Learn to Love Laundry With Patric Richardson, aka 'The Laundry Guy'
Patric shares how laundry can be both fun and emotional. In fact, he says it's one of his love languages.
If you loathe doing laundry, the idea of watching a show completely dedicated to it might seem like the last priority on your list. However, as soon as you hear Patric Richardson’s friendly Southern drawl and watch him work his stain-removing magic, you’ll likely change your mind.
Not familiar with Patric? The Kentucky native is often referred to as “The Laundry Guy''—hence the name of his new discovery+ show. Before becoming a television host, Patric hosted a series of sold-out, nationally recognized laundry camps (which are actually responsible for getting him on a discovery+ producer’s radar) and wrote a book with Laundry Love: Finding Joy in a Common Chore. Though, that was all within the past five years. Patric’s love of laundry started well beforehand.
“When I was about 2-1/2 years old, I would hand clothespins to my Granny when she would put clothes on the clothesline, so I loved laundry then,” he tells HGTV, sharing that he also had an uncle who would hold him up to watch the washing machine work. Patric says that shortly after, Santa brought him a washing machine for Christmas.
Of course, in the decades sense, his love of washing and revitalizing clothes has only grown.
“If I had ever questioned what my life’s purpose was when it comes to laundry, I’ll never again do that because in the show, there’s a woman who has a dress that her mother made—it was a party dress and she made it so that she could wear it to get married in but could continue to wear it,” he recalls to HGTV, while trying not to choke up in the process.
“Her mother died when she was 6. So this dress was stained—first of all, you have to know that this woman’s workmanship was next level; couture level—and it was stained all down the front. And she said, ‘I don’t think you’re going to get it clean but I think you might get it better. I just want to know that I can preserve it.’ She was so earnest. She didn’t believe I was going to get it clean. I knew I was going to, but she didn’t believe it. And getting to reveal that to her is one of the top 10 experiences of my life. I just wanted it so bad, because how basic is that request: wanting to be able to remember your mother. I mean, I already loved laundry, but getting to do that was … that will go down as one of the highlights of my life.”
While Patric admitted that remembering her story always makes him tear up, he also pointed out that the show itself will likely make viewers do the same.
“You’ll tear up often,” he warns. “And that’s great. It goes with my whole philosophy that you do laundry for people you love and it shows the love between an object and the care, and I love that. I always say, one of the love languages is service ... And I always say, laundry is my love language.”
As for all the non-laundry-loving folks out there, know that the reason you likely aren’t a fan is because you don’t yet have a firm grip on the ropes of making it a fun process. While Patric’s laundry camps help to address that, it’s on a current hiatus thanks to the pandemic.
“With camp, you learn everything you need to know about your laundry,” he says. “You’re going to learn how to sort it, how to wash it, how to dry it, how to put it away, and the stain removal. And stain removal always goes at the end because it’s what everybody wants, otherwise they’d just leave.”
Thankfully, Patric is here to help. Below, discover five tips for laundry novices. Who knows, with these in your arsenal, you might just become a fan of the chore you once despised.
The Laundry Guy’s Top Five Laundry Tips of All Time
Use less detergent.
“Everybody uses too much soap or too much detergent,” Patric says. "Your clothes will actually get cleaner because it will completely rinse out. If something doesn’t completely rinse out, then it’s holding the detergent in the water but with that it’s holding on the dirt from the washing machine because it’s all trapped in there together. So cut back on how much you use and your clothes will be cleaner.”
(As for laundry pods, Patric says to steer clear. “There’s enough detergent in one pod to do five loads of laundry,” he shakes his head.)
Use warm water and the express cycle.
"You don’t need longer than the express cycle–you just don’t. So, beef up the temperature and go to the shorter cycle—it’s so much better for your clothes. They’ll last so much longer and they’ll get really clean—especially once you start using less soap.”
Gather up your kit.
Whatever you’ll need for your stain removal, have it on hand. “I love horsehair brushes, I think you can’t live without them,” Patric says. “You know, a spray bottle of vinegar and water [which helps to lift stains], a spray bottle of vodka [which helps to lift lingering odors], and a bar of laundry soap. Gather up your kit and keep your kit together because then whenever you go to do your stain removal—because you do your stain removal right before putting it in the washing machine—if you have your little kit together, it’s super easy and super fast.”
Don’t be afraid of bleach.
Have you ever gotten a really bad stain on something that’s not pure white? Good news: You can still use bleach. According to Patric, it all comes down to oxygen vs. chlorine bleach. That’s because, unlike chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach is color-safe. What’s more, it works wonders on stubborn yellow stains—including underarm tints, which are caused by oxidation.
“Oxidation is like rust but for clothes,” Patric explains. “All you have to do is get oxygen bleach … and it comes right out. It’s the easiest thing in the world. And, fun side note: Oxygen bleach is great for little doggie accidents. It’s better than any [odor and stain remover.] Get rid of those and get oxygen bleach. It will remove color, it will remove odor. Just add about 3 tablespoons to the washing machine and it will … take it right out.”
Wear everything you own.
“This is my biggest tip of all,” Patric says. “Be confident that you can wash it and take care of it, so you don’t need to be afraid to wear it. I don’t believe that you should have that dress that you only wear once a year or your tuxedo that you only wear when a wedding comes. Wear your clothes because you can wash them. And once you develop this confidence that you can wash your clothes, wear everything because it’s so much more fun.”
To watch The Laundry Guy in action, head over to discovery+ to stream the series.