Doing laundry can seem like daunting task due to the numerous symbols, wash cycles, and temperatures printed on your clothes and machine. But fear not! We have a basic laundry run-down to help keep your clothes looking their best.
1. Begin by soaking or pre-treating any clothes with heavy staining. Popular pre-treatments include Ace and Vanish – choose your favourite and carefully follow the instructions to avoid damage to your clothes.
2. Separate your colours into whites, lights, colours, and darks. If you don’t have enough lights or whites for a full load, you can combine them.
2b. Optional: Separate your loads again by material so you can wash everything at the ideal temperature and cycle. If you would prefer to wash your clothes by colour only, choose the cycle that’s suited to the most delicate items.
3. Turn any printed shirts, jumpers, and dark items inside-out to stop your clothes from fading.
4. Load the machine and choose a detergent and softener. Detergent cleans clothes and helps to remove stains whilst softener keeps your garments soft and static-free, giving them a gorgeous scent at the same time.
5. Whilst loading, ensure your clothes have plenty of space to move around in the drum. Your machine should have a label to tell you what the maximum load weight is.
6. Choose your cycle and temperature. A lot of washing machines may already have specific cycle settings for delicates, whites, cotton, and polyester - these should set the perfect temperature for you automatically.
7. Once done, unload the machine as soon as possible to avoid wrinkles. Air dry them or put them in the tumble dryer. If using a dryer, make sure you check the labels on your clothes to see if they’re suitable for the dryer and what temperature they can be dried at.
8. After your clothes are fully dry, hang them in your wardrobe straight away or iron if necessary. Ironing gives your clothes a fresher look whilst protecting the fabric to give your clothes a longer lifespan.
Note: Ironing polyester can be a bit of headache as it's susceptible to heat damage. When ironing polyester items, be sure to turn your garment inside out, use a low heat, and steam-iron where possible.
1. Check if any items need pre-treatment and treat as necessary.
2. Fill your sink with room temperature water and add a mild detergent.
3. Soak your garments and gently clean them with your hands.
4. Remove items from the sink and place in a colander during rinsing. This stops your clothes from stretching under the weight of the water.
5. Squeeze out the excess water without wringing or twisting - doing so can damage the delicate fibres.
6. Gently lay your items on a towel and roll them up to encourage water absorption.
7. When damp, lay your items on an airer and leave to dry.
→ Only use the amount of detergent and softener as stated on the packaging. This avoids any soap residue being left behind.
→ Treat stains as soon as possible.
→ Put delicate laundry in a laundry bag to keep them protected. If you don’t have a washing machine bag, try using a pillowcase or an old pair of tights instead.
→ Fasten all zips to stop them snagging on other clothes.
→ Make sure all buttons on shirts are undone, including the ones on the cuff. This stops unnecessary stress being put on the buttons and buttonholes.
→ Reduce static cling by adding balls of tin foil to your dryer.
→ Always keep your washer and dryer clean and/or get them regularly serviced.
→ Washing on a cold temperature is usually the best option. It washes effectively whilst protecting your clothes from excessive heat, and could even reduce your energy bills. If you can, wash clothes that need high heat, such as whites and stained items, separately.
→ Use different laundry baskets or hampers for lights and darks. You can then separate them throughout the week as you change, easily seeing which colours have enough for a full load without needing to rummage around your hamper.
For more laundry tips and inspiration, check out our other articles below or browse our incredible collection of laundry products.