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3 new rules for your laundry

House & Home

Posted on Thursday, July 3, 2014

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Contrary to popular belief, laundry is one of the areas of your household where you can actually save money, time and stress. Here are three tips to make you worry less about the washing...


Use cold water

There has traditionally been a distinction between items that you can wash in cold water, and those that need hot water. Due to technology advancements in washing machines and detergents, this distinction is no longer as rigid, and there are some real benefits of cold water washing. Despite the money-saving benefits (because you’re not using as much electricity), washing in cold water helps to preserve the colour and fabric of your garments. 

Cold water can also remove certain types of stains more effectively. In fact, it can be more efficient than hot water for stains like sweat and blood, as using hot water will set these stains, making them harder to remove. Even bacteria can be removed from gym and sports clothes by pre-rinsing them in cool water within 20 minutes of exercising, followed by a cold water wash.

Dry-cleaning is not always necessary

If the label on a garment says “Dry-Clean Only”, then that's your only option. However, if it merely says “Dry-Clean”, then it’s usually safe to wash the garment yourself. This can save you a fair amount of money – but there are some steps you need to follow carefully:

Check that it is colour fast

Dip some cotton wool into water and dab an area of the garment that's not visible when you’re wearing it. If the dye doesn’t come off, the garment is colour fast and you can go ahead and wash it.

Check the detailing

Make sure that beads and other detailing are sewn on, not glued.

Hand-wash if possible

The safest way of washing delicate fabrics is to wash them by hand. However, if you really want to wash them in a machine, put them in a fine mesh bag and use the delicate cycle.

Dry flat

The safest way of washing delicate fabrics is to wash them by hand. However, if you really want to wash them in a machine, put them in a fine mesh bag and switch to 'Delicate cycle'.

Machine-wash your delicates

You don’t need to hand-wash delicate items like lingerie. Once again, there are a few guidelines that you need to follow. You should make sure that you use a very mild detergent for anything lace or silk. Place them in a fine mesh bag and wash on the delicate cycle. Don’t forget to fasten things like bra clasps to stop them from snagging on any of the other items. Don’t use a dryer – wrap a towel around them and squeeze out excess water, then dry flat.