11 laundry room essentials you didn’t know you needed
These completely changed the way I do laundry.
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No one likes doing laundry, but it's a fact of life. That's why we scouted out some useful items that should make doing laundry that much easier. Try 'em out and see if we're right. Go on. We'll wait.
If you've ever ventured outside your home, odds are your footwear needs cleaning. Dress shoes get special polishing kits, but for sneakers all you need for regular sprucing up is a simple little brush.
An essential device for folks who wear knitted sweaters and blankets. Whether you're dealing with wool or cashmere, this handy little tool will comb out the unsightly pills and fuzz that build up over time.
These mesh laundry bags are perfect for lingerie—and more, from tights to scarves and thermal underwear. We like this set because of the different-sized bags. The large one is even big enough for a down jacket.
We're fans of these eco-friendly alternatives to dryer sheets. These little guys—available in adorable shapes like hedgehogs or puffer fish, as well as conventional wool spheres—are reusable, chemical-free, and a great way to fight off static cling in the dryer.
If you like your clothes to smell nice but haven't found a detergent that doesn't make you turn up your nose in disgust, consider adding some essential oils to the wash. A few drops will do. You can even infuse those wool dryer balls we mentioned for some scented drying.
If you have a closet full of dress shirts, spray starch could be a lifesaver. You'll need to use an iron to apply it—it's not a spray and forget kind of thing—but it sure beats waiting for the cleaners.
Speaking of which, this is great for shirts and linens, but isn't meant to be used on dry-clean-only items. If you're not big on starch as it is, consider this starch alternative, which gets glowing reviews from customers.
Speaking of ironing, don't you just hate setting up the ironing board? It's so unwieldy, and makes that horrible screeching noise when you unfold the legs. Consider an ironing blanket, which sits on top of a washer or dryer. You can even take it with you when you travel! We're going with the Housables version because it's magnetized.
If you don't want to iron a delicate garment, consider a portable steamer. Gentler than an iron, its portable size makes it a useful companion on business trips. Heck, you can even use it on curtains!
Shirt folding board
Unless you worked at the Gap, you probably don't really know how to fold a shirt. It's a good skill to have, though, especially if you lack closet space or enjoy traveling. A shirt folding board makes it easy, featuring easy-to-follow pictorial instructions that guide you through all the proper steps.
A lint roller might seem basic, but this model from F'Lint has a design that's anything but. If you're going to have an essential tool, you might as well get one that looks good. And don't just keep one in your laundry room—get one for your car, your purse, your briefcase...
This is especially useful if your laundry room is tight on space. A rolling rack of shelves, it can slip easily between your washer and dryer while keeping everything you use—detergent, laundry sheets, everything else we mentioned on this list—organized and easy to access.