Laundry Tips for Saving Time, Energy, and Money
You can save a lot of time, energy, and money by following these laundry tips. From sorting and dosing the correct detergent to decoding laundry symbols, these hacks are sure to make your next wash a breeze. When the laundry is done, gently squeeze out excess water (don’t wring or stretch the fibers) and lay on a towel to dry.
Make 3 Piles
Many laundry disasters start with people not sorting their clothes properly. Clothes need to be separated according to their color, fabric type, and washing requirements. This will ensure that items get clean and do not bleed or fade during the washing process. It will also help to prevent stains from becoming more intense or setting in.
To help you sort your laundry, start by placing any clothes that are labeled “wash separately” or “hand wash only” into a pile. These should be washed separately to avoid damage and fading. If the label reads, “dry clean only,” believe it and place it into a bag to be taken to a professional dry cleaner.
Next, sort the remaining washable items. Separate the whites from the colors and then sort them further by fabric type. T-shirts, jeans, and other lightweight fabrics will go into one pile while heavy-weight fabrics like sweaters or dressy blouses should be in another. Finally, separate any towels or sheets from the rest of the laundry. You will need to wash these separately as they require different water temperatures and drying cycles. Make sure to remove the wet clothes from the washer as soon as the cycle is complete to prevent mildew and wrinkles.
Verify The Labelling
It is important to properly sort your laundry before throwing it all in the machine. Start by placing your clothes into piles based on color and fabric type. Then, look at the care labels on each piece of clothing and linen to determine if they can be machine washed. Items that require a delicate cycle or dry cleaning should be placed in a separate pile. Also, if an item says, “wash separately” or “hand wash only,” do not skip this step and risk ruining your favorite shirt or pants!
Next, place your sorted clothes in the washer. Before you do, however, make sure that you unbutton, unzip, and empty your pockets. This will prevent any stray lint from getting into the machine and possibly ruining your clothes.
It is also a good idea to pre-sort your dirty linen by textile family at the point of collection, as this will allow you to wash each type of cloth using the proper wash formula. In addition, it will help prevent the spread of potentially harmful bacteria – like MRSA and C-diff – from one piece of soiled linen to another. This is a major concern in healthcare settings, where soiled linen can spread infections throughout the hospital or care facility.
Unbutton Your Pockets
Laundry isn’t something that gets taught in school, so many of us learn how to do it as we go along. While that may be OK in some cases, it is important to understand the basics and tricks of laundry to make sure your clothes are as clean as possible. If you don’t, your wardrobe could suffer from fading, deteriorating, and shrinkage.
When sorting your laundry, it is essential to separate darks from lights and colors. Also, remember to double-check the labeling as some garments need a delicate cycle and some are dry-clean only. This will keep your favorite shirts and pants from getting ruined.
Also, be sure to empty all pockets and zip any zippers on your clothing before throwing it in the washer. Doing this will prevent any stray threads from unraveling in the wash and help your clothing retain its shape.
Once you have all your piles separated, fill the sink with cool or lukewarm water, depending on the garment’s label instructions. Then, place your clothes into the wash and gently press them to fully immerse them. Next, add the recommended amount of detergent. This will ensure that your clothes are properly cleaned without any color loss or fading.
Make Sure Everything Is In There
If you are a professional laundry cleaner, then you will need to make sure that you are getting the best use of your equipment. This means ensuring that each load of laundry is correctly sorted before it goes into the washer. This helps to protect your expensive washing machines from damage and ensures that each client receives the cleanest clothes possible.
Before you load any clothing into the washer, you should check each piece for stains and pretreat them. This will help to prevent stains from bleeding or staining other garments in the wash. You should also remove any accessories, such as belts or jewelry, and close all zippers, velcro, or buttons to prevent them from getting caught on other fabrics. Finally, you should place delicate items in a laundry bag to protect them from damage.
The next step is to sort the laundry by fiber type. This will keep your clothes from bleeding dye onto other pieces during the wash and drying cycles. You should also separate light colored clothing from dark colored clothing, if possible. If you are cleaning clothes for clients, you should also take note of any special instructions on the label and place any garments that need to be hand washed in a bag to bring to the dry cleaners later.
Use The Correct Detergent
Laundry isn’t a subject that’s taught in school, so for many of us it’s something we figure out along the way. Unfortunately, our self-taught laundry skills may be ruining our clothes. Whether your laundry is coming out looking dull, smelly, or greasy, the culprit could be over-washing, improper detergent dosing, or using the wrong kind of detergent.
Start by sorting your piles based on their fabric type and care label (this light-and-dark laundry hamper will make the job easier). Then, separate items that need to be washed together—for example, sweaty items should be washed separately from lingerie or knits. Also, it’s important to separate any items that should be hand-washed or dry-cleaned, as they’ll damage delicate fabrics in the wash.
Once you’ve sorted your clothes, use the washing machine’s directions to determine how much detergent you need. This will depend on how large the load is, how dirty it is, and your water hardness and quality.
Liquid detergents are easy to pour and great for pre-treating stains, while powder detergents work well for consistent cleaning. But be careful with detergent pods—they’re a magnet for accidental poisonings by children and pets. Store them high out of reach, away from the water and food sources of your household.
Avoid Using The Warm And Hot Temperatures
While it may seem like a small detail, water temperature is a huge factor in the overall cleanliness of your laundry. Using the right temperature helps to prevent shrinking, fading, dye transfer, and premature aging of your clothes. It also saves energy.
Despite this, many people simply set the washer to warm or hot and never adjust it as needed. For this reason, it’s important to read your clothing labels or tags for specific washing instructions, including recommended water temperatures.
It’s worth noting that some fabrics can be washed in both cold and warm water, though, so be sure to read the care label carefully before washing. According to Survival Freedom, some fabrics that can be washed in both include spandex and nylon, jeans, towels, linens, and undergarments.
As a general rule, it’s best to wash your laundry in cold water whenever possible as it provides an effective clean, is less damaging to the fabrics, and conserves energy. It is, however, recommended to use the warm setting for heavily soiled clothing such as jeans and t-shirts, and to use cold or regular settings for delicates and whites. This is because fugitive dye and other stain-release compounds can be transferred from darks to light colors when they are washed together.
Think About The Long Term
While it’s tempting to toss a load of laundry in the wash and “fold it later,” don’t do it. This will not only delay your completion of the task, it can also cause stains and discoloration of your clothing. The best way to avoid this is by taking the time to properly sort and treat each laundry load.
Sort your clothes according to their color, separating darks from lights. Doing this will prevent fugitive dye from darks from turning lighter items dingy or even causing outright staining — think the proverbial red sock that gets mixed into a white load of laundry. This will also help you avoid over-using detergent, as you’ll be able to target each load specifically.
You can even go a step further by sorting your laundry by fabric type, if you’re so inclined. This will allow you to choose products and cycles that are optimized for your specific laundry needs, including treating for special needs, like fading or odor retention.
Once you’ve finished sorting, it’s time to start the cycle. Be sure not to overcrowd your washer, as this will limit the water’s ability to circulate and dissolve your detergent. When the cycle is complete, remove your wet laundry as soon as possible to prevent mildew and to keep the clothes as fresh as possible.