Doing laundry is certainly a skill that you have to master, given the numerous steps involved, from prepping your clothes for washing to tossing them into the washing machine to using just the right amount of detergent, etc. A small slip-up in any of the numerous steps involved can be extremely costly, potentially ruining your favourite clothes. To move one step closer to becoming a laundry master, here are 5 important tips you need to know about before doing your next load of laundry!
1. Go easy on the laundry detergent
Many people tend to assume that the way to achieve cleaner clothes is through the use of more laundry detergent. We'd hate to burst your bubble but this is actually false. In fact, using too much detergent can create an excessive amount of suds that may actually trap more dirt, redepositing them on your clothes. Additionally, it'll also be more challenging to completely rinse out all the detergent from your clothes, leaving behind a residue that not only dulls your clothes, but also makes them feel stiff and scratchy.
So before you do your next load of laundry, and use about half the recommended amount of detergent (about 1-2 tablespoons will do). Not only will your clothes look, feel and smell better, you'll also be able to save some money since you won't be using your detergent as quickly as before.
2. Adjust the water temperature
The temperature of the water in your washing machine is more important than you might think. Depending on your load of laundry, you're going to have to adjust the water temperature accordingly to achieve a successful batch of laundry. Cold water is perfect for more delicate fabrics, items that have a tendency to shrink or pieces with sensitive dark colours that have a tendency to bleed. Warm water, on the other hand, is more appropriate for washing clothes that are slightly dirty, or clothes made out of human-made fabrics (i.e. synthetic fibre fabrics). Reserve hot water for your linens such as bedding and towels, your cotton whites as well as clothes that are more heavily soiled (e.g. those with oil or grease stains).
3. Tackle stains immediately and not later!
The thing about stains is that you need to work fast with them, in order to successfully eliminate them from your clothes. Rather than dealing with it later, tackle your stains ASAP, almost immediately after they've occurred. Allow your item to soak in some cold water before drenching the affected area with some stain remover. Allow the stain remover to work its magic for a couple of minutes before throwing your garment into the wash. By tackling the stain ASAP, you'll be able to maximise the chances of achieving a successful stain removal so the next time you stain your clothes, don't procrastinate and work on it ASAP!
4. Turn your darks inside out
Over time and after several washes, it's pretty normal for some of our dark clothes to start fading. Thankfully, there are various tricks to help to combat this fading, allowing us to preserve the colour of our darks for as long as possible. One such tip to keep your darks vibrantly dark is to simply turn them inside out before throwing them into the washing machine! By doing so, it prevents the fabric surfaces from rubbing against one another, preventing any colour erosion from happening (at least on the exterior side).
5. Sort them out (and no, not just by colour)
Anyone who does their laundry would probably be familiar with the concept of sorting your laundry out and separating them into different loads. Whilst we're typically accustomed to sorting our laundry out into different laundry baskets based on their colours, it'd actually be a good idea to go a couple steps further and separate them by their level of dirtiness, type of fabrics, etc. For instance, you'd want to separate those clothes that are very dirty or muddy from pieces that are lightly soiled. Similarly, you'd also want to separate more delicate fabrics (e.g. knits) from more heavy or abrasive fabrics like denim. and heavy or abrasive fabrics like denim from more delicate ones. Apart from helping to keep your clothes more fresh, this will also help to extend their lifespan, allowing you to enjoy wearing your clothes for a couple more years.