How to Wash and Dry Your Clothes
Your grandmother might remember the days when a homemaker's skills were assessed by the white linens hanging from the clothes lines that were in just about everybody's yards.
Grey heads nodded in agreement, "Yes, that woman always has the whitest sheets."
While we might think back with nostalgia, I remember that those good old days were also a lot of hard work. Mountains of laundry was sorted and a whole day was required to wash and hang it out to dry. Another tedious day was spent ironing, hanging, folding and putting things away.
Sort and Separate
Even though automatic washers and dryers have taken the work out of the task, you still need to sort your laundry before washing. You not only need to pay attention to the colors of the clothing, but also the fabric.
Sort By Color
- Separate white articles from the laundry basket or hamper. This includes underwear, socks, towels, linens, all white or very light colored articles. Put them in a pile.
- Separate lightly colored articles - put them in their own pile
- Separate dark colored clothing or other articles - towels, jeans, socks, sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc. Put them all in a pile.
Sort By Manufacturers Instructions
Ignoring the manufacturer's recommendations for laundry care is not smart. Don't learn the hard way by ruining that blouse you just bought for $65.00 and wore once.
- Go through each pile separately. Look at each article and read the recommended washing instructions.
- Some recommend hand washing in cold water only and laying flat to dry, or line dry.
- Some tell you to wash with like items, hot temperature and dry in automatic drier at medium heat temperature.
- Some say no chlorine bleach; some say tumble dry, with low or no heat.
Set the water temperature. use hot water for whites, warm water for all other loads. Cold water can be used with detergent specifically made for washing in cold water.
Check for stains and pretreat them before washing. Concentrated laundry detergent might also help to pretreat.
Set the washing cycle. Consider the clothing you are washing to set either normal, permanent press or a gentle cycle. Most clothes can use a normal cycle.
Add your laundry detergent. Check the instructions for the proper amount as some detergents are more concentrated than others.
Add the clothes. Do not overfill the machine. Overloading the washing machine will cause your clothes not to wash properly and will not rinse completely.
Add any additional liquids to the machine, such as bleach or fabric softener
Close the lid, and now the washing has begun!
Transfer the clothes to your dryer, do a quick check for any stains that did not come out in the wash. If you find and remaining stains, do not put the article of clothing in the dryer- Lay it aside to pre-treat and send back through the wash again. Note: Heat sets stains, so this is important.
Toss in a dryer sheet/fabric softener.
Select the drying time. Either by time or by moisture content.
Remove lint that's collected in the lint trap.
Close the door and start 'er up.
When the drying cycle completes, remove the clothing immediately and fold. Hot clothes that are allowed to cool in a pile will cause wrinkles.