The 10 Best Laundry Hampers
How To Choose A Hamper
The importance of storage capacity not withstanding, the look of your laundry basket may be the deciding factor.
You always have the option to select a hamper that can be quickly collapsed and folded up when not in use.
Many people think of a laundry hamper as nothing more than a spot to toss dirty clothes before the garments go to the washing machine or the laundromat. But if you loathe the idea of dirty clothing strewn about on the floor, chances are that you also don't like the idea of unsightly furniture in your home.
And when you start to see a laundry hamper in those terms -- as furniture -- perhaps your appreciation for this humble unit will change. For indeed a hamper is a piece of furniture, and it's one you will see and use almost every day of your life. Choose your hamper well, and it can not only mitigate the mess in your bedroom, bathroom, or laundry room, but it can in fact accentuate the very decor of your home.
Noting that you can spend anywhere from 50 to 150 dollars on a handsome hamper, first decide the simple capacity you and/or your family need from the unit. You can check a prospective option's dimensions (e.g. height, width, and depth) as compared to load capacity of your washing machine and try to select a unit with a roughly one to one size match, for example.
The importance of storage capacity not withstanding, the look of your laundry basket may be the deciding factor. Many great hampers have a wicker (or faux wicker) exterior that not only looks great but that can also be easily wiped clean. A hamper with wooden slats might accentuate the look of a modern bathroom, while a cloth exterior hamper can match a carpet or wall color.
Next look for features like built in removable laundry bags, which make for easier transport of laundry and which can themselves be cleaned. These bags might limit the storage capacity of the unit, though, and are in fact disliked by some people who find that they make the process of getting laundry out of the bin more laborious.
Of course there is another approach to choosing a laundry hamper, and it's quite the contrast to the aesthetic and style questions with which we have so far been concerned. You always have the option to select a hamper that can be quickly collapsed and folded up when not in use. Many hampers use thin frames that can be quickly folded flat and tucked away under a bed, in a closet, or even in a large drawer.
When living space is limited in a smaller apartment, a dorm room, or when you are spending a few days in a hotel, one of these hampers is a great choice. A hamper takes up space after all, so sometimes the best way to enjoy your living arrangements is by making them adaptable. While most collapsible hampers aren't much to look at, they often cost well under twenty dollars, which certainly helps to compensate for appearances.
Lend Your Hamper A Hand
Even though your hamper is intended to hold dirty clothing, that's no reason not to try and keep the piece as clean as possible. For while the clothing within will soon be laundered and clean again, a hamper itself is seldom washed out. Keeping you hamper clean and odor free can do much to keep the room in which it sits feeling fresher and more welcoming.
And never let your hamper become so full that the clothing inside it is compressed or that the lid can no longer even shut fully.
For starters, just don't let clothing sit in the hamper for too long. Even a garment that was only mildly dirtied can begin to grow pungent if left sitting in the darkness of the hamper for a long period of time. This is especially true if it was damp upon entry. And never let your hamper become so full that the clothing inside it is compressed or that the lid can no longer even shut fully. If this happens frequently, you either need to begin doing laundry more often, you need to upgrade to a larger hamper, or perhaps both.
As for odors, try to stop them from escaping from your hamper by using an odor capturing product that fits right into the unit. A charcoal air purifier bag can do much to capture and neutralize odors right there inside your hamper, and most options are quite affordable. Tuck one at the bottom of the hamper or take the few seconds to always lay it atop the laundry pile for maximum efficacy.
If you know you are going to have a particularly pungent or dirtied batch of laundry coming up, such as may follow a kid's sporting event, a day spent skiing, or after intense yard work, you can always line your hamper with a plastic trash bag. These bags trap odors, moisture, and any dirt or debris that might fall from a garment. In fact, a decent trash bag is a cost effective stand in for a hamper's cloth liner bag should you lose yours, should it rip, or should your hamper never have had one.
The History Of Laundry In America
Examining the way in which laundry is handled can do much to show the student of history the changes through which America has gone in the past two centuries. The story of laundry is one of technological advances and gender role definition.
The story of laundry is one of technological advances and gender role definition.
For thousands of years laundry was cleaned in much the same way in most of the world: it was rinsed and wrung in rivers, lakes, or other sources of freshwater. (Laundry is still cleaned by hand in naturally occurring bodies of water in much of the world.)
In the 17th and 18th Centuries, the public washhouse began to supplant the river or stream in many part of the world, particularly in Europe and the Americas. In a washhouse, naturally occurring freshwater would be diverted or carried to large open pools or else dispensed into buckets or basins. People -- historically women in these eras -- would use their hands, a posser -- a stick often affixed with a perforated copper dome and which was used to "beat" laundry in a tub or basin -- and/or a washboard to scrub away dirt, grime, and stains.
The Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century ushered in the development of new washing machines which soon led to most laundry in America being handled by automatic devices instead of by hand. Over the course of the 20th Century, these machines largely migrated from the laundromat to the home.