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by Sarah Nicholson

As always, I would like to start off by stressing that whilst I have made every effort to ensure the information is correct, I cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.  All information on this site is provided "as is".  See our Disclaimer.

lady standing by washing machine


Keep a small bag or box of sewing essentials (for example, useful colours of thread and spare buttons) in a cupboard next to your washing machine or where you iron, so you can quickly and easily make repairs when sorting or ironing clothing.

A teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda or cream of tartar added to the powder drawer will make a white wash whiter.

Keep small items and clothes that get tangled, such as socks, tights and bras, separate in your washing machine in a zipped mesh bag. You could make a bag yourself from a piece of old net curtain, tied at the top with ribbon or string.

graphic of washing on line


After washing, put larger items of clothing, such as shirts, tops, skirts, trousers and lightweight jumpers on hangers to dry. This is just as quick or quicker than using pegs, but the clothes get less creased when they are taken in than if they are put in a basket. Also, the items are on hangers ready for ironing and putting in the wardrobe - and you don’t need to wipe the line!

Don’t let a rainy day stop you hanging up your clothes to dry. Use the headspace in a garage, conservatory or large shed, or under a porch or lean-to, by fixing a zig-zag washing line. Alternatively suspend an old fridge rack from the roof from which to hang the clothes.

Your wet clothes will dry faster if you put a dry towel into the tumble dryer with them.

cartoon lady ironing wearing a bandanna


Remove candle wax from fabric by ironing the area with greaseproof paper or kitchen towel above and below.

For more detailed instructions see our page at http://www.hintsandthings.co.uk/utilityroom/stain_removal_C.htm 

If clothes have become too dry to iron easily, pop them in the tumble dryer for a few minutes with a wrung-out wet tea cloth. This will loosen the fibres in the fabric and make ironing easier.

If you do not have a metal-coated cover on your ironing board, place some aluminium foil under the cloth cover. This reflects heat back from the iron and makes ironing easier.

To prevent shiny seam marks on dark fabrics, iron from the inside. For ties, put a narrow strip of cardboard inside before ironing.

Large items like sheets and duvet covers can be ironed on a firm bed. Tablecloths can be ironed on your table, if you put some newspapers covered with a sheet underneath to protect the surface.


An old draining-board rack is perfect for storing spare hangers without them becoming tangled.

Clean hard water deposits out of an iron by filling the tank with white vinegar and allowing to steam for 10 minutes or so, shaking occasionally. Rinse well with water before use.






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