If your laundry basket is overflowing and there isn’t any clean underwear left in the drawer, it’s time to do laundry. This post will focus on preparation and washing laundry.
Let’s start with the washer:
You might have a washer and dryer in your home or
you might have to to use a laundromat. In either case, make sure the washing machine is clean.
Take a look at the controls. Use the right settings for the load of laundry that you want to do. Generally you can use the warm temperature for all types of laundry and it’s easy – just set it and forget it. However, keep in mind that the hot temperature can be used for very soiled clothing, whites and towels. Cold temperate is good for dark clothing and anything that might run – like red colors.
Put together a basket of your laundry supplies so that they are ready for when you want to start. I suggest: laundry detergent, bleach, stain remover, dryer sheets, washer cleaner, cleaning wipes and trash bags.
Gather all of your laundry and sort by comparable colors. It doesn’t have to be one load of black, one of navy, one of dark grey, etc. Look for similar colors. This basket of clothing will sort into five loads of laundry.
Above left are black and dark colors, above right are grey and white colors and below are white towels. I would also put sheets in a separate load since they take up so much room. As you can see one person can generate 5 – 6 loads of laundry in a week.
If there are any stains on the clothes, use a stain remover before putting it in the washer.
When buying laundry detergent make sure it is the right type for your machine. The new high efficiency machines do best with detergent made for them. (Look at your machine it may have the high efficiency symbol – HE on it.)
Take a look at the detergent box. It will tell you the recommended amount of detergent to use.
Another great source of information are the laundry tags in most clothing. It will tell you the correct water temperature, what type of bleach, even if you should turn the garment inside out before washing. If it says Dry Clean Only – DO NOT WASH IT!!! Take it to the dry cleaners. If you wash it in the washing machine you will ruin the garment.
Measure out the detergent and place in the washing machine. If your machine has a tray use it. If not, put it in the machine before you put the clothes in.
Place the dirty laundry equally around the machine. Don’t overload the machine (about halfway filled); the clothes won’t get clean if you do.
Now turn on the washer and set an alarm so that you remember to take out the wash when it’s done. How long does a load take? My machine tells you how long each load will take. If yours doesn’t, read the manual for the machine it will tell you approximate times. Most manuals can be found online.
In the next post we will focus on drying, folding and ironing your laundry.
Don’t worry – you can do it.