5 Laundry Mistakes You Didn’t Realize You Were Making

I don’t claim to be a laundry expert, but I think at this point in my life I mostly have the chore figured out… right? Maybe not. The other day I was lamenting that one of my shirts came out of the washing machine with a snag in it, and my mom asked if…

I don’t claim to be a laundry expert, but I think at this point in my life I mostly have the chore figured out… right? Maybe not. The other day I was lamenting that one of my shirts came out of the washing machine with a snag in it, and my mom asked if I left any zippers undone. It turns out you’re supposed to close any zippers before putting clothing in the wash—otherwise, the metal teeth can grab onto other fabrics. Maybe it’s just a common sense thing, but I truly never thought of it.

The whole situation got me thinking: What other laundry mistakes am I making? I reached out to a few experts to ask what laundry mistakes they often see most often, and it turns out there are quite a few things that I didn’t know about.

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The Best Way to Unclog Every Drain in Your Home

There comes a time in everyone’s life when we’re forced to deal with a dreaded drain clog. It could be caused by flushing too much toilet paper, letting hair go down the shower drain or putting grease into your garbage disposal, but regardless of the c…

There comes a time in everyone’s life when we’re forced to deal with a dreaded drain clog. It could be caused by flushing too much toilet paper, letting hair go down the shower drain or putting grease into your garbage disposal, but regardless of the culprit, it’s important to know the best ways to unclog a drain so you can get your plumbing back in working order.

To find the best methods for unclogging different drains—including toilets, sinks and showers—we chatted with a plumbing expert, who shared his do’s and don’ts when it comes to clogs. Here’s what he recommends.

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How to Clean All of Your Most-Used Summer Gear

Summer is prime time for outdoor activities, and if you’re anything like me, chances are you spend every possible weekend hanging by the pool, lounging on the beach, or riding down the bike path with friends and family—after all, New England summers ar…

Summer is prime time for outdoor activities, and if you’re anything like me, chances are you spend every possible weekend hanging by the pool, lounging on the beach, or riding down the bike path with friends and family—after all, New England summers are fleeting, so I have to make the most of the nice weather! There’s no shortage of fun things to do in the summer, but a lot of these seasonal activities require special gear and, in turn, special gear requires special cleaning.

After a long day of fun in the sun, you probably don’t want to think about cleaning. (Personally, it’s never one of my favorite topics to dwell on.) However, it’s important to wash your gear properly if you want it to be in top shape for summers to come. After, lawn chairs, pool toys, coolers and more are all prone to mold, mildew, unsavory odors and deterioration if they’re left dirty. The good news? Most of these items are truly easy to clean—here’s what you’ll want to do to get them looking like new.

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Prime Day’s Best Home Deals Are Still Up for Grabs

You can reliably find some of the year’s biggest discounts during major holidays like Memorial Day or July 4th, but the very best ones—the ones worth refreshing the page every few minutes—are arguably during the holidays created around sales and sales …

You can reliably find some of the year’s biggest discounts during major holidays like Memorial Day or July 4th, but the very best ones—the ones worth refreshing the page every few minutes—are arguably during the holidays created around sales and sales alone. Case in point: Amazon Prime Day. While not the type of holiday where you’d get the day off from work, the retailer’s major annual sale features deals on everything from decor and small kitchen appliances to TVs and luxury beauty.

This year, Amazon Prime Day started on Tuesday, July 12 and runs through Wednesday, July 13 (as in, today!), with up to 79 percent off products from brands like Casper, Christopher Knight, Zinus, and more—and that’s just in the home category. Not to be outdone, though, many brands like Brooklinen and Wayfair are hosting their own sales this week if you’re looking specifically for bedding or like to comparison-shop (we always do).

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The Rise of the Swiffer Empire

It was 1999. On televisions everywhere in America, an exasperated woman appeared to be shaking years’ worth of dust from a fusty, worse-for-wear mop. In the background came a bubbly ’70s voice, intoning catchy lyrics: “This old mop makes me shake; that…

It was 1999. On televisions everywhere in America, an exasperated woman appeared to be shaking years’ worth of dust from a fusty, worse-for-wear mop. In the background came a bubbly ’70s voice, intoning catchy lyrics: “This old mop makes me shake; that old vacuum makes me ache; this old rag draa-aaa-aaags me down.”

And then, a green cardboard box filled the screen, as a smiling woman and her daughter uncased a newfangled cleaning tool. “This box rocks: The radical new Swiffer sweeper. So simple to assemble,” said the narrator. The commercial cut to a dance-y cleaning montage with an equally catchy song about the new tool. And the rest really was history.

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Do You *Really* Need to Sort Your Laundry?

My mother taught me to do laundry when I was an early teenager, and a big part of her lesson was how to sort clothing. To this day, she has a thorough sorting routine—she separates her loads of laundry into whites, colors, underwear, jeans, even my dad…

My mother taught me to do laundry when I was an early teenager, and a big part of her lesson was how to sort clothing. To this day, she has a thorough sorting routine—she separates her loads of laundry into whites, colors, underwear, jeans, even my dad’s work clothing, which tends to get really dirty and merits its own cycle. Towels also get their own load, as do sheets and other bedding.

That was how I was taught to do laundry, and for the past 20 years, that was exactly how I did it every two weeks—or however long it took for me to run out of socks. However, this is the part where I tell you that I really don’t like doing laundry, in large part due to the aforementioned sorting. So when my partner and I moved into our house together and started sharing a laundry basket, he took over the chore, and I happily let him.

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The Best Grass Stain Remover Is Already In Your Pantry

A few years ago on a trip to Block Island, Rhode Island, I went for a walk along a hill in the early evening, looking out over the ocean. The sun was getting lower and the sky was still luminously blue. I bought lemonade and a slice of watermelon from …

A few years ago on a trip to Block Island, Rhode Island, I went for a walk along a hill in the early evening, looking out over the ocean. The sun was getting lower and the sky was still luminously blue. I bought lemonade and a slice of watermelon from a nearby food truck, ate it on the highest part of the hill, then sprawled out on the grass, flat on my back, and blissfully thought, “This is peak summer.” I also thought: “Did I just get a grass stain my white shirt?”

Unfortunately, many of our favorite carefree summer activities are likely to leave us with bright green grass stains on our clothes. In anticipation of many more picnics and lawn games to come before summer’s through, I tested out common DIY solutions to treat grass stains. I tried four pre-treatment methods and compared the results after laundering to a sample that was washed with detergent only.

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An Ode to Pitambari, the Secret Behind My Sparkling Cookware

For as long as I can remember, the cookware in my home has been given a day off every fortnight. A day for rest and pampering—a spa day, if you will. This is how it goes: Copper, steel, and bronze cookware and silverware are heaped on a kitchen counter…

For as long as I can remember, the cookware in my home has been given a day off every fortnight. A day for rest and pampering—a spa day, if you will. This is how it goes: Copper, steel, and bronze cookware and silverware are heaped on a kitchen counter. Then they’re placed, one by one, under a running tap and drenched in cold water. Coconut coir or a kitchen sponge is dipped in a salmon-pink powder that has been sprinkled over the counter and used to scrub each utensil vigorously. The vessels are allowed to rest under their powdery masks for a few minutes, and once washed and dried, their glossiest sheens are revealed.

That pink miracle-worker is called Pitambari, a deep cleanser-polisher that helps return metalware to their original shine. The word ‘pitambari’ is a combination of two Marathi words: ‘pit’ for brass, and ‘tamb’ for copper, but it can be used across a range of metals, including silver, stainless steel, aluminum and iron. For nearly four decades now, its tarnish-attacking properties has found it an abiding place in Indian households; in 2009, it found its way to the United States, making it available in major Indian grocery stores and online marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart.

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Silly Sponges Are Just What Your Kitchen Needs

As a recent college grad who moved back home to New York City, I’ve been to countless apartment warming parties of friends who trickled into the Big Apple after graduation. When thinking (read: overthinking) about the right gift to bring over to their …

As a recent college grad who moved back home to New York City, I've been to countless apartment warming parties of friends who trickled into the Big Apple after graduation. When thinking (read: overthinking) about the right gift to bring over to their cozy (read: tiny) spaces, naturally, I came across the ubiquitous bottle of just-expensive-enough wine, a small houseplant with a questionable life expectancy, or a very-likely-to-become-a-fire-hazard candle. Well, here’s where the silly kitchen sponge comes in—it sounds a little wacky, but just hear me out.

They have all the qualities the aforementioned gifts lack, but with added practicality, personality, near indestructibility, and an undeniable sense of humor. Silly, fun, and irreverent, these sponges are the perfect mix of form and function.

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How to Clean Your Sticky, Icky Hood Filters, According to Babs

Clean Like You Mean It shows you how to tackle the trickiest spots in your home—whether they’re just plain gross or need some elbow grease. You’ll get the cleaning secrets we’ve learned from grandma, a guide to our handiest tools and helpers, and so mu…

Clean Like You Mean It shows you how to tackle the trickiest spots in your home—whether they’re just plain gross or need some elbow grease. You’ll get the cleaning secrets we’ve learned from grandma, a guide to our handiest tools and helpers, and so much more. Pull on those rubber gloves and queue up the tunes: It’s scour hour!


What would we do without Babs, TikTok’s favorite grandmother? Have a dirty range hood, that’s for sure. Barbara Costello, aka Brunch With Babs, aka Nonna, is the queen of cleaning and cooking on TikTok, offering effective, no-fuss tips to her 1.7 million followers. And she was kind enough to walk us through her process for cleaning an often-overlooked area in the kitchen: underneath your range hood.

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