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Laundry 101

Laundry 101-The Quick and Dirty

8 Deadly Sins of Laundry

  1. Getting chlorine bleach in your eye or on your skin or accidentally swallowing it. (rinse it off your skin, rinse your eye and call 911, call poison control if you swallow it.) Spilling bleach ruins clothes, rugs, etc and the fumes are awful.
  2. Red items in the white hot load (everything turns pink).
  3. Washing and drying knits in hot, they shrink, and will make nice doll clothes. Knits are stretchy, and the fabric looks like tiny interconnected loops. If the fabric looks like a criss-cross, it is a woven, not a knit.
  4. Not mixing bleach thoroughly with wash water before adding clothes. Bleach makes permanent white spots on clothes.
  5. Leaving stuff in your pockets, one hidden lipstick, stick of gum, marker or pen will ruin a whole load of laundry.
  6. Bleaching nylon items, they disintegrate.
  7. Leaving wet clothes in the washer or dryer for more than a few hours (mold grows and they smell funny, or someone else might heave them out of the machine, and do you want random people handling your clothes?).
  8. Putting stained items through the dryer (it makes stains permanent). About stains

5 Simple Steps for Successhome_btn

  1. Read the tag in the garment, read the label and follow the directions. The label will clue you in to water temperature, bleach type, wash and dry cycles, how to iron, or to dry clean. What are those symbols?
  2. Don’t overload the washer or dryer. If the washer is too full, the clothes won’t get enough agitation, won’t get clean and will take forever to dry.
  3. Keep the load balanced. Make sure the items are equally distributed around the washer so the load balanced during spin cycles. If the washer starts making banging noises, stop the wash cycle, wait for the spinning to stop, and rearrange the clothes.
  4. If you care about wrinkles: wash man made fibers (mostly anything other than wool, cotton, linen or hemp) in hot/warm water using a permanent-press cycle. If the machine does not have a permanent-press cycle, use warm wash and then cool water rinse.
  5. Always be sure to check the pockets of all garments before washing and drying. “Every pocket, every time.”

Supplieshome_btn

What are those little symbols?home_btn

No, they are not Klingon, Elvish, or a strange subversive code. Most labels include at least 4 fabric care instructions, in this order: wash, bleach, dry, and iron.

fabric_care_symbols fabric_care_language

Special thanks to The American Cleaning Institute for permission to reuse their fabric care guides.

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Laundry 201-Wash and Dry Settings

If in doubt about how to wash something, or you can't separate laundry perfectly, use the Cold Brights settings. If you don't want to worry about separating laundry, you can buy products to add to the laundry to keep colors from bleeding onto other clothes.

Cold Brights or Darkshome_btn

Such as t-shirts, tank tops, most sleepwear.

WASH SETTINGS:

Add detergent with clothing

DRYER SETTINGS

add a dryer sheet on top of clothes

Cold Paleshome_btn

White and light-colored items such as t-shirts, tank tops, sleepwear

WASH SETTINGS:

Add detergent with clothing
Add all fabric bleach (NOT chlorine bleach) in “liquid bleach” slot

DRYER SETTINGS

add a dryer sheet on top of clothes

Hot Colorshome_btn

Bright or Dark items like sheets, socks, underwear, towels

WASH SETTINGS:

Add detergent with clothing

DRYER SETTINGS

add a dryer sheet on top of clothes

Hot Whiteshome_btn

White items like sheets, socks, underwear, towels

WASH SETTINGS:

Add detergent with clothing
Add 1/2 to one cup chlorine bleach in “liquid bleach” slot, depending on the size of the load. (Be careful not to splash this on your clothing, skin or in your eyes. Seriously)

DRYER SETTINGS

Add a dryer sheet on top of clothes

Laundry 301-Stains

Speed makes all the difference here, run, don’t walk, to wash out the spot. Dishwashing liquid sometimes works, hand soap will almost always make the stain worse. Some people swear by club soda. (NOT sprite). Stain stick type prewash products can be used up to a week before wash day, just incase you’ve got a big paper due ; )

When trying to rub out a stain, work from the back. Put the stain face down on a clean stack of paper towels, and dab. You’re trying to push the stain off of your clothes onto the paper towel. Replace the paper towel when it gets dirty (this is what you want) and put a fresh piece under your stain to absorb more.home_btn

Will this ruin my clothes? Checking for colorfastness

Turn your garment inside out. Take a tiny amount of whatever you plan to use and put it on the inside of a seam (the lip of fabric that is turned to the inside when two pieces are sewn together.) If the color fades, or comes off when you wipe the cleaning product away, you cannot use that product on that garment.

Check to be sure the stain is out before you put your item in the dryer. The heat in the dryer will make the stain permanent.

MAKEUP (WATER-BASED), FRUITS AND FRUIT JUICEShome_btn

CHOCOLATEhome_btn

MUDhome_btn

BUTTER, COOKING OILS/FATS, MARGARINE, MAYONNAISE, VEGETABLE OILhome_btn

TOMATO-BASED STAINShome_btn

GUMhome_btn

BLOODhome_btn

VOMIT (Barf, Yak, Technicolor Yawn, Spew)home_btn

DAIRY PRODUCTS, MILK, ICE CREAM AND PUDDINGhome_btn

NANA’S ADVICEhome_btn

“Move swiftly—they’ll never notice [the stain].”