I learned the basics of washing clothes from my mother and she from her mother. To me it seems like common sense, at least now it does. When I first starting doing my own laundry it seemed like a lot to remember. The 7 tips for washing clothes that I've posted below are just some general ones that will help anyone who's never done a load of laundry. The only thing they won't help you with is how to run the washing machine. These new fangled devices of today are pretty amazing, once you can figure out how to get it turned on!
7. Don’t Overfill the Machine
Stuffing too many clothes in the washing machine is not only hard in this usually helpful household appliance, but it also doesn't allow enough room for the clothes to move around freely. My mom used to refer to it as Swish Room. “Clothes need plenty of swish room.” she'd say to me as she loaded the machine with dirty clothes. So, give laundry room enough to swish about in the sudsy water so they actually get clean.
6. Hand Wash Delicate Garments
I learned this one the hard way. Even though mom gave me a garment bag once, those little mesh bags with a zipper at one end, and told me to put delicate things in it. I was a teenager, so this meant bras and underwear I didn't want the machine to eat. Well, I decided that there was no way that the machine could possibly damage clothing and I was in a hurry to toss in a load of laundry. I was very surprised to find that washing machines do eat delicate garments. I had a satiny night gown that became entangled under the agitator on the machine. I now hand wash all my delicate garments, especially pantyhose.
5. Spray Stain Remover on Clothes Right Away
As soon as you notice a stain on clothing, it's best to add a stain remover to it right away. I love those Tide pens. I have one by the laundry machine, one in my purse, and one in the car. I've even shown the boys how to use these handy dandy pens. If you don't have a stain removal pen, then a spray on formula works just as well. It's best if you can let the stain remover set for 5 to 10 minutes and then wash the item right away. Depending on what the stain is, sometimes letting it set for too long allows the stain to become a permanent one.
4. Don’t Add Bleach if It Isn’t Necessary
Bleach is so hard on clothing. If you've ever accidentally gotten a splash of bleach on a colored shirt or pair of dark jeans, you know what I mean. However, bleach is also hard on white clothing. Adding bleach to a load of whites each time will eventually cause the material to break down. It's actually better to bleach white socks and such occasionally and use a detergent with a whitening agent in it for the rest of the time you wash these items.
3. Make Sure to Measure the Soap Properly
Just because the measurement of laundry soap you just added doesn't get all foamy in the wash tub doesn't mean it isn't doing its job. I like to see lots of bubbles when I do laundry, just like when I'm washing dishes. If there aren't bubbles present, then I feel like the soap isn't doing what it's supposed to be doing and my things aren't going to get clean. There are types of soap that have less of the lathering agent in it, so they won't suds up like some of the other brands.
2. Read the Labels before Washing Garments
Care instructions are placed on the labels inside clothing for a reason. Some fabrics are very sensitive to heat, so clothing made from such fabrics usually has to be washed in cold water and hung to dry. Unless you don't mind your new cashmere sweater being shrunk down to the size that would fit a small poodle, I recommend following the labels inside your clothing in regards to proper washing and drying techniques.
1. Wash like Colors Together
This is an important tip to remember when you are about to wash a brand new red towel with your collection of light blue towels. If you follow through with this method of washing, you will most likely end up with one red towel and a pile of pale purple towels. Sorting clothes out into piles of like colors will ensure that your laundry isn't turned any odd shades while in the washing machine. It's difficult to know if your new clothing is going to bleed all over the other garments in the washing machine. When in doubt, wash new clothing in cold water and in a load separate from everything else.
These 7 tips for washing clothes might be especially helpful to someone who has recently started doing his/her own laundry. If you know of such a person, feel free to pass these tips on! Do you have any other laundry washing tips that you think are important?