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How to Wash Clothes

Posted on 18 July 2010

How to wash clothes

Some people’s clothing always look great. I think they not only know how to wash clothes but use certain laundry boosters and tips to maintain their clothing also.

Here’s my list of what they are doing right:

  • Find out if you have hard or soft water. If your clothes tend to come out gray looking, or you are finding rust spots, or the clothes just look dingy, you may have hard water which prevents clothes from really becoming clean.
  • Test for hard water by adding ¼ tsp detergent to 1 pint jar of warm water. Shake. If there are only a few suds, or the soap seems to disappear quickly, you have hard water.

    What you can do is to mix 1lb washing soda, ½ lb borax, and 2 gallons of water. Store the mixture in a large tub and add a cup to every wash. If your mixture seems too sudsy, add a little salt to the wash.

  • Speaking of salt, you can treat stains naturally with salt, a healthier and more economical alternative to stain stick. Dampen your stain and sprinkle it with salt. Sprinkle your tablecloth after havdalah with salt. Let the salt sit on the stains for 10 minutes. Wash as usual.
  • Maintain color brightness of your clothes by adding a tsp of Epsom salts to each gallon of water.
  • For handwashing, add a tsp of hair conditioner to washable wool when rinsing to keep it soft. Don’t wring dry when you hand wash. Roll in a towel.
  • If you couldn’t get to your dryer right away to fold, and all of the clothes are wrinkled, add a large damp bath towel and tumble dry for 15 minutes. Remove and hang clothes.
  • Chlorine bleach is an effective whitener, but it can weaken fabrics and fibers; bluing is often a better choice. Bluing is an old-fashioned product that was once a staple of the laundry room; bluing is added to the wash or rinse cycle for the purpose of giving whites a very subtle blue tint. Why blue? Some white fabrics actually have a blue-white hue; bluing makes them appear even brighter, cleaner, and whiter.

    Fortunately, bluing agents can still be found. There is a bluing brand called Mrs. Stewarts.

  • If you have colors that bled in the wash: DON’T DRY THEM! Wash again with regular detergent and color-safe bleach. If that didn’t work, Rit®, the makers of clothes dye, makes a color remover that works wonders and doesn’t cost much. To prevent bleeding in the first place, wash in cold water; and, use a cup of salt OR a scoop of Oxi Clean® with every load.
  • Got grease on your skirt while making latkes? Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch or baby powder over the grease stain, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes, then brush the powder off. The powder absorbs the grease and it brushes off with the powder.
  • For ring around the collar, use hair shampoo! Who would have thought? Shampoo is made to dissolve body oils.
  • Zippers: To make a zipper slide up and down more smoothly, rub a bar of soap over the teeth.
  • My mother puts on an apron as soon as she gets home to prevent stains.
  • Make sure your deodorant dries thoroughly before putting on shirts to prevent deodorant stains.
  • Clean your washer hoses of hardened soap scum once in a while. Run an empty load of hot water and a cup of distilled vinegar. Your clothes will clean better.
  • I don’t like folding bed sheets. I wash and put clean sheets right back on the bed.
  • Prevent pilling by turning clothes inside out.
  • I recently bought one pattern of socks for each member of my family. That way, I don’t have to waste time matching lots of different patterns.
  • Time saving tip! Wash pantyhose and silky undergarments with shampoo while you are taking a shower. That way you’ll always have a clean pair.
  • Dust your throw pillows, curtains, and slipcovers by tossing them in the dryer on cool with a big towel. You can put the slipcovers back on while they are still slightly damp and they will dry wrinkle free and fit tighter.
  • When shopping, to see if what you a buying will wrinkle heavily, scrunch a fistful of the fabric and if it doesn’t recover, keep shopping!

I do think the agitator on your laundry machine does make a difference. If your clothes are coming out of the wash very worn, consider getting a front loading new machine. Front loading machines are gentler on clothes and often there is no agitator. That may bet the solution you have been looking for. And it is not that you do not know how to wash clothes, but your appliances.


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