In a house full of people, piles of laundry can quickly get out of control. As a result, some households opt for a “wash as you go” approach, washing whenever needs be. Of course, this is not exactly the most sustainable model – so, we’ve put together a list of tricks to help you save both time and money, aimed at those who feel like they could still learn a thing or do when it comes to mastering the laundry.
Laundry symbols can help you find the perfect laundry routine
If you don’t have an urgent amount of washing to do, separating your laundry according to fabric is the most efficient method. By taking a close look at your garment’s laundry symbols before throwing it in the machine, you can make sure that you always wash the same kind of fabric in one go. This allows you to use specialist detergents for bright colours and keep your whites sparkling without damaging the rest of the load. Separating by laundry type also means that you can wash certain clothes, such as cotton undergarments, on a hot washing machine setting without having to worry about shrinking your jeans. Need a little bit of help and guidance? This guide to laundry symbols will explain everything.
Master the art of pre-treatment
Don’t throw everything in the wash and deal with stains later. Some stains, such as oil or grease, will actually set if they come in contact with hot water. Here are a few ways to tackle the most common stains before throwing your laundry in the wash:
Oil and grease: Carefully remove excess grease with a paper towel. Chalk, baby powder, and cornstarch are equally efficient at absorbing the grease when applied to the stain, so choose whichever you’ve got in the house. Dish detergent is also a popular and convenient choice to cut through the grease.
Food stains: To get rid of general food stains, try white vinegar. If the stain is persistent, you can even soak it overnight in a water & vinegar solution and wash as usual afterwards.
Red wine: Act quickly! Sprinkle salt on the stain and let it absorb the wine for 10 minutes, then rinse with cold water. Proceed to wash as usual.
Sweat stains: To get rid of unsightly yellow sweat stains, soak the stain in a vinegar & water solution for a few hours, then wash as usual. You can also crush three aspirin pills and mix them with water to create a paste which you can then apply to the stain.
Always keep in mind to test any stain removal solution on a small patch first to ensure you won’t damage sensitive fabrics.
DIY laundry hacks
There’s no need to turn to expensive chemical solutions, instead, there are plenty of DIY laundry hacks that won’t cost you a penny and can be just as effective. Did you know that you could keep bright colours from fading if you add a spoonful of salt to your washing load? Similarly, wash your whites with baking soda or ½ cup of lemon juice to bleach them and they will be back to their original crispy white selves in no time. If your towels haven’t been smelling and feeling their best, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda will make your towels smell fresh and feel soft again.
Laundry on the go
Lastly – doing your laundry while travelling can be tricky. If you are going glamping, chances are your campsite will provide you with laundry facilities. However if you can’t wash your clothes the regular way, you might have to visit a launderette and wash and dry your clothes in one go. Alternatively, if you decide to wash clothes by hand, all you will need is some liquid detergent, a sink stopper, and a convenient place to hang your laundry afterwards.