How to Teach Kids to Do Laundry
It’s never too early to teach kids to do laundry. The sooner children turn doing their laundry a habit, the better it is for everyone. Not only are you providing your children with valuable life skills, but your children will also become more independent and responsible. And okay, we’ll say it: when your kiddo can handle the laundry on their own, it’s one less chore for you to do. That’s a win-win in our book.
If you struggle with getting your kids to help with the laundry, we have some tricks for you below.
Collecting and sorting clothes
Here’s an easy way to get your child (or children) used to doing laundry: have them collect their dirty clothes in a hamper. They can store the basket in their room or the laundry room. They can have one large hamper or a hamper with divided sections for different clothes, which helps with sorting. The specifics are up to you! But the important thing is to have your child take charge of their clothes.
Depending on how old your child is, you may need to remind him more than once how to sort their dirty clothes for the wash. This is a perfect time to explain why you wash clothing separately, too. Whites are washed in hot water separately, so they stay bright and white longer. Colors are washed in cold water separately, so the dye doesn’t bleed onto lighter clothing. Plus, hot or warm water can cause the colors to fade more quickly.
As your children sort their clothes, remind them to:
- Check the pockets for any forgotten items (especially gum)!
- Zip up zippers and button-up buttons.
- Set aside any clothing with stains so they can be pre-treated with a product like Charlie’s Pre-Spray.
Make sure they also know that some pieces of clothing, like jackets, dresses, or school uniforms, may need to be washed differently, so always check the tag for washing requirements. New clothes should also be washed first before wearing.
Once their clothes are sorted, it’s time to start washing and drying.
Teaching kids to use the washing machine
Next up, show your kids how to use the washer and dryer. Show them where to add the laundry detergent in the washer and where the lint trap is in the dryer. Older children might be ready to learn what each setting means and which ones you use most often.
Now, have your kiddo load the washer with their pre-sorted clothes. Let them add each piece of clothing one by one for even distribution in the washing machine. Show them how to measure out the laundry detergent. If you’re using natural laundry detergent, perfect for families and those with sensitive skin, you may not need to use as much as you would with regular soap. Always read the directions for use.
Explain how laundry detergent cleans clothes
Your child might ask you, “How does laundry detergent work?” If they’re old enough to appreciate the more scientific explanation, learn about the science behind Charlie’s Soap here. The most basic answer is that detergents loosen and lift dirt, grease, grime, and buildup from fabrics so water can wash them away. That’s why the laundry detergent you choose is so important in getting your clothes clean! You can also explain the importance of using the right amount of laundry detergent — too much, and you may have build-up on your clothes. Too little and you may not have clean clothes even after washing!
You may also want to explain to your child that you’re using a kid-friendly laundry soap, one that doesn’t use fragrances or softeners that could irritate their skin. As a bonus, you might explain how detergents like Charlie’s Soap Natural Laundry Liquid help the environment while also cleaning their clothes. Even younger children understand the importance of saving water and preventing waste!
Putting clothes away
When moving clothing from the washer to the dryer, remember to take out any items that should be air-dried, like activewear or sweaters. Show them how to add dryer sheets or eco-friendly wool dryer balls to prevent static. Teach your kids to remove their clothing from the dryer promptly to prevent clothes from wrinkling.
For many, the hardest part of doing laundry is putting them away. Make sure you show them how to fold and hang clothes properly to build good habits! And yes, this may mean you have to put your clean laundry away, too.
Sorting, folding, and putting away can even help children build skills like matching, hand-eye coordination, and organization. Younger children can match their socks or set aside their pajamas, while older children may be ready to learn how to fold t-shirts, or how to hang up items like pants, skirts, and school uniforms.
Make Doing Laundry Fun
Teach kids to do laundry by making it fun. Remember that learning a new skill takes practice – the process may be frustrating for your child. Turn laundry time into bonding time by playing music, asking about your child’s day, turning the process into a game, and giving plenty of positive feedback.
Need to stock up on laundry products for the family? Charlie’s Soap has everything you need to teach your child how to do laundry. From natural laundry liquid detergent to pre-spray stain remover to non-chlorine bleach, we have all your eco-friendly laundry needs. Browse through Charlie’s Soap products today!