Dads, we love you. It takes a certain kind of man to swaddle, change lightbulbs, squash bugs, throw kids way too high in the air, catch them, drive us home when everyone’s tired, impart life wisdom, and still occasionally sweep mom off her feet. But I’m going to have to throw a flag on the field when it comes to laundry. Yep, you know how it seems like we’re always doing laundry? That’s because we are. If you’re a dad who doesn’t know the ins and outs of the laundry room but wants to pitch in, this guide’s for you.
Rules of engagement
Dirty laundry goes into laundry baskets. When the kids get really messy, like on spaghetti night, the clothes should be soaked and rinsed out in the sink and pre-treated with stain remover. Under no circumstances is laundry to be tossed onto beds, bathroom floors, changing tables, the couch, the high chair, or any other place other than the laundry basket or hamper. If you see these getting full, it’s a great time to put this guide to use.
The first thing you need to know about doing the laundry is that there’s more to it than whites and brights. Think about laundry in terms of batches of similar colors, textures, and use. By “use” I mean distinguishing between everyday clothes versus more special stuff. Don’t be the dad who washes a silk dress with the towels. Designate a “dry clean only” or “hand wash only” basket in the laundry room. When in doubt, read the clothing label for guidance or just ask.
Get acquainted with your washer and dryer settings. Some machines have specific cycles for certain types of clothes (jeans, colors, whites, bulky items, etc.). Others have more general settings like heavy duty, regular/normal, and delicates. Heavy duty cycles are generally longer and may use higher temperatures. This may be needed for especially dirty items and sturdier fabrics. Delicate cycles tend to be shorter and use lower temperatures. Normal/Regular and permanent press cycles are in between. Just DON’T forget to toss in the Bounce® dryer sheet, dad. A few things—like your favorite jeans, mom’s stretchy athletic wear, or bras will fair better drying flat. When in doubt, check the garment's care label. Remember that proper washing and drying prolong the life of your clothes. #Money
A note on stuffed animals
Look, if the toddler’s beloved teddy bear is looking a little grimy, you might feel tempted to toss it in the wash. First make sure it can withstand being washed—check the tags. If you’re good to go, remember that the most important rule of washing stuffed animals: Never do it around naptime or bedtime. Second rule: hang dry.
Getting the job done
Every laundry room needs solid products to get the job done. For drying, Bounce® dryer sheets are a must-have unless you like wearing scratchy, static-filled clothes. Pro tip: for large loads, use two Bounce® dryer sheets. There are different kinds of dryer sheets depending on how like your laundry scented. At our house, we use Bounce® Free and Gentle™ sheets because our daughter has sensitive skin. Hypoallergenic dryer sheets are free of dyes and perfumes. And for bath towels and bed sheets, consider Bounce® Sweet Dreams dryer sheets, which have a soothing scent combination of lavender, vanilla and cedar to help you relax after a long day.
You are a scholar and a gentleman
Almost done: you just have to take the laundry out of the dryer while it’s at its freshest, when it’s still warm. Take a moment to enjoy that fresh scent and the fruits of your labor—ahhh. Fold or hang the laundry. Did you know the dryer isn’t the only place you can use Bounce® dryer sheets? Bounce® dryer sheets are great for tucking into drawers and closets, freshening up gym bags, keeping the trash can from stinking, or packing in your suitcase to keep clothes smelling fresh while you travel. That’s it, you’re done! Infinite dad points to you, good sir.
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