1. Select the right temperature
Selecting the right water temperature for each specific laundry load is key for success. Cold water works well for delicate fabrics, items that might shrink and sensitive dark colors that tend to bleed. Cold water also saves you money by reducing the cost of utilities. Warm water is appropriate for moderately soiled clothing and man-made fabrics. Hot water should be used for bedding and towels, cotton whites and heavily stained work clothes, specifically those with oil or grease stains.
2. Select the right detergent
When it’s time to choose a detergent, we often buy the one our parents used or grab the one that’s cheapest. There are much better ways to select a detergent to meet your laundry needs. Powdered detergents work well for general loads and are usually less expensive; however, they don’t always dissolve correctly in cold water and leave white residue on fabrics. Liquid detergents, which usually contain enzymes are good for pretreating stains. The key to selecting a liquid detergent that fits your needs is to read the list of ingredients. More enzymes in the formula equal better cleaning power. But what about the single dose pods, packs and tablets? They are convenient and easy to use. They prevent overdosing but check the price per load if you’re on a budget.
3. Use LESS detergent
One of the biggest laundry mistakes is using too much detergent. Overdosing detergent can create so many suds that they trap soil allowing it to redeposit on clothes. Try using one-half less than the recommended amount and see if you are pleased with the results. Your clothes will look better and you’ll save money. And, if you have a front load washer that smells terrible, using less detergent may just solve your problem.
4. Catch stains quickly
The key to successful stain removal is to act now! As soon as possible after stains occur, rinse or soak the garment in cold water, apply a stain remover and get it into the washer. If the stain is still there, never put the garment in the dryer. Use a stain remover and rewash. And, be sure to use the right stain removal technique for each type of stain.
5. Avoid bleeding colours
No one wants the the surprise of pink underwear or a tie-dyed effect on a white shirt. In other words, always sort your clothes correctly to prevent colors from bleeding onto unsuspecting fabrics. To find out if something is colorfast before you wash it, wet a cotton swab and rub it on an inside corner or seam and see if the dye transfers to the swab. If it does, hand wash the item separately.
6. Reduce fading
Clothes are expensive and fading can cause them to look worn out very quickly. By turning dark-colored clothes inside out before washing you can avoid abrasion and wear to fabric surfaced that cause dull appearances. Also ask yourself if they really need cleaning? The more you wash your clothes the more you subject them to wear and tear, so ask yourself if those jeans could be worn a few more times before they into the washer.
7. Avoid shrinking & stretching
The reasons clothes shrink – and stretch – are varied from fiber content and type of weave to how you wash or clean them. Some of the best ways to avoid shrinking or stretching in clothing is to use a cold water setting, avoid too much agitation and a hot clothes dryer.
8. Keep whites looking bright
When whites start going gray or yellow, it could be because you are using water temperatures that are too low. Or, you may be overloading your washer and piling in really dirty clothes that cause dirt to resettle on mildly soiled clothes making them dull.
9. Handle delicate garments with care
To make bras and delicate undergarments hold their shape and last longer, wash them by hand in a sink filled with cool water. Or, if you want to use the washer, toss bras in a mesh lingerie bag and use the delicate cycle.
10. Reduce wrinkles
Who has time to iron? Use a fabric softener or dryer sheet to help reduce fabric wrinkles and select the lowest dryer temperature setting possible that will still get the job done. Always remove clothing from the dryer as quickly as possible when dry and immediately fold or hang.