How To Correctly Do Laundry? This is a crucial question that we all ask ourselves when we begin to manage our dirty clothes independently, and mishaps are the order of the day – shrunk items, ruined fabrics, swapped colors etc. Let’s see what to machine wash according to the temperatures indicated for washing the various fabrics.
Garments and fabrics that can be washed at high temperatures
The fabrics and clothes that can be washed at high temperatures, between 90 and 70 degree Celsius, are not many. Such a high temperature is in fact indicated only for garments made with very resistant fabrics, suitable for frequent washing. With these type of fabrics, high temperature washing is indicated precisely because they help to remove stains and aggressive dirt more easily. It must also be considered that washing at 90 degree Celsius also allows sterilization of clothing, which is fundamental in some cases.
The fabrics that best withstand high temperature washing are cotton and hemp. However, the garments must be made only with these materials and not dyed, to avoid discoloration of colored garments and accidental coloring of “natural” ones.
Sheets, towels, shirts and children’s clothing usually have this type of composition. Before proceeding with washing, however, we recommend reading the instructions on the label of the garment you want to wash, so as to avoid nasty surprises.
Clothes and fabrics to be washed at medium temperatures
With average temperatures, it refers to the range that goes from 70 to 50 degree Celsius. These are always high temperatures, which are however less aggressive and therefore can be used on more delicate fabrics.
The ideal load for washing at medium temperatures is made up of mixed fabrics. The garments usually made with this type of fabric are T-shirts, summer sweaters, vests, trousers and underwear.
Most of these garments have a percentage of cotton fibers (variable) and a percentage of synthetic fabrics such aselastane. The main precaution to take with this type of fabric and garments is chromatic compatibility – even at these temperatures it is possible that the fabrics with the brightest colors fade. The solution to this problem is to separate light and dark items and carrying out dedicated washes.
Cold wash clothes and fabrics
Usually cold washing means washing that uses water at a temperature between 30 and 40 degree Celsius. The items to be washed cold are made up of delicate fabrics, which are likely to shrink or be damaged by washing.
In this group belong blouses, items made from viscose, items made from cotton yarn, jeans and some wool fabrics. These are delicate clothes that could easily be damaged and it will therefore be necessary to be careful not to overload the basket and to use detergents suitable for these clothes. The good news is that, at these temperatures, the risk of discolouration of the colored garments is almost non-existent, therefore we can safely load the basket with garments of any color.
In this case too, it is still essential to check the label of the clothes to be washed since in some cases it will be specified if hand washing is necessary.
Hand-washed clothes and fabrics
Finally, there are fabrics and garments that should never be washed in the washing machine, since, given their delicacy, automatic washing would risk damaging the fibers, producing undesired holes, tears or shrinkage.
For this reason, we do not recommend washing padded clothing such as duvets, winter jackets, silk and 100% wool garments even with the best washing machine as they are extremely delicate and can very easily be damaged.
How To Correctly Do Laundry – 5 tricks for perfect laundry
Preliminary operations before washing
Before washing, there are preliminary operations to be performed so as to safeguard your clothes. The first thing to do is to check the garments individually. Start from the seams and, if they are not firm, sew them up before washing.
The same goes for buttons; if you find that some are not firm, secure them well before putting them in the washing machine.
Then check your pockets; it can often happen that you forget coins, documents or small electronic devices in them. Do not forget to fasten the zippers and turn the clothes inside out, so as to protect them during washing.
Another important thing is to pre-treat the most difficult stains, so that they melt and disappear. Leave the stained items to soak in water & mild detergent and rub.
1. Divide the garments by color & type and read the label
The first rule for perfect laundry is to always divide the items by type of fabric and color. Whites on one side and colored ones on the other. If you really can’t divide them, at least use the color absorbing sheets you find on the market.
But be careful with items that need a delicate wash, compared to the more resistant ones. Among the white colored ones, distinguish the clothes that can be washed at high temperature, from those that require cold or lukewarm water.
In addition, the laundry should be divided by type of fabric and washing cotton, silk, wool and jeans in different cycles. The same goes for towels, underwear and everything else that needs to be cleaned. To avoid mistakes, remember to always read the label of your clothes, where you will find all the washing instructions to follow.
2. Choose the type of washing and the right temperature
For colored garments the right temperature is 40 degree Celsius, an ideal wash also for work clothes. In case of particularly dirty clothes, it is better to select a 60-degree Celsius wash with powder detergent.
To wash wool, it is better to choose a cold wash, to avoid felting. Wash the mixed delicate garments and underwear at 30 degree Celsius. For dishcloths, tablecloths and sheets it is possible to select a 60-degree Celsius wash or a short 30-degree Celsius cycle, especially if they are not particularly dirty.
Synthetic and dark garments can be washed at 30 degree Celsius, preferring liquid detergent, over powdered ones that can leave lumps.
3. Use the correct detergent to protect the clothes
Among the secrets for a perfect laundry there is also the use of the suitable detergent. Choose specific types of detergent for delicate, colored and white garments.
Among the natural products, bicarbonate for laundry is really ideal. It is an excellent natural disinfectant, and can also be used to pre-treat stains and eliminate bad odors. It is also effective at low temperatures.
And what about fabric softener? If you want to experiment with a natural product, try adding 1/2 glass of apple cider vinegar to the special tray. Don’t worry, the strong smell will not remain on your clothes. Alternatively, if you love perfumes, you can make a natural softener by mixing 3 spoons of citric acid and a few drops of citrus or lavender essential oil in a bottle of water.
4. Protect underwear during washing
You must also pay attention to underwear, in fact they are particularly delicate garments, which tend to shrink and deteriorate more than other garments and often, given their small size, are easily lost.
However, there is a trick to prevent this from happening. Buy a pouch for washing the laundry and put it with clothespins in the basket of dirty clothes. Insert the bag in the washing machine with the other items to be washed.
Alternatively, you can use a grandmother’s secret: insert the underwear into a pillowcase, add it in the washing machine with the other clothes and the result is guaranteed.
5. Hang out the laundry correctly
Another secret is linked to the drying of the clothes. It is important to hang the laundry correctly. Don’t do it in a hurry, otherwise you could ruin it.
The first thing to do is to spread them as soon as possible, to avoid the formation of bad smells or mold. It is also important to flap the clothes so as to widen them as much as possible, and eliminate those creases that could compromise drying.
Preferably dry your laundry outdoors: if you live in busy areas, prefer the early hours of the morning or late afternoon, to avoid smog. In case of delicate garments, to avoid the signs of the clothespins, use tights, to be passed from one sleeve to another.
Learning how to do laundry is not difficult. Today’s fabrics, detergents, and machines take most of the mystery and mistakes out of the process. Just follow the above mentioned basic steps for washable clothes and you’ll have clean laundry to wear and use tomorrow.