One of the first things I found out when I left home and saw how other people struggled to figure out how to do some essential adulting tasks. One of the ones I found most interesting was that they tended to still give laundry to their parents or would quickly discover that they had ruined a lovely sweater or another delicate item.
Why do I think this is important?
There are a few reasons, but a lot of them come down to money and wastage. Without proper care, it can mean that clothes need to be replaced more regularly or if they can’t be replaced due to a lack of money, they may look worse for wear sooner. Some of the problems that can occur are:
- Stains not being washed out properly or being set into the clothes
- Clothes could be accidentally dyed a different colour (we’ve all heard of pink shirts)
- Clothes can become misshaped or shrunken
- Clothes colours fade more quickly
What are the tips to doing laundry properly?
The Care Label is your best friend
The care label pretty much is the major guru in all clothing related queries but unfortunately, not everyone can decipher what the symbols mean. Thankfully you can download a cheat sheet here to print out.
How to Sort laundry
Now most people will tell you to sort your laundry into darks, colours and lights, but over the years I have learnt this is a terrible idea and realised that clothes should be sorted into wash types:
- Cotton Wash
- Synthetics Wash
- Delicates/wool wash
They then can be colour separated before you take a load of a specific wash type to be washed. So if I need a white shirt I could go into my cotton wash for one and then just visually pick out lights only where taking the time to read each label in the light pile would probably take a lot more time.
Extra protection with colour catchers
Colour catching sheets are about a £2 for a box of them, now you may not always need them but if you are washing that red and white t-shirt for the first time and aren’t sure if the colours will bleed then it is worth chucking in one of those colour catcher sheets that cost about 10p each sheet to be on the safe side.
Beware of hot temperatures
A lot of protein stains are set in by hot temperatures so whilst it might seem like it would be a great idea to increase the temperature to get rid of a stain it can be a mistake. It is better to pre-treat the stain (usually adding a tiny bit of washing up liquid will do) then wash it on a low temperature and then check before you put it to dry or in the tumble dryer. If it is still there than you can always rewash it with a better pre-treating solution, if not then you are safe to go ahead.
The Tumble dryer danger
When I was younger I tumble dried most of my clothes as I lived in a flat with no washing line and there was never enough hanging space on radiators dry my clothes. I now realise the error of my ways as many of my clothes became shrunken and misshaped. This again was all because I didn’t bother to read the care label. It is important that clothes are dried properly according to the care label to avoid that shrinkage and misshapen clothes.
Feature Photo Credit: Ryan McGuire
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