At what age can you start teaching kids to do their own laundry? If you children are tall enough (or can safely use a stepstool) and can read, then I believe you can teach them to do laundry. I would say 6-8 years old would be a good age to start.
Because we didn’t have a washer/dryer in our home when my daughter was that age, she didn’t learn until she was 10.
Here are the steps I took to teach my own daughter:
1 – I wrote down on a piece of paper three categories of laundry: darks, lights, and reds. I gave her examples of her own pieces of clothing for each category.
2 – I added the wash/rinse water temperature and set it to COLD/COLD (no worries about reds running)
3 – I added how much detergent to use and took a sharpie marker and indicated the amount on the detergent lid
4 – I taped this chart to the front of the washing machine.
5 – I supervised her doing her wash the first few times until I felt she had the hang of it.
Note: the hardest part is explaining just how many clothes will fit in the washing machine. Since nowadays most machines are free of an agitator in the center, more clothes can fit. Just be sure to explain that the clothes need to create friction amongst themselves in order for the detergent to get the clothes clean…too many clothes means not enough movement or friction.
6 – For drying clothes, I wrote down on a piece of paper the settings and kept it to just one setting (she learned as she got older how to use the different settings).
7 – I added instruction to use one dryer sheet (this was back in the 90s before I switched to non-toxic drying methods)
8 – I taped this piece of paper to the front of the dryer.
9 – I supervised her doing her drying the first few times.
Finally, reward your child for learning this valuable lesson that will help him/her the rest of their lives. Seriously. Imagine them in their 20s and dating and finding out that Joe/Jane doesn’t know how to do laundry and still takes their clothes to their mom’s to get washed/dried? Um, that is not a healthy sign of a potential relationship partner, IMHO.
Enjoy teaching and empowering your children to do their own laundry!