Talk Back: Laundry Love

Let's talk laundry.

First of all, the ever-pressing question: do you do your husband's, or does he do his own? How do you divide up this task? Do you do everyone's together, or keep them seperate?
Next, what tips do you have? Got any stain removal tricks we need to know about? Do you do the whole family's at once, or seperate? Have any laundry horror stories?

And seriously . . .

Where do those socks go?


  1. We are a family of 5 kids and 2 adults. There is a hamper in the basement bathroom for the 2 kids that live on that level, one in the kids bathroom for those 3 kids, and one in our bathroom. That I use. My husband drops his clothes on the floor whereever he takes them off, and after 16 years together I have given up on trying to train him, and I just pick them up myself. Two kids are assigned the chore of bringing the laundry to the washer and putting it in the washer. It all goes in together, and I don't separate anything. I start it myself. I purposefully bought front loaders so little kids could transfer stuff from the washer to the dryer. I used a sharpie to mark where they should move the dryer dial to start it. When it's dry, we have a "laundry party" where I pass out the laundry to the appropriate person. They fold their own and put it away.

    If someone has consequences for bad behavior, they get to do the laundry party by themselves.

  2. I do all the laundry in the house - but I'm a SAHM and my husband works a lot - he's out of the house by 730am, and not home till about 7pm or so. We only have one daughter - who's not even a year old - so I do hers separately with baby detergent, and do my husband's and mine together - separated into darks and lights.

    I do laundry every day. I have workout clothes, lounging clothes, and clothes to do errands in. My husband has work and lounge clothes. And of course our baby goes through outfit changes due to stains, we have a lot of laundry. No tips here, unfortunately.

  3. I do all the laundry. But, I don't put away my husbands, I think it's some twisted attempt to get praise for washing clothes. I place the folded stacks on his side of the bed. I wash the kids clothes together, I use warm for their stuff, and I wash my husbands clothes with mine on cold, separated by color.

  4. We are a family of 7 and this is how it works here.

    I do all the laundry. I have learned it is just easier when I can control what is going in and out all the time... instead of finding clothes in the washer/dryer when I need it.

    I wash Johnny (3) and Joley's (6 months) clothes together. I wash my 8, 9 and 16 year old's clothes alone. I also wash my husband's and my clothes separately. I wash the older kids' whites together, my babies whites together and mine and my husband's whites together.

    My towels and wash cloths are separate from the others (I don't know why, I am just weird about it).

    I make the older kids put away their own laundry and my hubs is supposed to put his away (although that rarely happens as quickly as I would like). I put away the younger kids and my laundry.

    I fold everything coming out of the dryer and the kids bring it upstairs and hang them up. The only thing that is scheduled is my husband's uniforms, which get washed every Sunday. Other than that, I do things as they come.

    I haven't been caught up on laundry since 2006. Seriously.

  5. My husband realized many years ago that he can fold laundry while watching sports and so the way it works in my house is I wash and dry, then dump it in front of him when he is watching football, basketball, golf or whatever is on at the time. So laundry mostly gets done on the weekends when he is home to fold. He has taught all 3 of the kids to put their own stuff away. It may not get done the way I would do it, but it gets done and is one less thing for me.

  6. I am living a laundry nightmare right now. We travel to fairs and rodeos throughout the summer (we're concessionaires) so I visit laundry mats on a regular basis. I was so happy to have a week off at home this week. We arrived last night to find that mice had infested our house (we live in the country in the middle of hay fields where mice flourish, if you leave your home unattended and they find a way in you have a problem). I had a couple of loads of towels and bedding that I had left to do when I had a chance. Those loads now need to be shaken out (in a wide open space) to remove all the mouse "stuff". Instead of doing laundry at home and enjoying my space I will be taking every stich of cloth and every stuffed animal that was in our house, plus the dirty laundry from being on the road, to the laundry mat with my 2 kids (3yo & 2yo) in tow. Thankfully I've gotten to be quite a pro with laundry mats, and I even enjoy the time spent there. Once all the icky laundry is in machines I get to kick back. I just hate the time I'm wasting sitting around. I guess I'll use the time wisely today and take the kids to the park or library between loads.
    Tips for laundry mats:
    Go mid week before 5pm.
    1. Bring a book
    2. Bring toys for kids and even a portable dvd player if possible.
    3. Get change before unloading all your clothes, in case you have to run to the bank.
    4. Be sure you have your own soap & stuff before starting. It's worth it to run to the grocery store if you forgot. The laundry mats charge a crazy amount of money for soap & softener.
    5. Separate lights & darks and fill the machines until there is just space for your arm at the top of the pile. You want to get your money's worth, but you also want your clothes to be clean.
    5. Jounal, read, go shopping, enjoy the time that you are forced to wait. Think of it as a mini get away instead of a chore.
    6. Keep track of time. It's rude to leave your stuff sitting in the machines. Other people may need them.
    7. Bring hangers for clothes that wrinkle easily. They'll be nice out of the dryer, but the trip home can make them look like they've never even been washed.
    8. Mouse proof your house so you don't have to go to the laudry mat!

  7. He does his own... because he wants to. It has always been that way and I really don't mind!

    As for washing them together... I really try not to. As I type, the sweater I'm wearing smells like spit up. Gross.

  8. I do it all. It's easier. If hubby did it, my kids' clothes would be ruined (they are stain masters!). My secret is vinegar. Takes care of blood stains. And soaking things in vinegar and oxi-clean, whatever- is my other best friend. I also put it all away unless i lay a major guilt trip down on my hubby.

  9. I do my husbands and my laundry together, the older girls laundry together and the baby's laundry is separate. To keep up with 5 peoples dirty clothes I do 2 loads a day.
    I wish I had stain tips but we all sport stains proudly around here ;) Oh and the socks? They never get put away. They stay in the basket and we dig out as needed.

  10. We are a family of 3...2 adults one 12 year old, and a baby almost here. When my step-daughter was younger my husband and I folded all of her cloths as she learned to put them away. She is now doing her own laundry, however with reminders to transfer from washer to dryer and when it's time to fold and put away! But hey, she is 12 and I am happy with this progress.
    I usually do all of the laundry for my husband and I. We have lots of delicates that need to be hung up due to our outdoor clothing and workout gear. He is really good at loading up the drying racks and has never ruined any of my cloths. I usually do all of the folding, and sometimes he helps.
    I leave his cloths on his dresser to put away himself, which he does...eventually.

  11. I do the laundry. My kids are 6, 4, and a newborn. My older two put their own laundry away, which means it mostly gets stuffed into drawers and wadded up, but I decided to let it go because they need to learn to do it and because I just don't have time anymore. My husband occasionally does a load if he needs something I haven't washed or if one of the kids has an accident while I'm not home.

    Everything pretty much gets thrown in together. I barely even sort it anymore, honestly, I just dig through the pile till I find vaguely similarly colored clothing. Haven't ruined anything yet. :)

  12. I do all of our laundry. I do separate my clothes from my husbands most times, mostly because he's sweatier than I am (we live in Haiti) and he tends to get dirtier. I just find his clothes get cleaner when I wash them separately because I can add more soap etc. I was our daughters clothes (17 mos.) separately as well unless it's her whites, which I'll throw in with mine.

    We hang dry our clothes because we have lots and lots of sun. Here are my tricks...

    1) I use liquid softener, but water it down half and half. I found using full strength left our hang dried laundry feeling "waxy".

    2) I hate folding laundry and will let it sit in the basket for days if it's not folded off the line. To make folding faster I actually sort it as I hang it - all tank tops together, all t-shirts together, all bottoms together etc. And when I hang socks I pair them up and clip them on so I just unclip and fold them together. Then I just go down the line, fold it and stack it, and walk the basket right to the closet to unload. Simple!

  13. One basket for the two boys 6 & 18m, one for girls 7 & 3. the oldest of each set folds and puts away their own clothes. Laundry is done daily so it is never more than a 10 minute chore for them. If it piles up then I will fold the clothes for them, and they still put them away.

    We have a cubby shoe shelf where all the kids shoes are kept. On top of it is a 2 drawer dresser (the hammer yourself set ups) top drawer has girls socks and bottom drawer has boys socks. Girls stockings are in their drawer though.

    Each child has their own towel with their favorite color ribbon sewn to it to use as the hook loop. Kids return towel to hook in bathroom after they have changed.

    All clothes are washed together. Except the diapers :) I usually pre-rinse all the kitchen and cleaning cloths before putting with whites and sometimes a little bleach.

    That being said, my lovely husband took over the laundry when I was pregnant with the last baby. I pretty much only do diapers and emergency puke laundry. With the 105 temps though I have been doing 1 or 2 loads per day and hanging them out to dry, the fluffing them in the dryer for a few and leaving it for my husband. He is good at keeping up and usually folds while watching sports.

  14. I'm impressed with everyone elses system. For me, there are 6 of us in the house, and I do it all myself. Stains just about kill me. I'll have to try vinegar since nothing else seems to work. The kids are getting old enough to put laundry away - which is never done with a smile. Sometimes I get caught up, but most often, I just wash, dry, and pile it on the chair in the corner. I folded 6 loads the other day just to get caught up. I guess I keep hoping that there will be little elves who fold and put it away for me while I sleep. One can wish, right?


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