Not what you’re thinking. I’m not here to air anyone’s dirty laundry, per sé. I am here to discuss my favorite chore. Laundry. For real. I love doing laundry. Absolutely love it. Obsessed. Slightly a little. Maybe A LOT.
Ironing is another story. Hate it.
Learn my method in 10 easy steps. Wear your clothes longer, prevent shrinkage, and preserve the color and fabric.
You don’t need a fancy washer (I have a very basic model). Any detergent will do. And finally, it’s ideal if you have a clothes rack for hang drying. Here goes…
- Separate your clothes into color families. Not just whites, lights and darks. Get specific. Reds & oranges, pinks & purple, blue, green, browns or neutral, black clothing and finally white clothing. I know this sounds like, “DUH” but it is super important. You need to be specific. You’ll have smaller loads which allows for more free space and movement in the washer. I believe it keeps colors the most fresh.
- Read the clothing labels on everything for special instructions. I know, “DUH again,” but even I have been surprised and saved clothing from damage by reading the label. I have also ruined some pieces accidentally.
- Turn your denim, sweaters, fleece, and clothing with specialty graphic or decorative designs such as beading inside out. The label will likely specify turning the garment inside out, and I’ve made this a general practice to keep my clothes looking new. This prevents fading and pilling!
- Pay close attention to fabric type as well. I separate delicates from sturdier fabrics like cotton. Washing delicate clothing together can help prevent pilling and reduce stretching that occurs during the wash cycle.
- For everyday clothes I often do what I call “all dryer loads” which means everything in that load can go from washer to dryer without any further sorting. Love these. It’s like, set it and forget it!
- Use the hand wash or delicate cycle if you have one for almost all loads except heavily soiled items. The truly dirty clothes should go in a load on their own, on normal wash. Use the extra rinse cycle if your washer has it. COLD water for all clothing.
- Stains are best cleaned totally by treating the stain directly with detergent, gentle scrubbing depending on the fabric and soaking for as much time as you can give it. I do not prefer any particular type of stain remover. I go straight for detergent when I can soak it in water. You do not want detergent drying on your clothes…it may cause discoloration.
- I hang dry just about everything except cotton undies, the hubby’s boxers and his cotton t-shirts. Literally all other clothing, even the kids jammies, are hung to dry after a short stint in the dryer. See next step.
- I am very picky at this step. Very, very important. 5 minutes of machine drying on low heat. That’s it. Just long enough to suck out some moisture and get the wrinkles out. If you have a large load, you can justify 10 minutes. Seriously, no longer.
- Give your clothes room to hang and dry. Do not crowd your drying rack. I am a family of four and I am generally using 2 drying racks at a time. This is important so air can circulate and your clothes actually dry.
For towels, sheets and other household loads I keep it super simple: normal cycle, warm water and automatic timer tumble dry, medium heat.
I find my quiet time, my peace, in the strangest places. Laundry is one of those places. Wash on!