If you’re like me you have probably learned by now that mixing the bright pink pair of shorts with the plain white T probably isn’t the BEST idea or that forgetting to read the label in a new pair of pants might cause them to shrink three sizes during their time in the dryer. Throughout three years of college, I have certainly run into my fair share of laundry mishaps and for that reason, I am inclined to share with you a Rookie’s Guide to Doing Laundry.
What you’ll need:
- Detergent or Pods
- Dryer Sheets
- Stain Remover, if necessary
To start, separate your darks, lights, and whites from each other. To clarify, dark items are in the black, navy blue, green and red family. Lights are typically considered pastels, or lighter shades of those dark tones. Within each of these piles it is important to read the labels of anything that you have not washed before, or are unsure about. All clothing items will have a label that indicates whether or not the item is intended to be machine washed, hand- washed, line-dried, or tumble-dried. It is important to abide by the labels instructions to keep your clothes in the best condition.
After your piles have been sorted, and labels have been read, you are safe to load the washer with one load at a time! Don’t forget to empty the pockets of clothes before loading them into the washer! For convenience, I use Pods because they eliminate the opportunity for adding too much detergent, or too little. However, if detergent is your preference there are always directions for how much detergent to use on the bottle and usually require you to fill the cap up to a line with the designated amount. Like I said, pods are the way to go! If you need to add bleach to whiten your clothes, put it in the appropriate dispenser. Bleach can be very harmful to your skin, eyes, and your dark colored clothes. Now for something that can make a BIG difference, water temperature. Darks are always washed on cold. Whites and lights can be washed on warm, usually with no problem. Bedding and pillow cases should be washed with hot to kill germs and bacteria. However, when in doubt wash with cold water because hot can sometimes shrink clothes or cause colors to bleed.
Now for the drying, this is especially important to make sure that you have read the labels of individual items as some can be machine-washed but not dried. You will start to get a better handle on what can be washed and dried after a few trips to the laundry room- so not to worry it won’t always require such diligence! Place your laundry in the dryer. Make sure the lint tray is emptied because if not, it will take much longer to dry. If an item cannot be dried, you may want to invest in a drying rack, which I’ve found very useful for all my non-dryable items.
Some extra useful tips:
- New clothes are likely to bleed so should be hand washed the first time you wash them.
- Lingerie bags are useful for keeping your delicates safe in the wash.
- Treat heavy stains with remover or spot shot before washing.
- Do not put anything in the dryer that you feel may shrink. Let it air-dry, just to be safe.
- Shake clothes after washing to help speed up drying and eliminate wrinkles
- When in doubt, wash on cold!
- Vinegar helps eliminate the musty smell in towels.