Laundry tips for the modern home executive
Here are some tips for time- and energy-savings tips for the cleanest laundry that might even save you money.
We all know that whites are washed separately from colours, and that delicate fabrics have their own washing cycle. But there are more than a few helpful tips below that will ensure that you washing is fresh and clean, cut down on time spent doing laundry, and could also save you money.
Clean... inside and out
Some clothes, especially thicker clothes such as jeans and tracksuit pants, get more dirty on the inside as well as the outside. Clothes that are up close to the skin collect dead skin cells and sweat, and turning these inside out means they get washed where it counts.
Allow space to agitate
Washing machines use the process of agitation to clean your clothes. As the machine spins or turns washing is rubbed against each other to distribute water and washing powder and ultimately clean clothes. Overloading the washing machine means there is little or no space for agitation and washing will not be as clean as it should be.
Soften the impact
Fabric softener is very much like hair conditioner. It coats the individual fibers of fabrics and reduces the friction and possible damage to delicate fabrics during the washing cycle. Fabric softener also cuts down on wrinkling during the washing process and can assist in cutting down on ironing time.
How much washing powder?
Always follow the instructions for the correct amount of washing powder. Too much and you could end up with powdery residue on your clothes. Too little and the enzymes in washing powder won't clean your clothes properly. Washing powder manufacturers provide a measuring cup for measuring out the correct amount of powder for each load - use it. Always use a washing powder recommended for your type of washing machine.
In areas where hard water is on tap, add half a cup of vinegar to the water to soften and prevent hard water minerals from damaging or staining clothes.
Cut own on ironing
Spend less time ironing by shaking and folding your washing as soon as it comes out of the machine. Let it sit in a pile for half and hour and you will discover that clothes will have less wrinkles and might not need ironing at all. The longer the leave washing in the machine - the more wrinkled it will be when you take it out, so remove washing as soon as possible.
Reduce drying time
When hanging washing on the line you can reduce drying time by turning pants inside out and have thicker sections facing towards sunlight. It is also important not to overload the washing line. Leave enough space between clothing items for air to circulate. A little trick I learned is to hang t-shirts and shirts on plastic coat hangers to free up space on the washing line. This method also reduces wrinkling and cuts out peg marks or washing line stripes.
Only use a tumble dryer when necessary. These appliances use huge amounts of electricity, so keep the tumble dryer for when it's too cold or during wet weather, or only run during off-peak hours. Sunlight is free and it might take a bit longer to let washing dry naturally, but it won't cost you a cent!
Maintain your washing machine
Over time your washing machine will accumulate excess washing powder and fabric softener gunge in the system. This also contains oils and dirt from clothes and can result in clothes not being as clean as they could be. To help whiten grey linens, and also clean out your washing machine, run a load of whites and add 2 cups of vinegar and a cup of borax as an alternative to washing powder. This will help to whiten whites and also flush out and clean the washing machine.