In last week’s Hacker Challenge, we asked you to share your best laundry hack. We received some great entries, but the winning hack shows us how to create a custom template to get through your ironing faster.
Check out the description of the winning entry below and read about some of our other favorite entries.
Winner: Iron More Shirts in Less Time
John hates ironing. He figured one reason for this was that the shape of the typical ironing board really isn’t made to fit anything well. Since his dress shirts demand the bulk of his ironing attention, John decided to create an ironing board to fit those shirts. He began by making a cardboard template of his extra-large shirts, tweaking the template until it fit perfectly. He then cut a piece of particle board to match the template, upholstered it with cotton batting and material used for ironing board covers, and screwed it into his standard ironing board. Since his shirts fit perfectly, he gets through them much more quickly. If you’re interested, be sure to check out his instructable.
We got a lot of great entries and we’d be remiss if we didn’t share some of our favorites. Here are some of the entries that really impressed us.
Organize Washing in a Large Household
lyo shares a single washer and dryer with a household of seven. He noticed that one big reason laundry got piled up was that if someone found clothes in the washer that hadn’t been dried yet, they weren’t sure what to do with them. To speed along the process, he put up a laundry whiteboard. People can set requested dryer settings by placing magnets on pre-labeled spots, write in special requests (such as what items need to be hung to dry), and note where clothes should go when dry. Now, when members of the household come to wash a load of clothes, they can at least move the process along.
Monitor Your Washing Machine Through its Movement
Viktor’s new washing machine worked well enough, but for whatever reason didn’t come with the simple feature of beeping when the load was finished. He probably could have just used a simple kitchen timer, but Viktor wanted to do something a little more creative. So, he built a device that monitors the movement of his washer while it’s running and beeps when it’s done. Check out the technical details on his blog.
Have Your Washer Notify You When a Load is Done
Like most of us, David always forgets to empty the washer when it’s done. Unlike most of us, David decided to do something about the problem. He set up an Arduino to use a photodiode so that it can read the status LED on the washer and report the result. The Ethernet Arduino is connected to the home network using a simple WiFi bridge. His central home automation computer communicates with the Arduino via Telnet. When it detects that the washer is done, it uses text-to-speech to read a message letting David know it’s time to check the laundry.
A big thanks to everyone who took the time to send us entries! Be sure to check back every week for a new challenge.
Image by Rafael Chacon Photography (flickr).