One of the worst things about washing clothes is attributed to their colours fading. This can be a real nightmare, especially when your favourite top becomes dull and faded. Our tips will point you in the right direction in terms of slowing down this inevitable process. Additionally, in this section are tips on laundry housekeeping in general.
How do I stop my colours from fading?
Before you wash any garments you need to read their labels in order to verify how the items in question should be treated. The label should provide you with information about drying the garment too.
A handy laundry tip, which Ive been using for years, is in regards to turning your clothes inside out. This generally serves two purposes, firstly, it slows down the fading process, which will be explained shortly, and secondly, it will reduce the chances of your clothes becoming moth balled.
The science behind turning your clothes inside out is that excessive washing and drying damages their fibers, therefore turning them inside out will leave the fibers a lot less exposed than they wouldve have been.
Secondly, if you dry your clothes on a traditional washing line, turning them inside out will reduce exposure to the suns rays, thus decreasing the chances of fading taking place.
An additional tip to prevent your colours fading is to sort your clothes out and put them in different piles according to their colour. When you check the labels you will notice that some of your clothes will have similar instructions to the others. A good housekeeping laundry tip is to put these into the same pile.
How do I sort my washing out?
Separate dark colours from light colours. Some clothes will have to be washed at a certain temperature, namely hot or cold. These will have to be sorted to stop the garments from shrinking or stretching.
Clothes which are really grimy, such as work clothes or sports kits should not be placed in the same wash as normal clothes, therefore separate these once youve finished separating the colours.
A little bit of good housekeeping should be applied to new clothing which has not been washed before as they tend to run when you wash them for the first time. In this case it is a good idea to wash them by hand or singly in the washing machine.
In addition new clothes can be treated in a solution of water, vinegar and salt. This concoction will help to make the colour set and less likely to lose dye in the wash. NB Only soak clothes like this individually or colours may run a mix.
How do I go about cleaning out my washing machine?
Contrary to popular belief washing machines should be cleaned every now and again in order for them to run efficiently, thus adopting a few good housekeeping practices is the order of the day.
If you step back and think about it for a second, you can imagine how much dirty water, detergents, and washing powder goes through the machine on a weekly basis. All this can take its toll, all the build up of limescale and other mineral deposits, yuck! So now you can see why these good housekeeping actions need to be performed.
Right, lets get cleaning. Run the machine on empty using one cup of lemon juice and one cup of hot water, this is a very good trick for keeping the drum clean. One cycle of hot water should be enough to start with, this initial action will loosen up all the built in grime. When you have done this run the machine again on another hot cycle and hey presto the limescale and grimy deposits will be washed right out.
To clean the washing powder dispenser, leave it to soak in hot water and then clean the smaller parts with a cotton bud. The cotton bud will help you get into the small parts of the dispenser, where dried in washing powder can lurk.
Ive heard that you can save money by washing clothes in cold water, how effective is this?
Believe it or not, research carried out on this laundry tip suggests that washing clothes in cold water, rather than hot water can be just as effective at getting your clothes clean. Washing clothes in cold water has four distinct advantages.
Firstly, it will reduce the chances of clothes from shrinking, which often happens when clothes are washed in hot water.
The second benefit is that its a much cheaper way of washing your clothes. Hot water uses more energy and as we see from increasingly high electricity bills; energy usage = money.
Thirdly, any stains which may have escaped your eagle eye will not have the opportunity to set. The use of hot water will allow stains to embed themselves within the garments fabric.
Finally, using this method of washing clothes wont give colours the opportunity to run, which as you know is one of the most annoying things which can happen when washing clothes
With this laundry tip I suggest you use it on all clothing which can be washed with cold water, this will give you all the benefits which have previously been explained.
Any other laundry tip which you suggest?
All clothes which have pockets will have to be checked for coins or small objects which might damage your machine. Check that there is no paper or toilet tissue in the pockets as this could splinter off and ruin your garments.
Before you place the garments in the washing machine check them for stains. Putting stained clothes into the washing machine could aggravate the problem. Vist our Spring Cleaning Tips stain removal tips for a more in depth look at the treatment of individual stains.
A nice little laundry tip to make your colours that little bit brighter is to add roughly 150 ml of white vinegar to the load. This will help preserve colours as well as making the garments looks almost brand new. Ive tried this tip and it seems to work perfectly, the bizarre thing is that your clothes dont seem to smell of vinegar either, result!!
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