Keeping on top of the laundry is for the most part the bane of people’s lives. The larger your family is, then the heavier the load will be, so to speak! Also washing is one of those tasks that simply won’t go away and will always need attending to, but there are some laundry tips and ways to combat the overwhelm and deal with the task at hand methodically.
Here are some ideas on how to get a handle on your mounds of washing and how best you should be caring for your garments.
Get yourself organised
With busy lives, it can be easy to just bung the dirty clothes in the washing machine when you get a moment. While that may work on some days (and we all have crazy busy days where anything will do), it’s always good to have a plan of action for the week.
Get into the habit of setting your washing machine on a timer, so that it can wash a load that you’ve preloaded the night before. Set it so that the cycle will be due to finish shortly before you wake up. Then time permitting, you can hang it up (inside or outside) before you head out for the day.
Keep a shelf or place for you to organise everything you’ll need to do your laundry, so whatever you might need will be within arms reach of the washing machine.
Think about using stackable baskets that you can use to sort your clothing out and then have the ability to stack them away neatly when not in use.
Keep your machines clean
When you think about all the areas you wouldn’t dream of not keeping clean throughout your house, like your kitchen worktops, bathroom basins and toilets and you come to realise that your washing machine should be high on your list of priorities. Your clothes can’t be clean if your machine isn’t. It’s always a good idea to put your machine on a really hot wash with white vinegar every now to give it a thorough clean.
Leave the door open to air dry when not in use and this will help prevent the build up of mould and mildew. Make sure that you clean the rubber seals periodically and thoroughly clean the dispenser, which can quickly get dirty if left unattended.
Don’t forget to pay attention to your tumble dryer too. This will ensure that it works as efficiently as possible by helping to keep your energy bills down, reducing the risk of it breaking down and the need for fisher and paykel dryer parts. It’s easy to forget to remove the build up of lint from the filter after every cycle and a good way to remove it is to vacuum it out.
Make use of fine weather
You might be a tumble dryer kind of person, but don’t forget the joy of being able to dry your clothes outside on the washing line when the weather gets warmer. Your clothes will smell great and you’ll be saving some money in the process. You can also get through a fair bit of your laundry pile on warmer days.
Get into the habit of sorting
There is nothing more annoying than discovering that a tissue has crept into your load of washing and shed all over your clean clothes. Take some time to check that pockets are empty, shirts are unbuttoned, certain items are turned inside out and that bra straps are hooked together to avoid them pulling on other items.
Maximise your dryer
Just as you should with your washing machine, make sure that you’re filling your dryer full of clothes to dry, leaving just enough room for the clothes to circulate. Try adding some dryer balls to help increase the efficiency and reduce static.
Pop a dry towel in with your load of wet clothes and it will dry much quicker as the towel absorbs lots of the moisture.
Ensure you are putting on full loads
It’s less energy efficient if you are putting on smaller loads of washing and actually your clothes will be less clean as a result. So it’s important to maximise the space available in the drum, while ensuring that you’re not cramming it too full. It can sometimes be better to buy a washing machine with a larger drum capacity if you have a larger family – to help save on the amount of cycles you need do in a week.
Pay attention to laundry labels
We often assume that most clothes can be thrown in on a set temperature but not all fabrics can cope with the same cycles. Have a basket that is designated for hand wash items or for pieces that you want washing separately.
Invest in a mesh bag to bunch your underwear, swimwear and socks in. This will avoid those smaller items getting lost too!
Learn how to remove stains
Everyday stains can be removed with a little care and attention and don’t always need shop bought stain removers. Cold water is a great solution for removing blood and sprinkling a wine stain with salt can really do the trick. Fruit juice stains can be tackled with some citric acid or vinegar before rinsing. There are lots of options with solutions that you already have in your house, so don’t despair if you don’t have any specific stain remover to hand.
Look after your whites and darks
If you’re finding that your whites aren’t staying very ‘white’ for long, then you can give them a helping hand by popping some distilled vinegar in with a white wash to bring them back to life.
Apart from the risk of dyes running, dark clothes are always deemed as easier to care for and often coloured clothing will be thrown in the wash together. However, dark clothes soon fade if they’re not cared for properly. Always turn dark clothes inside out before washing and ensure that the temperature isn’t too hot, to avoid your garments fading too much.
Spin your washing after completed cycles
Washing programs often come with different spin cycles and the final spin once a load is completed, might not leave your clothes feel as wrung out as they should be. Try popping the load on for a spin and they’ll hold less moisture and dry far quicker.