I do not know about you but I feel as if I have been doing laundry my entire life. It must be because my husband and my daughter could not wash a towel in a flood much less load the washing machine. However, lately it seems that my laundry was not as clean and fresh as it used to be. I began to pay more attention when I was loading the washing machine, instead of doing it on autopilot while I was half asleep, and I realized that I was not remember the basics of laundry. Once I stopped and took a few moments to review Laundry 101, it solved the problem of my laundry not being as clean as it could be.
Laundry 101 reminders
Do not overload – In today’s hectic rush, we want to get chores done quicker and easier. Therefore, we tend to overload the washing machine to reduce the amount of loads we have to clean. To save energy and water, you should do full loads but for the cleanest laundry do medium sized loads.
Sort laundry – I know this sounds old-fashioned because most people just throw everything in together. However, some items should be washed in hot water to get them their cleanest while hot water may damage some items. Sort laundry by cycle, water temperature and color and then use the correct water temperature, detergent and cycle to clean them properly. Furthermore, keep items that shed lint (i.e. towels) out of the load that attracts lint (i.e. knits).
Pre-treat stains – This also sounds like something your mother would preach to you; however, it does help keep laundry looking its best. I keep a stain remover stick in the laundry room for treating stains on clothes that I am not washing immediately (make sure that the brand you choose can be left on clothes for several days if you do this). I have a liquid stain remover that I use on items that are going immediately into the washer. Using a color safe bleach and stain removing detergent will also help keep clothes bright and clean.
Use the correct detergent – Detergents are not all created equally no matter what someone might tell you. For example, never use a traditional detergent in a high efficiency washing machine – – this is bad for both your clothes and your washing machine. Since detergents work by attaching to the soil, using too much detergent will cause extra suds that will not rinse completely from the laundry. This leaves soil and detergent on your clothes rather than getting them clean. Remember to use the correct amount of detergent for the load – – more is not necessarily better in this case. In addition, I found detergent that contains certain stain fighters helps keep my laundry looking brighter too.
Sometimes we old dogs need to relearn the tricks we learned years ago. By returning to some of the basics of laundry, I was able to get my clothes cleaner with less effort.