Is there such a thing as perfect laundry? How do you even define perfect in the context of washing and drying clothes?
If you're the kind of person who just picks up dirty clothes and dumps them in the washer, then you're doing something far less perfect than you ought to be doing.
Here are some easy tips to do perfect laundry. These tips may not include collecting detergent coupons to save on soap, but they are definitely helpful. What would make everything even more perfect is an additional tip on how to lower utility bills for washing your clothes.
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How To Wash Your Laundry Perfectly
Prepare your clothes for washing
This is the part where you sort your laundry between coloreds and whites, empty the pockets for anything that can destroy the washer, unbutton buttons, tie sashes and strings, unroll cuffs, unfurl socks, and place delicate items in zippered mesh bags.
Place like items together in piles so you don't miss an item.
Treat stains before washing
If you failed to fix stain right after it happened, you need to fix it before washing and, most especially, before drying. Heat can set stains which means there's no getting rid of them forever once stained laundry goes into the dryer.
Wash whites and colors separately
Even when you know colored clothes will not run, err on the side of safety and wash whites separately. Don’t risk it.
Then, brighten them without using bleach. Use a mix of borax or white vinegar and water to bleach naturally. A solution of lemon slices and hot water also makes a great alternative.
Then, hang whites in the sun for natural bleaching.
Know when to hand wash clothes
Clothes made of natural fibers should be hand washed. You can do the same for those labeled “dry clean only”. You just need to know how to do it right.
The first thing you need to do is to immerse delicates into a solution of mild detergent and lukewarm water. Swish for 3 to 5 minutes and then drain.
Do not wring wet clothes but squeeze out excess water gently.
You can also use a towel to press out excess water. Then, hang clothes on a drying rack.
Linen, silk, wool, and rayon can be hand washed as well.
Know when to dry clean
Although you can hand wash clothes that are labeled dry clean only, avoid doing so for very delicate fabrics and for clothes that have embellishments, such as sequence, beading, and fur.
Those made of suede and leather should be handled professionally as well.
Clothes that are heavily soiled, especially with oil-based stains, are also best dry cleaned. These garments may require specialized solvents that cleaners have.
Understand the wash cycle
Are you one of those people who just turned on the washer without a care?
You might want to correct this.
Using the correct washer settings will ensure your clothes are properly cared for. So if you're wondering why some of your shirts don’t last long, the washer setting you used could be the reason.
- When washing sturdy and dirty clothes, use the regular cycle.
- When washing an average load, use the permanent press setting.
- When washing loosely woven or lacy fabrics, use the delicate cycle.
- When washing whites, use hot water and for bright colors, cold water.
Solar energy is not only a natural bleach but also a natural stain remover, so you should line dry clothes if this is an option for you.
Line drying so also uses zero energy, keeps your white clothes sparkling white, and eliminates fire hazards. So ditch the dryer whenever possible and take advantage of the sun.