How To Do Laundry

Some women love laundry. I am not one of them. I will let my clothes pile up for weeks and only do a load when I have to. However, I love my clothes. I want to treat them right so that they’ll last. So, while I hate laundry I take the time to do it right – which, apparently is rare. Because I know all of you will want to care for your fashion investments with the same gusto as me, I present my all inclusive guide to laundry.

  • First, realize that every time you wash an item you reduce its lifespan. You should wear something about 3 times before you wash it, unless you get sweaty. Hang items in an airy place overnight after you wear them, if they smell in the morning put them in the hamper, if not put them in your closet to wear again.
  • Sorting clothes can be a pain, but it is necessary. Sorting prevents clothes from fading or turning weird greyish or pink colors. You should sort clothes into the following categories: bleach-able whites, lights, brights, darks, reds, delicates, and hand wash only items. You can do this before you start laundry, or set up different hampers in your laundry room and sort as you take your clothes off (this is easier but takes up more space).
  • Use only the smallest amount of detergent necessary. Using too much can cause residue to be left on clothes and skin irritation.
  • Use the proper water temperature –
    • Bleach-able Whites – hot
    • Lights – cold
    • Brights – cold
    • Darks – cold
    • Reds – cold
    • Delicates – cold
    • Hand Wash – lukewarm
  • Hand wash items should be done in the sink or bathtub using a small amount of Dreft or other baby detergent. They need to be thoroughly rinsed and either hung or lain flat to dry.
  • Invest in a lingerie bag for delicates. ALWAYS use the bag. You don’t want your washing machine to tear up your bras and camis do you?
  • Dryers can shrink clothes and high temperatures can damage fabrics and screen-printing. The following items should be hung dry or laid flat:
    • Delicates
    • Hand Washed items
    • Jeans
    • Graphic Tees
    • Items that say hang dry/lay flat to dry
    • sweaters
    • camisoles
    • bras
    • anything lace
  • Always remove clothes from the washer ASAP – bacteria loves wet environments so avoid germs by drying your clothes within 30 minutes of the end of the wash cycle.
  • Remove clothing from the dryer promptly and never leave the drying going while you leave the house. If you let your clothes sit in the dryer too long they will wrinkle – not fun. If you leave the house, turn off the dryer – they’re one of the top causes of house fires.
  • Bleach underwear – it’s more sanitary. If your undies are not white/lights then do them in a separate cycle.
  • Once a month run an empty washing cycle with a cup of bleach to clean and sanitize your machine.
  • Wash bedding and towels in hot water to sanitize.
  • Always empty the lint trap before starting the dryer – remember those house fires I mentioned?
  • Leave your washer open when not in use – it will prevent mold.
  • Invest in a clothing steamer. You can find good ones for about $30 at Target. They make ironing so much less painful, and can be used to remove things like deodorant stains and wrinkles between washings. (Just don’t use it while wearing an item – trust me, doing so will involve a trip to the emergency room.)

I’ll be talking more about laundry – specifically stain removal – next Saturday! If you have any additional questions, tips, or tricks, let me know!

 

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