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Laundry Hamper

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Laundry Hamper
A laundry hamper is an essential though most-overlooked item that can make wonders for good housekeeping. Take a look at the types of laundry hampers available.

A laundry hamper is a convenient household item that holds the dirty clothes to be washed and wet clothes to be dried. Every 'smart house', which is organized, needs a laundry hamper. A laundry hamper is one of the simplest, most efficient and least expensive tools that can go a long way in bringing some semblance of order to organization of dirty clothes. Disorganized dirty clothes make for chaos and clutter. Simple organization of dirty clothes in a laundry hamper can help prevent clutter and lost clothes.

Modern laundry hampers

Modern laundry hampers have replaced the traditional laundry basket. Sure, the traditional basket is a handy place to dump the dirty clothes as they accumulate. But the sight of the traditional basket is unsightly. It cuts into your hands and it is very cumbersome to lift and carry the laundry basket especially if it has to be manipulated up and down stairs or around a cramped laundry room.

Modern laundry hampers incorporate more features than traditional hampers. With trendy modern hampers, clothes can also be pre-sorted into whites, permanent press or other specific washing categories. You can separate the lights from darks. Modern laundry hampers are both sturdy and lightweight. They have straps that make for easier handling.

They also come with deep side pockets that make it ideal to carry detergents, bleach or whatever else needs to be carried to the laundry room with the dirty clothes. Even the mesh bag of the laundry hamper is machine washable and can be thrown in with the dirty clothes for a wash. Nowadays laundry hampers come in superior quality, durable and bacterial resistant.

Types of laundry hampers

Laundry hampers come in affordable models, in attractive shapes and sizes. They can be made of woven wood, wicker, plastic or mesh. You can choose from a range of stylish laundry hampers to suit your budget and home. Consider factors such as volume of clothing, in-home or Laundromat usage, portability and durability while selecting a laundry hamper.

Laundry hampers come with single, double or multiple bags depending on the size of the household in which it is used. Laundry hampers can range from $1 for simple utility hampers to about $30 for wheeled hampers depending upon the material, quality and size.

Wicker laundry hamper: This is one of the oldest styles of laundry hamper used; made of a woven wood. Wicker laundry hampers are extremely sturdy and can hold several dirty clothes. But they can also get heavy and cumbersome. The wicker weave provides the ventilation so necessary for dirty clothes as well as the ones removed from the dryer. But there is a possibility of moisture from wet clothing weakening the basket.

Individual strands of wicker can also work loose creating a potential hazard. Wicket laundry hampers are best for in-home laundry rooms, when the wet clothes can be removed quickly.

Plastic laundry hamper: These are very popular nowadays. These hampers are made of molded plastic. They come in round versions. These rounded versions have vertical and horizontal strapping for security and ventilation. The top opening is round in shape to eliminate sharp corners. Such plastic laundry hampers can be found in dollar stores and other deep discount outlets. These plastic laundry hampers are stackable for easier storage. They have generous handholds along the rim for carrying clothes. However the straps may break under stress.

In higher end laundry hamper models made of Rubbermaid or Sterilite, thicker plastic is used with rubberized reinforcement making them more durable and sturdy. Another type of plastic laundry hamper comes in rectangular model. These models can hold an equivalent amount of clothing but the height is noticeably lower than the round models.

This is because, at the time of removal of clothing from a front-loading washer or dryer, the door of the appliance should swing just above the rim of the laundry hamper. This allows the user to place the hamper directly under the dryer door and pull the clothing out all in one shot. Whereas with round hampers, users may have to pull smaller batches out by hand and transfer them to the dryer.

Vinyl laundry hamper: Vinyl laundry hampers have an advantage over plastic hampers and canvas laundry hampers in that they are strong and tear resistant. They are lightweight and simple to clean inside and out. There are replaceable liners and casters for vinyl laundry hampers. Vinyl laundry hampers come with different wheel patterns at the bottom.

In the corner pattern the swivel casters are located in each corner on the bottom of the basket. The cartwheel pattern is best suited, as multi-purpose and works well in many areas specifically small tight areas with need to spin the cart. The cart is best suited for small tight environment that require full control from all swivel casters.

The diamond pattern has larger casters at the mid point of the laundry hamper width and two smaller swivel casters in the center of each end. The best use of this cart is for moving in straight line walking down a hallway pushing the cart. The cart will rock forwards and backwards making it easier to push and travel in a straight line. It is best used for moving distances where very tight corners are not an issue.

Wooden laundry hamper: A laundry hamper made of wood combines functionality with aesthetics. Such laundry hampers usually come in white or mahogany colors. Nowadays popular wainscot panels are attached to the wooden laundry hamper to add a touch of class and elegance. Wooden laundry hampers that are foldable make for convenient storage. They also come with a canvas bag attached for easy removable and moving of laundry.

Wooden laundry hampers are coated with enamel for durability, appearance and ease of cleaning. Solid wooden laundry hampers are extremely portable and can be easily stored away as well. Wheels are attached to wooden laundry hampers for easy mobility and to prevent scratching of the floor.

PVC laundry hamper: PVC laundry hampers are sturdy and durable. These hampers come in single or double layers. A single laundry hamper will work fine for most households. In some households, sorting of dirty linen is done as clothes get soiled. They need double hampers. In healthcare facilities, it is advised to go in for triple or multiple laundry hampers to sort out the dirty clothes and linen. A double or triple laundry hamper will reduce the sorting task at the time of washing.

Special laundry hampers

In fact some clothes hampers are designed to hold dirty clothes until the washday and they can double up as laundry hampers as well. Even a handy cardboard box can be used as a makeshift temporary laundry hamper. Some laundry hampers come with wheels for easy handling and maneuvering.

Some laundry hampers come with cart spring platform lifts, which have springs mounted platform bottoms fitted inside the laundry cart of hamper. As the cart is loaded, with weight the platform travels to the bottom of the cart. At the time of unloading the cart, the platform rises bringing the load to the top of the cart. This eliminates the need for stooping and straining while loading and unloading the laundry hamper.

Laundry hamper models with hands-free operation with a foot pedal have also hit the markets. A mesh outer bag is included with every hamper. The front-flap of the laundry hamper folds down for lateral unloading. Mesh laundry hampers can also be used but they may not offer much stability.

'Pop open' laundry hampers have ingenious four sided mesh bag stretched over a wire frame that folds when not in use. This makes for easy storage. Whenever needed, it pops open to form a rectangle with sufficient depth that holds up to two standard loads of laundry.

Nowadays customers look for laundry hampers that are aesthetic and easily fit into the corner of the room or the closet. Laundry hampers must be practical, elegant and aid good housekeeping, Recently, self-standing mesh laundry hampers have become very popular with people who need to conserve as much living space as possible.

Kids laundry hamper

  • Kids have to be particularly taught to put their dirty clothes into a hamper. Looking around the house for dirty and used clothes that need to be laundered at the last minute is not an easy task.

  • A favorite cartoon character can be attached to a laundry hamper kept in kid's room. A tiger-shaped clothes hamper can be fun and playful way to store laundry. Similarly a round mouse-shaped hamper is also fun. These animal laundry hampers made of cloth are easily foldable and easy to open. They can be easily carted around.

  • Kids are prone to gather up everything in sight and throw it in the hamper. Kids should be encouraged to put the clothes into the hamper only when they get dirty. Otherwise there is a danger of clean clothes mixing up with the dirty ones in the hamper.

Laundry hamper guide

  • Dirty clothes should belong to the hamper if they have to be cleaned. This habit has to be inculcated in kids and in all the other adult members of the household.

  • In some households, there are different laundry hampers that sort the laundry according to the different washing process. Colors cold, colors warm and whites could be a workable division.

  • Dirty clothes can also be pre-sorted into color coded laundry hampers or bins as soon as they are taken off.

  • This saves time is also saved once the clothes are ready for wash since pre sorting is already done.

  • In some families there is a laundry hamper in every room. This way, the members of the family, especially the kids do not have to go to a central location to put in their dirty clothes.

  • Another advantage in this system is that, kids clothes can be washed separately and there is no need to sort them out later. Again, the white clothes from all the hampers can be picked up and sorted together, the colored clothes separately sorted out and so on.

  • Some households opt for a laundry chute instead of a laundry hamper. There is one danger in this. Kids, especially toddlers might decide to try out the laundry chute for themselves instead of dirty clothes.

  • The laundry hamper is synonymous with linen and laundry. It can also be used as a storage space in lieu of boxes and can be a good extension for cabinet spaces.

Laundry hamper tips

In most households, one major problem faced with laundry hampers is the smell that makes it resemble a dumpster. Use baking soda to keep away the odors. Alternatively a good deodorizer, an air freshener or a disinfectant can be sprayed into the laundry hamper each time it is emptied for laundry. The laundry hamper can also be washed out and an air freshener applied.

Keeping up organized laundry is a challenge in any household, big or small. Huge laundry mountains mean wasted time and confusion galore. Dirty linen becomes less of a chore with a laundry hamper. Laundry hampers with labeled dividers make sorting laundry by color a thing of a past. Sturdy handles allow easy portability.

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