Keeping on top of your laundry can seem like an arduous task. When you break it down into simple, easy steps it becomes much more manageable.
This guide will give you the best tips for laundry care and tell you the easy way to do your laundry.
The Basic Laundry Method
This is the basic method you should follow when you are doing laundry:
Step One – Read The Labels
The first thing you should always do when tackling laundry is to read the care labels for each item.
You can then group your items according to how they need to be washed- such as the various temperatures, whether or not you should use fabric softener, or hand-wash only items.
Different fabrics have different requirements for how they need to be washed.
Some items may be dry clean only, so they can be bagged up ready to take the dry cleaners next time you go out.
Step Two – Organize Loads
Once you have separated your items based on the care instructions, you can then begin organizing them into loads.
This will depend on the size of your washing machine and its capacity, so make sure you check this.
Dark colors should be washed separately to light colors, and whites should ideally be washed with only other white items.
Group the dark colors and light colors together for each type of washing instruction.
For example, you could have a load of dark clothes to be washed at 30, a load of light clothes to be washed at 30 with no fabric softener, and a load of colored clothes that are hand washed only.
If you don’t have enough for a full load of clothes then put that group aside for now. It is not economical to run a washing machine cycle for only a few items.
Step Three – Detergent
Once you have sorted your items into loads, you need to decide which detergent to use.
Most people use an all purpose laundry detergent, but you may want to use a specialized one for white garments. If you have sensitive skin then you should look for a gentle, natural detergent.
If there are stains on some of your items then you will need to treat them with a stain remover before putting them in the wash.
You should check the instructions of the stain remover, but most of them need to be applied directly to the stain and left for around 10 to 15 minutes before the item is put into the washing machine.
Place your chosen detergent into the washing machine – either the drum or the drawer depending on the instructions.
You can then load in the items, one by one to make sure that everything is separated and nothing has snuck in without you noticing.
This is the point where you should check the pockets of any trousers or jackets for tissues, coins or other items that could damage the clothes or the washing machine.
Step Four – Choose Your Cycle
When the washing machine has been loaded and the detergent has been added, you will need to select which setting to use.
This will depend on the care instructions on the label, which fabrics you are washing etc.
Dirtier clothes will need to be washed at a higher temperature. You can use a lower temperature to save energy if the items are not very dirty.
Delicate fabrics and fabrics prone to shrinking also need to be washed on a cooler setting.
The spin speed is important too, as certain items cannot be spun at a high speed as they could lose their shape.
You can choose a cycle which has a pre-rinse, post-rinse, and a spin.
Alternatively, you can choose a simpler cycle and put the load on to rinse and/or spin afterwards manually.
Some washing machines also have a ‘quick wash’ option if you are in a rush.
When you are happy with your choice, you can start the cycle.
Here are some things that you should remember when you are doing your laundry:
Always Read The Label
You should always check the label for instructions on what temperature the item should be washed at, whether you can use fabric softener, whether it can be tumble dried etc.
If items are particularly dirty then you may want to rinse them in the bath or shower first – such as muddy sports clothes.
Soiled items should be washed separately to other items, and at a higher temperature.
Your washing machine will have different settings and custom settings. Make sure that you choose the right settings for your clothes.
Certain fabrics need to be washed at a cooler temperature, and delicate items should not be spun too fast or they could tear.
To avoid damaging your items you need to be sensible about which ones are washed together.
If you have an item with a zipper or large metal buttons, it is best not to wash this with delicate lace items or hosiery etc. The same goes for towels and bed sheets.
You can include a color catcher in your wash if you are worried about colors leaking out and ruining other items. This is especially important if you are washing something for the first time.
You should always check the pockets of any items you are putting into the washing machine.
Tissues will shred and leave fluff over your clothes, coins or hairgrips could break the washing machine or damage your clothing, and notes could be destroyed and rendered useless.
Clean your washing machine – your items will only ever be as clean as your washing machine. Make sure that you use cleaning tablets to keep your washing machine in good working order.
Once a month use a liquid washing machine cleaner on an empty, high temperature cycle to remove dirt buildup.
You should also regularly wipe out the drawers, the door, and the seal.
If you follow this guide then your laundry will be done perfectly every time.
Once the cycle is finished you can unload the washing machine and put your clothes out to dry.