Your laundry hamper is one of those household items that make life easier and more convenient. Having a place to store dirty clothes until the next wash means no piles on your floor or bed. While it might be strange to think about cleaning your hamper, it can be beneficial for both your clothing and the holder, ensuring everything stays dry, mildew free, and as fresh as worn laundry can get while waiting for a spin cycle. In addition, Sapulpa Laundry notes that keeping your baskets and containers clean can keep away bacteria, even MRSA, which can attach to fabric if left unchecked.
Depending on the material your hamper is made of, there are different cleaning methods that will keep it from getting gross over time. It may seem silly, but wiping these vessels down and removing dirt, bacteria, and even mold will protect your items from detrimental interactions. If you tend to throw wet towels or other pieces into a hamper, chances are a cloth container will start to produce mildew or develop bad odors. Even your wicker model can absorb bacteria or perspiration smells that migrate from clothing, so these can be cleaned, too, to protect against build-up. The following tips will make freshening up your hampers a breeze.
Fabric and plastic hampers
If you own plastic hampers, you have a few different options when it comes to cleaning them. Urban Clotheslines recommends creating a mixture of hot water and soap, preferably dish soap that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals. Then, with a sponge or cloth, rub the mixture around the interior, taking care to scrub stains or dirtier areas. Dry thoroughly with a clean towel or cloth before using.
For fabric hampers, you want to create a solution that will target mold and mildew, as well as remove bacteria and detritus. LaundryWell notes that mixing a cup of peroxide and liquid dish soap (¼ cup worth) in a spray bottle will give you a tincture that can fight detrimental elements that may be clinging to the material. Use a cleaning brush (or an old toothbrush) to work the solution into the problem spots, removing as much of the debris as possible. Wash the mixture off with water before setting it aside to dry.
Some cloth hampers have removable liners, which can either be placed in the washing machine or hand-washed to get rid of dirt. Some of these can be added to a dryer, but always check the labels before attempting to clean them.
Wicker and basket hampers
Many homeowners prefer the look and style of a wicker or basket hamper. These options look clean, tidy, and classy in any room, taking the attention away from their true purpose. If you own a wicker-style hamper or other basket material, Merry Maids recommends cleaning it out once every three weeks at the minimum. You can start by using a clean cloth to wipe down the entire piece, including the inside, where dirty clothes usually reside.
Once you’ve wiped away any excess grime, mix warm water with dish soap to spot clean areas where mildew or mold may have begun to grow. Stopping these spores from spreading is important and will keep your clothing safe from the damaging effects. Instead of using a cloth, opt for a toothbrush or other soft-bristled cleaning supplies to scrub spots that need more attention. To dry out the material, leave it in a sunny room or outside in direct sunlight, which will also help get rid of any remaining bacteria.