It’s a little bit like not knowing how to cook fish and chips. You stick ’em in the oven at whatever temperature it says on the box, on a non-stick baking tray. Easy, eh? You’d be amazed at the amount of people who cook everything at 180C, from meringues to macaroni cheese yet are surprised that their meals never turn out quite right. The same goes for laundry – many people throw everything in the “easy care” cycle and are then surprised when their whites are grey and their blacks dull. If you’re one of those people, listen up – we’re here to tell you how to do laundry. Or, if you’d rather, you could hire someone else to do it for you.
Take the Temperatures
Have you ever looked at any of the care labels on your clothes? If you haven’t, that’s probably why they don’t really look their best. Wash everything with similar colours, and make sure that everything is washed with clothes that need to be washed at the same temperature. It sounds very simple, but it does take a little more time than just chucking everything into the bowl in one go.
To make whites whiter, wash them at a higher temperature – they end up a little bit grey if washed at a cool temperature. You might also be using the wrong type of detergent, or not enough of it. Wash only lightly soiled clothes together instead of lumping everything together – if you do, you’ll end up contaminating the lightly dirty clothes which just means that you’ll have to wash everything again anyway.
Do a Dry Run
Doing a dry run or a dry wash means running the washing machine at least once a month, or more frequently, with detergent in it as though you were going to wash your clothes – but just without the clothes. It cleans all of the inner workings of the washing machine and can really improve the effectiveness of the washes. It’s also a good idea to use water softener tablets in each wash if you’re in a hard-water area, as limescale can get into all of the pipes and nooks and crannies of the machine, reducing its efficiency and potentially soiling your clothes even further.
When clothes shrink, it’s either because you’re washing on a too-high or too-hot setting, or because the dryer is too hot. To prevent shrinking, either run the clothes through a cool wash and hang to dry, or dry them on the very lowest setting that you can get away with.
Stop Colour Run
Colour run is a pain in the bum, but it can be avoided. Wash the item that you’re worried about on its own and see if the colour runs or if the water changes colour. If it does, unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to wash it with other clothes and will just have to bite the bullet and do an extra wash every now and then. If not, you’ll be fine (generally) if you turn the item inside out and then pop it in with similar colours at the temperature specified on the label.
Sources: The Nest