IT doesn't matter how many loads of washing you do a day, it often feels like the dirty laundry pile is an endless, bottomless pit.
And sadly it's a problem that only increases when the kids go back to school.
But the worst part is having to iron everything after – and the pressure to send the kids to school looking smart means many parents feel they have to spend hours painstakingly removing every last crease.
Here, laundry expert and CEO of Laundryheap Deyan Dimitrov shares his top tips to keeping the kids looking smart and crease-free – without needing to get the iron out…
Ice, ice baby
While an iron requires heat and effort to get creases out of our clothes, you can actually get them out with zero effort and a couple of ice cubes.
Deyan says: "Ice cubes are the perfect solution to prevent creases in clothes.
"Place a few into your tumble dryer with your children’s school uniform.
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"Run a standard cycle and your garments should emerge in pristine condition."
If you don't have a dryer, don't sweat – use steam instead.
Deyan says: "Make use of a humid room in your home – search for a boiler room, airing cupboard or a recently used shower.
"Hang your school uniform in the room until the creases drop considerably, if not completely.
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"This can take between 30 minutes to several hours."
Get some fresh air
How you hang your clothes to dry will also determine how wrinkly they are, and while it's tempting to just throw everything on a clothes horse – don't.
Deyan says: "Shake out school uniforms after a quick wash and peg them on a washing line outside for several hours.
"If you hang garments from their seams, gravity should work out any creases – they’ll also end up smelling crisp, fresh and clean.
A word of warning though – just be careful the pegs don't leave marks in the clothes.
It's also really helpful to only fold garments once – as refolding will only continue to add creases.
Deyan says: "Avoid refolding school uniforms as you transport them from the dryer to your drawers.
"Folding your laundry just once before use will minimise multiple folding creases, helping to keep as much of your clothing as crinkle-free as possible.
"It can also help to do this immediately after they’ve dried, which will prevent them from wrinkling as they sit in the dryer or on the side, before storage."
How you fold garments is also key, and actually it turns out rolling instead of folding can helps.
Deyan says: "This is also an easy technique to master – it saves space and reduces the amount of creases in uniforms.
"However, make sure to check that the garment doesn’t have any wrinkles before rolling – if it does, you’ll make their creases more pronounced!
"Find a flat surface and lay the item face up, fold the bottom section upwards by three inches.
"Next, start to fold it into thirds, taking the left and right side and folding them into the centre.
"Then, fold the sleeves back on themselves to reduce the original width by a third.
"Lastly, start at the collar and roll the item up with a moderate tension – you’ll end up with a perfectly rolled item that’s resistant to wrinkling."
Uniform is made to be robust, but given how much they're worn – and washed – they can start to show signs of wear.
Deyan says: "As your child wears their uniform day in, day out, their jumper and tights might soon become bobbly.
"You can ensure the longevity of their uniform by running a dry razor over the areas in question.
"Repeat until the fabric is smooth and soft, disposing of any bobbles in the bin."
Time for a refresh
If your child hasn't had a growth spurt and you haven't had to buy a whole new uniform for the start of term (lucky you), the old one may need a little freshening up.
Deyan says: "After a summer of storage, your child’s uniform might be a tad musty.
"Don’t worry, this is easily remedied by putting them out on the washing line during a gusty spell.
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"The sun will kill any bacteria and eliminate odours.
"If the weather has taken a turn for the worse, a tumbler dryer can be used on a mixed setting to the same effect."
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