The best way to maintain and prolong the quality of your clothes is by laundering them the right way. You have been washing clothes for years but have you been following the right procedures and tips? This guide goes through some laundry tips to wash your clothes properly.
How to Properly Wash Your Clothes
We can’t make laundry go away, but we can make it easier. Here are 25 tips for washing your clothes properly:
1: Always Read Care Label
The manufacturer’s label attached to your clothes isn’t there for fashion. It’s there to help you know the right way to wash your fabrics. Before washing your clothes, read through the labels to become familiar with the manufacturer’s instructions. For instance, some clothes are better washed by hand than with a machine because they are delicate.
2: Treat Stains First
One of the best tips for stain removal is to act fast. If you have oil stains, paint stains, or any obvious stains on your clothes, it’s best to treat them before laundering them. In most cases, washing your clothes without treating the stains will make them set into the fabric, making it difficult to clean.
3: Wash Less Frequently
To make your clothes last longer and preserve their quality, it’s best to wash them infrequently. Soaking, washing, and drying your clothes too often will only wear them out and weaken the material. So, if your clothes aren’t really dirty, just air dry them instead of washing them.
4: Choose The Right Detergent
Not all detergents are the same, as some are specifically made for certain fabrics, materials, or colors. Powdered detergents are cheaper and work well for most fabrics, but they leave white residues in clothes.
Liquid detergents, on the other hand, are best for pretreating fabrics with stains. Also, some detergents tend to be harsher on fabrics than some. For these reasons, it’s advisable to look out for the detergent you use to ensure it is suitable for the garment.
5: Use Less Detergent
This is hard to believe, but using too much detergent doesn’t always give cleaner results. Instead, too much detergent can create suds that deposit residue into the clothes. For this reason, it’s recommended to use as little detergent as possible for better results.
Using less detergent also lets you save money and reduces skin irritation. Meanwhile, some washing machines have automated dispensers that release the right amount of detergent needle to get your clothes cleaned.
6: Know When To Dry Clean
There are some dry-clean-only clothes you can launder by yourself. In some cases, your dry-clean-only clothes need a professional, especially if they are delicate and have embellishments. Know which clothes you can dry clean at home and ensure you leave the delicate ones for a professional.
7: Separate Bleeding Colors
No one likes red bleeding stains on their white shirts. How can you prevent this? Wash outfits that bleed separately from your other clothes. A great way to identify clothes that bleed is by performing a colorfast test. To do this, wet a cotton ball and rub it in a hidden part of the cloth to see if the dye will transfer. If it does, you need to wash the cloth separately.
8: Sort Out Your Clothes
First, wash your white clothes separately. Also, it would help if you separate your clothes according to color, materials, and how dirty the garments are. So, it would be best if you wash your denim separately from silks and also wash extra dirty clothes separately from other garments.
9: Put Delicate Clothes in a Mesh Bag
Mesh bags create a barrier that protects your delicate clothes from damage when washing. This way, you won’t have to worry about tears, rips, and snags. You can get a mesh bag from supermarkets or use a pillowcase if you don’t have one yet.
10: Wash Delicate Clothes By Hand
Your delicate undergarments, silks, and lingerie are best washed by hand in cool water to prevent them from losing their shape. You can also consider placing them in a mesh bag and washing them under the delicate cycle if you must use a machine.
11: Empty Your Pockets and Do The Zippers Up
Washing outfits with zippers? Ensure you do the zippers up to prevent them from snagging with other clothes in the machine. You should also secure the velcro and close the hooks. Another washing tip is always to remove keys, pens, and other items you may have left behind in the pocket.
12: Turn Dark-Colored Clothes Inside Out
Need to prevent cloth fading? Consider turning your dark clothes inside out before throwing them in the machine. Fading makes clothes look worn out, and turning them inside will reduce abrasion against the fabric. Also, washing inside out prevents accessories like buttons, beads, and sequins from falling off.
13: Use Vinegar To Get Rid of Smells
It’s common for clothes that have stayed in the closet for a while to give off a particular smell. You don’t need to throw it out. What you need is to add a capful of vinegar to your washing machine. This secret ingredient will leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean.
14: Save the Bleach For the Whites
Bleach is a powerful cleaning product, but it often wears out fabric. Also, using bleach on colored fabrics often leads to bleach stains which may be difficult to remove. Save your chlorine bleach for your white clothes, and if possible, don’t use it at all. Also, find out how to get rid of bleach stains from your clothes.
15: Choose the Right Washer Setting
Your light outfits like blouses, shirts, and cotton are best washed in gentle or delicate cycles to prevent wear and tear. Delicate settings produce low heat, which reduces damage to your fabric materials. You can wash thicker fabrics like denim in the normal setting. It’s best to know the type of fabric you’re dealing with, so you can choose the right washer setting. Also, read the label to know the best setting for your garments.
16: Clean Your Washing Machine
Over time, detergents, dirt, and softener can build up in the machine, causing odor and dirt. It’s recommended to clean your washing machine at least once a week or depending on how often you use it. Some machines come with self-cleaning options to make the process easier.
17: Leave the Machine Open After Washing
A good tip to prevent smells and mold build-up is by leaving your machine door open after you wash.
18: Don’t Overload Your Washing Machine
We understand the hurry to get your laundry done as fast as possible but overloading it isn’t the way out. Overloading your machine reduces the space for your machine to interact with clothes. With this, your clothes won’t spin properly and won’t get cleaned well.
Also, overloading your clothes can reduce the performance of your washing machine. Your machine’s manual should have a maximum load amount for each cycle, and we suggest you follow the recommendations.
19: Don’t Leave Wet Clothes in the Machine
Leaving wet clothes in the machine leads to fungus and mildew growth, and you do not want that around your machine. Also, wet clothes can develop an unpleasant smell which may be hard to get rid of. So, dry your clothes immediately after washing them.
20: Wash in Cold Water When Possible
Hot water isn’t good for many fabrics except if they are extremely soiled or recommended by the manufacturer. It’s best to wash your clothes in cold water to prevent the materials from getting weak. Also, hot water tends to be abrasive on fabrics which can cause shrinking, stretching and fading.
21: Use a Fabric Softener to Reduce Wrinkles
Ironing can be quite a tedious task, especially when you have a pile of clothes. A good tip to reduce wrinkles is using a fabric softener and setting your dryer to a low temperature. Another great way to de-wrinkle clothes is by adding ice cubes into the dryer. The steam from the melting ice will remove the wrinkles for you.
Note: Don’t use fabric softener on your towels as they will become less absorbent over time.
22: Consider Air Drying
Air drying your clothes is the best method to dry your washed clothes. Tumble drying involves a lot of spinning and energy, which can damage the fibers of certain fabrics. So, consider leaving your clothes to dry on a hanger or a clothesline. If it’s a woolen garment or other knitwear, consider spreading it on a flat surface to prevent overstretching.
23: Dry Clothes Fast With a Towel
If you need to dry your clothes fast, we suggest adding a dry towel to the dryer for maximum drying efficiency.
24: Freeze Chewing Gum Stains
Dealing with gum stains? We have a tip for you! Throw your stained clothes in a bag and leave them in the freezer for an hour. When you come back for it, the gum will be frozen and easy to peel off.
25: Use Vinegar for Paint and Oil Stains
Vinegar is a great product to remove difficult stains like oil and paint. If you need to pretreat oil or paint stains, apply vinegar to the stained area and then scrub with a sponge or toothbrush.