Need to Air Your Dirty Laundry? Tips on How to Clean Your Laundry

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If you have a busy schedule – and who doesn’t in this day and age? – chances are that you start thinking about doing your laundry only when you’ve run out of clean towels and underclothes! 

Save yourself the panic situation by setting apart a day or two of the week to do your laundry. Choose a time slot when you’re unhurried and can do justice to the task at hand.

Ten Tips For a Good Laundering Session

  1. First, sort the clothes according to priority.
  2. Then, do a second sorting according to the colours and type of material.
  3. Make sure you read the washing instructions thoroughly and follow them faithfully.
  4. Choose the right detergents and laundry equipment.
  5. Check the clothes for stains and keep aside the stained ones for pre-treatment.
  6. Wash light and dark materials separately to avoid the colour from the dark ones running into the lighter ones.
  7. Use hot water for light materials and whites; for dark clothes, use warm or cold water.
  8. Wash jeans in cold water, setting the machine to the delicate cycle.
  9. Lingerie is best washed by hand. If time does not permit that, put it on the gentle/delicate cycle.  Avoid spin-drying. Use an ‘intimates bag’ to prevent the bras from becoming misshapen.
  10. Make sure that you use the pre-allocated dispensers while adding laundry detergent or fabric softeners.

Stain Removal Tips

  • Grease stains: Scrape the stain with a butter knife to remove excess solids. Place the stain face down on a white paper towel, apply dishwashing liquid on the underside and let it soak for five minutes. Finally, use a pre-treatment liquid before washing off as usual.
  • Wines/ juices/coffee/ tomato sauces/ soft drink stains: Blot off with cold water and sprinkle salt over it so the water gets absorbed. Next, wipe with baking soda and finally with a pre-treatment stain remover.
  • Ink stains: Stretch the stained portion tightly over a glass or container; slowly pour alcohol over the stain, rubbing it with your fingers all the while. Rinse as usual.
  • Nail polish stains: Pre-treat with an acetone-based polish remover.

Five Steps to Wash Your Gym Shoes

Gym shoes too can be washed in a laundry machine if you follow certain basic instructions.

  1. Remove the laces and inserts from the shoes. Pull out the tongue to reveal maximum surface.
  2. Brush off loose dirt and mud with a dry terrycloth or old toothbrush. Spray laundry pre-treater over tough dirt.
  3. Set the water temperature to warm, adding the required detergent and colour-safe bleach in the dispensers. Run a normal cycle for the shoes, laces and inserts.
  4. A spin-dry cycle can damage the rubber. Instead, set the dryer temperature to warm and tumble dry the shoes.
  5. If you are air drying the shoes, stuff them with crumpled paper so they retain their original shape.

How to Launder Your Sheets And Towels

Sheets and towels require special care, too. Follow these tips to keep them looking fresh and new for years on end!

  • Make sure that you read rather than assume you know the care instructions.
  • Use cold and/or warm water during the wash cycle.
  • During the rinse cycle, use cold water.
  • Use fabric softeners, bluing agents and chlorine bleach with discretion. They can break down the fabric’s fibres, shortening its life span. Dryer sheets also use the same chemicals and are best avoided for sheets and towels.
  • Half a glass of lemon juice can brighten white towels and linens.
  • Use only a quarter of the recommended amount of laundering detergent.
  • Tumble dry on a low setting; over drying can result in rough towels and shrunk sheets.
  • Remove towels and sheets immediately from the dryer and allow them to dry on a flat surface, so as to avoid ironing.

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