How to Do Laundry: The Ultimate Guide
Did you know that 70% of the stuff that makes your clothes dirty is invisible?
That's right, those sweaty workout clothes and that shirt with a pizza stain is the least of your worries. You need to worry about the dead skin cells, oil, and dried sweat that's lurking in your clothes. If only there was a way to remove that. News flash—there is! It's called laundry.
Before you buy new underwear or mail your laundry to your mom, know that learning how to do laundry is easier than you might think. Read on for our best tips for tackling your first load.
Check the Care Labels On Your Clothes
The first thing you need to do is find the care label which will tell you how to wash each particular garment. It might tell you to wash it with similar colors, avoid hot water, skip bleach, or have it dry cleaned instead. If you want your clothes to look good post-wash, make sure to follow the directions. You'll also notice some fabric care symbols at the bottom of the tag. These symbols tell you things like which wash cycle or water temperature to use. Refer to this fabric care symbols guide for help.
Sort Clothes By Color
Focus on your clothes first. If any bath towels or bed sheets are in your hamper, separate them out to wash later. For the best results, you want to wash similar colors and fabric types together. Start by making one pile of white or light gray clothes, one pile of colors, and one pile of black or dark clothes. You can make a separate pile for jeans and other heavy fabrics.
This is a good time to check pockets for receipts or wrappers, which can make a mess in the wash. Button-up shirts and pants and close zippers so they don't get caught while you're washing them.
Gather Your Supplies
To do laundry, you need to have laundry detergent and dryer sheets. Some people also like to use bleach or liquid fabric softener, but these products are optional. It's just a matter of personal preference and depends on what you're washing. Bleach is a handy disinfectant, but it can discolor anything that's not white. If you want to use bleach, add it to a load of whites for the best results. Liquid fabric softener makes clothes feel softer, which is especially helpful if you have hard water.
Pre-Treat Any Stains
It's a good idea to keep a stain stick or spray on hand when you're doing laundry. It's even better if you apply the stain remover shortly after the stain happens.
It's important to catch stains before you wash your clothes. Washing a stain without pre-treating it can make it harder to remove in the future.
The Settings and Wash Cycle The next thing to do is choose the water temperature, load size, and wash cycle. You can choose between cold, warm, and hot for water temperature for washing, but you should always rinse with cold water. Coldwater won't damage your clothes and it's better for the environment. It's great for delicate fabrics, colors that might fade, and clothes that aren't too dirty. Warm water is best for clothes with some stains and colorful fabrics. You should use hot water to disinfect socks, underwear, towels, and bedsheets. Keep in mind that hot water can cause fading.
You'll also need to pick the load size based on the size of the washer's capacity and your load of laundry. For example, if your load will fill half the capacity of the washer, you have a medium load. The wash cycle settings you have will depend on your machine, but the most common ones are delicate, normal colors, and heavy-duty. Each wash cycle has a wash, rinse, and spin cycle, but at different lengths. Delicate works for bras and light-weight fabrics, while normal works for cotton fabrics. Use the heavy-duty cycle for jeans and towels.
Load the Washing Machine
Once you've chosen the settings, start the machine. As the water is running, add your detergent according to the package directions. Now you can start loading your clothes. If it's a top-loading machine, make sure there's an even amount of clothes on all sides of the agitator. Make sure you don't get bra straps wrapped around the agitator as it can damage the bra strap.
Close the lid and let it work its magic!
Transfer Clothes to the Dryer
Once the washing machine is done running, transfer the clothes to the dryer. If you're worried about something shrinking, let it dry on a hanger instead.
Empty the lint trap and put a dryer sheet in with your clothing. Then, choose a temperature setting and a time. For the best results, dry lightweight clothes on a cooler temperature and heavy clothes on a hotter temperature. Most clothes will dry in about an hour or less, so keep this in mind if you can set a time.
Fold Clothes as Soon as Possible
When the dryer finishes, fold up your clothes as soon as you can. The less time your clothes sit in the dryer or in a laundry basket, the fewer wrinkles they'll have.
If you're at a laundromat, fold them up as soon as you pull them out of the dryer. If you're at home, transfer them all to a laundry basket and take them to your room to fold them up.
How to Wash Towels and Bedding
Washing towels and bedding is similar to washing your clothes. But, make sure to wash them in hot water to remove body oils. If you're washing white towels, feel free to add in some bleach as a disinfectant. If there's a sheets setting, use that to wash your bedding. If not, a normal setting will work fine.
Don't Have Time to Learn How to Do Laundry? Let Us Handle It!
Knowing how to do laundry is a valuable life skill that everyone should know. When you learn how to properly do laundry, your clothes will last longer and look cleaner.
Sometimes, life gets in the way and you don't have time to do your laundry. If that happens, you can turn to Hamperapp for help.
We'll wash, dry, and fold your clothes for you. Plus, we pick it up and drop it off right at your door. Order our services or download our app to get started!