The Nine Most Basic Laundry Tips You Cannot Afford to Ignore
If you’re a firm fan of women’s fashion online purchases, chances are you don’t need anyone tell you how to do your own laundry, right? To be guided through the very basics of washing clothes as an adult could be viewed as nothing short of patronising – the fact that you have survived this long clearly showing that you must be doing something right.
Interestingly however, bring the subject up with the pros and chances are every single expert you speak to will tell you that almost everyone is doing at least something wrong with their own laundry routines. Not necessarily the end of the world, but when it comes to looking after your most treasured and important garments of all, it’s essential to acknowledge that it’s entirely down to you to keep them in the best possible condition.
So at the risk of coming across as preachy or even tip-toing on the border of condescension, here is a quick rundown of the nine most basic laundry tips you cannot afford to ignore – fresh from the minds of the experts:
1 – Water Temperature
First and foremost, there’s really no room for approaching water temperature randomly. For heavy duty clothes, cotton whites, towels and bedding, hot water does the job. Warm water by contrast is there for man-made fabrics that aren’t particularly dirty, while cold water should be used for sensitive dark colours and fine fabrics.
2 – Be Delicate with Delicates
When it comes to preserving the prestige of delicates, you might want to think about washing them by hand or at least protecting them in a mesh laundry bag. Try not to read too much into standard ‘delicates’ settings – they are often anything but.
3 – Too Much Detergent
If research is anything to go by, it’s more likely than not that you are using far too much detergent. Some assume that to stick a little bit extra in with each wash will ensure the clothes come out cleaner – in reality it’s actually quite to the contrary. Too much detergent makes it difficult or impossible for your machine to rinse it away properly, which can lead to clothes remaining anything but clean and susceptible to damage.
4 – Quality Detergents
Contrary to popular belief, there really is a big difference between the 49p unbranded detergent on the shelf and the one that’s up for sale at £5. The vast majority of detergents are created using very similar ingredients, but it’s the quality of the ingredients and the concentrations/combinations of each that add up to an important difference.
5 – Address Stains Immediately
It’s an obvious point but one that bears revisiting, the faster you tackle a stain, the higher the likelihood of getting rid of it entirely. From soaking in cold water to applying quality stain removers to washing on a cold water cycle – feel free to try almost anything except washing it in warm water or sticking it in the dryer.
6 – Easy Ironing
There may be a select few people out there who actually relish the idea of ironing – the other 99% of the population finds it a quite literal pain in the neck. As such, it simply makes sense to make the ironing process as simple as possible by either using a tumble dryer with a fabric softener sheet where possible, or hanging garments like shirts and sweaters to air dry. In addition, the faster you get your garments out of the washing machine and the dryer, the better!
7 – Softly Softly
Just as is the case with detergent, it’s also of the utmost importance to ensure that you do not get carried away with your choice of fabric softener. Regardless of the brand you buy, there’s only so much good any type of fabric softener can do before it becomes excessive and will ultimately begin adversely affecting or even damaging your garments. If you’re not happy with the freshness of your clothes or the effectiveness of your fabric softener, try a different brand.
8 – Towel Troubles
Despite the fact that almost every advert for the stuff would have you thinking quite to the contrary, it is in fact not a good idea at all to use any fabric softener whatsoever when washing your towels. Not only does fabric softener do a very good job in reducing the absorbency of your towels, but over time you’ll no doubt end up with that rather hideous problem of musty-smelling towels you just do not seem to be able to cure.
9 – Wash the Washer
Last but not least, you really cannot expect your washing machine to do a good job keeping your clothes clean if the machine itself is filthy. You might not be able to see the dirt in there, but think about it – when was the last time you made active effort to give the inside of your washing machine a proper clean? From vinegar to a specialist lime scale removal product and so many other options besides, there are dozens of ways of giving your washing machine and good clean from time to time – none of which are difficult or expensive!