Laundry is the no brainer task that everyone avoids like the plague. It's the tidy task that most people stave off till their room looks like the Trash Lady’s palace in the 80s movie Labyrinth. Doing laundry is a nightmare mainly because it's time consuming and can be frustrating. In an ideal world your clothes would be nurtured and pampered from washer to close. But let's get real, your clothes sit in a heap by the closet door or live in the dryer till you need something. Some people are blessed with the patience it takes to get through the task and if you're a part of the 24 % of Americans who said laundry is your fav cleaning task in 2019 by the ACI, that's amazing! Hey, some people find it comforting and relaxing. If you're not that kind of person, then let’s high five because we at The Club are guilty of being phony laundry do-gooders too. Hehe. In this quick guide to laundry we are covering some must-know laundry tips and tricks to keep you and your clothes happy. Just a heads up, you need to invest some time getting oriented with your clothes and washer/dryer. Nothing comes easy folks, but once you got it, you got it.
Sorting & Fabric Labels:
Yeah, right off the bat you gotta get your hands dirty! Sort colored clothes from whites, textured clothes from basics. As you sort, turn your clothes inside out and vuala, literally now you wont forget to read the tag. The tag is a tell all that even includes symbols for best washing and drying methods. You might think this is common sense but when you forget that piece of bubble gum you were sav
ing for later in your pocket and it ruins your clothes… Buzzkill. While you're sorting, CHECK all pockets. It's also a key step in keeping your washing intact. Cleaning nasty chocolate from the inner rim is an avoidable encounter.
Learn How to Wash: Master the Dreaded Washer
If you're like us (Teresa, mainly), you let your dirty laundry pile up, no care for socks with towels or undies mixed with pants, and when it's time to wash you dump it all in, chuck in some soap and push start. We imagine the majority of people who stated they wash two to three loads a week. If it’s too easy you're probably doing it wrong. First things first, get acquainted with that little white tag in your clothes and manual for your washer/dryer. It's always good to follow the care instructions on your clothes. That should be a great starting place before washing clothes. You may find your undergarments need to be washed on a low speed with warm water versus your colors with cold water. For the amount of soap to dispense, use your best judgement! Or use the recommended amount stated on the detergent label.
Your washer might have these overwhelming options for loads but really all you need to know is cycle length, cycle speed and water temperature. Modern machines offer an array of customization while older models often have all three settings linked.
Cycle Length: refers to how long your clothes are going to be spinning. Longer spin cycles are for dirtier clothes and linens. Shorter cycles are for more delicate clothes and less soiled. The golden rule is the less time the better. In order to preserve your clothes lifespan and ultimately the money in your wallet, set your cycle length to quick wash or delicate load. For some washers that is spin cycle 4 or in some cases 6.
Cycle speed: is basically how fast your clothes are going to be washing and spinning. The 3 common settings are regular, permanent press, and delicate which translates to fast/fast, slow/fast, and slow/slow. A regular load, where the load cycle is washing fast and spinning fast is good for bulky items and. Permanent press is where the washing part is fast but the spinning is slow is great for most if not all loads. Now the final cycle speed is delicate and that is a slow wash with a slow spin for those clothes that can’t withstand a lot of friction. Knowing what you are washing is going to again, preserve those clothes and that moolah.
Temperature: the general golden rule is stick with cold water. If you're trying to save the world, and some bucks wash on cold. Many people believe that hot water washes better which does aid in a particularly stinky and soiled batch of clothes, but cold water will also do the damn job.
Are you drying correctly or habitually overdrying?
Now that you’ve mastered washing let's get to drying. If you're abusing the washer, chances are you're also abusing the dryer. Teresa has a big family and she goes through more dryers than Tecate. Just kidding, but one sure sign of a dryer abuser is the state of your clothes. Overdrying causes shrinkage, and fading, among other disasters. Like washers, the newer models are more complicated. The same terms for a washer can be transferred over to dryers. Rule of thumb: Don’t overcrowd your dryer and keep the lint trap clean after each use. This will keep your dryer lasting.
- Regular or Heavy duty loads: These are meant for jeans, towels and curtains and things of that nature. Just because it says regular, does not mean you should use this for all your loads.
- Permanent press: This nice setting allows for your clothes to cool, meaning less wrinkles. This is the recommended setting for most drying loads.
- Delicate: This really just means your clothes, like linen are getting a mix of light heat and air drying on a low spin. This is a great setting for bras, panties and clothes that are really prone to shrinking.
- Tumble/Air dry: A good way to cool down your house in the summer heat and dry your clothes is to use the tumble, or no heat feature on your dryer or go old school. Hang it up. Lay it out. This is the biggest cost effective drying method, but alas wrinkles galore.
If you’ve successfully made it this far in your laundry mission then congrats because half the battle is over. You spent a good chunk of your time caring for your clothes so don’t stop there. This last step is up to you and how you put your clothes away. But if your freshly laundered wardrobe is destined for the floor you might want to approach aftercare differently. Nothing is worse than the dreaded clutter closet. By the way, if you need help decluttering your closet, check out our blog here.
- Hang jackets, sweaters and items that you don’t want wrinkled
- Store jeans, t-shirts and panties in drawers