Laundry is an unavoidable task in each household, but depending on how you are doing it, it can turn out more expensive than buying new clothes. Check out these laundry tips and put them to use to care and preserve the fabrics your love so much for longer.
Laundry tips: the dos
To help preserve the fabrics or to make your job much easier, these tips can change what you thought was a boring weekly task. Besides the laundry tips, discover also some hacks that can help you save a bit of money and time.
Put a ball of aluminum into the dryer
If you don’t have a dryer sheet, you can substitute it for a ball of aluminum. It will act just like the first to remove static and it’s reusable.
Pre-separate your laundry
If you have enough space at home, consider setting up more than one laundry basket so you can divide your colors and lights as you go. It will make laundry time much faster and it will reduce the risk of an unintended colored sock end up mixed with the whites and stain them.
Protect your delicate items
As far as laundry tips go, you probably already know this one. But it is always good to reinforce it.
Ideally, you should try to hand wash your delicates with cold water, but who has time for that? If you put them in the washing machine, make sure to run a delicate cycle and always put your clothes inside a mesh bag.
If you don’t have one, a pillowcase will work just as well! Just toss everything in, tie it up and you’re good to go. This is also a great trick to wash socks and prevent sudden missing ones.
Wash and dry inside out
While tumbling on a washing machine or in a dryer, clothes will be rubbing on each other which can give them a faded look. If you don’t remove them right away and they are pressed against other clothes with zippers or buttons, these can also leave a mark which will be hard to remove when ironing.
Wash and dry your clothes inside out just in case.
Cold is best
Most detergents nowadays are designed to work in colder temperatures too. Unless you’re taking care of your lighter clothes, hot water will actually fade colors and give them a worn look.
This also applies to dryers. The hotter the temperature, the more damage is inflicted on the fibers, aging the clothes. Besides, it’s safer to use cold water than to risk having your favorite shirt shrinking beyond the point of return.
Test for bleeding colors
Bleeding colors don’t happen only when colors are mixed with whites. A red shirt can ruin your green pants just as fast.
If you’re unsure about a particular garment, use a wet cotton swab over the inside of a seam. If it comes out clean, it’s good to go. If not, better to wash it separately.
Use a salad spinner to remove excess water
Tumbling is not delicates’ best friend. But even if you’re hand washing your fragile clothes, you don’t want to hang them to dry drenched in water or it will pull the fibers.
In these cases, you can use a salad spinner to create a manual tumbler that will help remove excess water in a much softer way. Besides, you can only put one piece at the time inside, so rubbing won’t be a problem.
Don’t close the doors right away
After washing or drying your clothes, don’t close the machine doors right away. Let them open for a bit to allow air out and avoid mildew or mold. This will also prevent bad smells inside these machines.
Laundry tips: the dont’s
Laundry tips work both ways. There are things you can do to make your job easier, and others that you might already be doing and that are ruining your efforts.
Don’t button buttons
You should zip the zippers and tie the ties to prevent them from getting into tangles and ruin other clothes, but don’t button buttons. This can put too much stress on the seams and lines and loose both the buttonholes as well as the buttons.
Don’t let your dryer run until the end
To reduce and avoid stubborn wrinkles when time to iron comes, try to stop your dryer a bit before the cycle finishes. The clothes won’t be wet anymore but they will retain a bit of moisture that makes them more flexible.
Hang them in clothes hangers while they’re finishing drying and let gravity work its magic and straighten them up. Some pieces might even be good enough afterwards to simply be folded and stored without having to go through ironing.
Don’t use the dryer if stains remain
If a stubborn stain refuses to get out with washing, apply a stain remover over it and rewash the clothes.
Don’t put them in the dryer until the stain has come out, as the high temperatures can make them permanent it on the fibers.
Don’t leave anything in the pockets
Always check the pockets before putting the clothes inside the washer. Even if to touch it looks as if they are empty, put your hand inside to confirm.
Depending on what may be inside, it can get loose and ruin other garments while tumbling around.
Even a harmless paper tissue that can easily pass a less thorough pocket check and turn into smaller pieces that get attached to the small fibers of all your clothes. And you really don’t want to be removing tiny bits of paper from every inch of your freshly washed clothes.
Don’t rub stains
Always apply a stain remover over the stain, let it work for as long as indicated on the label and put the clothes in the washing machine. Don’t try to rub the stain off or you will damage the fibers, making that area look more worn out. You can even spread the stain when doing it.
Don’t overload the machine
It’s great that you are trying to wash all your clothes at once and save water and energy, but make sure to always leave some space. If you overload the machine, the clothes will get crammed and won’t move around or tumble properly.
This means they will not be properly washed. The detergent will not dissolve completely either and can get trapped in patches of fabric, damaging the fibers.
Don’t put fabric softener directly over the clothes
Some detergents are designed to be applied directly to the clothes in the machine drum. Softener, however, should always be poured into its proper and indicated place in the machine.
Applying fabric conditioner directly over the fabrics can result in stains or fading.
Giving it a try to hand wash?
Hand washing clothes is not as common nowadays because: 1) there’s no time for it; and 2) it’s not practical.
However, some clothes have to be washed this way if you want to preserve them for longer. Also, if you only have one or two pieces to wash and it will take you a long time to fill in the basket, you might want to hand wash them so they don’t lay around smelling.
Check the video below for some basic laundry tips to achieve the same level of cleanliness and softness hand washing as if you were using a washing machine.