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Essentials For Your Laundry/Utility Room

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

One of my favourite things about our new house is the fact we have a utility room. It may be small but let me tell you, it is MIGHTY.

I have it almost almost finished with clever small space clothes drying solutions and enough storage to house all the unattractive domestic appliances as well as open shelving to display prettier bits and bobs (because if you are going to be there for a while sorting through a mountain of damp sheets, why not look at something pleasant?)

What I have also discovered, not only through the comments section on Rock My Style, but from various discussions with friends and the team, are a bunch of items that I didn’t even know I needed. Which now I don’t know how I ever lived without.

Let’s start with Colour Catchers shall we? I think I must have been living under a rock, or just completely oblivious to what is available on the supermarket shelves, but I only realised these existed a few months ago. Years, years of Mabel’s coloured garments becoming all a bit sludgy and greige over time. But now? Now they are shiny and look-like-new. Genius.

My best investment was my Shelia Maid from Amazon, it was sixty quid well spent. It’s hung above the sink from the ceiling so essentially it doesn’t take up any space at all – only what would be otherwise unused. I have the 4 rung version which holds a medium sized wash load, the six rung would hold a large wash load and extra I imagine.

When we extend the utility I’ll definitely be investing in a heated airer, a must for the cooler winter months. Lots of the team have one and say it’s one of their ultimate value investments. I casually eye them up whenever we are in John Lewis or Lakeland in the vain hope James will get the hint. Thus far I have been unsuccessful.

For hold-ups, fancy tights and knickers a delicates bag (or two) is a necessity – I love this set of three from Brabantia. And whilst I was perusing to find the correct link I discovered they also do a specific bra bag.Who knew?!

Adam and Lauren have both been singing the praises of de-ironised water that is specifically for your iron. Call me old-fashioned but really? I thought it was just scented H2O that was an unnecessary luxury. Apparently not. It stops your iron from throwing potentially weird chlorinated splashes on your best dress in favour of non-staining droplets and genuinely makes everything smell like flowers (or indeed whatever fragrance you choose). I’m sold.

Last but not least are Minky soft grip pegs. Not only do they not leave annoying dents on your blouses, but they are rust resistant and never seem to break. Ever.

When we were discussing their gentle yet sturdy attributes on our team chat platform (because you know, it is all the glamour and sequins at Rock My HQ) Lottie misread the thread and thought we were talking about kinky pegs.

Yes. Kinky pegs. I think she had gone all 50 shades of grey, and I don’t mean because she forgot to throw a colour catcher sheet in with her wool cycle.

It’s always the quiet ones.

Do let me know what essentials are missing from my list and I promise to share our finished utility room in the next few weeks!

For more domesticated chat you can have a butchers at our chores feature on Rock My family.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
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17 thoughts on “Essentials For Your Laundry/Utility Room

  1. There’s no greater pleasure in life than fishing out a brightly stained Colour Catcher at the end of a wash. Smug in the knowledge that you’ve saved your garms from running.

    I actually used your soaking trick yesterday Charlotte from the RMF post. E got her ballet dress covered with the chocolate flakes from a babyccino… Of course it’s handwash only, so I needed to pull all the Mum skills out of the bag for that one. (Ultimate first world probs!) x

  2. I am going to try these colour catchers as have to be honest I have never used them & so many people like them. Also for some reason I have never used fabric softener either? No idea why! Perhaps I was never quite sure when to use it. Can def recommend a heated dryer as we only live in a small cottage (read – no storage!) so I find this very handy in winter.

    1. I think I need to start using fabric softener on towels Nicola – I’m always worried it’s not appropriate for sensitive skin x

      1. Charlotte I’ve read that using fabric softener on towels eventually coats them/bungs them up so they don’t absorb as much anymore – worth a google! I’d love to know how to revive old towels, I’ve tried the vinegar and bicarb pinterest trick but it didn’t work!

        1. Bunny, this is totally anecdotal but I started using fabric softener on my tea towels and then noticed that they had become quite a lot less absorbent and weren’t drying things as well as they used to – I googled and read about fabric softener coating them so stopped using it and they’ve gone back to normal!

          1. Oh wow! I’ve stopped using it on loads where I just wash towels but often throw hand towels in with my normal loads. I also just buy whatever liquid tabs are on offer and they sometimes are the 2 in 1 ones – I must keep some washing liquid just for towels.

  3. Well aside from the MINKY pegs I now need to up my laundry game!! I’m not kidding but Edd spent a full 5 minutes perusing the heated airers in Lakeland at the weekend whilst I chased after the girls. He’s adamant we should have one and he’s found a compact one that should fit in the space beside the washing machine in our downstairs loo/teeny laundry room thus meaning I don’t have to have washing drying by the fire every day. I also feel perhaps I now need a sheila’s maid and some of these fancy laundry bags. Off to peruse all the laundry stuff now xx

    1. Lottie- Aldi have got some AMAZING heated airers in (on one of their spot deal things so GET IT WHILE YOU CAN) for £15.99!

      And they are truly fantastic….

  4. Just a word of warning about Colour Catchers,,, be very careful with the cheaper Tesco variety. Whilst they do the same job, they are also thinner and were sucked into the mechanism of our washing machine causing it to break. My husband was not impressed when he had to take apart our washing machine (thank god he’s handy- makes up for his lack of other domestic skills!), and found 2 “sock ons” and a colour catcher wrapped tightly together. I’ve been banned from using them ever since, but might just have to start putting them in a delicates bag (shh- don’t tell the other half! He’s still putting the hoover back together after removing my “vast amounts of hair” from it! Do you sense a theme!?) x

    1. Oh Sara what a polava! But so good your husband is handy….mine isn’t 🙂

      I’ve only ever used a branded colour catcher and never had a problem with them. Putting them in the delicates bag is a good shout though x

  5. Colour Catchers – is my fave washing item! I also second that you should buy branded, I tried waitrose own brand and they leave white fluff everywhere. Another essential washing item I love is, Dr Beckmann pre wash stain devils; Recommendation from my lovely mum, who is the stain removing queen! Whole glass of red wine over a white coat at a wedding, vanished!!

    I cannot wait for my building work to be finished.. so then I can the utility room of dreams 🙂

    1. Lucy, this stain remover sounds like a miracle worker?! Going to buy some immediately – Mabel currently has a few pairs of trousers that I’m about to throw away as I can’t get rid of the grass stains x

  6. I’m on a massive laundry high this afternoon after buying a dress from Matalan for Silvia (they have a new range which is basically last year Boden) reduced due to a stain. The pink Vanish foam spray just slayed it on a 15 minute wash after 5 minutes working. YES! (Send help and Minky pegs, too excited about this to be normal…)

  7. We have a heated dryer and it’s the bomb. You do need to practise a bit with loading and not over load it to get the best results (hang stuff over 2 rails instead of one and make sure trousers are laid out flat). If you do the ‘little and often’ washing routine it’s really great.

  8. Another Colour Catcher fan here – I don’t even bother separating whites any more.
    Gutted to find that those gorge black/copper storage tins in your utility are no longer sold!

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