You don't have to dread doing laundry if you know how to do it fast. Our friends at All You have a helpful guide on getting through your dirty clothes — fast.
1. Sort Clothes
- Buy a double hamper with baskets or bags for darks and lights, and put an additional hamper in the bathroom for sheets and towels.
- Have your kids pick up and sort their clothes daily — which means less work for you.
- Read labels carefully and opt for the gentlest washing and drying methods recommended; they can help extend the life of your clothes.
- Sort clothes into piles of darks, lights, and items including underwear and sheets that need to be laundered in hot water to kill bacteria.
- Separate fuzzy fabrics such as chenille or cotton fleece from corduroy, velour, or permanent press items, or the whole load will be covered in lint.
- Avoid fading and prevent damage to clothing by turning corduroy, knits, and denim inside out before washing.
2. Pretreat stains
Don't let stains ruin your clothes. Tackle spills and mishaps immediately with a prewash stain remover that can be applied up to a week in advance, then toss clothing in the hamper. Make your own stain remover by mixing two parts water and one part rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Treat stain, then let sit for a few minutes.
3. Washing and Save
- Invest in a front-loading machine, which uses less water and energy than a top-loader.
- To cut your utility bill, select cold water for everything but sheets, towels, and underwear (which require hot water) and stained items (warm water).
- Carefully measure detergent. Cleansers are more concentrated than ever, and it's fine to use about half the manufacturer's recommendation.
- Put clothes through an extra spin cycle to remove more water and minimize drying time.
- Avoid liquid fabric softener, which can gunk up your washer and lead to costly repairs.
4. Maintain Garment Quality
By taking a few simple steps, you can make your wardrobe look better and last longer.
- Fill the machine with large and small items mixed loosely. Clothes get cleaner when they don't rattle around in a nearly empty drum.
- Be careful not to overfill the machine — when the washer is crammed it won't remove dirt as effectively, and clothes can get twisted and damaged.
- Place lingerie in protective mesh bags, then air-dry. For cotton and acrylic knits, use a sweater bag to reduce pilling.
- To keep new, dark clothing from fading, add a cup of table salt to the rinse cycle to set the color the first time you launder.
5. When to Wash
One of the best ways to cut costs is to clean your clothes only when they're dirty — and not everything needs to be laundered with the same frequency.
- Jeans: Since denim masks stains well, you can go as long as five wearings until you need to wash jeans.
- Pajamas: Because you shed skin cells and sweat during sleep, throw your nightclothes in the hamper after three or four wearings.
- Skirts: Sweat isn't really an issue with skirts — particularly if you wear styles that don't cling to you — so you can go several wearings between washes.
- Tops and dresses: As long as you don't perspire heavily and you apply deodorant lightly, you can wear these items two or three times per cleaning.
- T-shirts and tank tops: These pieces are worn close to the body, absorbing oils and perspiration, so wash after every wearing.
- Bras and camisoles: Unless you sweat profusely, you can wash bras after every two wearings.
6. Hand Launder With Care
When washing clothes by hand, start by sorting delicate items by color.
- Wash new pieces individually, because the colors might run.
- Dilute a gentle liquid detergent in cold water. Then add clothing to the sink or basin. Two or three pieces is likely the maximum you can wash at one time.
- Make sure all items are completely immersed. Knead for a minute or two, then allow to soak for 15 minutes or according to label instructions.
- Rinse by holding the item under running water. Or drain the sink, refill with clean water and immerse the item and agitate. Repeat with more clean water until it shows no traces of soap.
- Lay garment on a clean, dry towel. Roll up garment and towel, then squeeze to remove excess water.
Read the full article on All You to see all of the cleaning tips and tricks!
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