One of the most common issues for university students who live away from their parents for the first time (but even the second or third time) is doing laundry correctly. How many times have you taken your laundry out of the washing machine with weird colours or a bad smell? Or a woollen jumper that became perfect for a doll? I learned years ago, and I am quite good at it, so I will tell you the common mistakes and how to avoid them.
1) Mixing colours
In the supermarket there are colour catchers but, believe me, they don’t work that well. The best way to avoid pinkish t-shirts or grey knickers is the old-fashioned one: separate the colours. You don’t have to separate every tone of colour, of course, but the best thing is: – Dark blue and black (except red) – White – Light colours (except pink and yellow) – Red and pink – Yellow
2) Smelling laundry
The best way to avoid this is to set an alarm to know when the washing machine will finish its job, but if you forget to and your laundry is smelly, there’s a good way to solve this inconvenience: rewash it, adding some white vinegar to your soap. If you forgot it for a week, a simple wash is not enough, and it’s better to put the clothes in a basket and leave them to soak for one day with water and a good amount of the above mentioned vinegar. After this you can wash them in the washing machine again.
3) Too much soap
Read the instructions and don’t overdo the soap, especially powder: you’ll find the little soap drawer (and in a short time, you’ll find mould) still full with soap and squishy laundry. The smallest dose written for the soap you’re using is usually the best, unless you work in the kitchen with grease and various ingredients or another kind of “dirty” job.
4) Filling the washing machine too much
The principle used by the washing machine is that the clothes rub against each other while turning. If you fill it too much, the clothes are stuck and will not be washed properly. The best way is to fill it ¾ full, leaving enough space for them to move.
5) Filling the tumble dryer too much
More or less the same principle as above. Your clothes will take much more time to dry and will be crumpled. It’s better to split them in two if you have too many to dry. It will take half of the time, and you don’t have to iron.
6) Not closing zips or bra hooks
The zips will become weaker, and they can get stuck with other clothes and ruin them. In particular, the hook of the bras can even get stuck with the washing machine seal and ruin it, with the obvious consequence of a water leak.
7) Not reversing them and not checking pockets
If you reverse clothes, there’s a higher possibility that the black sock you forgot in your white laundry will spoil just the internal part of the clothes. Plus, if you put your clothes in the tumble dryer, the part that will fade more will be the internal and not the external. If you have decorations in your hoodie, like prints or glitters, there is a lower probability that they will be spoiled.
Always check your pockets too. There can be coins or objects that can be a problem (and paper tissues that oblige you to do your laundry again!).
8) Not checking labels
Everybody has made this mistake and found something ruined forever, especially wool. Always check the labels and follow the instructions. You can find a useful link here.
9) High-temperature tumble dryer
I know you’re in a hurry, but the high temperature is not good to dry your clothes, especially the black ones, which will fade. The elastic fabrics will become weaker, in particular with knickers and socks.
I can assure you that you’ll have white and nice clothes following my instructions, and they will last more than usual. Eventually, if you really want to get rid of them, you can go to a charity or sell them in a second-hand online shop!
I hope you find this post useful!