For most of us, doing laundry involves three automatic actions we could practically do in our sleep: pouring the laundry detergent, pressing the button and waiting for the washer to work its magic. Result: over time, our clothes fade and become damaged. Here are 15 simple, but ultra-effective tricks to get your clothes wonderfully clean and fresh-smelling while protecting your fabrics.
- To keep colors from fading: Wash your clothes and kitchen towels separately because once released into the water, dirt particles risk dulling your colors and even turning your bright whites a dingy yellow.
- To wash effectively: Make sure to properly balance the load. If you add too many heavy items, they won’t be able to move freely in the washing machine and will not get thoroughly washed.
- To keep clothes from losing their shape: Close zippers and do up any buttons before washing.
- To keep clothes looking great: Use the short or delicate cycle for fine fabrics, knits and lingerie. For the delicate cycle, always set the water to the highest level, no matter how few items you are washing. The clothes need to float in the water to be protected from damage.
- To prevent wrinkles: Use the permanent press setting for delicate fabrics. It gradually adds cold water during the rinse cycle, which keeps wrinkles from forming.
- To protect your delicates: Place delicates in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase before washing.
- To thoroughly wash large items: For comforters, duvets and pillows, add two or three clean tennis balls to the washing machine (and dryer). They will help keep the stuffing in place.
- To prevent damage to fabrics: You should never set your dryer to the highest temperature, because the intense heat will “cook” on stains and damage fabrics.
- To freshen up your clothes: Use the cold air (no heat) cycle. You can also add a natural fabric refresher to get rid of bad odors.
- To keep the sun from fading your colors: If you use a clothesline, hang your colored clothing inside out and in the shade.
- To make your fabrics soft and supple: Softeners can be used on all fabrics, will keep wrinkles from forming and reduce static cling. Replace conventional dryer sheets with reusable dryer cloths for less static and less waste!
- To keep from losing socks: Washing machines are notorious for eating socks! Mesh laundry bags are an excellent way to keep them from disappearing.
- To keep dark fabrics looking their best: To keep dark fabrics from fading, wash them inside out in cold water and air-dry.
- To get rid of oil/grease stains: Laundry stain remover is tough on stains. Rub into the fabric and let act for a few hours, then wash the item as usual.
- For better drying: Jeans and towels still damp after a drying cycle? Shake them vigorously before putting them in the dryer. They will be softer and dryer at the end of the cycle.
- Hot water: For heavily soiled clothes and whites. Hot water activates the cleaning effect of detergents and kills bacteria.
- Warm water: For synthetic fibers.
- Cold water: For natural fibers, delicate fabrics and bold colors.
Did you know?
- 80% to 90% of the energy used to wash clothes goes into heating the water. By washing in cold water and using an adapted detergent, you will reduce your electricity and energy consumption, and help reduce your ecological footprint. And that’s not to mention that you will be lowering your electricity bill with every load!
- Given that North American families do an average of 9 to 15 loads of laundry each week (using around 17.5 billion cups of laundry detergent each year), opting for a natural, ECOLOGO-certified laundry detergent is a great way to do your part to save the planet. The ECOLOGO seal indicates that the product has been subject to stringent scientific tests or exhaustive checks and respects strict environmental performance standards.