Doing laundry is an essential household task that goes way beyond having “something clean to wear.” Yes, cleaning your bedding and clothing is crucial for hygienic reasons, but it can also affect your health. Everything we contact — especially our bedsheets and apparel — may carry bacteria, allergens or irritants that can cause diseases or worsen skin conditions. So whether you enjoy or hate washing and folding your clothes and bedding, the truth is that you have to do it, and you have to do it well. Keeping textiles in top shape also prolongs their life and saves you money in the long run.
That’s why stocking up on high-quality laundry room accessories and cleaning products is essential to a healthier life. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about washing and drying your clothes and bedding, from the right type of detergent and stain removal to essential tips for post-wash care and folding.
Laundry Room Essentials
Just like your kitchen or bedroom, your laundry room is an integral part of your house that needs to be equal parts functional and stylish. Below, we’ve rounded up all the laundry items you need for a clean, healthy, nice-to-be-in laundry room.
Wool Dryer Balls
Wool dryer balls are a laundry room must-have. They’re the gift that keeps on giving, and once you start using them, you’ll quickly realize why.
These amazing laundry boosters are made from high-quality compressed wool that reduces static and makes your sheets and clothing extra soft. If you’re considering dryer balls vs dryer sheets, dryer balls are a smart upgrade over dryer sheets for several reasons. First, they’re reusable, making them more environmentally friendly. They’re also made from organic material, while dryer sheets are produced from polyester. Second, dryer sheets are manufactured with chemicals and synthetic fragrances that your skin can absorb. Studies have also found traces of carcinogens in some dryer sheets, which can make them highly toxic.
Finally, dryer balls are proven to reduce drying time by up to 50%. That’s great for the environment and also saves you time that you can spend on more important things.
To learn more about the benefits of dryer balls, read our post: Do Dryer Balls Really Work? Everything You Need to Know About Wool Dryer Balls.
Natural Laundry Detergent
First things first — all laundry detergents contain chemicals. The difference between regular and natural laundry detergent is that most detergent is formulated with toxic chemicals that can cause or exacerbate asthma or allergies or even lead to hormonal disbalance.
Natural laundry detergent is usually biodegradable, which means it does not accumulate in water. This is important, because when water is recycled and re-used, certain chemicals found in regular detergents may remain in it.
Natural detergents are formulated without synthetic fragrances, sulfates, parabens and formaldehyde (this is a carcinogen). That also makes them suitable for babies and children whose skin is very sensitive. But make no mistake, natural detergents may be gentle on fabrics, but they’re just as tough on stains as regular detergents.
Have more questions about natural detergent? Check out this post: Why Use a Natural Laundry Detergent? Your Questions Answered.
What makes baking soda a laundry room essential? Actually, many things. First, it’s a natural stain remover that won’t damage even the most delicate of fabrics. And it’s safe to use on baby bedding and clothes, too. Baking soda also neutralizes unpleasant odors, softens textiles and is the perfect alternative to bleach. If your bedsheets need some extra care, add about half a cup of baking soda to your natural laundry detergent to boost its powers, and your bedding will look like new.
Who doesn’t like the smell of fresh flowers? That’s what linen sprays are for. Some brands infuse laundry and home textiles with the sweet fragrance of essential oils. Unfortunately, not all linen mist products are created equal. Look for offerings that aren’t made with synthetic fragrances or toxins.
Natural linen mist usually contains a blend of oils that fight foul odors and can positively affect your mood and overall well being. And you can use it on pretty much anything — laundry, rugs, decorative pillows, curtains, and bath mats to add a fresh, clean smell to your laundry room and home. It’s also been proven that essential oils help you sleep better.
This laundry item will keep your house uncluttered and mess-free. Instead of having a dirty clothes pile in your closet or, worse, in the middle of your bedroom, place an oversized laundry hamper in your laundry room.
A bigger hamper will keep all your laundry in one place, so no more going from room to room to look for items to wash at the end of the week. A laundry hamper will also keep your floors neat and clean.
Choose one crafted from natural jute to add an organic touch to your laundry room. Make sure it comes with a machine-washable cotton bag or lining so you can throw the bag into the washer together with your laundry.
With so many items to keep in such a small space, adequate laundry room accessory storage is essential. The best (and chicest) option is adding baskets to your laundry room decor. They are the hardest multi-taskers in any home.
Available in various shapes, materials and sizes, storage baskets are perfect for organizing all your laundry essentials. You can use them to keep bigger and bulkier items such as detergent bottles or a steam iron, or smaller accessories like dryer balls, bottles of linen spray or stain removers. You can even designate one for lost all of those single socks that always pop up in random corners of your laundry room and dryer.
Sometimes, even cotton apparel (such as baby clothes) dries better on the line, keeping it from shrinking.
That’s why a drying rack is an excellent addition to your laundry room. Fortunately, there are so many types nowadays that it’s really easy to find one that fits your laundry room’s decor and size.
If you lack floor space, you can mount a rack on the wall, hang it from the ceiling, or install it over the door. Having a clothes drying rack will also make your household more environmentally friendly, as dryers contribute massively to your carbon footprint.
A Steam Iron and Ironing Board
You probably already have an ironing board, but is it handy and do you use it often? An iron and ironing board are must-have laundry room accessories. People have been ironing their clothes since at least 1 century BC, and with good reason. The simple task of smoothing the creases and wrinkles from apparel and bedsheets has many benefits, and some may even surprise you.
Obviously, clothes look better after pressing them with a steam iron. They go back to their original, just-bought shape and structure. But the steam also kills germs and mold, making textiles more hygienic. Bad odor is caused by bacteria that can be removed by steam ironing, too.
While some people find folding laundry therapeutic, others see it as annoying and time-consuming. Regardless of which side of the argument you’re on, a laundry folder will come in handy when it’s time to fold that fresh pile of clean laundry.
A folder is essentially a flat plastic board that can help you fold everything from t-shirts to pants and sweaters super-fast. Your closet drawers will look like a high-end fashion boutique with stacks of neatly-folded garments, and without the drudgery. Having your bedding, apparel, and towels properly folded will also save you plenty of drawer space.
Washer and Dryer
Finding the perfect washer/dryer combination will largely depend on the size of your usual laundry load and laundry room dimensions. For smaller spaces, opt for a top-loading washer and dryer.
Capacity is another factor. A washer with a bigger drum will not only fit more clothes, but also provide more space for more efficient, deeper cleaning. Spin speeds and the number of wash and dry programs should also influence your decision.
How to Care for Bedlinen?
Now that you have all your laundry accessories covered, it’s time to put them to good use. Bedsheets and towels are usually the most frequently washed and dried types of home textiles. Once a week is the recommended sheet washing frequency, while you should wash towels about every three to four uses. That means you have to be extra attentive when it comes to washing and caring for your bedding to keep it in top shape for longer.
Most cotton bedsheets should be washed in cool or cold water using a mild or natural detergent. Tumble dry low or line dry for best results. Bleaching agents may severely damage the fibers, so avoid them at all costs. Another no-no is high heat or direct sunlight, as these can lead to color fading or fabric thinning.
How to Best Care for Clothes?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to caring for clothes, since garments and accessories come in so many fabrics, shapes and sizes. You should always consult the care tags on your clothing items before you wash, dry or iron them.
While many wearable items today are made from machine washable fabrics, there are still many exceptions (such as silk and wool) that can be completely ruined by throwing them in the washer with the rest of your laundry.
Be extra careful with underwear and other garments that come into direct contact with your skin, especially if you’re prone to skin rashes or allergies. Using natural detergent and dryer balls is essential with these items.
For more tips on mastering doing laundry and other household duties, explore the Ultimate Household Chore Checklist.
Where to Shop for Premium Laundry Room Accessories?
Setting up a functional and well-organized laundry room starts with the quality of the products you put in it. Whether that’s the detergent for your clothes and bed linen or storage baskets that double as laundry room decoration, invest in quality, not quantity.
Parachute offers a wide range of laundry room accessories manufactured with your well being in mind. Our wool dryer balls are made from 100% natural, non-toxic, hypoallergenic and chemical-free wool that will last you for over a thousand cycles.
The Rest Linen Mist you’ll find at Parachute was sourced from organic skincare brand Osea. The result is a gently-scented spray formulated with a number of essential oils — and without any toxic chemicals.
Natural, handwoven baskets are also available for all your laundry storage needs.
Finally, if you’d like to learn more helpful wash and care tips, read our detailed guides below: