Washing away common laundry problems

Good Housekeeping
Keep laundry day hassle-free with our product recommendations and organization tips. (Photo by Danielle Occhiogrosso)

Keep laundry day hassle-free with our product recommendations and organization tips. (Photo by Danielle Occhiogrosso)

We’ve got loads of top-tested Seal picks and organizing tricks to help you wash away laundry stress and solve common laundry problems.

Problem: A stinky washing machine

Solution: Cleaner for your cleaner

Residue from detergent or soil may be to blame. Once a month, run an empty, hot-water cycle with Tide Washing Machine Cleaner ($12 for five, tide.com). Its oxygen-bleach formula dissolves odor-causing buildup, even in places you can’t see.

Problem: Workout gear never smells clean

Solution: Stink stopper

Detergents remove dirt and stains, but can’t always tackle odors that get trapped in fabrics — think sweat in your trusty yoga leggings. Add Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator ($9 for a 50-oz. bottle, febrezeinwash.com) to stinky loads at the same time as detergent. It holds on to odor molecules until they get flushed out in the rinse cycle.

Problem: “Green” detergents can’t tackle tough stains

Solution: Eco Performer

Made with plant-based surfactants and stain-fighting enzymes, Simple Green Sunshine Fresh 2x Laundry Detergent ($10 for 100 oz., simplegreen.com) worked well on cotton and polyester in hot and cold water in Lab tests. Even better? Its entire formula is biodegradable — unlike other detergents with only some biodegradable ingredients.

Problem: Socks keep sticking to clothes

Solution: Static zapper

Tumbling clothes and evaporating moisture in the dryer make for lots of static electricity.

Help banish it with Gain Original Dryer Sheets ($4 for 80, ilovegain.com). As things heat up, the sheets’ softener coating is transferred to the load. In our Lab tests, the sheets neutralized cling even on synthetics, and left a light softness and scent.

Problem: Scratchy towels

Solution: Super Softener

Downy Ultra Fabric Conditioner ($4 for 51 oz., downy.com) contains specialized ingredients that align and condition fibers, making them less likely to break, pill and stretch. In our Lab tests, knits washed with Downy looked newer than those washed only with detergent.


Mood Makeover

Want to be happier? Stop faking it! Unless you’re a supermodel, don’t smile on command — forcing positivity will make you feel worse in the long run.

“When you’re sad and try to push it aside, it comes back,” so you can’t move through it and feel better, said Susan David, author of Emotional Agility. “Psychologists call this phenomenon ‘emotional leakage,’ and studies show that denial of emotions is associated with higher levels of depression, stress and anxiety. Embracing how you actually feel (particularly if it’s negative) can build the resilience that can help you thrive when the going gets tough.”

Her advice? Don’t deny that your job can be frustrating; instead, acknowledge how you feel, but remind yourself of the excellent reason you’re doing it: You value providing a stable home for your family. Recognizing difficult feelings and then focusing on what is truly important to you will get you to a happier place.


Laundry Organization Tips

Take the stress out of doing laundry with these easy solutions.

Storage Strategy: Keep extras, like linen water for a scent boost and spray starch for sharp collars, together — you’re more likely to use them if they’re on hand and sorted.

DIY Workspace: Install a counter over your washer and dryer for more convenient folding, sorting and even ironing. Need to store more? Add shelves, too!

Easy Lifting: Put cleaning products and fresh sheets and towels in baskets with handles so that putting them away (and out of kids’ reach) will be a cinch.


The following products and vehicles were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unless otherwise indicated, discontinue use of the products immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a refund. For more information about the products, call the manufacturer or CPSC’s toll-free hotline, (800) 638-2772. Only some cars or trucks recalled are affected. Contact a dealer for your model to see if it is included in the recall. The dealer will tell you what to do.



Liquid Plumr Pro-Strength Foaming Clog Fighter, Industrial Strength Urgent Clear and Liquid Plumr Pro-Strength Urgent Clear clog removers, sold at Dollar General, Family Dollar, HEB, Home Depot, Kroger, Lowe’s, Meijer, Publix, Rite-Aid, Target, Walgreens, Walmart and other dollar, grocery, hardware and mass-merchandise stores nationwide, and online at Amazon.com, Drugstore.com and Quidsi.com from January 2012 through May 2016 for between $3 and $5.

The recalled bottles are not child-resistant and children can remove the top, posing a risk of chemical burns and irritation to the skin and eyes. These products contain sodium hydroxide, which is required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act to be sealed with child-resistant packaging. Consumers should keep this recalled product away from children and immediately contact The Clorox Company’s Liquid Plumr call center for disposal and refund instructions. Consumers can contact The Clorox Company’s Liquid Plumr call center toll-free at (855) 490-0705 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.liquidplumr.com. Click on “Important Safety Recall Notice” for more information.

2009-2016 Dodge Journey

After exposure to cold temperatures, the power-steering return hose may rupture at engine startup, causing a loss of power-steering assist. A loss of power-steering assist may require extra steering effort, especially at lower speeds, increasing the risk of a crash. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the power-steering return hoses, steel tubes and power-steering oil cooler for free. The recall began on May 24, 2016. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at (800) 853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is S08.



— Washing away common laundry problems —

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