Everyone knows that the most basic tasks and responsibilities one needs to adapt during the process of adulting starts in their very own home, and that is where household handiness comes in. One of the main things you need to do to survive independently is LAUNDRY. You surely don’t want to ever be stuck in a situation where you have no clean clothes left to wear. So, here’s a clear and elaborate explanation on how to keep your wardrobe nice and clean!
1. Read labels and separate your clothes
- Every clothing will have a label on the inside. This advises you on the specifications needed for washing that particular material.
- Some clothes would have to be hand-washed because of the sensitivity of the fabric or any kind of embroidery. Clothes that are usually advised to be hand-washed are your undergarments and embroidered clothing to avoid it from getting ruined.
- You would also need to separate your laundry based on colours; light and dark coloured clothes. By separating your light and dark clothes, staining will be avoided.
- There are also clothes that are advised to be dry cleaned only. This is when clothes are strictly advised not to be machine washed. This tag indicates that the item will most likely be damaged if washed with water. This may be valid for fabrics such as nylon and cashmere.
Before we go into the conventional machine-wash procedure, let's talk about hand-wash and dry cleaning methods first.
2. Hand Wash and Dry Clean
- For the clothes that need to be hand-washed, you can soak them in a pail filled with water mixed with one cap of detergent for about 15-30 minutes. Some clothes’ labels may indicate that they need to be washed with a specific temperature.
- You can use a silicone brush with soft bristles to scrub off stains or any excess dirt from the clothes. Beware to not scrub too hard to avoid wearing and tearing the fabric.
- After you’re done, wring them thoroughly and put them out to air dry in the sun. Avoid using a dryer.
- The clothes that have the tag which says “DRY CLEAN ONLY” must be obeyed strictly. This is due to the clothes being too sensitive to be washed by water. Therefore, you can send them for dry cleaning at your local laundry service.
- Dry cleaning uses chemical solvents instead of water to clean delicate, natural or synthetic fabrics.
* It helps prevent damages such as shrinking, change in texture, and fading of colour for clothes that may be sensitive to water or tumble wash.
* It dissolves grease and oil in a way water cannot. Thus, it can remove stains that cannot be removed by water wash.
* It keeps delicate garments in a durable condition for a longer time.
3. Working the washing machine
- After you’ve separated your clothes into their individual piles, you can proceed to put them in the washing machine in batches.
- Now you can add in the detergent, which usually comes in either the conventional liquid form or powder form. One cap full would usually suffice but you can add more if the load is bigger.
Liquid: Different types of chemicals are used to help laundry to be more fragrant, cleaner and to also increase shelf life. However, these chemicals sometimes leave some kind of residue on the clothes after washing, which may cause irritation to the skin.
Powder: It naturally has a longer shelf life than liquid detergent and is more effective. However, a con of this product is that it has chances of leaving chalky residue on your clothes.
- You may also add in softener if you please. This will make the laundry extra soft and avoid wrinkles and stretching of the clothes.
- Set the machine to whichever condition you desire. Some people may prefer a hot water wash or a cold-water wash. However, you should avoid washing dark coloured clothes with hot water to prevent colour fading.
- Set the timer of the machine. Usually, a duration of 45-60 minutes would be enough for a thorough wash. Close the lid and let the magic happen!
- After the clothes have been washed, you can either let them air dry in the sun or throw them in the dryer.
4. Working the dryer
- One important tip to remember when putting clothes in the dryer is to not overload. If there are too many clothes in one batch, they may not dry properly.
- Before putting clothes in, make sure to clean any residue lint from the filter or screen.
- Inspect the clothes for any existing stains and be sure to get rid of them because once they get in the dryer, the stains will set and become harder to remove.
- Shake the garments before putting them in the dryer to avoid them getting stuck together.
- Choose a dryer cycle. You can either use a regular cycle if most of your load is made of cotton fabrics or a permanent-press cycle for synthetic fabrics. Add a cool-down period to avoid wrinkles.
- Set a timer of 60-90 minutes for the dryer to run. Thinner fabrics require less time while thicker fabrics require longer. Caution: Beware to not keep the clothes in the dryer for too long as it can shrink!
- Remove the clothes and fold them immediately. You may iron the clothes that are still wrinkled to make them look neater.