Is there a right way to do laundry? This is a question that many have asked after saying goodbye to a beloved white shirt that turned blotchy or a comfy sweater that shrunk after a wash.
We know that heartbreak firsthand, and that’s why we want to help you avoid it by teaching you the right way to do laundry. For more valuable cleaning tips and insights, visit us at TLC Cleaning!
Is There a Right Way to Do Laundry?
Yes, there’s a right way to do laundry.
Simply throwing your garments in the washer won’t cut it. Mastering the art of laundry involves careful consideration and several steps.
To get you started, we’ve outlined the six fundamental steps that you should never skip:
Step 1: Learn About Your Textiles
Know the proper care instructions for your textiles before washing them. The easiest way to determine how to wash them is by reading their labels.
If a garment doesn’t have a label tag, identify its material type and look up the fabric’s recommended care. Otherwise, you might wash it incorrectly, risking shrinkage, color bleed, and other issues.
For example, synthetic fabrics can withstand being tossed in a washer at a high cycle speed and washed in hot water. However, delicate fabrics such as rayon can’t handle the same treatment. It’s better to hand wash them in cold water to avoid damaging them.
Step 2: Sort Your Laundry
After familiarizing yourself with the safe washing methods for each fabric, begin sorting your laundry accordingly.
After that, divide the textiles by color. Separate the darks, lights, and colors, and run each through a different wash cycle to avoid discoloration.
Don’t forget to place delicate items, like lingerie, in a mesh laundry bag before putting them in the washing machine. Alternatively, you can set them aside for a delicate cycle.
Step 3: Treat Stains
If you have a stained item, treat the stain first before putting it in your laundry. We’re talking about minor stains here, not heavily filthy garments, as the latter must be washed separately.
Step 4: Adjust Washer Settings and Add Detergent
Because washing machine programs differ by manufacturer, we recommend consulting the user manual before starting.
When dealing with soiled or bulky textiles like towels, it’s usually best to use a long cycle length with hot water. On the other hand, it’s better to wash less soiled or delicate garments in shorter cycles with cold water.
After adjusting the machine’s settings, pour your preferred laundry detergent into the dispenser. You can also add fabric softener if you want soft, wrinkle-free laundry.
Remember, if you use too much detergent, it’ll cling to your clothes, leaving a sticky, soapy residue, so make sure you measure the right amount.
Step 5: Load the Washing Machine
It’s almost time to load your washer. But first, do these three steps to avoid issues later:
- Empty your garment pockets to save yourself hours of trying to remove tissue or gum from your washed clothes.
- Turn fading-prone garments, like jeans, inside out to preserve their color.
- Close all zippers so they don’t snag on other textiles.
After you’ve completed these safety checks, you can turn on your washer. We suggest starting on the items that require hand washing before the washer finishes so you can dry everything at once.
Step 6: Dry Your Clean Clothes
When the wash cycle is done, you can take your clean clothes to the dryer or air dry them.
Air dryers usually have different settings that you can change based on the fabric’s care instructions. Some fabrics work better with high heat, while others dry best with low heat.
If you could throw in a dryer sheet, your textiles will thank you later. Dryer sheets will leave your laundry soft, anti-static, and smelling incredibly fresh.
Dryer Hack: Put a dry towel in the dryer with your laundry to speed up the drying process.
How to Care for a Washing Machine
How you maintain your washer has a significant impact on how well it can clean your laundry.
Over time, the grime and debris from your stained garments and the residue of laundry products accumulate in the washer. These can cause mold growth, causing a persistent mildew odor that can stick to your washed items.
To avoid this problem, add “cleaning washing machine” to your housekeeping checklist once a month. The task is easy. Simply run your washer empty on a regular hot water cycle, and add a 1/2 cup of liquid chlorine bleach to the detergent dispenser.
We know that most of you were already less than thrilled with laundry duty, so the thought of additional effort might not be music to your ears.
But think about doing laundry the right way as a future investment. The extra care now will be well worth it when your clothes still look brand new after every wash.
At TLC Cleaning, we’re delighted to help you with household and commercial cleaning duties. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!