Cleaning Laundry Tips
How to do the Laundry
We all love wearing and enjoying the smell of clean clothes but for many people, the sheer quantity, and hassle of stains makes it a daunting task.
If laundry is a part of your responsibility, you probably have questions just like most people as to the appropriate methods and products. Probably the most important thing to remember is reading labels.
Since some clothing items need to be dry-cleaned, these would require special care that your local dry cleaner can manage but there are products available where you can freshen up your dry clean clothes in between cleanings.
If your laundry is machine or hand washable, then you have the task of determining the best method of cleaning.
Water Temperature Counts
The first of several laundry cleaning tips is to learn proper water temperature which we’ll go over below. It’s also important to know that the lower the water temperature, you may need to use more detergent as it may not perform as well.
In most cases, the hotter the water the cleaner the clothing will get but not all fabrics should be washed in hot water. Typically, white fabrics, diapers and most linens do best in hot water for two reasons – it helps to remove stains and it removes germs. If you have sick people in the house, hot water is good for sheets as it will help sanitize and stop the spread of germs. On the other hand, dark colors, or multi-colored fabrics will bleed while some would shrink or wrinkle.
Warm water is probably the most common water temperature used, which is half cold and half hot. Depending on the type of washing machine you have, it will fill the tub with a 50/50 mixture. However, the newer, more high-tech washing machines sold today actually distribute 60/40. When washing items such as jeans or any denim, along with permanent press, warm water is best. The benefit is good clean action without causing problems like bleeding, shrinkage, or wrinkling.
Finally, you have cold water. Typically, you would use cold water for anything delicate such as some dresses, blouses, lingerie, and undergarments. And it’s also important to note that not all stains respond well with hot water. Blood and sweat or perspiration stains will set in the fabric and become permanent if washed in hot water. In most cases, the label will tell you when cold water should be used. Cold water also saves energy.
Laundry Stain Removal
Part of washing clothing and other items is getting rid of stains, which can happen every day, especially if you have young kids in the house. In this section, we wanted to provide you with some great methods for getting out some of the most common of stains.
It’s also important to note, do not put any stained item in the dryer until you are sure the stain is gone or you risk a permanent stain.
Removing Ink Stains
Two methods work very well for removing ink stains. First, take hairspray and saturate the stain. Let it stand for about 15 minutes, pretreat and then wash in hot water if possible. If not, warm water will usually work. Hairspray works because of the alcohol content but today’s hairspray contains less alcohol so it may not be as effective.
Second, take a clean, white cloth soaked in milk and rub the ink stain from the outer sides inward. Be sure to place a paper towel or another clean towel under the area you are cleaning so the ink stain doesn’t transfer. This method may take a few tries but it does work. If you see that it is working, you can also soak in a milk bath overnight. Pretreat and wash as normal.
How to Get Rid of Coffee Stains
For fresh coffee stains run cold water over the stain for a few minutes until it’s gone. If you happen to be wearing the item and can’t take it off to rinse it out then use a wet clean towel or paper towel and dab the stain until it’s gone.
If the coffee stain has dried, using your fingers try rubbing liquid laundry detergent or liquid dish soap over the stain and work it in, let it sit a few minutes then rinse with cold water. Repeat if needed. If some stain remains try soaking in vinegar.
How to Remove Egg Stains
For egg stains, be sure to use cold water for removing the stain since warm or hot water will actually cause the egg to cook, making it more difficult to remove.
From the backside of clothing, rinse under a heavy stream of water. Pour liquid laundry detergent over the stain then gently use a clean soft bristled toothbrush to work detergent in, let sit about five minutes. Leave the detergent on the item and wash as usual.
Cleaning and Removing Blood Stains
A blood stain is organic and is full of proteins, proteins that if washed or rinsed in hot water will set the stain. So always wash in cold water. Run a good stream of cold water and rinse from the backside of the fabric until either you have completely removed the stain or nothing more can be rinsed out.
If you cannot rinse under running water, use an absorbent paper towel and blot up as much of the blood as possible. Then with another piece of paper towel, wet with cold water and blot at the stain.
When you are ready to wash the item, pre-treat and wash in cold water. Do not put anything in the dryer until you’re sure the stain has been removed or you risk a permanent stain.
Removing Chocolate Stains
In most cases, chocolate stains can simply be pre-treated and laundered as usual. They look worse than they really are. But if you rinse and the chocolate stain is not removed you can mix borax with cold water to form a paste, and let sit on the stain for 1 hour before laundering again.
How to Remove Red Wine Stains
Using a clean cloth or paper towels, blot up as much of the wine as possible, changing often to a clean area. If you can take the item off, rinse with cold water to flush the wine out. Do not rub or scrub the stain or it can spread the stain.
There are many commercial wine stain removers that work great like Wine Away or products like Powerizer can help remove a wine stain.
After rinsing out as much as you can, sprinkle with salt or baking soda and gently work in the stain, let sit a few minutes then rinse again.
Removing Stains from Delicate Items
While many delicates can safely be washed in the washing machine on a delicate or hand wash setting there are some items that will specifically need to be hand washed or taken to a professional.
Before washing any delicates, read the care label as that is the best place to learn how to clean them, if in doubt – hand wash. Avoid harsh stain removers and opt for using natural products like white vinegar, Ivory soap or baking soda.
Always dab stain removers and be gentle, some items may require more time such as lace. When you are ready to wash, sort by colors and fabric type, be sure to snap or close metal closures to avoid snags. Turn the item you are washing inside out and some items may need to go in a mesh wash bag. Use a low spin cycle and most often they will need to lay flat on a clean towel to dry.
Laundry does not have to become a guessing game. By reading labels and following some easy guidelines, you can enjoy sweet-smelling clothes that look and feel great. With so many different foods and substances that cause staining, it is easy to see why this has become such a problem. However, you can have clean clothing once you know how.
Keep in mind that the number one tip for clean clothes is to pre-treat stains as soon as possible. If the stain is deeply set or had gone unnoticed for quite some time, you will need a bit more work and possibly soak the garment overnight.
Finally, unless the stain problem has been resolved, do not put anything in the dryer. What happens is that the heat of the dryer will actual set a stain. Therefore, once it has been dried, chances of getting the stain out completely will be tough.