There are four basic rules to follow when doing laundry: You should :
Mix in larger items, such as sheets, with smaller items such as shirts and tea towels – though you should obviously stick to the same colour range. Be careful to ensure that the sheets don’t wrap around the agitator in the washing machine – they must be able to move freely.
The quantity of detergent recommended on the label is calculated based on average conditions: a load of clothing that is not particularly dirty and washed in an average quantity of water that is not particularly hard. If any of these conditions changes, you need to change the quantity of detergent used. Use more detergent for heavier loads, if the clothes are heavily soiled, or if the water is hard. Use less detergent in softer water, if the clothes are only lightly soiled, or for smaller loads.
To ensure that clothes are flawlessly clean, they must be able to float freely and there must be enough water to carry away the dirt with ease. Fill the drum loosely with clothes, leaving plenty of room. Detergents give the best results in warm or hot water. Don’t set out to use cold water to wash any clothes unless they are only lightly soiled or if the colour may be affected by hot water.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and add products appropriately. Some products, such as oxygen bleaches, are poured into the water before adding the clothes to be washed. Liquid softeners are added at the rinsing stage./p>
When using cold water to rinse, you save energy, make the clothes easier to iron, and reduce wrinkling in crease-resistant fabrics. Once again, in order to save energy, always fill up the washing machine, or adjust the volume of water to reflect the size of the load. If there is only a small load, reduce the water level correspondingly.
Add half a cup (125 ml) of soda to each wash to ensure that whites are white and colours are more vibrant. Alternatively, add lemon juice to the rinse water and hang the clothes to dry outdoors in the sun, which is a natural way to bleach clothes and save energy.
Preserving the original colour of clothes washed by machine
Once again, sorting your laundry makes all the difference. Never wash dark-coloured clothes (black, navy blue, brown or green) with light-coloured clothes (pink or sky blue), and never wash white clothes with coloured items.
Where laundry is concerned, to each his own! Nonetheless, you need to know that red and black clothes require particular attention! It is even recommended to wash them individually if they are not colour fast.
To find out whether a textile is colour fast, all you have to do is apply a press cloth to the back and run a hot iron over it. If the press cloth is coloured, the fabric is not colour fast. The second thing is that you must never wash dark coloured laundry at a temperature above 30°. In addition, it’s worth bearing in mind that high temperatures consume more electricity, and unless the laundry is badly soiled (which is rarely the case) there is no benefit from using higher temperatures.
If you wash your laundry at low temperatures, you won’t have to distinguish between synthetics and cottons – which is another noticeable benefit.
If you absolutely refuse to separate your laundry, there is only one other option: wash each piece by hand separately! So it’s up to you.
The only way to recover items after colours have run in the wash is to drench them in a bath of hot (but not boiling) water with added bleach. The process is delicate, and there is no question of leaving the laundry to float without watching it closely. On the contrary: you need to stir it frequently using a wooden spatula and, as soon as you notice the slightest change of colour – which may only take a minute – remove it from the water as soon as possible then plunge it back into a bath of cold water.
If you want to maintain your shirts in good condition, never put them in the dryer: let them dry naturally on a coat hanger!
Ironing is made easier if the fabric of the shirt is a little damp. Start with the collar, then the sleeves, then move on to the shoulders, then finally attack the rest of the shirt. It’s not worth worrying about wrinkles! Press them down with a wet finger and a little water, then iron again. Don’t fold the shirt right away: place it on a coat hanger while the fabric is cooling down.