The Mighty Logo

16 Products That Can Make It Easier to Do Laundry With Chronic Illness

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Editor's Note

We hope the products below, all recommended by our Mighty community members, help you or a loved one in your health journeys. Just so you know, The Mighty may collect a share of sales from the Amazon links on this page. Prices and product availability are accurate as of publication.

Between sorting, carrying heavy loads, bending over repeatedly, making trips to and from the washer/dryer, hanging, folding and putting clothes away… doing laundry can be quite time- and energy-consuming for even the healthiest of people. But for those struggling with chronic illness, doing a few loads of laundry can feel next to impossible some days.

We wanted to know what tricks people use to make laundry a bit more doable, even on difficult flare days, so we asked our Mighty community to share which products they use to make doing laundry with chronic illness a bit easier. But remember: even if you’re not feeling up to doing laundry at all, that’s OK. You are a warrior, regardless of whether your closet is full of clean or “slightly used” clothes.

Here are our community’s recommendations.

1. Tide Pods

tide pods

Large bottles of detergent can be heavy and cumbersome. A pod is much smaller and easier to handle.

Tide pods! I know, I know, haha. But when you have to go downstairs to do laundry and you walk with a cane, only taking one pod (instead of a heavy bottle or box) helps,” said Cherry Teresa.

Kathy Ann added, “I use the pods. It is so much easier than lifting the detergent and pouring. I can just grab a pod and toss it in!”

Buy the pods above (81-ct.) for $16.97 from Amazon.

2. Laundry Backpack

laundry backpack

If you experience pain or weakness in your arms or hands, or use a hands-on mobility device such as crutches or a cane, a laundry backpack allows you to carry large loads of laundry hands-free.

Kelliann Gomez told us, “I have a laundry bag backpack that is awesome for carrying laundry while on crutches.”

Buy the backpack above for $11.99 from Amazon.

3. Foldable Drying Rack

foldable drying rack

This drying rack makes it super easy to hang up clothes to dry. Try keeping one (or several) near your washing machine (if you have one at home) so you can hang up clothes straight out of the washer – no transporting or heavy lifting required.

“I dry my clothes on a folding clothes line inside [my] home so I don’t have to stay in weird positions or raise [my] arms,” said Nieves Diricawl.

Melissa Annemaire wrote, “[I use] clothes horses to make the walk to the line shorter. In my last place my kitchen was full of clothes horses.”

Buy the drying rack above for $17.99 from Amazon.

4. Grabber Tool

grabber tool

Bending over to pick up laundry out of your basket or the washer/dryer can quickly get painful and exhausting. A grabber tool allows you to reach items that are far away or on the ground without having to strain yourself.

Josie Vigil said, “I have a ‘grabber’ to pick up laundry so I don’t have to keep bending over.”

Buy the grabber above for $15.99 from Amazon.

5. Laundry Sorter Cart

rolling laundry sorter cart with three sections

This cart not only makes sorting way easier by allowing you to sort as you go, but the rolling feature means you can push it across the floor with minimal effort rather than carrying a heavy basket.

Danielle Dunne told us, “I have a rolling laundry sorter cart which helps in two ways: First, it eliminates the need to sort which was always a hurdle for me (my cart has three large bags/sections but you can get sorters (non-moving hamper sorters or rolling cart sorters) with two to five sections). I just assign a load type to each bag and put dirty items in the appropriate bag as I go. Second, wheeling it around is much preferred to laundry baskets. It has made such a difference! I’m lax about folding and putting away, and I literally can’t remember the last time I ironed, but my life is all about doing the bare minimum now. Note: if you’re going to get a rolling laundry cart of any kind, it’s 100 percent worth the money to get a quality/sturdy one… go with metal over plastic, and make sure it’s sturdy.”

Buy the laundry cart above for $43.87 from Amazon.

6. Sock Locks

multi-colored sock locks

If finding matching pairs of socks is a struggle, or if you’re prone to losing a single sock in the wash, these sock clips keep all your socks together in pairs while you’re doing the laundry. No more hunting down a matching sock!

Annette Yrs wrote, “[My] dad’s laundry hack: sock keepers – it was a clip like device that he would put on his socks when he took them off. The pair of socks would stay together throughout the laundry cycle. Works best on thin, dress socks.”

Buy the sock locks above (60-ct.) for $21.99 from Amazon.

7. White and Black Laundry Baskets

separated lights and darks laundry hamper

If you like to sort laundry as you go, a white basket and a black/colored basket (or a clearly defined, partitioned basket like the one featured above) can help remind you what goes where.

Gayle Colcone wrote, “Training my husband to sort his own laundry as he takes it off has helped. I have a white basket for whites and a colored basket for darks.”

Buy the laundry hamper above for $23.99 from Amazon.

8. Short Chair or Stool

rolling stool

Whether it’s tiring to stand for too long or you have to bend down frequently to reach into your basket or washer/dryer, a short chair or stool lets you sit while tending to your laundry so you can relieve pain and minimize exertion.

“I sit on a chair when loading and unloading and I sit to hang up the items that are going on the bottom rings of the clothes horse,” wrote Louise Lamond.

Get a step stool to sit on while folding it out of the dryer into a basket,” suggested Camara Bruton.

Buy the stool above for $43.99 from Amazon.

9. Wrinkle Releaser Spray

downy wrinkle release spray

To save time and energy on ironing, try spritzing a bit of wrinkle releaser spray on your clothes. It removes light wrinkles while also eliminating odors, refreshing fabric and removing static.

“No more ironing!” said Sara Lewis Johnson. “I use wrinkle releaser sprays for items that need to look crisp, and they work beautifully!”

Buy the spray above for $6.97 from Walmart.

10. SmartKlean Laundry Balls

smartklean laundry ball

This non-detergent laundry ball contains four types of mineral-derived ceramic beads and two magnets that each perform different cleaning functions. It cleans through a physical process rather than a chemical process to be gentler on your clothes as well as your body.

Tamara Webster told us, “I have used these amazing balls [featured above] for the past five years. No detergent (except on very dirty clothes/towels every few months) so it doesn’t upset my skin, no heavy bottles to lift and has saved tons of money (I bought two balls five years ago and they are not even half used up).”

Buy the laundry ball above for $45 from SmartKlean.

11. Laundry Cart

laundry cart on wheels

A laundry cart not only allows you to easily push it around rather than carrying a heavy basket, but the basket itself is elevated so you don’t have to bend over as much to pick up articles of clothing.

Jennifer Hoover Meyer said, “My husband bought me this laundry cart like they use in laundromats so I don’t have to carry laundry through the house.”

A laundry basket trolley!” added Melissa Annemaire. “Saves me carrying the basket and also bending while hanging the clothes.”

Buy the cart above for $118.29 from Amazon.

12. Hangers

blue velvet hangers

Hanging clothing generally requires much less time and energy than folding. Plus, if you hang up clothes as soon as they’re done in the dryer it can help avoid wrinkles, so you save even more time and energy by not having to iron.

Annie Moroney suggested, “Bring hangers with and hang items as soon as they are out of the dryer. So much easier than folding, then hanging. At least, saves me a step, and doesn’t waste spoons.”

Buy the hangers above (30-pc.) for $16.99 from Amazon.

13. Reusable Shopping Totes

black reusable shopping tote

Carrying your laundry in a lightweight, reusable grocery tote bag or two may be easier to handle than using a larger basket.

Josephine De Bongshire recommended, “Chuck away the hamper or basket and use a big Aldi bag instead. Easier to move around, less bending, wastes less space. If you’ve a couple of them you can sort as you go. Lights and darks, etc. The full bag is enough to fill my washer perfectly.” 

Buy the reusable totes above (5-pc.) for $21.95 from Amazon.

14. Laundry Sanitizer

lysol laundry sanitizer

This laundry sanitizer is bleach-free and kills up to 99.9 percent of bacteria to help you avoid getting sick.

Tierra M. Nauman wrote, “I use a laundry sanitizer to help keep bacteria at bay.”

Buy the sanitizer above for $8.47 from Amazon.

15. Portable Clothesline

portable elastic clothesline

A portable clothesline can easily be hung up anywhere, indoors or outdoors, allowing you to hang up items to dry.

Michelle A. Cummings told us, “The portable standing clotheslines make it easier for underwear and socks.”

Buy the clothesline above for $8.69 from Amazon.

16. Scent-Free Detergent

vaska scent-free laundry detergent

The laundry detergent featured above is scent-free and hypoallergenic, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin or senses.

Ryann Michelle Reece said, “[I] use scent-free detergent because the smelly kind triggers migraines.”

Buy the detergent above for $16.70 from Amazon.

Originally published: March 23, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home