Laundry hacks to save time – 8 methods that cut my laundry time in half

I love these techniques for speeding things up on laundry day and I think you will, too

A laundry room with washer and dryer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Laundry isn’t the worst household chore, but it is one of the most time-consuming.

While I don’t particularly mind doing laundry myself, sometimes at the end of the week I just want to get my chores out of the way so I can have a nice relaxing weekend. As a result, I started trying out some different time-saving laundry tips and routines to reduce how much of my time I spend on it.

I have now perfected my rapid laundry routine and cut my laundry times in half – here is how I do it.

Chiana Dickson
Chiana Dickson

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for six months, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers.

Laundry hacks to save time 

These are the eight best laundry hacks I found to help speed up doing laundry without compromising on clean clothes.  

1. Separating lights and darks in advance with dedicated bins

A grey split laundry hamper in a white tiled bathroom

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Sorting clothes for laundry is, by far, the most time-consuming part of doing laundry and is the biggest obstacle to getting a load of washing on quickly. I certainly used to struggle with this when I first moved out of my parent's home. It used to take me ages to split my clothing into lights, darks, and colors, and then further into pieces that needed fabric softener and those that didn’t. 

That is when I found these three-bag laundry sorters with lift-out bags to make sorting super simple; it also makes taking the bags down to the washing machine more straightforward. Although I still have to separate out clothes that can’t be washed with a conditioner such as my gym clothes, this takes me no time at all (I often just leave them in a small separate pile nearby to prevent myself from forgetting they are in there).

3-Bag Laundry Sorter Cart | Was $42.99, Now $38.88 at Amazon

3-Bag Laundry Sorter Cart | Was $42.99, Now $38.88 at Amazon
I bought a divided laundry hamper when I was a student and, three years later, still swear by it to make laundry easier every week. Not only do the bags help to separate different loads in advance, but they lift out, making it easier to take laundry to the machine in one go.

2. Using an ecoegg to save time on measuring detergent and softener

A woman in a green jumper holding a yellow ecoegg

(Image credit: Alamy)

The ecoegg is, by far, my favorite time-saving laundry hack. I was skeptical that this little plastic egg-shaped ball would do much for my laundry, but it not only helps to wash my laundry quicker, saving me time on measuring out detergent and conditioner (and prevents me from using too much laundry detergent) but it also softens my clothes wonderfully without making them more flammable. Better yet, it is far more eco-friendly than traditional bottles of laundry liquid, making it a win-win for me as I try to be more sustainable at home

The small egg ball holds laundry beads which last for 70 washes before they need to be replaced and tumbles around with my laundry in the drum so that I don't even need to use the drawer which adds time to cleaning a washing machine. The egg simply dries out on my kitchen counter between washes and is ready for the next load of laundry.  

ecoegg Laundry Egg Fresh Linen | $19.99 at Walmart

ecoegg Laundry Egg Fresh Linen | $19.99 at Walmart
This ecoegg has changed how I do my laundry. Useful for around 70 washes and saves me from having to measure out separate fabric conditioner and detergent each and every wash. What’s more, it is better for the environment too. 

2. Using the ‘delay’ function

washing machine with cabinets and sink

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Using the delay function to make laundry quicker doesn't sound logical, I know, but this little set is a life-saver when I just have a few minutes to get chores done. The setting allows me to fully set up a load of laundry (which is super quick with my ecoegg, which is my next laundry hack) and set a delay timer so that the laundry will turn on and be ready in time for me to wake up in the morning so that it can be hung straight out to dry before breakfast, or the washing is done for when I finish the day at work and it isn't left sitting damp in the machine all day.

Be sure to check your machine or manual to see if your washing machine has a delay feature and how to use it to the best effect. It's made my life so much easier.

4. Using mesh bags to keep socks and underwear together

laundry room with cabinets, soap and folded towels and sheets

(Image credit: Future PLC / Emma Lewis)

If you have taken the time to read the laundry labels on your clothing and underwear, then you may have noticed some advice to wash smaller delicates together in a mesh bag to prevent damage. I never used to bother, but now I find that it makes sorting laundry after washing even easier as it holds all the pairs of socks together and stops smaller items from getting balled up inside larger ones.

Day to day, I hang the mesh bags on the edges of the laundry hamper cart and pop any socks and underwear straight in when I take them off. Then, all there is to do is tighten the drawstring and pop them in the machine with everything else. 

Honeycomb Mesh Laundry Bags | Was $11.99, Now $7.99 at Amazon

Honeycomb Mesh Laundry Bags | Was $11.99, Now $7.99 at Amazon
These heavy-duty Honeycomb mesh laundry bags are specially designed to wash delicate clothes, reducing wear and tear in washing machines and dryers.

5. Pretreating stains before they dry

laundry room

(Image credit: Kathleen Walsh/Stephen Karlisch)

Not removing stains is not only a mistake to avoid when washing whites. Any clothing can be plagued with a stain, even darker garments, and bed linens. As a result, I always try to treat a stain when it is still wet, rather than letting it dry and telling myself I will do it later.

Given that most of my stains occur when I am cooking in the kitchen, I keep some stain remover wipes, such as these Tide-To-Go wipes from Walmart, in my cleaning cabinet to make cleaning up marks quick when I am trying to get dinner on the table. Maybe I should start wearing an apron to stop this from happening!

6. Tying up bedding to prevent it from balling up

Luxury bedroom with cotton bedding

(Image credit: Future)

Washing bed sheets should be simple, but they often ball up in the washer, leaving all of your laundry somehow wrapped up inside. It got to a point where my powder laundry detergent was sticking to the clothes inside and not washing away properly – that is when I tried tying my bedding corners up to help prevent it. 

I start by doing up my duvet cover buttons and then tie two opposite corners loosely together in a knot. This helps prevent the bedding from balling up in on itself and clothing from getting lost inside the cover – this can also help to stop the bedding from balling up in a dryer too, if you use one. 

Another tip, which I am yet to try, is adding a clean tennis ball or two into the washing machine to help break up any balling sheets.

7. Leaving the washer door open to help the drum dry between washes

Utility, washmacine and spin dryer

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Leaving a washing machine door open can be a bit bothersome if you have a front-loading washing machine like me, but it is a great tip I learned from my mom to help the drum dry out between washes. Not only does it help to prevent mold growth but stops musty odors from developing which can permeate your clothes and make you wash them more often, taking up more time. 

If a bad odor has already developed. Then you can try cleaning a washing machine with vinegar before leaving the door open to help deodorize and refresh your washing machine's drum.  

8. Using a dehumidifier to help air dry clothes

Dehumidifier in a room

(Image credit: GettyImages)

I recently tried a heated airer instead of using a tumble dryer and now I don't dry my clothes any other way. Not only does it help me to save money at home, but it also helps to dry clothes quickly

It might seem counterintuitive to spend time hanging clothes to dry as opposed to putting them all into a tumble dryer, but laying clothes out to dry above my dehumidifier means that warm air from the room is pulled into the machine and then warm dry air is dispersed onto my clothing, helping them to dry out quickly while also preserving their fresh linen scent – making the house smell nice too. 

This method prevents creases and wrinkles, meaning that I do not need to do much if any, ironing depending on the laundry load, and they are super easy to take off the rack and file fold on my dining table, before putting them into the laundry hamper and taking them back to my bedroom. The whole process is super seamless.  


What is the most energy-efficient way to do laundry?

One of the most energy-efficient ways to do laundry is to wash your clothes and linens at a lower temperature. Many detergents, especially biological detergents, actually work more efficiently in cooler water while also saving you money. 

Is 30 minutes enough time to wash clothes?

If your washing machine has a quick wash setting, then 30 minutes is enough time to wash your clothes thoroughly without compromising on cleanliness or hygiene. Longer wash cycles may be a better option for certain garments and textiles that require a delicate wash, but short, fast eco washes are perfect for getting your laundry done efficiently in terms of both time and money.  

I wouldn’t do my laundry any other way, even when I am in a rush. These eight laundry hacks to save time have made this previously tedious chore into a far more relaxing, almost meditative activity, for me each week. 

Will you be giving any of them a go? 

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.