My Laundry Routine

Thursday November 08, 2012   

Some weeks ago Margaret asked if I could do a post on laundry care since my clothes always seem to be in good condition. I actually get this question more often than I’d expect! So here are some of my basic laundry routines.

I separate my laundry as follows:

My colors are mostly lounge clothes, pajamas, basic tops… things that are pretty wash & go. I wash these with regular laundry detergent and some liquid fabric softener on delicate cycle with cold water. I dry them on low-heat with a fabric softener sheet.

Special care items are silks, knits, dresses, tights, and jeans.

I always wash jeans separate with regular detergent on normal wash, cold water, tumble dry no heat.

I’m going to break down special care items by product used.
Basically cold water, delicate cycle or hand wash, lay flat to dry.


I use Dryel for my “Dry Clean Only” items on a regular basis. It’s a little pricey at first for the kit & bag but after that you can just buy the refills. The bag lasts years! It comes with an extra refresh spray for things like coats and heavy knits. You can fit a number of items into one bag. It does a fantastic job at freshening up all items though, not just Dry Clean Only. I use this stuff religiously. It’s great on knits, silks, synthetics, denim, etc.


For delicate items, especially knits, I use Woolite. It’s a gentle detergent and is ok to use in HE washers. It’ll keep knits from pilling and fading. For my knits I’ll use woolite and set my washer to the handwash cycle. You can use the delicate cycle or hand wash in the sink.


Lay flat to dry. Purchase a drying rack if possible. I got mine at IKEA. Very affordable and folds up when space is needed.

Before I had a drying rack I would place clothes folded over onto hangers and then hang them on the shower rod of the bathroom. Place a towel underneath to catch any dripping water. I don’t place any hangers within the clothing I’m drying. The hanger can misshapen the shoulders and pull at the fabric as it dries.

Once everything is dry I pop them into the dryer for 5~10 minutes on “air dry/no heat” with a fabric softener dryer sheet. This softens up the piece before I put it into my closet.

Tough Stains

I’ve used an array of stain fighters but mostly they’re all created equal.
They seem to equally remove the easy stains but not tougher stains like grease. When that happens I take the items to a dry cleaner. I’ve had some pretty great luck with my organic dry cleaner. They’ve gotten some mighty tough stains out for me. Usually costs between $3 & $5 an item.

Products I’m Using

The detergent I use :)

Mesh bags for delicate items. Available in various sizes.

Fabric softeners
The two on the left I use for clothing while the two on the right I use on sheets and towels because they are too strongly perfumed (personal choice) for my clothing.

Freshen Up!

I absolutely love to use these on coats, scarves, sweaters, etc. to freshen up items!

The one on the far left is my favorite.

Luxury by Aroma Charge. I purchased a few of these while in Japan. It’s a lightweight-spray scented with rose. I adore the fragrance! It neutralizes odors instead of just covering them up like a perfume.

The middle one is Wrinkle Release from Downy. Very easy to find product including this handy travel size. It has an added benefit of releasing wrinkles. The scent is a nice floral but not too overwhelming. The wrinkle-release works decent enough. I really like it and have repurchased it a bunch of times already.

The far right bottle is Flair in Floral & Sweet. Also from Japan. It releases wrinkles like Downy’s spray. The scent is a great rose-infused aroma. I don’t like it quite as much as the other two because it’s also a fabric softener and it leaves a bit of a too soft feeling for my liking.


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38 Responses to “My Laundry Routine”

  1. Jisoo says:

    This is awesome! I know its a little weird but I learned some stuff in how to take care of my delicates and such. I really like that wrinkle spray you were talking about. Definitely going to check that out! I didn’t know it existed LOL! Thanks for this :)

  2. Michelle says:

    Oh man, I thought I was the only person who wash their “Dry Clean Only” stuff, haha! I swear those “delicates-only” bags are life savers. I absolutely love using them for all things that shouldn’t be put into your wash. I only go to the cleaners for blazers or a super duper fine silk/thick wool coats. Everything else just goes into the machine in cold and low tumble dry.

    • jenny says:

      Ditto!! I only go when I have stains on FAVORITE items that I can’t get out myself. Dryel seriously makes Dry Clean Only items tolerable to buy, xD

  3. Maye says:

    Really interesting post!
    No wonder your clothes look in great condition, you really take care well on them!
    Thanks for sharing this info!

  4. Margaret says:

    This post is golden! Thank you so much for taking the time to share it with us. In the past two-ish years, as my style has become more defined and selective, I’ve been investing in higher quality (and higher price, subsequently) items for my wardrobe and I’m working to get my laundry care routine up to snuff to properly care for these pieces. These days I only purchase clothing that I will want to wear for a long time to come, so it’s important that they can last that long!

    I love the Aroma Charge refreshers. Have you come across them anywhere stateside? I haven’t been able to find them outside of Japan yet.

  5. lissy says:

    my mum washes everything in those washing bags! which is probably a similar reason to yours why my clothes are always in such good condition :)

  6. Joyce says:

    This is awesome! The drying rack tip is good. Now it’s time to buy one.

    You said your clothes go to the closet after drying, but what about ironing though?

  7. Sewon says:

    This was really helpful for me, too. I’m not very good at caring for my delicate items and end up ruining them or round up a big dry cleaning bill. Thanks, Jenny!

  8. Honeydew says:

    Very interesting and helpful post! I do the EXACT same thing with folding the clothes over the hanger when I hang clothes up that tend to stretch and change shape. I especially HATE it when the shoulders get stretched out and there’s like two weird things popping up from the shoulders of the shirt. I hate it even more when I can’t iron the shirt to make it flat again.T_T

  9. Kate says:

    Ah man, my mum uses the Dryel stuff and it is GREAT. I swear I love whoever created it. I too use that Suavitel rose softener for my sheets and towels!

  10. Kim-Mari says:

    Thanks for sharing this, I adore product reco’s esp when it comes to daily stuff like laundry & housekeeping.

    • Kim-Mari says:

      OH PS, I want to ask (of anyone) how amazing is Dryel? We don’t get it here in NZ, am wondering if I should buy it in???

  11. Thao says:

    What a great post! This is very useful stuff, considering how my family does laundry by just throwing everything together and adding detergent. No sorting. No special treatment. Luckily, my clothes are all cheap. It might be too personal, but do you wash your bras in any special ways to help keep its shape?

    • jenny says:

      I lay one “cup” into the other and place it within the smallest mesh bag from Woolite. Hand wash cycle. I then hang dry them only. They come out perfect every time.

  12. rae says:

    this was a really enjoyable post to read. funny that something about laundry could be so interesting. i think the dry-clean at home system with dryel looks really great and although like you said it might be expensive at first it is definitely cheaper than going to the dry cleaners time and time again. does it use water then? cos i thought at the dry cleaners the whole point of it being “dry” is water is not involved?

    xx rae

    • jenny says:

      No water here either. There’s a moist towelette that gets put into the bag that goes directly into the dryer. Dry cleaning isn’t exactly 100% “dry” because they use solvents. :)

  13. Miia says:

    thanks for this post Jenny, really interesting! I really admire that you are so organised. For me, as a university student, it is so hard to develope a housework routine, as I always have to study so much recently.
    I would be really interested in more blog posts of that kind. How do you organise your housework, what is your routine and how much time do you usually spend on it daily?

    • jenny says:

      I understand. In college I ruined so many clothes by being careless or rushed. I couldn’t really afford to be as detailed then.

      Hmmm I am a very organized person. I do housework daily. At least half an hour a day after getting home from work. I try to clean up as I go throughout the day though so it doesn’t pile up. I do things like washing all the sheets and sweeping the floors or dusting once a week usually on the weekends or 1 night after work.

  14. ニッキー says:

    Just to mention…Shout is amazing on stains! I have white cardigan that I forgot about and after a year of finding again, it had some sort of heavy yellow spot stain on the arm (looked like sauce). I sprayed Shout and after bit of time hand washed the spot. Stain was completely gone. Nice at home option for stain removal. :)

  15. Sami says:

    Only you can make laundry pictures look cute ;)

  16. _lyne says:

    this is so useful! love the scent of downy. am especially interested in those freshen up/wrinkle release products! but hmm i don’t think we have that wide a selection of laundry products over here though so i might have to look harder.

  17. rene says:

    I got the aroma charge one too when I was in Japan! But in some Forest scent I think. Cant recall now. I’m still using it!

  18. Denny says:

    Awesome post! Bookmarking it! I’m new to using the washing machine and taking care of my clothes (my mother is doing that for me usually but now we live separately), I tried doing that and I failed miserably because I don’t know the basics, thank you for putting up this post! :)

    I have a question though, how do you handle clothes that let color? (I’m not sure how to explain it – when you wash them they color the water 8D) Do you wash them with other items or do you hand wash them? I’m a newb when it comes to this xD

    • jenny says:

      You’re talking about color bleeding right? That’s why I separate my items. I actually wash all reds & pinks together separate from other items because red is the most common color to bleed. That’s it. It’s why I mentioned I wash my denim separate in case any indigo ink bleeds. Always wash with “like colors.” :)

  19. Erin says:

    This is such a cool post! Something you never see discussed on blogs :)

  20. tomoko says:

    omg, this was so helpful! i always hand-wash my delicates but now i think i’ll be purchasing that woolite, hehehe

    but it just sucks that my boyfriend is a big environmentalist and when he does the laundry he always throws all the clothes in one load to save water. >_

  21. Miya says:

    really informative post!! I am obsessed with dryel as well!! Saves so much money and so much better for you clothes than taking to the dry cleaners constantly.

  22. Linlin says:

    I swear i love this post way too much. maybe i am also the one doing laundry at home while my partner cooks hehe!

    do you have any other tips in making sheets smell lovelier longer? :)

  23. mikey kun says:

    omg i love reading this post, you have given me so many ideas and tips

  24. MK says:

    Yay, you’ve solved my problems of trying to figure out what products are for what! Living in Japan and not being sure of what products do exactly can get frustrating. Thanks so much for confirming what they’re all for, it’s helped me so much!

  25. tiff says:

    Whoa. Something tells me that you smell good.

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