Doing laundry is probably one of the easiest household tasks. You’ll still need to follow a few golden rules, otherwise you’re headed straight for fabric hell.
To help you out, we have condensed what we believe are the 10 most important laundry rules in existence. Golden-fresh goodness just for you.
1. Time is of the essence
The length of time between when clothes are soiled and washed is often overlooked. The worst the stains, the more embedded they’ll be in the fabric. This goes just as much for foul odors and smells. For “wet” laundry (sponges, sports clothes, etc.), it’s even more important. They must be washed as soon as possible.
If you’re not able to do it ASAP, at the very least let them dry off to avoid moisture and faded colors. They may get permanently ruined.
2. To each its own
You will need to separate your laundry according to their colors, textiles, and care labels. You should be at least partly aware of what fabrics your clothes are made out of. This will dictate what kind of detergent you will be using, as well as which temperature/mode you will wash them.
3. Labels above all
If you have no clue how to wash a specific piece of clothing, check the care label inside. It may sound obvious, but a lot of people disregard the clear instructions.
Here is an excellent, and thorough cleaning guide when it comes to care labels.
Here is an excellent and thorough care label guide.
Who knew there were so many variations?
4. Dry wash means dry wash
This may seem like a redundant and/or self-evident rule, however so many people disregard this obvious indication. Yes, dry wash most likely means you’ll have to take a walk to the nearby dry-cleaner, and pay for your dry wash. It’s worth it. If you put your suit in a washer, it will come out badly damaged, for good (well, worse). Think twice before putting it in auto washer.
On top of that, there are only a handful of clothes that require specifically a dry wash. Yet another reason to not be frivolous when it comes to your fancy clothing.
5. Inside-out is always better
There are a couple of reasons why turning clothes inside-out is a good idea for your laundry. First, the problem areas will oftentimes be on the inside (especially when it comes to clothes). More importantly, turning them upside down allows to soften the blow on the colors. This is especially relevant for jeans, colorful clothes, printed-on shirts and other delicate fabrics.
6. Clean it out
Remove any lingering stuff from all the pockets. You wouldn’t want a dirty kleenex ruining your black load. For the extra step, turn the pockets inside-out and brush off whatever dirt is left over.
7. Load and dose
The correct dosage (and detergent) is a vital part of the cleaning process. It’s better to underestimate than the other way around. Spending a couple of bucks on a second load is cheaper than buying a whole new wardrobe to replace the ruined one.
Try to also be careful about how much clothes you put into the washer. It’s not just about following your landlord’s rules. A washer that’s packed to the brim won’t let enough cleaning products seep into the clothes and wash the stains away.
8. The last sock
Make sure that when you get your laundry out of the washer you have everything. And I mean everything. You’re bound to forget that last sock embedded deep inside the machine. It’s almost as if it wants to escape you or something. Never leave a sock behind!
9. Line-dry correctly
Some of your laundry may be better off using line-drying. If you do, check that your line and clothespins are clean. Use the pins on the most resistant part of the clothes.
Hang tops from the bottom (t-shirts), and bottoms from the top (jeans).
Dry lighter colors under the sun, and darker ones in the shade.
10. Iron it
Heat sensitivity depends on the textile. Check the care label guide above for more details.
Sort the clothes by their symbols. Place the heaviest ones at the bottom of the pile, and lighter ones at the top.
Start with the ones requiring colder ironing. That way, you’ll avoid waiting for the iron to cool off in between clothes.
Once done, immediately place the clothes on hangers, but let them cool off before putting them in the closet.
Once it’s all done, all that is left is folding. You’re done!
What are some of your personal rules you follow when doing laundry?