Getting Your Clothes Clean Efficiently And Effectively

It is common knowledge that putting on “full loads” of laundry is much more efficient compared to running the machine several times for just a couple of garments. But did you also realise that “full loads” are also much more effective in cleaning your clothes too?

The reason for this is very simple; getting rid of dirt and stains in fabrics relies on a critical level of friction between the materials in your garments. The more friction the better, so it stands to reason that by only having one or two items in the machine will not give you the results you are expecting.

A word of caution however, don’t overload your washing machine. If there are too many clothes in your load there won’t be enough room for the clothes to move around and create the necessary friction to deliver a proper wash.

Preparation is key

  • Treat stains before washing clothes. This way you will avoid having to throw them straight back into the wash.
  • Turn clothes inside out before washing to keep them from fading.
  • Loose zips can snag on other garments so always do them up before putting them into the washing machine.
  • Bra hooks can also catch on other items.
  • Consider using a lingerie bag or even a pillow-case to stop that from happening.
  • Buttons should always be unfastened as they can cause pulling on a garment if they are left done up.
  • If you’re worried that a new dark coloured garment will colour the whole wash check it for colourfastness. Dampen down a small patch with warm water and blot it with a white cotton cloth. If it “bleeds” onto the cloth, best to pop it in with like colours or for the first few washes, wash by hand, until all of the excess dyes have come out.
  • Always refer to the label and know the care signs. Heaven forbid you mix up a “tumble dry” sign for a “dry-clean only” sign!

Use the setting on your machine

  • Select the shortest cycle that is appropriate for your clothes, as this will reduce wear. It’s all about getting the balance between using the friction to clean your clothes but not too much friction that it wears your clothes out faster. Shorter cycles also mean using less water and less electricity.
  • 30oC should suffice for most loads. It’s only for particularly dirty clothes, underwear and badly stained clothes that you would need a hotter wash.
  • Use the fastest spin cycle that is suitable for your clothes. This will significantly reduce the drying time, and thus electricity, if you’re using a tumble dryer and, if you are hanging them to dry they will dry far quicker. Hanging clothes to dry will make your clothes last much longer and save you a huge amount of money on your electricity bill. Using a tumble dryer causes excessive friction on your clothes and significantly reduces the amount of time they will last.

If you have to use a tumble dryer . . .

  • Dry similar fabrics together.
  • Empty the lint filter after every load, this will allow the machine to run more efficiently.
  • Use auto-dry, rather than a timed cycle. This way
  • you won’t use more electricity than is required.
  • Shake out garments before they go into the dryer.
  • This will reduce wrinkles and prevent tangled and twisted clothes from taking longer to dry.
  • Don’t overload the dryer as there needs to be room for the hot air to circulate.
  • Remove from the dryer as soon as it finishes, reducing creases and the need for ironing.

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