Seems like a silly statement doesn’t it? Actually, it’s not at all. You’d be surprised about how many mistakes are made every day when it comes to laundry. There’s always an efficient method for anything, even your household chores. To impress those around you and to share some wisdom, let’s guide you through how to do your laundry like a pro.
Ways to wash your clothes
It doesn’t have to be just a washing machine to get the job done, especially when we are factoring in different materials and energy costs. Some materials require you to hand wash them, especially if they’re delicate. Next time you see a little stain on your tea towel or clothing, consider giving them a quick wash in the sink using the right soap instead of chucking a small load in and using needless energy.
Make salads and a quick wash
Did you know your salad spinner can help with your laundry too? These kitchen gadgets can help you go greener in more ways than one as they are also ideal for washing delicates: your bras, underwear etc. Just add the items into the strainer and wet them under the tap before adding some detergent and spinning. Leave them for 10 minutes, and then rinse them under the tap to clear the soap.
The trusted washing machine
And, of course, when you’ve separated your clothes into the right piles, the washing machine is super efficient because you can set them to a range of different settings. Always refer to your appliance’s instructions and your clothing labels. New denim jeans may need to be washed completely separately the first few times for any colour runs – and they don’t actually need to be washed as often as you think. Cottons have their own setting, and towels benefit from higher temperatures and no fabric softener. Mostly though, keeping your washing energy setting at 30 or 40 degrees will be absolutely fine for your general everyday clothes depending on how dirty they are.
Protecting clothes in the washing machine
When you’ve brought the laundry basket down, do you just chuck the load in and press the button? There’s things you can do to help protect your clothes once they’re in the drum.
- Hook your bras and use a pillowcase: Simply hook any bras before they go in for their wash. This stops them snagging on other clothes, and prevents them from the elastic bending or stretching out of shape. You can also put them in a pillowcase or mesh bag to help them keep their shape as well as to protect them from damage from the rest of the clothes in the load.
- Close all your zippers: Prevent snags and tears by making sure all the zippers are zipped up all the way – you don’t want the teeth catching and trapping anything in there.
- Unbutton your shirts: If you leave these buttoned-up in the machine you risk the holes being damaged over time and the buttons becoming loose.
- Use tea tree oil to kill mould and remove bad smells: Because of the mould and mildew that thrive in damp conditions, clothes can develop musty odours especially if they’re not dried thoroughly. To help with this, why not add a few drops of tea tree oil to the detergent of your next load? Tea tree oil is antibacterial and will kill off any mould and banish bad smells.
- Add salt to stop colours fading: By adding a tablespoon of salt to your wash, you will help seal in colours. The chloride in the salt helps to lock in the dyes to the fabrics, so you can keep clothes looking fresh and straight-from-the-shops for as long as possible.
Efficient drying methods
You may have the handy dryer for you to pop in your clothes and be done with, but there are still efficient hacks for you to use in the drying part of your laundry routine – even in the dryer. You don’t have to use the dryer for every load either, especially during the warmer months. Make drying a breeze with these effective methods.
When spring and summer come around, your washing line rope will be happy to get some attention! Hanging clothes up to dry in the baking sun is such a great idea – you save on electric and energy bills whilst minimising creasing. And they can be dry in no time, especially your thinner materials. When the temperatures fall outside and the sun goes into hibernation, or the heavens open up, you can still hang your clothes up indoors with a ceiling airer or concertina clothes airer.
Steam dry with ice cubes
Ironing – just another chore to the list. Well, ice cubes can help by giving you an easier alternative to smoothing out creases. Just add a few ice cubes to the creased clothes in your dryer and run it on hot for five minutes, and you’ll have yourself a makeshift steamer.
Use a dry towel to speed up drying
Saving you both time and energy, you can toss in a good-sized dry towel with your wet clothes before starting the dryer for a 15-minute cycle. The towel will absorb moisture from the clothes, reducing the drying time for you! As long as you don’t need that towel right away after the load has dried – you can hang the wet towel up to air dry – this works as a brilliant drying hack.
A greener dry with eco-friendly wool dryer balls
Eco-friendly dryer balls work by cutting the drying time in half, again, saving you on energy bills! They also remove the static, fluff your towels and clothes.
If your clothes have shrunk in the dryer, there’s a hack for that. Take your smaller-in-size item and soak it in warm water with some standard hair conditioner. Then, spread it out to dry, and stretch it a few times to reshape it back to its original size.
Have an organised system
And finally, with all the hacks to use and washing machine buttons studied, it all works with an efficient and organised system. This mainly applies to larger and busier households. Is there a laundry leader? Or does everyone do their own thing? Do whatever works for the household, but be mindful about saving energy and cutting down on washing tiem. Having people or family members come down to wash a few items on their own can rack up energy bills by having the machine on constantly.
Maybe have closable laundry baskets that are labelled on the landing for everyone to chuck and mix together similar items. And once the basket is full, it’s time for the wash – will whoever sees it’s full take it down or is there a designated laundry head? There will be times people need to have some clothes immediately washed, maybe it’s a uniform they need the next day, but as long as there is a basic system, you can run a better and efficient laundry system. Now you’re a pro.