Tips for the energy-conscious: According to the U.S. Dept of Energy, about 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. Using less water and using cooler water are two ways you can minimize energy usage for laundry. Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, switching to the next lower temperature setting, for example, from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half without affecting the outcome.
What You Need
· Bleach: Chlorine Bleach (must be diluted before use and can damage some clothes) Oxygen Bleach (generally safe for all washables)
· Pre-spotters: to loosen stain before laundering
· Other tools: paper towels, sponges, white bar soap, small brush or toothbrush.
Note: Please keep all cleaning products out of the reach of children.
At the Laundromat
Save time at the Laundry by: Sorting your clothes into whites, lights and dark before leaving home. This will take just a few minutes at home by spreading them on the floor. If you have children, this will also be a good time to look through their clothes and pockets for crayons, pens, keys and valuables. Skipping this step could turn out to be very costly if there is a mishap – items such crayons and pens can melt if put in washers and dryers and damage your clothes.
In the washer:
· Whites can be washed on hot or warm, hot makes it wash cleaner and faster, warm prolongs the life.
· Lights are better washed warm unless they are delicates, in which case, use cold.
· Cold water is favored for darks, which tend to bleed or fade fast.
· Do not oversud (i.e. avoid using too much detergent). Most detergents are formulated to be low-sud detergents, and perform just as good if not better than the high sud soap flakes of old. Unfortunately, many people are still guilty of this practice, believing that the more bubbles they see, the better the wash result. Excessive detergent may not rinse out completely during the rinse cycle, and may cause skin irritation.
. Worthy of note: Put all small items such as shoestrings, sheer knee-highs, pantyhose etc in a small net washing bags before placing in washer. You will not believe how easily these items slip through the cracks in washers and end up in the drains and also into the lint trays in dryers. Meanwhile, come Monday morning, the household is in chaos because the shoestrings are missing and you’re very sure you placed them in the laundry.
In the dryer:
· Turn jeans, linens and dark clothes inside out, so they won’t fade as quickly.
· Don’t overload your dryer, as this can cause your clothes to take a long time to dry or not really dry at all, costing you more in the long run. This could also result in excessive wrinkling.
· Dry towels and heavier cottons (such as jeans) in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes. Also, dry delicates on low or permanent press setting to prevent scorching and prolong the life of the materials.