Laundry Washing Tips
Cleaning and Washing Laundry Tips
We’re not asking for much when we do our laundry. All we ask is for the clothes to be clean, smell nice, look great, be free from lint, pet hair, pilling, and wrinkle-free.
Not to mention we don’t want anything to rip or tear, and you want to be able to remove any stain you may come across.
Sounds simple, right? It really is if you have the right tips to help make doing the laundry a breeze!
Washing Laundry the Right Way
You can avoid many annoying laundry problems by preparing your items to be washed. It might sound like extra work, but it will definitely save you time and trouble.
Check Pockets Prior to Washing
Always check pockets. Make it a habit, and you’ll never forget. For example, you don’t want to damage your driver’s license, credit card, memory stick, etc. Standing in line at the DMV can be time consuming and a memory stick can be expensive.
Not to mention if you forget to remove keys from pockets, they can not only damage the drum but if there is a key fob, you may have to replace it and those can be expensive. Coins can also get stuck and damage the drum.
Washing Delicates – Bras, Panties, Lingerie
Some of us pay a small fortune for delicate clothing items like bras and panties, hosieries, etc. Washing them the right way will keep them looking good and lasting longer than washing the wrong way.
Hand washing is probably the best method but when you’re strapped for time, washing in the washer on a delicate cycle is OK. Put delicate items (bras, panties, pantyhose, hand wash items) in a pillow case tied with a hair tie, rubber band, etc. or use a mesh lingerie bag but don’t overstuff the bag. Close any fasteners prior to putting in the bag.
Wash on a gentle cycle with a gentle detergent. A bag can help bra straps from stretching (washing with a regular load of clothes – those straps can get all caught up in other clothing and I know you know what I’m talking about), getting snags, keeping the lace looking nice longer and so on.
Hang and let air dry.
Pillows are one of those items we don’t often think about washing but once every blue moon. But really, you should think about washing them at least a couple of times a year as pillows accumulate sweat, bacteria, dirt, body oils and the like. Ick!
Prior to washing pillows, check the care label to see if there are any special instructions but most pillows can be machine washed. I always wash at least two pillows at a time so the washing machine doesn’t get off balance and wash on the temperature indicated on the care label. Use a mild liquid detergent and use the extra rinse cycle to be sure all soap has been removed. Again, check the label as for down or feather pillows a powdered detergent may be required.
If you can, place the pillows in the dryer with a couple of dryer balls or new tennis balls to help clumping from happening. Dry on a moderate heat for at least an hour as you want them completely dry.
I will typically open the dryer from time to time and fluff the pillows in order to help move the filling around so it dries nicely.
If it’s a beautiful summer day, let the pillows air dry natural but make sure they are dry prior to making the bed. Now its time to enjoy the new comfort of your pillow.
More laundry washing tips
- Fasten Velcro fasteners before washing to avoid lint balls.
- Zip up your pants to avoid things getting caught on the zipper.
- Pet hair and lint can be battled with little spiky, Velcro-like balls that collect hairs and lint and are safe for the washer and dryer. If your pets sleep in bed with you, use a lint roller on the sheets before you take them off to wash them
- Consider using bluing on whites – it’s better for your clothing and septic system than bleach.
- Use a cookie cooling rack in the bathtub for flat drying sweaters.
- Hang dry as many clothing items as you can – it will prevent fading and shrinking.
- Don’t over-dry your clothes – putting them back into the dryer to get the wrinkles out can ruin your clothes
- Read care labels.
- Turn sweaters and sweatshirts inside out before washing to avoid pilling. Read the labels and wash on delicate if specified.
- Don’t dry one item alone – it will take longer because it needs agitation from something else to tumble and dry properly without massive wrinkles.
- Take king-sized comforters to a laundry mat with a giant machine or have them dry cleaned. Shoving them into your too-small washer could damage the washing machine, leave detergent residue behind, and not get it as clean as it can be.
Removing Stains from Laundry
The most important part of removing a stain is to make sure you treat it before you put it in the washer. Drying a piece of clothing with stains that have not been pre-treated can likely set the stain in, making it almost impossible, for some stains, to remove them and becoming a permanent stain.
Important Stain Removal Tips
Use absorbent paper towels or a clean towel under a stain prior to stain treatment to keep the stain from transferring to a clean piece of fabric.
After you treat the stain, wash it—once it comes out of the washer, check to make sure the stain is gone. If the stain isn’t gone, do not put the item in the dryer. You will want to treat the stain and wash again.
Removing Berry Stains from Clothing
I love getting out and picking fresh berries. I can’t wait to savor the sweetness and make wonderful sweet treats and healthy treats with them. The problem with berry picking – the stains don’t only end up on your fingers. I usually end up with a few spots on my clothing as well.
To get the berry stains out of clothing one of the first things you can try is to flush the stain with hot boiling water.
- Turn the item inside out so you are pouring the water from the back of the stain.
- Then you can place the stained area over a strainer so the water pours through.
- Boil water in a teakettle. If you don’t have a kettle, you can use a medium sized pot for boiling water (you want a quart or more of water) – just be careful when it comes time to pour out the water so you don’t get the hot water on your hands.
- When the water is boiled, pour a steady stream over the berry stain. This should remove the stain.
- If, after the item has air dried and there is a little hint of some berry stain remaining. Pour hydrogen peroxide over the stain and cover with a clean cloth. Let sit about 30 minutes then check the progress.
Here are a few more quick tips for stain removal
- Soak protein stains (grass, urine, blood) in cold water.
- Dried blood stains can be soaked in hydrogen peroxide (check colored items in an inconspicuous spot first) cover with a clean cloth (as hydrogen peroxide will turn to water if exposed to light).
- Soak coffee stains with a solution of detergent and warm water for 20 minutes.
- Oil stains can often be taken out with dish detergent (like Dawn) and water.
- Pen stains can be treated with rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits.
- Makeup stains and sweat stains can usually be removed with OxiClean.
- Deodorant stains can usually be fixed by sprinkling baking soda directly onto the stain then following with a bit of vinegar.
- Candle wax should be scraped off, then you can usually iron a paper bag over the stain that will absorb the waxy residue. Find out more: How to Remove Candle Wax
Applying these steps and making a habit out of checking the laundry prior to washing can keep your clothes looking great for the long haul.