How I do my laundry. (Unconventional, but it works!)

Secret laundry tips to keeping your clothes looking great...even the "cheap" ones!

Before baby Daivy was born I put a call out on social media, asking for questions that YOU want answered. Boy, the questions came rolling in! (Psst…Got questions of your own? Drop them HERE.) One genre of questions that was interesting to me was about our wardrobes: How we've been able to afford so many clothes, how we find such good deals, and how we keep our clothes looking so good – even if they were bought at a yard sale or thrift store (see a tour of my closet HERE. It's an old video, but gives you an idea). My true clothing secret?

I'm a laundry snob.

I'm SUPER picky about how I do my laundry, and it makes all the difference! Regardless of how old your clothes are, where you bought them from, or how much you paid, if you wash them the SMART way they will last – and look great – for years. So today I'm (literally) airing my dirty laundry and sharing how I do our laundry, in case it helps any of you! My method(s) are slightly unconventional, but hey, do I ever do anything normal? (P.S I apologize in advance that the video is long, poor quality, and boring, but I figure you're all smart enough to fast-forward if I'm boring any of you :). And please ignore my bad outfit/hair/makeup, I was literally in the middle of chores when I decided to make this video on a whim. That's how I roll, after all.)

Enough chatter! Without further adieu, I present…


(watch the video online HERE or click and watch it below)

Again, long and boring, I know…but hopefully there are some nuggets of wisdom in there to help! Here's the info on all the products and blog posts I mention in the video:

Hope that helps. Happy washing!



  1. AvatarSamantha Heder says

    I absolutely love this!! You have no idea how much this has helped me, the typical new mom who suddenly has a hundred loads of laundry a week. Ha I love your site. Thanks for all the tips! Keep them coming! 🙂

  2. AvatarKristen says

    Love this!! I recently switched back to tide cuz it really is the best. I’m loving the pods…super convenient and you don’t need softener with them. I’m totally a laundry geek, thanks for sharing!

  3. AvatarKaren says

    Dryer sheets have lots of nasty chemicals in them so I started using dryer balls several years ago and I have never needed dryer sheets since. Plus it saves money. Have you thought about trying them? Just make sure you don’t get the squishy kind. They need to be the hard kind that can’t deflate.

  4. AvatarLaura says

    Thanks! I’m going to try some of your tips because my kid’s clothes always seem to have stains. (Ugh!) Do you spray your clothes with any stain remover (i.e. OxyClean) prior to throwing it in the dirty clothes basket or in the washer? Thanks! 🙂

  5. AvatarRachel says

    Seriously, I LOVED this. Such a simple thing but it makes a huge difference!

    Here is my problem – shrinking! Esp small children’s clothes. How do you prevent this from happening? It seems everything I dry I shrink! And this is my second dryer, only a yr old. It makes laundry so hard because I have to hang dry everything it seems. I find myself drying more now because I really don’t have time or space if I want to get through all the laundry. As a result, quite a few items are casualties of this dryer war. It’s driving me crazy! I never dry on high heat.

  6. AvatarChris says

    I think your way of sorting keeps your clothes nicer. I always thought if you mixed things like jeans with tee shirts the tee shirts get beat up by the jeans. Then the tee shirts wear out faster and look worn out. So I think it makes sense to sort by texture rather than color with the exception of whites.

  7. AvatarSallie says

    So any tips for yellow arm pit stains? My husbands white church shirts are awful and I can’t seem to figure it out. Do you use bleach on whites with patterns on them?

    • AvatarJudit says

      Bleach makes yellow arm pit stains worse. Try baking soda, mix 4 table spoons with a quarter cup of water and scrub it in the stains with an old toothbrush before washing the shirts, leave it for an hour and you’ll find the stains gone. That has worked for me and actually removed fairly old yellow stains, I then wash his shirts and air dry them but I guess you can use a dryer in not too high heat. I actually found this tip online a while back and now always use it. Give it a try and it might word for you too.

      • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

        I’m SO TRYING THIS! Thanks for sharing!! Do you mind if I share this in a post? I think lots of people would love this tip.

  8. AvatarMallory says

    Mix 1 part original dawn dish soap (you can even use a little less soap) with 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and put it on the stains and let it sit for at least an hour, but no more than a day or 2. It gets EVERYTHING out…..except ink. Use hand sanitizer for that 🙂

  9. AvatarMarinda says

    Exactly in which part of that video was your hair bad?!?! If I looked that good doing chores, let alone going out in public people would wonder who I was! Oh and the laundry tips definitely gave me some stuff to think about! 🙂

  10. AvatarPoorCollegeKid says

    I do this as well, though because I don’t have kids my process looks a bit different. I’m also only doing laundry for myself. My sorting piles are:

    — items that can’t go in the dryer
    — items that need to go in the dryer on low
    –cotton-y clothes that I care about
    –cotton-y clothes/towels that I don’t care so much about

    One thing I do that some people find odd… Anything that’s going to be put on a hanger anyway, I tend to pull it out of the wash, immediately put it on a hanger and let it air dry. This way, once it’s dry, I just move it to my closet. I figure this way, I save some gas by running the dryer less (or at least for shorter amounts of time). I also save myself the step of having to put the item in the dryer and take the item out of the dryer. It doesn’t save much time, but I’m lazy and I like shortcuts.

  11. AvatarStacey says

    I sort by color and soil level. Nice whites (clothes) and regular whites (towels, sheets, socks, underwear). I do the same with darks plus I always have a load of reds (red, pink, purple, orange). I only dry the regular whites. I “fluff & hang” all our clothes. Hubby welded brackets to a bar and then attached them to the floor joists. The laundry room is in the basement. I don’t dry to save on energy, wear and tear or clothes, plus iron is a four letter word. I hate it.

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Yes, I really need the hubster to weld our bar…it collapses on me from time to time which is no fun, haha!

      • AvatarMichelle says

        A tension shower curtain rod would be stronger or a closet rod. The way your wall is 2 bar holders and rod would be perfect.
        In case the welding takes awhile to happen 🙂
        It’s just me and 3 kids so NO welding happening here.

  12. AvatarKristen O. says

    I love the video! My husband laughs at me all the time about the way that I do my laundry. I keep a spare bottle of Shout in my daughter’s room and our bedroom so I can pre-treat the stains right away. When I was working I had a small basket that I kept near our laundry basket for all my delicate clothing. That helped me take out some of the sorting time because it was just one single load each week.

    Since you mentioned that your tension rod falls down a lot; how about using a curtain rod instead? If you don’t have a spare one you could pick one up at a yard sale or thrift shop for pretty cheap. 😉

  13. AvatarAmy says

    Do you spray your stained clothes with something like Spray n Wash or Shout before you wash them? I do and it seems to take so much time and I wonder if it really helps.

  14. AvatarKelly says

    Love this idea…some of our clothes get beat up by jeans and heavy pants. I just need to stay on TOP of the laundry! Ha! And um hello…you don’t even look like you just had your 4th baby in FIVE years!!! Or sleep deprived! What’s you energy secret?? =)

  15. AvatarNicole says

    One of my biggest laundry problems is towels. Unless I bleach them, the towels always smell gross. Any tips on keeping colored towels smelling fresh and nice? My white towels are fine because they get bleached. Do you hang your towels to dry after using them and then wash them later? I’m going to try your tips and see if my clothes last longer. Woohoo 🙂

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Yes! Put some vinegar in place of fabric softener. It releases build-up and nastiness that builds up on towels over time! I do this with my dish towels semi frequently.

  16. AvatarLana says

    I shrunk my first shirt recently (a new one from Ross so I’m really bummed) and remembered watching this video a while back. I watched it twice (the second time writing down what you sort). Do you wash your kids clothes separate from yours and Bubba’s (except the whites)? With 4 kids I can see having a full load of just theirs. We are a family of four, 2 adults, 2 kids, so I figure I can apply your tips, but sort all our clothes together.

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Sorry about your shirt! Yes, I do the kids separately, and typically end up doing mine and Bubba’s separately too because my fabrics are such lighter, more delicate fabrics than his tshirts. Good luck with laundry!! XO

  17. AvatarClarisa says

    What about pee smell…especially while potty training? Got any tips to get the pee smell out of fleece jammies and blankets? I rinse and wash them asap but find that sometimes it takes a couple of washes.

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      I would try switching your detergent, or getting your washer serviced. I haven’t had a problem with smells! What detergent are you using? It REALLY makes a difference. Worth the money to go with the good stuff, IMO! Also try rinsing with vinegar in the Fabric Softener cup of your washer, that helps too.

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