We’ve attended a few High School graduation open houses this summer and I started to reminisce about when I left home for college. I know prior to college I “helped” my Mom with laundry – like transferring items from washer to dryer, folding and putting items away. But, I don’t remember starting the wash. Seems easy enough to throw the items in, add some detergent and push the button but we all know there’s a technique and science to laundering your belongings so they stay looking like new.
If you know someone who will be heading to college in the fall, pass along this guide for doing the laundry. You may enjoy the refresher as well.
1. Check all care labels. Separate out items that need to be hand washed or dry cleaned. This would also be a good time to check pockets.
2. Keep bath towels and bed linens separate. They can withstand the highest temperatures and most aggressive cycles. If towels start to feel scruffy or smell musty even after washing, here’s what you may be doing wrong.
3. Separate remaining items into darks, lights, and whites.
4. Separate lint generating items (like sweatshirts) from lint draws (like corduroys).
5. Turn treasured items and blue jeans inside out. This will reduce the chance of color loss.
6. Be sure to zip all zippers.
7. Place any delicate items to be washed separately into mesh bags.
8. When sorting, be sure to pre-treat any spots or stains.
9. Loosely place items in the washing machine. Never overload the machine – clothes won’t come clean if there isn’t enough room to agitate.
10. Select cycle, water temperature, and detergent according to the care label’s directions when washing garments.
11. Once garments have been washed, check to see if spots have been removed before placing clothes in the dryer. If the spot is still there, do not put the item in the dryer. The heat will set the stain. Instead, place it to the side to treat and wash again.
12. Clean the lint trap before putting clothes in the dryer.
13. Select dryer time and temperature according to the care label’s directions.
14. Since garments dry at different rates, keep like drying requirements together.
15. Be sure that they dryer isn’t overloaded. If the dryer is overloaded, it will cause some items to over dry and others to remain damp.
16. Remove clothes from the dryer as soon as they are finished and either fold properly or hang on appropriate hangers so that wrinkles don’t start forming.