Not everything is easily cleaned, so use a Pillowcase Wash Bag as an instant laundry bag to clean those hard to wash household items around the house.
Best DIY Laundry Bag – Pillowcase Wash Bag
As a homemaker, there are a lot of things around the house that can’t be easily washed, so one needs something to help get the job done. That’s where a pillowcase wash bag comes in.
It helps to keep delicate items looking their best, while at the same time giving them a good turn in the wash machine.
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Tips for Using a Pillowcase Wash Bag
As you know, pillowcases vary in sizes and shapes, which makes them perfect for large and small items.
Here are some quick tips to consider when choosing a pillowcase to become a laundry bag:
1. Use cotton or polyester pillowcases. Never use flannel. Flannel will cause pilling on many items, so avoid this if you can.
2. Choose a neutral color like white or beige over a brightly colored pillowcase. This way, if there is any chance of bleeding from either the pillowcase or the item(s) inside, you will limit this.
3. Make sure that there is plenty of room for the item(s) to move. Before using your pillowcase, size up your item(s). Washing requires that an object moves freely back in forth and in a washing machine, this agitation is what helps release the dirt and grime from the surface of your items.
But that being said, a too large pillow case with very small items will cause too much agitation, so tie your bag closer to these smaller items to ensure just the right amount of movement or use a smaller pillowcase.
In the case of an overly stuffed pillowcase, you will find that your items will not wash out as well due to the lack of movement. So you might need to use a larger pillowcase or divide the items into a couple of smaller pillowcases if that is all you have.
4. Tie it off. You can tie off with a piece of laundry cord (white cotton preferred), a white shoelace, a plastic zip tie or just gather the two ends (where the seams are located at the open end of the pillow case) and do an “over-and-under” knot.
If you lack enough fabric to properly tie off in a proper knot, then use one of the other options.
Or, if you are extremely adventurous, you can cut a small hole in the “cuff” of your pillow case and then thread a piece of cording or shoe lace through for better cinching. You can always remove the cording.
5. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions on any item that you want to wash. And, make sure to put your washer on “delicates” and indicate Cold or Warm/Cold water.
6. Air drying is best. You can opt to use a dryer but do so with caution and ensure that it is set on the coolest setting that your dryer will allow. I have always found that air drying “hard to wash” items on a towel works better for me.
What to Put in a Pillow Case Wash Bag
With a little bit of preparation, these 10 everyday items will get spic and span with very little work on your part.
1. Bras and Lingerie
Pillowcase wash bags are perfect for washing bras and lingerie. Not only will it will keep bra closures from attaching to your other fine washables, it will also stop your bras and fine washables and delicates from getting pills.
Be sure to hook your bras closed when putting them into your pillowcase bag. Next set your machine wash on the gentle or delicate cycle and use a gentle detergent like Woolite®. Using too aggressive of cycle or harsh detergent will ruin your items. Air dry for best results.
2. Gym Clothes and Sports Gear
You may have spent more time cleaning out your child’s sports bag more than you care to mention. Needless to say, gym clothes and sports gear like soccer goalie gloves, shin guards, socks, laces, small nylon, washable gym bags, uniforms and jock straps all do well with a good washing.
Just place them in pillowcase wash bag and the grunge and grime (and smell) will be washed away. Use the regular wash cycle, although it is recommended to allow them to air-dry (except for the socks) for best results.
And, be sure to check the bottom of the bag for loose stones and such that you might have missed when first tossing these items into the bag.
3. Kitchen and Bath Area Rugs
Pillowcase bags are an excellent choice when needing wash area rugs. It limits the amount of lint that sheds from the rugs during the wash cycle.
Small rugs work best in standard size pillowcases, but you can also use the king size pillowcases for larger rugs. Use either a Cold or a Warm/Cold wash and normal dry for the dryer.
Washing Tip: Don’t forget to shake out your rugs prior to putting them in your pillowcase wash bag.
4. Tennis Shoes Like Keds®
Not all tennis shoes are washable, but those that are like Keds®, do well with a delicate, cold wash.
One caveat to washing shoes in your pillowcase wash bag is that you can also throw your freshly washed pillows in the dryer along with them. The movement of the shoes will create enough momentum in the dryer to fluff your pillows effectively, while helping them dry quicker.
5. Stuffed Animals
It happens over time: stuffed animals get dirty. Washing them in your pillowcase wash bag will freshen them up, so they’ll be ready for your child’s loving hugs and kisses in no time.
There are just a couple of things to check for before washing: 1) Make sure stuffy can be washed and not just wiped down on the outside. 2) Gentle wash, gentle dry. 3) It is recommended to put only one stuffy per bag.
Even though you can put several in a pillowcase wash bag, it isn’t recommend unless the stuffy has either been washed before or has colorfast fur.
If you don’t know this information, don’t take any chances.
Finally, stuffed animals with leather on them aren’t recommended to be cleaned in a washing machine. Just wipe or clean by hand.
Spa slippers like these Totes Isotoner® slippers get dirty, too. But, they also clean easily in a laundry bag.
Make sure that you close the bag tight and put the washer on the coolest, gentlest cycle when washing. Dry only if manufacturer says it is okay, otherwise dry on an air rack or outside on a warm (Note: not hot) sunny day.
7. Decorated Sweatshirts and T-Shirts
As stated a number of times, your pillowcase wash bag helps minimize pilling and damage to fragile items. A decorated rhinestone sweatshirt or T-shirt is no different. Just place one garment per bag in the wash.
Again, putting it in the most gentle cycle and coldest wash is always recommended, although you should always check the manufacturer’s tag inside the shirt for washing instructions.
One caveat, to washing your shirts this way, is that should any decorations come off, as wont they will do if the hot glue that was used to attach them fails, you will most likely find them on the bottom of your bag.
Check, too, for drying instructions. It’s best to dry your decorated shirt flat on a towel. This will help it keep its shape and limit undue heat damage that would happen if you used a dryer.
8. Dog Rugs and Pillows
Dogs are notorious for dirtying up their dog rugs and beds. Before you put a dog rug or pillow into a pillowcase wash bag, be sure to check the tag on the item you wish to wash to make sure that it is indeed washable.
Also, take the time to shake your doggie item outside to free it from fur prior to washing.
You’ll be glad you did. On the upside, know that by washing it in a pillowcase wash bag, if there is any dog fur left on the rug or pillow, it will be kept in the bag and not in your washing machine or on any of your regular wash.
Most crochet doilies can be washed, but they cannot take a lot of beating. So put them in your pillowcase laundry bag and wash on a gentle cycle. This will limit the stress on the stitching and help keep the doily’s shape.
Just be sure to pull it out of the wash and dry it flat on a towel. Putting it in the dryer will shrink your doily and could also cause it to lose its shape.
10. Shower Curtains
Plastic or cloth shower curtains are perfect for the pillowcase wash bag. In fact, you don’t even have to bother to remove the plastic curtain rings. Put put everything into the bag, close it tight and throw it into the wash.
And, the best part is that there’s no need to dry the shower curtain. Remove it from the wash and rehang. It’s that easy.
Also, set your washer on Cold or Warm/Cold and use regular detergent. This will get all the grime and gunk off the shower curtain, making it look new!
For more great cleaning tips and ideas, be sure to check out Wisconsin Homemaker’s Section on Cleaning, as well as these laundry favorites: