If it has been awhile since you have had to do laundry, watching the pile of dirty clothes accumulate into a small mountain can be an intimidating site. While you may have fears of shrinking clothes or turning white clothes pink, knowing a few simple rules can make the process painless and keep your clothes looking the way they are supposed to look.
First, it is important that you become familiar with the washing instructions on your clothing. Most clothes will have instructions on how to properly wash the item located on the tag. Sometimes the laundering tag is different than the size and brand tag on shirts. If you cannot find instructions on the tag located at the back of the collar, check to see if the shirt has another tag located on the left-side seam of the shirt. Often times, laundering instructions are located on the tag in this remote location.
Things to look for on the tags of your clothing:
- if the item should be washed in hot, warm or cold water,
- how the item should be washed (permanent press, regular, delicate, hand wash, etc.), and
- if the item should be dried (in the dryer, laid flat or hung to dry).
Taking the time to read these tags on your clothing can save you a lot of money and frustration.
While you are looking at the tags on your clothing, you should sort clothes into piles that require the same type of washing care. For example, you should place all of the clothes that require cold water washing in one pile, all of the clothes that require warm water washing in another and all of the clothes that require hot water washing in another. Each pile will become its own load of laundry. In addition to these piles, separate your whites into their own pile. Whites generally need to be washed separately from all your other clothes if you want to keep them white.
While separating your clothing, look for any stains that might be on your clothes. If you notice a stain, it is important to treat it with a stain remover or soak it before washing. If you do not treat stains properly before washing them, they may become permanent.
Before putting any of your loads into the washer, you should measure the correct amount of detergent and put it into the machine. If you have a high efficiency washing machine, it will require less detergent than a traditional washing machine. Use the guide on the detergent container to determine how much detergent you need to use for your load of clothes. Once you have added your detergent, allow the washing machine to fill up with water. When the machine is filled with a nice soapy mixture, add your clothes and start the wash cycle.
When filling the washer with clothes, be sure not to overload your washer. Putting too many clothes in the machine will not clean your clothes sufficiently. The washing machine that you are using should have instructions on how much is too much. As a general rule, if you have to pack your clothes into the machine, you have too many clothes in there.
When taking clothes out of the dryer, be sure to remove items promptly. This will eliminate the much of the need to iron your clothes.