Do your laundry, get it right first time and avoid ruining your clothes
No matter how long you’ve been doing laundry, you are bound to make mistakes. As straightforward as the task appears, it is a tad technical. Whether you are a home service maid, a homemaker or run a laundry establishment, you will find these laundry tips helpful.
Laundry Tips That Make Laundry a Success
- Use the Right Detergent
Most people stick with traditional detergents (because it has been in the family for ages) or buy the cheapest ones. Though these reasons are valid, you might be doing your clothes more harm than good. The detergent makes the laundry, so you need to be particular about your detergent choices.
Liquid detergents typically contain enzymes which work to pre-treat stains. When buying liquid detergents, make sure to read the label for a list of the ingredients. The more enzymes, the better. On the flip side, powdered detergents are often employed for general loads and are the cheapest. However, they don’t dissolve completely in cold water. Thus, they leave white residue in their wake.
If you are big on convenience, go for single-dose pods, packs and tablets. These types of detergents are very easy to use and not necessarily expensive. They also work against overdose. Nonetheless, you should always check the price per load if you have financial limitations.
- Do not Bleach Colored Fabrics
Suppose you are a house service maid employed to do laundry, and you produce tie-dye materials out of your employer’s clothes. It will look bad on your resume, wouldn’t it? As such, you should take care not to bleach coloured fabrics, lest they bleed onto other clothes. You can do this by always sorting clothes before hauling them into the machine or hand washing. Sorting might seem like a waste of time, but it is necessary (except if you want to ruin your favourite clothes or give your clients a cause to fire you).
But of course, it is not always possible to differentiate between colourfast fabrics and those that aren’t. Fortunately, you can run the colourfast test on a suspicious fabric before washing; get a cotton swab and wet it with water. Then rub the wet swab on the inside corner or seam of the given cloth. Watch to see if the dye from the fabric stains the swab. If the test comes back positive, wash the material separately. But if it is negative, you can wash the cloth along with the rest.
- Avoid Detergent Overdose
Yes, you have loads of detergent to use, but use sparingly! One of the biggest mistakes that occur during laundry is using too much detergent. Using more detergent than needed creates excessive suds. And sud accumulation makes for redeposition on clothes.
A rule of thumb is to use one-half less than the recommended amount. Using minimal detergent improves the quality of laundered clothes. Plus, it spares money! Your wallet will thank you or your clients will be extremely pleased with your money-conscious service.
- Use the Right Water Temperature
Using the wrong water temperature for a specific laundry load can birth a disaster. Warm water works best for human-produced fabrics and moderately soiled clothing. Hot water is ideal for towels, linens, cotton whites and clothes that are stained with grease or oil.
Cold water is best used for delicate clothing that is prone to stretching and shrinking. You should also use cold water for dark colours with bleeding tendencies. The icing on the cake? Cold water saves money by minimising utility costs. That said, always evaluate the nature of your laundry load to determine the best water temperature to use.
- Brighten your Whites
White-coloured fabrics are sometimes challenging to launder. There’s the fear of stains and colour bleeding. But here’s the good news: you can handle your whites like a seasoned laundress without stress. For starters, wash these delicate fabrics separately in hot water.
For smaller pieces like napkins, linens and socks; make a solution of hot water and lemon slices and bring to a boil. Take the solution off the heat and soak the pieces for an hour or so and then launder. You can also use white vinegar or one-half cup of borax in a gallon of water to whiten white clothes. As a bonus tip: hang your whites out to dry in the sun for extra bleaching!
- Prep Before Washing
Before loading clothes into the washing machine, remove all obstacles that can get trapped in the washer or cause damage to the clothes. Remove items like buckles, pins, snaps, hooks and zippers. Fasten Velcro attachments to prevent abrasions and snags. However, do not button buttons as it can damage the buttons.
Tie strings and sashes to avoid tangled-up situations. Empty clothes with pockets, unroll cuffs and unfurl socks. Items like cotton T-shirts and b sweaters should be washed inside-out because of their delicate nature. Put socks in a mesh bag or pillow case so they don’t get swallowed up by bulkier items. Do the same for lingerie and delicate knitwear.
- Explore DIY Fabric Softeners
Store-bought fabric softeners often feature fragrances and residues that can trigger allergies. They may also create an unsightly buildup on lint screens, obstructing airflow in the process. A good way to solve this problem is to make your own fabric softener.
DIY Fabric softeners are just as effective as the store-bought variety but without chemicals and all that stuff. And guess what? It is as easy as ABC — simply add one-fourth cup and a cup of white vinegar to the final rinse. No matter how adventurous you feel, do not mix vinegar and chlorine bleach.
- Hand Wash Sensitive Fabrics
Clothing that is made of natural fibres like silk, rayon, wool, and linen is best hand-washed than machine-washed (except the label says otherwise). Submerge these items in a mixture of lukewarm water and mild detergent. Next, swish the clothes for three to five minutes.
Drain the water, and rinse until the water runs clear. Next, squeeze out leftover water without wringing. Get a towel and reshape the item on the towel. Then roll up and squeeze out excess water. Repeat the process with a dry towel and hang to dry while flipping once.
In a Nutshell
When it comes to laundry, it is imperative to work smart. These tips will make you a seasoned laundress in no time. It will also minimise laundry time and improve the quality of your clothes. It is always wise to prepare before laundry by sorting, removing removable, tying what needs to be tied and encasing delicates in mesh bags or pillowcases.
Also, pay attention to clothing labels so you can launder them the right way. Some pieces are averse to dry cleaning while some can be laundered in any way. And don’t hesitate to hire a home service maid from the House Service App if laundry is too much work to handle!
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