13 Things Every Laundry Room Should Have, According to a Cleaning Expert
Household cleaning pro Patric Richardson shares his list of laundry room must-haves.
Patric Richardson, dubbed the Laundry Evangelist, is an expert on getting out everything from red wine to rust using household staples. Patric has even restored items like wedding dresses, baby blankets and stuffed animals back to mint condition. How does he work his magic? It's all in a few household essentials that Patric recommends every laundry room have. Shop Patric's top product recommendations in the links below.
Patric's exclusive Laundry Soap Flakes are inspired by the recipe of a New Zealand woolier. They're safe for the environment and your clothes. Plus, they're strong enough to use on your athletic attire but gentle enough to use on cashmere sweaters. Simply put one tablespoon directly into the drum of your washer in warm water. Each one-pound bag is enough for 80 loads!
The Laundress' Wash and Stain Bar is ideal for spot-treating and was designed to clean hard-to-reach stains. It's made of vegetable soap, borax, essential oils and fragrance. Patric loves this product for spot-treating clothing and upholstery, hand laundering and washing on the go. (It's cruelty-free and airplane safe!)
The Laundry Evangelist Oxygen Bleach is one of Patric’s favorite items. From food stains to oxidation, this product does it all. Free of harsh chemical smells, this powerful alternative to chlorine bleach safely removes dirt, stains and odors. Add to the wash cycle to whiten and brighten clothes.
Patric loves this horsehair brush. Larger than the rest of his Laundry Evangelist horsehair brushes, it's great at removing tough stains. "Horsehair gets soft when it's wet, so it's safe to use on any fabric and won't wreck the fabric," Patric says.
Household solutions make great stain removers. Grab three reusable glass bottles and fill them with vinegar and water, vodka and rubbing alcohol so you're prepared for your next stain emergency. "Vinegar is your all-purpose stain spray for before laundering. Vodka can be sprayed on anything to remove odor ... it's great on shoes, coats, yoga mats, sports equipment, anything you don't want to launder but has an odor," Patric says. "Rubbing alcohol is a stain remover when you don't have time to wash; just put a towel behind the spot and spray, and usually the stain will come out and you can re-wear."
"You will use these to back your stains so that when you spot-treat, the stain won't run through the garment," Patric says. "Plus, as an added bonus, generally they absorb your stain remover and work from the bottom while you are working from the top."
This non-toxic ink and stain remover works on the toughest stains, from inks and permanent markers to wine, grass, blood, grease, coffee, baby formula and more. It's perfect for spot-treating those uh-oh moments. "This is the only thing I have ever found that will remove Sharpie," Patric says.
Made from 100-percent New Zealand wool, these dryer balls are a chemical-free alternative to using dryer sheets. Plus, they speed up your drying time and have a natural anti-static quality that will help reduce the need to iron your clothes. "You can add a few drops of essential oil if you want a fragrance in your laundry," Patric says. "I love bergamot."
One of Patric's top tips? Use aluminum foil! "Use a one-yard piece of foil to make a ball about the size of a tennis ball for the dryer," Patric says. "It will attract static better than anything you have ever used, and when it gets the size of a walnut (after 30 to 60 uses), recycle and start over."
Patric recommends a wooden accordion-style drying rack when air-drying clothes after washing. A wide top tier allows you to air-dry sweaters flat so they retain their shape, and each dowel is coated to prevent mildew and warping and to protect clothes. "The less you put your clothes in the dryer, the longer they will last," Patric says.
A pressing cloth protects your clothing from scorch and shine marks. It also protects your iron plate from zippers and snaps. "Dip your pressing cloth in water, wring it out and place over the piece you are ironing. When the hot iron touches the cloth, it creates steam to give you that pro finish without leaving a mark," Patric says.
Give your clothes a professional iron and steam with the LauraStar Lift Plus. You can easily iron on a traditional board or steam fabrics directly on the hanger. Plus, it purifies fabrics with LauraStar Dry Microfine Steam that eliminates dust mites, bacteria and fungi that are resistant to being washed in lower temperature cycles.