Top Seven Laundry Cleaning Tips
As we become dirty when we go about our day, so do our clothes. We shower to get ourselves clean, and wash our clothes so that we aren’t quickly dirty again the next time we get dressed. Here are the top 7 tips to make the most out of your laundry time.
1. Prepare the clothes to be washed.
One of the smallest, almost trivial things that makes doing the laundry longer than it should be is lack of preparation. Some of us lack preparation in almost everything we do—from doing homework to making dinner to doing the laundry. A small amount of preparation time can pay off in the long run.
Separate the clothes to be hand washed from those to be machine washed. Then, if necessary, separate colored clothes from the white ones. This shouldn’t take too much time and it helps a great deal by the time you’re doing the laundry as you won’t end up missing any clothes, and you won’t have to spend time bleaching your whites later because a red sock dyed them pink.
2. Read the labels.
So much time is spent tinkering with the machine when you’re better off reading the instruction manual instead. True, people hate manuals, but manuals are our guide to understanding the better things in life, just like doing the laundry. There’s also at least one tag in every piece of clothing that says the type of fabric used to make it, and which washing method should be used and which is to be avoided. Make sure to read these labels, too!
Unless you want to end up wearing tattered and discolored clothes to work or school next week, read and follow the instructions on the tags.
3. Use your washing machine properly.
Some people simply can’t resist the urge to try a different type of washing program—such as setting the spin to high when the tag on the piece of clothing says low, or using a bleaching detergent when the, again, the tag clearly states not to use bleach. It can be so tempting to try turning the dial to a different setting each time you wash your clothes.
Use your washing machine properly. Set the rotation to the appropriate setting for the fabric to be washed. Also, make sure the water temperature is as it says on the tag. Washing the laundry using water that’s too hot, or too cold, won’t do you any good, either.
4. Pre-treat stains.
You need to pre-treat stains. Apply a cleaning solution to the stain before actually adding the clothing to the washing machine. Some people end up tossing their washing machines into the dump truck because their stains are still there after a washing. Guess what? Washing machines weren’t designed to treat stains.
Depending on the severity of the stain and the type of fabric you’re working on, you might have to pre-treat the stain at least a couple of hours before you can put the garment in the washing machine. You may have to use bleach to remove certain stains, but most of the time a pre-treating detergent will do.
5. Use the right amount of detergent.
Always use the right amount of detergent. Not enough detergent is a waste of water, too much a waste of detergent and clothes, if you’re unlucky. Mixing too much detergent into the water will damage the fabric and your shirt or blouse will never be the same again.
Use the right amount of detergent. The tag on the fabric should give you an idea of how much detergent you can use. If that doesn’t work, you can also refer to the detergent’s product instruction, usually on the packaging. Patience is well rewarded, my friend. (If you want to make your own detergent, read how to make a laundry detergent)
6. Don’t cut corners.
Laundry isn’t the time to cut corners. How many times have you ended up with torn clothes and underwear because you dumped the items into the washing machine, even when the tag clearly said hand wash? How many times, even though the tag said dry clean? Your answer is going to add up until you follow instructions next time. Don’t try to finish quickly by hurrying with the laundry. Washing clothes takes time and you better be up to the task—that is, if you don’t want your favorite shirt to grow a fifth hole.
Don’t cut corners. Take your time. Do the laundry at its own pace and not yours. Hand wash what needs hand washing, dry clean what needs dry cleaning and set the washing machine’s spin speed according to the instructions on the tag.
7. Clean the washing machine.
Is there any other way to get clean clothes than to wash them using a clean washing machine? Yes, and it’s called hand washing. If you don’t want to hand wash your dirty laundry, clean your washing machine. Doing the laundry in a washing machine that hasn’t been cleaned only adds insult to injury. Make sure your washing machine is clean before putting your laundry into it. (Tips on how to clean a washing machine)
White wine vinegar can be used to clean your washing machine. Add a cup of white wine vinegar to the detergent dispenser and set the washing machine to 95 degrees Celsius on spin cycle. The process should clean the machine compartment like it’s just been delivered straight from the appliance store.
Follow these laundry cleaning tips and you’ll spend less time and effort to achieve clean clothes!