Laundry 101 | Essentials You Need To Do Laundry

 
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Some of you may see this title and be wondering, do you really need to explain what essentials you need to do laundry? The answer is a resounding, YES. We are all at different stages of life. Some of us grew up doing our own laundry, while others have never touched a washing machine or dryer. Some of us just throw everything is the wash, haphazard-like, and don't think twice about it. 

 

My sisters and I grew up helping with laundry. We must have hated pairing socks in my family because I always remember there being a big laundry basket full of socks, nothing but socks, and every so often my dad would have us all sit in the living room and attempt to pair up the socks. Did anyone else's house have a similar ritual? I also have memories of being very little, maybe 3 or 4, and having a play ironing board and iron that I would use and pretend to do laundry. I know play kitchens are popular these days, but do they even still make toy irons and ironing boards for kids? Regardless, knowing the essentials you need to do laundry, understanding how to sort your clothes and launder your clothes is important for daily life. 

 

To be clear, I don't like laundry. I don't think it's a task anyone particularly enjoys. However, I have adopted a few practices and honed a list of essentials you need to do laundry and make the task more manageable. In this series, Laundry 101, we will teach you what you need to know when it comes to doing your own laundry, starting with the essentials you need to do laundry. You don't have to use these specific brands, in fact, I encourage you to find brands that you like because it will help make the process of doing laundry somewhat enjoyable.

 

The Essentials You Need To Do Laundry

 

 
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When it comes to actually doing laundry, there is really not too much that you need. You'll need access to a washing machine and dryer, stain remover, detergent and dryer sheets (fabric softener). And, to be truthful, you really don't need the stain remover, unless you're like me and spill things on yourself on the daily. That means it gets put on my essentials list! 

 

Detergent + Stain Remover

 

As I said before, the brand isn't as important. I think most people tend to use the brand or scent that they are familiar with from childhood. I know I did for a long time. The main things that I pay attention to when selecting a laundry detergent are the scent, and whether or not it will work with my sensitive skin. I tend to stick with brands like Tide (my parents used it growing up) or other less harsh brands like Seventh Generation or Method. I've used all of them, and they all get the job done when it comes to getting our clothes clean. I've been enjoying this Seventh Generation detergent that I happened to order when I  was testing out Grove. 

 

 
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Stain remover, I can't say enough good things about you. This is a life saver if you are someone that is prone to accidents. I have a little one, so literally EVERYTHING gets some sort of something smeared on it daily. This is a must for me. Now, from working in retail I can say that not all stain removers are created equal. However, this one, I love. It's managed to get rid of some of the most stubborn stains! I have other go-to stain removing tricks for the rare occasion that OxiClean doesn't work.

 

Fabric Softener

 

Technically, there are a few different styles that you can use should you choose to incorporate a fabric softener into your laundry arsenal. I tend to use fabric softener, particularly dryer sheets, for most of my casual and day-to-day clothes. I skip liquid fabric softeners and a dryer sheets all together when I'm laundering my delicates or any type of athletic wear so as not to damage the fabrics. Regardless of whether or not I use a fabric softener, I always use wool dryer balls (you can see an example in the coordinating video). You could just use wool dryer balls and be done with it, and if I had some essential oils to drop on the wool dryer balls I would probably skip all other forms of fabric softener. Not all of these are necessary. They all accomplish the same goal. If you decide to use a fabric softener I would tend to go with dryer sheets or the wool dryer balls simply because both are less likely to damage any of your clothing, whereas liquid fabric softener can be damaging to your athletic wear. 

 

Sorting/Laundry Baskets

 
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You should at least have one laundry hamper, style is your choice, for your dirty laundry. This one above is a spare I keep in our guest room for guests to place their soiled towels. For our own laundry we have a multi-compartment hamper to make sorting clothes a little easier (see Laundry 101 | How to Sort Your Laundry).

 

I used to wait until the last possible minute (ahem, out of underwear) to do my laundry. I would let the mound build up and them fit as much of it into one load as possible. It got the job done, but my clothes never lasted too long and things didn't come out of the wash looking their best. As I've gotten older and learned, I've realized that it is far better to sort your laundry (again, see Laundry 101 | How to Sort Your Laundry for details), hence the multi-compartment laundry hamper. Again, style is your choice, just make sure you have some place to put your dirty clothes that isn't the floor. 

 

Bonus!

 

These last few of items are not what I would consider essentials, but instead good to have items as you go off on your own and start working. They are an iron, ironing board and steamer. Don't underestimate the power of a well ironed, pressed or steamed outfit has when it comes to interviewing for a job. As a former hiring manager I can't tell you how many times a person would walk in for an interview, looking as though they made no effort towards their appearance. Ironing you shirt or steaming your blouse shows your potential employer that you have an attention to detail, which is important when it comes to making sure that things run smoothly in the work place. You don't have to spend a tone of money. I have all three of these and I don't think I spent more than $75 on all three of them combined. The investment will be well worth it. 

 

 
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There you have it! The essentials you need to do laundry. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a newbie when it comes to doing your laundry, I hope you found this list of essentials you need to do your laundry helpful! Let us know in the comments below! Do you have a favorite laundry detergent? What are your essentials for doing laundry? I want to know! Maybe there is something we've missed, but need to include on our list. Also, be sure to check out the accompanying video! 

 
 
 

 

If you're a newbie to laundry and would like a little more help, be sure to check out all of our Laundry 101 posts here on Adulting Done Right, and be sure to watch the Laundry 101 Series over on our YouTube channel.