Why Men Really Love Doing Laundry

… also known as a 5 step guide to get your husband to do laundry.

Men around the globe have a confession to make – we love to do the laundry. Yes, it’s true! In particular, there is one person at home who looks for things that “might be dirty” to put in the washing machine. He heat-seeks clean clothes to fold and irons dress shirts like it’s going out of style.

The times that Dad is intently focused on onesies and v-neck t-shirts may seem random to you, but there is a method to the madness. The madness is internally well timed and likely includes a benevolent line like “No baby it’s ok, you can make dinner – just leave the clothes to me. “

Dad’s also have a private confession to make, you just won’t ever hear it aloud as it would ruin the secret. The confession would go something like this: “When I tell you I love to do laundry, it’s actually Dad-speak for leave me alone let me drink beer and watch football.”

Ok well it’s not always football – sometimes it’s soccer, frequently it’s Game of Thrones re-runs and once every millennium it’s (yawwwn) baseball. Most dads love to watch sports, and while others have a favorite show on Netflix, we all have a stash of favorites secretly being recorded on the DVR.

This is key knowledge for any moms out there reading this. On top of that, know that all men have a secret “I want to watch this” list – even if it’s subconscious.

If the active laundry guy is not yet your reality, it’s ok, he’s there just waiting to be unearthed. Here are 5 easy steps to making sure you never have to fold another pair of delicates ever again.

1. Determine his values

Perhaps the most tricky step is the first one, but once you get the ball rolling, it’s all proverbially downhill! The key here is to determine exactly what Dad’s core values are. If you have never done a values search for yourself, or your partner in this case, it’s recommended for any relationship as it helps communication.

Some dad’s are easy to determine values – family, adventure, optimal human expression, health, politics, travel, competition, business opportunities, wealth, time freedom and social are all common male values. Perhaps you can pick a top 3 or 4 off here right away. In the event it’s not apparent, try this Demartini Value Determination. The process is very easy, free, and worth the 30 minutes.

More on how to use this knowledge in a bit, but this is a crucial step, so don’t skip it Mom’s!

2. Speak his language

Once you know what his values are, find the one that he can multitask with. For instance, the dad who has a high value on entrepreneurship may not watch a lot of TV. Here is where you find a niche show like “Shark Tank” or “The Profit.”

Once Dad is hooked on Mark Cuban’s business acumen it’s all but guaranteed that he will want to watch more.

For the dad that’s nature-centric, consider BBC-USA, or Animal Planet and their plethora of 4 legged, furry and feathered shows. Got an analytical guy or an engineer? There are the analytic shows such as Myth Busters, Modern Marvels, How It’s Made or almost anything on PBS such as NOVA.

You get the idea. Try and hook Dad on a series.

3. Enroll him in a program of choice

The challenge will be for moms to NOT jump the gun and say, “Hey, how about watching Game of Thrones and folding laundry?” Despite Dad’s frequent caveman-like sounds, he’s smarter than you think. The key here is something like, “Hey honey, how about I watch one of your shows for a change?”

No Momma Bear, the “if I do this for you, will you do this for me?” will NOT cut it. Keep in mind, you are just getting interested in his interests – even if it’s slightly misleading.  

Some dads are really easy and love all sports– time to check the ego. Now, it’s time to sit and watch a game or two with him. As painful as that might be, you must do this.

4. NOW enroll him in YOUR vision

Once Dad is hooked, and perhaps he didn’t need the hook and you didn’t need steps 1 through 3. Say it’s October and football season is in prime form and his team is on the road to the Super Bowl. Well then, you can skip right to this step.

Here is what happens: While you are watching his show of choice you casually bring out the laundry to fold for yourself. You might start by asking him about a t-shirt here and there to gauge his interest. As you are folding, he might just jump in. Great, he’s in!

If that doesn’t work, it’s okay. Let it go for now, because there are 2 choices from here.

  1. Tell him you have another load upstairs that needs folding, and ask him if he will help you while you watch another half/episode or whatever.
  2. Wait until next time and now you can bring the “How about we fold laundry together and watch xyz show?”

5. Give it momentum

This seems like a crappy exercise up to this point if you have watched three football games or can no longer stand the sight of the Queen of Dragons taking over another city. Yet there is hope. This is also where beer (or snacks) often can come in handy.

If you are folding laundry with your husband, ask him if you can make him some snacks and get him a beer while he is waiting for the artichoke dip. Just let him know you will be back in 10 minutes but do remind him to keep folding the clothes.

If Dad is already doing the clothes solo, reward him with a beer, soda or his favorite Bean and Quesadilla dip. A hungry Poppa with no sustenance will no longer be as willing to participate.

Note: Best to avoid children around Dad. Children are a distraction and are likely to take attention away from the task at hand. And yes, most children love to destroy neat piles. 


Once the male of the species understands what you have done, he will likely thank you for the time he gets to himself and the belly filling goods that come with it. There are also reports surfacing that indicate some Dad’s will invite other men over to watch football while he irons your favorite pair of slacks.

Or perhaps you are a sports mom yourself and you are already folding laundry and watching football. We got you covered with 10 Tips & Tricks for the Sports Mom.

Photo Credits: Dani and Jay Breitlow @ Happy Dads Inc.

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Jay Breitlow

A former pessimistic nuclear engineer turned optimistic and enthusiastic Chiropractor, author, Coach/Consultant, Blogger, wellness speaker and a very happily married husband and a very Happy Dad of 1.5 Children. "My passion is to help people find the authentic greatness that is already inside them - just waiting to be unleashed."Dr Jay can be found at his blog HappyDadsInc.

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