Fortunately in modern households it’s not necessary to set aside a whole day every week dedicated purely to doing the laundry. There are automated solutions out there to every household chore, particularly caring for your clothes.
This is important because it pays to take care of your clothes. The feel good factor you get wearing something new can turn very quickly to dismay when it comes out of the washing machine a completely different colour or out of the tumble dryer three sizes smaller than it went in.
Detergent, clothes pegs and general laundry rules
- Always follow care labels.
- Wash clothes quickly before dirt sets and turns into a stain.
- Apply stain treatments immediately should an accident happen.
- Categorise laundry and wash according to type – whites, brights, darks and delicates.
- Empty pockets and fasten any zips and buttons before washing.
- Don’t overload your machine.
Don’t attempt to wash any garments if the label states ‘dry clean only’ or to tumble dry garments if the advises against it. Even if your clothes are really dirty or smelly, don’t be tempted to use excess amounts of detergent or fabric conditioner. Clothes and linens iron far better when still slightly damp.
Washing lines and clothes pegs
The best result is usually obtained by drying clothes on a washing line, using dolly clothes pegs, on fine, breezy days.
A rotary dryer is the most convenient solution for the average household but make sure you fold up your line and use a protective cover while not in use, as it will soon get dirty and leave marks on your clean clothes.
Wooden clothes pegs are gentler on your clothes than plastic versions, which can leave indentations on clothes and degrade quickly upon exposure to the elements. Dolly clothes pegs are preferable over the spring versions.
After handwashing items too delicate for a machine wash or spin, wrap them in a clean towel to soak up excess water, then lay flat across the top of your rotary line or clothes hangar to hold the shape.
How to hang
Hang carefully to dry quickly and overlap corners to free up room on the clothesline if necessary. T-shirts should be hung by the hem, trousers and skirt by the waistband. Shirts and blouses should be put on plastic hangers and attached to the line with the special clips you can buy. Hang sheets by folding hem to hem and pinning to the line with the hems at the top. This allows wind to billow through the sheets like a sail for faster drying and fewer creases.