff)</strong></p> <p>When the price tag glue on your newest purchase stubbornly refuses to budge, dab a bit of vodka on it and let sit for a few minutes before rubbing off with a wet washcloth. It even works on bumper sticker adhesive.</p> <h2>Plants and Pets</h2> <p>Vodka is useful for cleaning and killing problems caused by plants and pets.</p> <p><strong>6. Kill Weeds</strong></p> <p>Dandelions can be killed with the help of vodka. Mix a half a cup of vodka and four cups of water in a bottle and thoroughly spray the weeds in your yard. Make sure the sun is bright; the alcohol and sun will work to dehydrate the weed and kill them for good.</p> <p><strong>7. Kill Pests</strong></p> <p>Next time you trap a bee in your windowsill, spray some vodka/water on it to kill it. And aphids can be killed on plants by spraying the plants with a well-diluted vodka solution (one teaspoon of vodka for each cup of water is best).</p> <p><strong>8. Remove Pet Odors</strong></p> <p>If your cat or dog stunk up your carpet, spray the spot with one part vodka to four parts water, and let dry.</p> <h2>Laundry</h2> <p>Vodka dries without an odor and is extremely useful in doing your laundry. Here are two ways it helps.</p> <p><strong>9. Remove Stains</strong></p> <p>Treat ink, lipstick, and grass/plant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt">stains</a> with a bit of vodka. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before throwing in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry.</p> <p><strong>10. Clean Mildewy and Moldy Towels</strong></p> <p>If your bath towels, washcloths, and kitchen towels are smelling a little rank, put a half to full cup of vodka in with your regular wash to remove the smell.</p> <h2>Personal Hygiene</h2> <p>You probably don't feel the most hygienic after drinking too much vodka, but the alcohol can actually be used in several hygienic ways.</p> <p><strong>11. Use as a Toner</strong></p> <p>Most toners contain a large percentage of alcohol. So, if you're in a pinch, apply vodka to your face with a cotton ball before showering.</p> <p><strong>12. Cure Dandruff</strong></p> <p>Cleanse your hair with a mixture of rosemary and a few tablespoons of vodka to prevent and cure dandruff.</p> <p><strong>13. Make Mouthwash</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://ecosnobberysucks.com/2011/04/simple-tasty-home-made-mouth-wash-recipe/" title="mouthwash recipe">mouthwash recipe</a> calls for vodka, baking soda, water, Stevia, and herbs. I've also seen similar recipes that omit the baking soda and Stevia, and instead use cinnamon, vodka, and water. Try experimenting to find the best proportions for you. Just be sure to avoid swallowing.</p> <h2>Medicine</h2> <p>These are at-home alternative medicine treatments. Always consult your physician before trying to treat an ailment with a non-prescribed treatment.</p> <p><strong>14. Treat Earaches and Toothaches</strong></p> <p>In Russia, mothers used to put vodka in their children's ears and mouths for earaches and toothaches. I would never try this on my kid, but if the dentist can't see you until tomorrow, vodka treatment might be worth a try.</p> <p><strong>15. Treat Cold Sores</strong></p> <p>Supposedly, by treating your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-and-treat-cold-sores">cold sore</a> with a bit of vodka, the alcohol will dry up the sore.</p> <p><strong>16. Relieve Jellyfish Stings</strong></p> <p>If you're at the beach and would rather avoid a <a title="Friends: &quot;The One With The Jellyfish&quot;" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICUwFfadp00"><em>Friends</em> moment</a>, grab the vodka and pour it over the sting instead.</p> <p><strong>17. Relieve Poison Ivy</strong></p> <p>If you've brought vodka on your camping-trip-gone-awry, use it to remove the plant's oils that cause the reaction.</p> <p><em>Have you ever used vodka for something other than drinking? What for? And did it work?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-uses-for-everything-in-your-bathroom">Alternative Uses for Everything in Your Bathroom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget">Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Home alcohol alternative uses cleaners laundry vodka Tue, 24 Jan 2012 11:24:24 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 875789 at http://www.wisebread.com