5 Ingenious Solutions to Maddening Kid Laundry Problems

Linda Sharps | Oct 14, 2014 Big Kid

kid laundry stories

Laundry is one of my least favorite household chores, not because it’s intellectually challenging or whatever, but because it’s never-ending. I mean, ALL of my household chores are never-ending, but there’s something particularly Sisyphean about laundry. On the rare occasion that I actually reach the bottom of every single clothes hamper in the house, my victory is so incredibly fleeting. I swear I blink and there’s a brand new pile of stale wet towels and grass-stained jeans lurking there, chuckling evilly at me.

I have found a few tricks to make doing the kids’ laundry slightly less painful, though. I’m no Martha Stewart, but I think you’ll agree that the following suggestions will make your Cinderella-like existence a little easier — and shift some of the dirty-clothes burden off your shoulders.

Do you have any laundry tips to share? (Aside from "make someone else do it"?)

Image © iStock.com/tzara

  • Problem: inside-out clothes


    Have you noticed that kids’ dirty clothes are ALWAYS inside out? You can either turn them the right way before you wash them or afterward, but either way it adds time and drudgery to an already lame chore.

  • Solution: LEAVE them inside-out


    I wash, dry, fold, and put away my kids’ clothes — but I do not turn them the right way out. You know who can do that? My damn kids, that’s who.

  • Problem: clothes that shrink


    Oops, you washed that shirt on hot too many times, and now it doesn’t fit your kid anymore. What to do?

  • Solution: hand-me-downs!


    If you have a younger kid in the house: voila, shrunken clothes problem solved! Otherwise, donating and sharing clothes with other mom friends can transform your laundry faux pas into thoughtful generosity.

  • Problem: mismatched socks


    What HAPPENS to socks in the laundry, dammit? It’s like the machine isn’t happy unless it eats one of every pair.

  • Solution: 80 million boring white socks that everyone shares


    They aren’t as cute as the matching pairs with designs, but I guarantee a giant bag or two of those generic white socks will save your sanity in the long run.

  • Problem: toys in the washing machine/dryer


    Little kids never empty their pockets, and unless you do it for them, their Lego blocks and rocks and plastic guys and whatnot always end up in the wash.



    Secret: unless that little toy looks really important, it goes right into the trash. Sure, it doesn’t actually solve the issue of things getting in the wash, but it makes me feel better.

  • Problem: you accidentally washed a crayon, and there’s melted wax and dye everywhere


    DISASTER. This is seriously the worst, aside from washing a disposable diaper.

  • Solution: try the following steps


    Fill the washer with hot water. Add 1/2 cup vinegar and 4 tablespoons dish washing liquid, and let everything soak for 10 minutes. Let the wash run as normal, repeat as necessary.

    After all that, if the wax and stains are still all over the place and the clothes are ruined, you burn the house down. I mean, obviously get the children, pets, and valuables out first, but yeah, there’s not much else you can do.