If you are a big fan of women’s online fashion purchases, it’s likely you don’t need a lecture on how to do your own laundry, correct? To have somebody tell you how exactly to wash your clothes as an adult will in most instances be nothing by patronising – you have clearly survived all this time without such advice so it seems you’re doing something right.
What is interesting nevertheless is how bringing up the question with the professionals and it’s very likely every expert you approach will tell you that almost all people are doing something wrong when it comes to their laundry routines. Of course, not the end of the world, but when one is keen on looking well after their most important garments of all, it is crucial to realise that it is entirely down to you to make sure they are in the best possible condition.
So at the risk of coming across as condescending or even a bit preachy, here is a quick overview of nine basic laundry guidelines you can’t afford to ignore – fresh from the pros:
1 – Water Temperature
First up, there is really no room for dealing with water temperature randomly. For cotton whites, heavy-duty clothes, bedding and towels, hot water is ideal. By contrast, warm water is recommended for man-made fabrics which are not particularly dirty, while cold water needs to be used for fine fabrics and sensitive dark colours.
2 – Treat Delicates Delicately
When it comes to preserving delicates, you may want to consider washing them by hand or at least putting them in a mesh laundry bag in order to protect them. Try not to use the standard “delicates” setting too much – oftentimes it is anything but.
3 – Don’t Overdo the Detergent
If research is any guide at all, it is very likely you are using way too much detergent. Most people assume that to put a little bit extra with each wash will make sure the laundry comes out cleaner – in fact it’s in reality quite to the contrary. Stick in too much detergent and your machine might find it impossible to rinse it away properly, leading to the clothes coming out anything but clean and even maybe prone to damage.
4 – Use Quality Detergents
Contrary to what many people believe, there is indeed a big and important difference between the 50p detergent on the shelf and the one that goes for £5. The large majority of detergents are made using similar ingredients but it is the quality of the ingredients and their combinations that count and add up to a significant difference.
5 – Treat Stains Immediately
It’s an often repeated point but one that needs revisiting, the quicker you treat a stain, the higher the likelihood of managing to get rid of it completely. From applying quality stain removers to soaking in cold water to washing on a cold water cycle – don’t hesitate to try everything except sticking it in the dryer or washing it in warm water.
6 – Ironing Made Easy
There could be a few people out there who actually like the idea of ironing – the rest 99% of the human population finds it literally a huge pain in the neck. Therefore, it only makes sense to try to make the ironing process as easy as possible by either hanging garments like sweaters and shirts to air dry or using a tumble dryer with a fabric softener sheet. Additionally, the quicker you take your garments out of the washing machine and the tumble dryer, the better!
7 – Go Softly
Just as was the case with detergent, it is also of crucial importance to make sure you don’t get carried away with the fabric softener. Regardless what brand you buy and use, there is only so much good a fabric softener can do before becoming excessive and ultimately beginning to adversely affect and damage your clothes. If you aren’t happy with the effectiveness of your fabric softener or with the freshness of your clothes, try a different brand.
8 – Towel Issues
In spite of the fact that almost all adverts for the stuff will have you believe otherwise, it’s in fact not a great idea at all to use s fabric softener when washing your towels. The reason being that the fabric softener reduces the absorbency of your towels and over time you might end up with a problem of musty smelling towels that cannot be cleaned properly.
9 – Wash the Washing Machine
Last up, you really can’t expect your washer to do a great job keeping your garments clean if the machine itself is dirty. You may not be able to see the problem in there, but consider for a second – when was the last time you actively cleaned the inside of your washing machine? From specialist lime scale removal products to simple vinegar and many options besides, there are many ways of giving your machine a good clean from time to time.