Did you know the average American family does 8-10 loads of laundry every week? As the mother of two and the wife of someone who changes his t-shirt every hour (kidding!) I can attest to that. I enjoy throwing a load of dirty laundry into the washing machine, drying it, and then folding the warm lavender scented pile of clothing. However, how and when you wash your garments plays a huge role in how clean your laundry is and how long your items will last.
I compiled a list of laundry how-tos that I learned over the years from trial and error and what my mother taught me.
How To Sort Your Laundry:
- Lights: Bright colors, pastels.
- Whites: As long as it can withstand warm/hot water without bleeding.
- Darks: Red, blue, black, gray, etc.
- Denim: Anything denim.
- Delicates: Silk, knit, sequins, lace, cashmere.
- Towels: Towels should be washed separately from all clothing, but can be combined with underwear and socks.
- Sheets: Sheets should be washed separately from clothing.
- Socks and undergarments: Due to all the bacteria and other lingering fluids, underwear and socks should not be washed with any clothing.
What Temperature Water Should I Use?
- Whites: Always use hot water when washing your whites! If you have a white shirt with writing or with stripes, wash separately so the colors done bleed.
- Lights: You can use warm or hot water to wash your lights, make sure there are no darks mixed in.
- Darks: Always use cold water when washing darks because the color will bleed during wash, you don’t want to risk ruining an item of clothing.
- Delicates: Make sure your delicates are separated: whites, darks, and reds. Use water temps according to color but ensure that you set your washer to the delicate cycle.
- Use the pre-soak option for garments that are heavily soiled. I always use it for towels and sheets.
- Use a garment bag for your delicates and always clip the hooks of your bras so they don’t destroy the fabric.
- Turn your jeans inside out before you wash them.
- Do not overfill the machine, if you do the clothes will not be thoroughly washed.
- If you have little ones do not wash your infant/newborn/toddler clothing with your own. I say this because our bacteria, germs, sweat, are completely different from theirs. In order to effectively clean their clothing and keep it in pristine shape, do their loads separate from your own.
How To Dry Your Clothing:
- Always use the lowest heat setting for your clothing, high heat can ruin your clothing, sheets, and towels. Most drivers have specific settings you can use.
- NEVER DRY: Bras with underwrites, silk or lace garments, cashmere, spandex, or items that are 100% cotton, they will be destroyed and shrink in the drier.
How Do I Keep My Clothing and Sheets Smelling Fresh, Longer?
- I always use scent boosters when I wash my towels, sheets, comforters, and the girls blankets.
- I use baking soda instead of bleach because it cleans more effectively and leaves a better scent.
- I add an extra fabric softener sheet to each pile before I dry it.
- I use an extra .5 cup of softener in each load of laundry.
A mama with never ending laundry