Have you ever wished that you could master the art of cleaning laundry? This ultimate laundry cleaning guide will teach you the tricks of the trade. You will learn everything that you need to know to do laundry like a pro.
Separate Your Laundry
Begin sorting your laundry by separating the colors from light to dark. After you separate from light to dark, separate by fabric weight. From there you should separate according to wash cycle and temperature. Each cycle and temperature cleans your laundry differently and makes the difference between preserving and ruining your items.
Cold Setting- This setting is for colors that tend to bleed, delicates, and lightly soiled laundry.
Warm Setting- Use this setting to preserve colors in synthetic or permanent press fabrics and towels.
Hot Setting- This setting is for deep cleaning garments and removing tough stains. Use this setting for whites, cotton fabrics, baby clothes, bedsheets, or anything that is heavily soiled.
Normal Cycle- This is for everyday clothing and linens. It removes tough stains with a fast agitation and spin cycle.
Delicate Cycle- If the garment label says gentle wash that’s when you would use the delicate cycle. It has a gentle and slow agitation and rinse cycle to gently clean delicates.
Permanent Press- This cycle is a fast agitation with a slow spin cycle. Use this cycle for items that are easy to wrinkle.
Heavy-duty cycle- Heavy duty cycle washes laundry longer to get rid of hard to remove stains and heavy dirt.
Use Clean Laundry Baskets
Clean your laundry baskets with a rag and a little water and vinegar before you place your clean laundry in the basket. If you are worried about the vinegar smell, place a few dryer sheets at the bottom of the basket before placing your laundry inside.
Read and Understand Labels
It is important to read labels on your laundry including linens so that you know the proper wash and dry settings to use. There are symbols located on the labels to help you.
Meaning of common laundry symbols
Tumble dry- A square with a circle inside is the ok sign to tumble dry. If there is a cross over this sign, do not tumble dry.
Washing machine- If there is a picture of a tub it means you can place it in the washing machine.
Hand wash or delicate cycle- This is depicted with a symbol of a tub with a hand.
To loosen up tough stains, they need to be pretreated before putting in the wash. You can use laundry detergent or make DIY general stain remover by mixing 3 tbsp of baking soda with a 1/4; cup of water. Apply the stain remover directly on the stain and let it sit for 1-2 hours before washing. Lemon juice and salt work well as stain removers for coffee, rust, raspberry, tea, or mustard. Always use cold water to soak stains. Hot water will set stains.
Using the Right Amount of Detergent
To properly clean your laundry you need to use the right amount of detergent. You can find this information under the directions for laundry detergent. The amount that you use depends on the size of your load and how dirty the laundry is. If you have heavily soiled items you should pretreat the stains before washing. If you want to conserve on laundry detergent, you can add baking soda to the drum before putting your clothes in the washer.
Fabric Softener Alternative
If you want to prevent the buildup of fabric softener residue, or if you are doing wash for someone with allergies, use ¼ cup of vinegar in the final rinse cycle. This is a natural way to soften clothes.
Consistent use of bleach whether it is chlorine or non-chlorine can damage the fabric and cause discoloration. Instead, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to your wash to keep your clothes clean and fresh.
A Clean Washing Machine Makes All The Difference
Cleaning your washing machine monthly will prevent odors and bacteria from sticking to your clothing. In a clean spray bottle combine white vinegar and water. Spray the rubber door seal and use a dry rag dipped in baking soda to wipe the rubber seal. This is where a lot of dirt, hair, and other debris tends to get trapped.
Add at least a ½ cup of baking soda to the washer drum. Pour 1-2 cups of white vinegar in the liquid laundry detergent compartment. Put your washing machine on the hottest and largest wash cycle. Select an extra rinse cycle. Once it is complete, use a clean rag to wipe the inside.
Make sure that you clean the outside of the washer and the detergent compartments.
Don’t Neglect Your Dryer
You should perform a deep cleaning of your dryer annually, this will reduce drying time, help save money on energy costs, and most importantly reduce the risk of a fire. You should be cleaning the lint trap in your dryer after every load. This prevents lint from building up in the vent hose and the vent trap door.
Unplug your dryer and clean the lint trap, outside of the dryer, and the dryer drum using a vinegar and water mixture, with a rage dipped in baking soda. Behind the dryer you will find the vent hose, clean it out thoroughly using a vacuum, if need be.
Tips For Fresh and Clean Linen Smell
- Overpacked linen closets lead to musty and stale odors. Make sure that you are letting your linens breathe.
- Place dryer sheets in between your linens to keep them soft and smelling fresh.
- Before putting your towels, bedsheets, and comforters in the linen closet make sure that they are completely dry. Folding and storing slightly damp linens breeds mold, mildew, and musty odors.
- Place containers of baking soda in the closet to absorb odors and reduce humidity and moisture from being stored in an enclosed space.
- Place sachets of potpourri or lavender with your bedding to remove stale odors.
This guide should have provided you with the information needed to clean your laundry like a pro. With the ultimate laundry cleaning guide, laundry problems are a thing of the past.