With aisles full of specially formulated cleaners, it sometimes seems like there’s a whole industry working overtime to convince us that laundry is this complicated affair. But we know the truth, don’t we? We don’t need bottles of chemicals; we just need the tips and tricks shared among friends! In that spirit, here are 4 laundry hacks from All You that will help you save time and money by making use of some common household items. Here’s how to:

  1. Keep your whites bright
    White ShirtsOne Good Thing By Jillee

    Avoid the headache of maintaining whites with literal headache medicine: aspirin! Adding just one to your laundry load can help keep them bright. A cup of baking soda is also helpful, both for whites and colors. Which brings us to our next tip . . .
  2. Prevent colors from fading
    Color ShirtsJoel Penner via Flickr

    Colored clothing is in as much danger of fading as white. Keep those colors vibrant with a cup of table salt added to each load.
  3. Get fluffier and faster dry clothes
    Tennis BallsAtomic Taco

    The secret here: tennis balls. Yes, tennis balls! Adding them to your dryer helps distribute down and increase airflow, thus speeding up your drying time and increasing the fluffiness of items like bedding.
  4. Get out those tough stains
    Stained ShirtComZeal via Dollar Photo Club

    This part is always the hardest, isn’t it? For tough stains, turn to unexpected pretreatments before throwing stained clothing into the regular laundry. For grease stains, try white chalk and/or baby powder; for ink, use hairspray and/or hand sanitizer, and let it set for 10 minutes.

I’m definitely going to be implementing all of these tips. Which one do you think you’ll try first? If you want even more tips, be sure to check out the list at All You for tricks for things like cleaning your washing machine and giving your detergent an extra boost!