6 Laundry Tips & Why Laundry Hacks Don’t Work

This post was created in partnership with Tide.

As a new mom, I’m basically drowning in laundry 24/7. I never fully understood how tiny babies could produce so many dirty clothes but trust me, they do… It’s insane! The amount of bodily fluids that I clean up each day would be shocking to anyone without a kid, but I’ve gotten used to it over the last few months.

On top of Amalia’s clothes, we have all my favorite looks that I share with you guys as well as my husband’s sweaty workout clothes. It gets pretty intense.

So I’ve learned a thing or two about how to be more efficient on laundry days (aka every other day of the week) as I perfect my system. But it took me a while to find the perfect balance, trying out different detergents with “home remedies” to figure out what would up my laundry game in the fastest amount of time.

Unfortunately the laundry hacks I tried – like baking soda for stains plus a natural detergent – weren’t cutting it and ended up actually wasting my time. So I partnered with Tide and joined them in their labs in Cincinnati, Ohio a few months ago to learn some new tricks.

The main message that I left with from the trip? Tide is hands down the best solution for modern day laundry challenges like new fabrics that tend to be more synthetic and bigger machines that run bigger loads.

So without further ado, here are my six time-saving laundry tips that can benefit moms and non-moms alike!

1. Solve the unmatched sock dilemma.
I have a cute little cachepot in our laundry room that I throw unmatched socks into when folding laundry and one is missing. The matching sock almost always turns up later and this system allows me to relax without spending time searching (when it’s usually stuck to a bedsheet) in the moment.

Side bar: Tiny baby socks get lost even more than adult ones which is why I started this system.

2. Use multiple hampers.
My mom used to separate her laundry into three loads: White, lights, and darks. She taught me to do it that way too, but I made a change to her plan because who has time to do three separate loads these days?

Instead, I do one load for lights and one for darks… That’s it. My whites stay white (granted that I use all of my other tips below too) and it saves an hour.

To save time on laundry day, we have a divided hamper for lights and darks. Seriously, a game changer! If you don’t have one with a divider, put two separate hampers next to each other to divide on a daily basis.

3. Skip the so-called laundry hacks
Over the years I’ve heard of a million hacks, like using vinegar to eliminate odor or washing clothes with baking soda to remove stains. In the quest to make my natural detergent work better, I’ve tried them all (ok not all but a lot of them) and for the most part they just add an extra step to an already tedious task and they don’t work, based on what I’ve seen.

In fact, when I tried vinegar to remove lingering smells on our athleisure clothes, they ended up way stinkier… Vinegar obviously has a pretty strong smell so I have no idea where this idea came from or how you could possibly get it to work!

One thing we learned at the Tide Lab is that while many of these tricks might have worked back in the day, they don’t account for modern synthetic fabrics (aka anything with polyester) and HE washing machines (like mine) both of which are made very differently than they were 50 years ago.

Which brings me to my next point…

4. Use a smart detergent.
Tide recently updated its entire formula to account for the new fabrics and machines we use today. We learned at the labs in Cincinnati that Tide Ultra Oxi (a brand-new product!) has a breakthrough enzyme that specifically targets what are usually tough stains like spaghetti sauce, chocolate, and ketchup. It even has the stain treaters in the liquid so I don’t have to spot treat as much as I used to which saves time.

When we did the tests, I watched it literally pull the stains right off of fabric which was pretty cool. I saw with my own eyes in a lab (with real live scientists, no less) that Tide keeps clothes looking way whiter and brighter than a dose of vinegar and bargain detergent.

Because I know a lot of you will ask about it, yes I used natural detergent for years. I was always complaining that my clothes were getting dull and ruined so I started trying some hacks (found on Pinterest of course) like putting lemon juice and baking soda in laundry in addition to my natural detergent to get better results.

But they took extra time and literally did nothing for me! Now that I have Amalia, I would rather spend the time with her than in the laundry room.
Finally, about a year ago my sister said, “Why aren’t you using Tide?” I made the switch and have seen a big difference. Now I’m never going back to a natural detergent + hacks again.

Tell me what laundry hack you’re planning to ditch and spread the word that #TideBeatsHacks!

5. Prepare your clothes as you go.
Putting our clothes inside out into the hamper has been a point of contention in my household for literally years. When Anel would fold my laundry, he hated that all of my shirts were inside out. When I folded his, I hated the same thing about his socks. Instead of letting the problem stew, we both agreed to change the way we undress to make laundry day easier. It sounds so silly but I retrained myself to take off my shirt at the end of the day in a different way so that when I go to fold it after it’s washed, it’s already right-side in.

FYI I don’t use Tide Ultra Oxi on Amalia’s stuff. For hers I use a gentler detergent like Tide Free & Gentle or Dreft that’s better for her sensitive skin.

6. Put things away ASAP.
When you’ve properly sorted, washed, and dried your clothes, fold and put them away ASAP. If you let them sit in a pile, they get wrinkly which leads to ironing/steaming down the line. Save the time now and spend 5 minutes folding and 5 minutes putting everything away. Play music or watch TV to keep yourself entertained if need be.

Go try Tide for yourself and share how #TideBeatsHacks in your home!

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  1. Monica said:

    Something I started doing in college and before I had a W&D in my apartment (#communalmachines) is putting socks in one of my mesh lingerie bags! As long as you don’t cram too many pairs in there, they still get just as clean but don’t get lost. I don’t do it as much now, but it’s still helpful esp. when washing a bunch of little athletic ones (and probably Amalia’s?!)

    Also, I’m totally guilty of doing the vinegar thing for sweaty workout clothes but we’ve been toying with the idea of getting a performance-friendly detergent!

    3.13.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      That’s so smart, I am going to start doing that!

      3.13.18 · Reply
  2. Oana said:

    Look at that wallpaper! Your laundry room is seriously stylish!

    3.13.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks! It’s one of my favorite rooms in the whole house… Which is good because I practically live in it 🙂

      3.13.18 · Reply
  3. Ryann Carter said:

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve been a ride user for years but I’d rather do something natural, but they just don’t work. My athleisure clothes i don’t mind using harsh stuff on, i just want it clean (and my husband’s because he sweats a lot, even for living in Charleston), but my nice clothes I want to keep nice. I may do free and clear with my nice clothes and heavy detergent for everything else. How do you feel about senting with essential oils?

    3.13.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’m the same way. The natural stuff just doesn’t work, especially on smelly workout clothes. I don’t like putting essential oils when I wash because it’s overpowering. I do them directly on my skin every day instead! That way I can pick the scent I want day to date depending on what I’m feeling.

      3.13.18 · Reply
  4. Kayln Stahel said:

    I’m obsessed with that wallpaper!!! Would you mind sharing the source/link?

    3.13.18 · Reply
  5. Kate said:

    I love Tide! However, the one old fashioned hack that really seems to work (on cotton at least) is to put yellowed whites in the sun to dry. It gets them super white again! It won’t work on synthetics, though. I don’t have a clothesline, so I drape pillowcases ect over a chair in the sun, then flip.

    3.13.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Interesting! I’ll have to try that. Never heard of that one 🙂

      3.13.18 · Reply
  6. Ellie said:

    I love the sock tip!! If I had an actual laundry room, I would totally do that. Someday 🙂

    Also, that’s funny that you had so much trouble with the vinegar! Not only do I find that the smell is gone once the garment goes through the dryer, but I used it to get the HORRIBLE perfume smell of Gain out of a comforter. I used about a cup for a large capacity washer, so I would say 1/4-1/2 cup in a regular machine should be fine.

    3.13.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      What kind of vinegar do you use? Maybe I did it wrong but OMG it was so smelly for like a week haha.

      3.13.18 · Reply
      • Jo said:

        Use distilled vinegar, not the type you put on fish and chips 🙂

        2.16.20 · Reply
  7. Catherine said:

    It turning your clothes inside out to wash a hack I don’t really need to do?

    3.13.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Oh my gosh do you do that every time? Definitely no need unless it’s something really delicate that you want to protect!

      3.13.18 · Reply
  8. Amy said:

    I fully support doing whatever works for you and your family (us moms have so much to worry about as it is). But if you’re ever curious about a product’s rating, you can use the EWG’s guide to look it up.


    3.13.18 · Reply
  9. Hidrolimpiadora said:

    Really nice and useful.

    3.19.18 · Reply
  10. Lynette said:

    Finally giving up my quest to find natural detergent that works really well for cleaning. Do you find the ultra oxy has a strong scent?

    7.11.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I feel you on that. The Oxy has a scent but not as strong as some of the other ones I’ve used. I don’t mind it!

      7.11.18 · Reply