Washing Clothes. Miscellaneous Tips

  1. Washing Clothes. Miscellaneous Tips

To help conserve energy, use your washer and dryer at the non-peak times of the day that are recommended by your local utility company.

  • Your washing machine can build up a residue of detergent and minerals. To clean it, fill the machine with hot water, add a quart of vinegar, and let it run through the entire cycle.
  • You should always put the detergent in the machine first, and then add the clothes. Never put detergent in on top of the clothes as the washer fills. The detergent resting directly on the damp clothes can cause spotting and fading of some dyes.
  • Always turn garments inside out before machine washing or drying. It takes a little extra effort, but it reduces wear on edges and creases and also reduces fading of colors if you hang your clothes out in the sun to dry.
  • When washing heavily soiled clothes, pre-soaking or washing twice with fresh detergent each time is more effective than one extra-long wash. When clothes are agitated more than 10 to 12 minutes, the detergent loses its effectiveness and the dirt is redeposited onto the clothes.
  • Use a high spin speed, if your washer has one, for heavy items such as towels and jeans. This removes more water and reduces drying time.
  • Tennis shoes will be much easier to wash if you spray them thoroughly on the outside with a soil repellent before you start wearing them.
  • Always wash all the pieces of a matching outfit together. Then if any fading takes place, at least they will all change at the same time so they’ll still match.
  • If you get mud on your clothes, don’t try to wipe it off. Let the mud dry first, then brush the dried mud off.
  • To eliminate static cling between your hose and slip, take just enough hand lotion to run into your hands, smooth it in until it has disappeared, then rub your hands over your panty hose or slip. Another method is to rub a fabric softener dryer sheet over your hose. If nothing else is handy, sprinkle your undergarments with a little water.
  • A round natural bristle brush brushed over the surface of a sweater will remove pills (those unattractive and annoying little balls of fuzz) without causing any damage to the sweater.
  • To remove pet hair from clothes, dampen a sponge with warm water, wring, and wipe lightly. The sponge will pick up the hair. Another way to remove pet hair as well as any kind of lint is to wrap your hand with masking tape (or any kind of tape) with the sticky side out. Pat or rub the garment with the taped hand. The adhesive will pick up the hair and lint. (This works better than most clothes brushes.)
  • Always take note of the care label when shopping for clothes. If it says “dry clean only”, think about whether you want to spend the time and money to always get the garment dry cleaned. Some of these fabrics may be successfully washed by hand, but you will be taking a risk. For example: the moisture and agitation of the washing machine can cause some fabrics to shrink (especially wool); water soluble sizing will wash out, leaving the garment limp and shapeless; and if a water-soluble dye was used, laundering could cause the garment to lose some or all of its color.

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