Most people have done laundry at least once in their life before going to college. That being said, doesn’t it feel like we never really learned how to do it? Either our parents just told us to start doing it ourselves one day, or we had our first experience in those gross freshman dorm laundry rooms. So, once and for all, here’s a guide for how to do your laundry.
Step 1: Separate your laundry into different piles.
There should be a pile for light colors, dark colors and whites. However, if you don’t have enough clothes for whites, either ask your roommates if they have anything white they need you to wash or you can throw them in with the lights. (Only if you really need them clean!)
Step 2: Choose a temperature
Thank to Mama’s Laundry Talk we have all the details on which tempurature to choose:
Use cool water for:
– Items washed on the delicate cycle, such as pantyhose, lingerie, washable silk, wools.
– Items with a delicate construction, such as an antique fabric, or a lacy fabric.
– Any item that you think is going to bleed or the dye will run (whites).
– Items that have a protein stain, such as a blood stain, dairy-based stains or bodily fluids.
– Items that aren’t exceptionally dirty–those that are just lightly dirty.
Use warm water for:
– Dark colors.
– Items washed on permanent-press (synthetic materials, etc).
– Items that are moderately dirty.
Use hot water for:
– Bath Towels, sheets and all other bedding.
– Kitchen Towels, dish rags, pot holders.
– Heavily soiled items (sweaty work-out clothes, etc).
– Items of sturdy fabric, such as white cotton t-shirts or underwear.
– Cleaning rags and cloths.
– Any item that is stained with grease or oils.
Step 3: Select the type of wash
Check the top of the washing machine and look for the labels Regular, Delicate/ Knits or Perm Press or something similar. (Most washing machines have these labels.)
Regular or normal cycle will create the longest cycle with the most movement. And for a dirty, sweaty typical load of clothes this is the cycle you want to choose. Cottons and linens are fabrics that tolerate the normal cycle very well. Jeans, towels and bedding are also fabrics that tolerate this cycle well.
Permanent press is primarily used for synthetic fibers such as rayons, knits, polyesters and acetates. These fabric materials need the movement of the regular cycle, but the slow spin of the delicate cycle so as to not wrinkle clothes.
Delicate or Gentle cycle has the most movement of the three. You would use this when you are washing washable silk, wool or any other delicate fabrics.
Step 4: Put your clothes in the water
After choosing the cycle wait a few minutes for water to rise in the machine. Then add your detergent. Read the label to see how much you should add. If you don’t trust yourself, get those powder/ liquid packets. When the water starts to become sudsy, start adding your clothes.
Step 5: Close the lid and wait for it to be done
Step 6: Decide whether to throw it in the dryer or hang dry
If you don’t want anything to shrink, I suggest hang drying. If you don’t care, then throw it all in! Add a dryer sheet and you’re good to go.
[Photo: Shutterstock ]