Fall Checklist for Cleaning and Organizing Your Laundry Room
According to the American Cleaning Institute, the average U.S. household does about 50 pounds of laundry per week. That’s 1.6 tons a year! No wonder your laundry pile seems endless. Here’s why cleaning your laundry room should be a top priority on your fall cleaning checklist, and how a little organization and a washing machine upgrade can help make doing laundry faster and easier.
Start With a Thorough Cleaning
Give your laundry room a deep cleaning at least once every season. Work your way from the ceiling to the floor.
- Grab a long-handled duster or broom to remove dust, lint, and cobwebs from ceiling fans, corners, door and window moldings, shelves, and lighting fixtures. You could also use your vacuum cleaner’s dusting brush attachment to take care of this.
- Pull your washer and dryer away from the wall so that you can clean the “fluff” (the lint and dust created by the dryer) from the wall and floor behind your appliances.
- Vacuum or mop the laundry room floor.
Remove Trapped Lint From Your Dryer
Is your dryer running hot or taking longer than usual to dry clothes? Lint buildup could be the culprit.
- Be sure to clear the lint filter after every use.
- Clean your dryer exhaust vent, hose, and lint filter trap. You’ll need a special dryer vent cleaning kit, but it’s worth the cost to keep you and your family safe — lint buildup is one of the leading causes of home fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
Clean Your Machines
If you haven’t cleaned your appliances in a while, here’s how to do so:
- Spritz a soft cloth with all-purpose spray cleaner and wipe the outsides of your washer and dryer.
- Use the same cloth and cleaner to remove detergent drips and grime around the inside opening of your top-loading washer. If you have a front-loading washer, pull back the rubber gasket. Remove any loose debris, then dip a small towel in hot, sudsy water, squeeze out the excess water, and use it to scrub the inside of the gasket.
- Next, remove the laundry aid dispensers from your washer and rinse them thoroughly under hot running water to clean off detergent and fabric softener residues.
- Lastly, clean and sanitize the drum of your washer. It’s easy: Set your washer to run on the longest and largest load setting. Run an empty load with hot water and your usual amount of detergent or a packet of washing machine cleaner.
- Skip this step in the future by upgrading your washing machine to a self-cleaning model.
Make the Most of Your Small Space
In a well-organized laundry room, there’s a place for everything:
- If storage space is limited, mount shelving above your washer and dryer to store detergent, fabric softener, and other laundry aids.
- Add a wire shelving system to the back of the door to hang clothes and organize cleaning supplies.
- Install a laundry pedestal with storage drawers to keep necessities handy but out of sight. The extra height the drawer adds also means you won’t have to stoop down to load and unload your appliances.
Streamline the Process
Follow these simple tips to increase efficiency and speed up your weekly laundry tasks:
- Set up a system of “in” baskets for dirty laundry and “out” baskets for clean and folded laundry. Or invest in a rolling cart with canvas bags to separate clothing into wash types such as whites, darks, and delicates.
- If you have side-by-side appliances, keep the tops clear so that you can use them for folding clothes. If you have stackable models, set up a table nearby where you can fold.
- Add a rod or rack for hanging clothes as you remove them from the dryer. If space is limited, choose one that folds away when not in use.
Consider Upgrading Your Laundry Appliances
If you have a large family, you can reclaim hours of your day by installing larger appliances. Switch to a high-capacity washer and dryer to launder up to three baskets of clothing at a time. Just remember to adjust the amount of detergent accordingly — plan on one dose of detergent per basket of clothes. If you happen to have an LG front-loading washer, you can add a pedestal washer attachment that allows you to wash a second smaller load at the same time — perfect for delicates and workout wear. With the right appliances, maybe you won’t mind doing the next 1.6 tons of laundry.
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