The quickest way to do laundry is to do it right the first time. Yet, many people struggle to get the fabric results they desire, partially because they follow more traditional “old school” laundry methods. Today, there are some “new school” approaches to help you properly address common laundry issues.
Old school: You drag your clothes to an unorganized, undecorated laundry room.
New School: Make laundry more tolerable by transforming your laundry room into a livable space. The laundry room should be a place to take pride in and get the job done right. New homes often include multiple laundry rooms to handle fabric care needs in different areas of the home. Channel this multi-tasking spirit by stocking your laundry room with bins, detergents, laundry tools and hangers to suit every fabric need.
Old School: You sort, fold and treat laundry all over the house from beds to living rooms.
New School: Make your laundry room an efficient, productive workspace. Install a system with worksurfaces for sorting and folding and storage towers to hold bulk detergents, stain sticks, and fabric softener sheets. Use color-coded baskets to sort loads by darks, lights, whites, etc.
Old School: You rub stains with a stain fighter and toss in the wash.
New School: Blot stains, don’t rub, and tackle stains from the inside out as soon as possible. Place the stained area face down on a clean paper towel, then apply stain remover to the underside of the garment to loosen the stain. Keep a laminated cheat sheet handy with quick stain removal tricks.
Old School: You use one detergent for all loads, no matter the soil, size or fabric.
New School: Use the right detergent for the right appliance and load. Just as dish soap should not be used in a dishwasher, many washing machines require specially formulated detergents. For example, traditional detergents create excess suds, leaving behind body oils, dirt and grime which cause mold and mildew stains and odors in high-efficiency (HE) machines. Excess suds cause HE machines to use additional water and have longer cycle times, costing time and money.
Use detergents designed for cold water in low temperature cycles. Traditional detergents do not dissolve well in cold water and may streak clothing.
Old School: Limit your cycles to one tried-and-true favorite.
New School: Select the right temperature and features on your washing machine. Many machines feature a variety of innovative cycles to do the work for you. Manufacturers equip machines with sensors to determine the load size, which saves time and maintains eco-efficiency. Water temperature is important to keep whites bright and help prevent dulling of darks. Soils like sweat and body oils are best removed in hot water, while colors may require colder temperatures to help prevent pigment loss. If fabrics are discolored or gray, use higher temperatures.
Old School: You wait around for the dry cycle to finish.
New School: Do multiple loads in a row, so the dryer does not lose heat between loads, boosting energy savings. If clothes need a quick refresh, toss a damp towel in the load to loosen wrinkles. Laundry may not be your favorite chore, but streamlining the process can help get the job done faster and with better results. You just may find that laundry can be a labor of love.