Whether you’re a college student on your own for the first time or simply want to brush up on the latest laundry practices, check out our laundry tips and tricks—plus products that will help take your laundry to the next level!
Before you start your laundry, make sure your items are sorted correctly. At the least, you should have three piles; whites, darks, and delicates. You should also separate out heavy duty items like blankets and towels since they take up a lot of space and could block smaller items from being cleaned. This is also the time to read the labels on your clothing to make sure you’re washing on the appropriate setting and not washing anything that should be dry cleaned. As you’re sorting, be sure to check your pockets for things like chapstick, tissues, and other leftover items. If you’re lucky, you might even find some forgotten cash!
Most newer model washing machines have predetermined settings for different types of laundry. If your machine doesn’t have specific settings for delicates, whites, towels, etc., make sure you’re choosing the right speed and temperature for your load.
Generally, you should wash dark clothes, heavily soiled clothes and clothes prone to wrinkles in hot or warm water, this is the most powerful setting for getting clothes deeply cleaned, but after time, the heat can wear down your items. Use cold water for your brights and delicate clothing like sweaters and thin tops and bottoms. If you’re unsure which temperature to use, choose cold, it’s more energy efficient and will get most of your laundry just as clean as warm or hot.
For your dryer, the most important thing to remember is not to overload your machine. An overloaded dryer won’t get your clothes dry and runs the risk of having to do multiple cycles. Whites and delicates should be dried on the lightest setting while heavy items like towels and blankets can stand to be tumbled on a higher setting. Most other items can be dried on any “normal” setting.
It’s important to use the best laundry detergent for your items, but the first step is to always read the label, and measure correctly. Too little detergent won’t get your laundry clean and too much can stick in your laundry, forcing you to leave it in for extra rising cycles. If you hate measuring, detergent pods are a great alternative to just throw in without worrying about the right liquid amount. For your best and brightest whites you can use either a regular or low-splash bleach. Both will get your whites equally as clean, but only regular has the disinfecting power strong enough to also use for cleaning surfaces. Check out even more reasons we love our laundry detergent!
When your laundry is done and dry it’s easy to leave it in the hamper or in a “clean” pile and fold it later, but leaving it all bundled up means more time for wrinkles to set in and leave you with even more work later on. If you have space, set up a folding station near your laundry machines so you can fold as you go between loads, or clear a spot near your closet or dresser so you can fold and put away your clothes at the same time.
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