The average American family does around seven loads of laundry each week, that is about three hundred and fifty loads of laundry every year. That's right, 350 loads! Can you believe it? And while we all love clean, fresh-smelling clothes, improper preparation of those dirty clothes can cost you money. Not to mention, it can also ruin your favorite outfit.
Whether you follow a philosophy of “throw ‘em all in and let the washer figure it out” or you just need a quick refresher, below are the steps for the proper laundry preparation. These simple steps will ensure cleaner clothes and help you avoid those washer-related tragedies that result in wardrobe replacement.
Tag, You're It
Every garment comes with a care tag. If you want a healthy relationship with your favorite clothes, then the best way to foster some TLC is to get to know the real them. It’s all there on the care tag like a dating site profile. You’ll discover which like the water, their preferred bathing temperature, and if they have a severe bleach allergy. Knowing your clothing’s care instructions will ensure your favorite sweater isn’t reduced to the size of a sock.
Dirty, really dirty, and denim
Some clothing items just work harder than others. Although you may be tempted to treat them all to the most vigorous setting, unnecessary agitation will wear out your garments quicker. Sometimes it is best to create two groups. One for those items you wore only a few hours while binging Netflix and another for the stuff that did some gardening, sports, or other intense encounters. Denim also deserves its own pile because its rough, durable material can really rub the rest the wrong way. Separate loads mean you’ll not only save your clothes, but you’ll also save money of electricity, water, and detergent.
Clothes prefer their own cliques
Once you are confident that you aren’t drowning anything that isn’t meant to swim (like silk, wool, and linens), and you’ve separated the lightweights from the heavyweights, the next step is to place your clothes into the proper groups. That means a pile for the darks (black, navy, forest green), a pile for the whites, and a pile for all those colors in between. Colors dictate temperature. Hot water washes out the darks, and cold water leaves your whites gray. So, you’ll get longer use out of your wardrobe and prevent that dark red shirt from turning your whites to pink.
Pockets are conspiring against you
Nothing that goes in your pockets belongs in the washer. But pockets are sneaky like that. They consider hiding their contents for the wash a little payback for all the work you make them do. Pens, lipstick, notes, gum, and coins can ruin your laundry or break your washer. You can pat them down, but as mentioned, pockets are tricky, so it’s best to turn them inside out to be certain nothing in being concealed.
Zippers and buttons don’t play well with others
Most washer spin cycles hit about sixty to eighty miles an hour—that’s a category one hurricane. During agitation and the spin cycle, all those open zippers and unsecured buttons get a little rough with your clothing. There’s an awful lot of biting, scratching, and bludgeoning going on. To protect your fabrics, just zip, and button things up and keep everyone safe and happy.
That’s it. Five simple steps that will give your clothes all the love they need, save you money, and ensure all your favorites don’t meet a heartbreaking laundry tragedy.