Although not many people talk about it, becoming a grown-up means learning to do your laundry or paying someone else to do it for you.
Photo by DONIYER YAKHSHIBAYEV form PxHere
But that second option might not be readily available everywhere you go. If you’re living in the city, a simple voice command, “drop off laundry near me,” can give you at least three laundry options nearby to your place.
But it may still come in handy to learn the basics of doing your laundry. After all, it isn’t rocket science to clean your shirts, trousers, and underwear.
Firstly, you want to segregate all your clothes that need washing into different piles. The segregation will be done based on two broad categories:
Colour – You should always avoid washing dark clothes with light-colored or white garments. While washing, dark clothes tend to let off their dye in almost negligible amounts. But the quantity is enough to ruin your white outfits. It is thus advisable to wash them separately. A good rule of thumb is to differentiate the clothes into three color piles – white, light-colored, and dark.
Soil – You should consider washing heavily and lightly soiled clothes separately. Lightly soiled clothes can absorb dirt and other pollutants from the heavily soiled clothes while cleaning. It may result in the loss of color vitality for colored apparel. White clothes may increasingly show tinges of grey or yellow on them.
People also prefer segregating according to the type of washing agents needed, duration of wash cycles, water temperatures, etc. But the two points mentioned above should be enough to get you bright and clean clothes.
Check the Label
If you have never checked what’s mentioned on the apparel’s labels apart from the size, then it’s time to get yourself familiarized with them. You will find that some items are forbidden from washing, such as coats, some types of silk and woolen garments, etc. You can only dry-clean these clothes. In such scenarios, you should do a quick search, “drop off laundry near me,” and submit the clothes for dry-cleaning.
Cloth labels also specify any particular type of care needed for the garment fabric and have instructions for washing.
Prepping is a fundamental step before you load your garments into the washing machine. It basically includes conducting a thorough search and getting the clothes ready for washing. Look for coins, cards, keys, or anything that might be hidden away inside the pockets. Small metallic objects might lodge themselves inside the washing machine and result in the malfunctioning of the device. You might also regret losing important papers, bills, and documents later on.
It is advisable to button-up or chain-up shirts and tops while cleaning them. Turning clothes inside-out might also help in better cleaning and reducing color dissolution.
Loading the clothes into the washing machine might seem simple, but there are several considerations you have to take into account. Read the washing machine manual carefully, as it will have instructions on how much weight is permissible for loading per wash. Also, do not stuff the washer too densely as it might impede effective cleaning. It is a good idea to leave a gap of at least five inches from the washing machine door.
Here comes the tricky part. Choosing the perfect washing agent(s) will depend upon the type of clothes you have, the kind of result you want, and the degree to which the clothes need cleaning. It is necessary not to use too little or excess detergent. Neither will ensure optimum cleaning. This is where your cloth label-reading skills will prove helpful. Check the label and use the appropriate amount and type of detergent for the garments.
To give you an idea, here is a list of different types of detergents that you can use:
- Liquid – All-purpose detergents that are especially helpful for cleaning greasy stains from food or other similar sources. They can effectively penetrate spots and stains.
- Powder – People mostly prefer this all-purpose detergent for general washing loads. They are particularly effective in removing clay and dirt.
- Ultra – Highly concentrated, they have a strong efficacy in removing stubborn stains and spots from clothes. This type of detergent is used mainly by professionals. But if you decide to use it, make sure to take only the mentioned quantity or else it might permanently damage your clothes.
- Fragrance or Dye-Free – If you do not prefer the scent of washing agents, this is the perfect option for you. As the name suggests, these detergents do not have any fragrance or dye in their composition.
Now it’s time for the main washing. You should primarily select cold water for cleaning regular clothes. Only clothes that require sanitizing, such as towels, baby diaper clothes, etc., require washing in hot water.
If you have a particularly soiled pile, select a longer wash cycle. Otherwise, it is alright to go with the medium-duration wash cycle.
If you cannot find the time to do your laundry, you can always choose a laundry service with a good reputation and turnaround time.