Since I still have lots of laundry to do now that I'm back home, I thought I'd share laundry tips I've found learned from my mom or from personal experience.
1. Check your husband's pockets.
Of course, this applies to your kids' pockets and yours, too. In my case, it's always my husband who leaves receipts and gum wrappers in his pockets. Now that I'm having to wipe runny noses, I find tissues in my pockets more often. So, to be sure you don't have a tissue that gets all over every piece of clothing or lipstick that spots red on your husbands khaki's, check the pockets before adding clothes to the machine.
2. Always empty the lint trap.
Leaving a buildup of lint causes your dryer to work less efficiently. It will take longer and use more energy to dry your load of clothes.
3. Don't use dryer sheets.
Dryer sheets can cause a film to build up on the lint trap screen and it won't effectively collect your lint. Also, it causes towels to be less efficient in absorbing liquid.
4. Use tennis balls to fluff a down comforter.
When drying a comforter, throw in a couple clean tennis balls to fluff up your comforter and avoid clumps. You can also use this trick with regular laundry instead of a dryer sheet.
5. Sort your clothes.
I think this is obvious to most moms. Separate delicate items. Wash new red/pink items together. Too many heavy items (jeans, sweats, etc) will take longer to dry.
6. Use cold water.
To save energy (and therefore money), use the cold water setting. Most of the energy your washing machine uses is spent on heating the water. Also, use the appropriate level of water for your load.
7. Don't overload.
Your clothes won't get clean, won't rinse well, and probably won't dry evenly if you stuff too much into one load.
8. Don't let a diaper fall in your washing machine.
Okay, this one's for me. I recently washed *S*'s wet diaper with my clothes...unintentionally of course. And he does NOT use cloth diapers! Major oversight on my part!
I hope these tips help. I don't find doing laundry enjoyable at all, but the more you do to make it easier...the quicker it's over!