Helpful laundry tricks and advice for cleaner clothes and a sparkling laundry room.
You've invested in a beautiful laundry room and stylish clothes —now, how do you make them last? Having the right products on hand can help prevent a dusty, dirty laundry area, not to mention avoiding clothes with fading colours, persistent stains or yellowing whites. Use this laundry cleaning checklist handy to get clean, fresh smelling and bright clothes every time, in a space that's a joy to be in.
Cleaner Clothing Tips
Very few of us have perfected the right laundry techniques, but they can make clothes last longer. For example, nearly half of all consumers never read the directions on a package of laundry detergent, according to a survey from The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA). “When it comes to doing the laundry, read the package label and follow the directions on the care tags of the clothes,” recommends Nancy Bock, vice-president of education at the SDA, in a press release. “It’s the way to get the best possible results — wash after wash.”
Choose The Right Laundry Products
•Get the right formulation. Liquid detergents work really well on greasy, oily stains, plus they are handy for pretreating stains. However, powdered detergents may be more cost-effective. Since they are also good at removing ground-in dirt, a powder could be an ideal choice for children’s clothes.
•Ensure colour protection. The SDA recommends using detergents and fabric softeners with colour protection. These products work best if you use them from the start with new garments.
•Lock in colours. Look for detergents that are specially formulated to prevent your midnight blacks from turning slate gray, and whites from yellowing. If you're saving money by not using hot water, try a cold-water special formulation.
•Double up. Combination detergents, such as built-in fabric softener or colour-safe bleach, kill two birds with one stone. Or, look for targeted products you can add to a load, such as in-wash booster.
•Pick a scent. You can opt for scent-free formulations or try some new exciting fragrances. It’ll take you back to your last beach holiday with the aroma of flowers and exotic fruits.
•Tackle stains quickly. Pre-treat them by rinsing or soaking in cold water, and applying a stain remover. Then launder. Don’t dry clothes if the stain has not washed away — it can set it permanently. Pretreat it and wash again. Check out the Tide comprehensive Stain Solution guide. No matter the stain, or the fabric type, there’s helpful advice.
•Don’t forget dryer sheets.
Laundry Room Cleaning Tips
Cleaning your laundry room appliances will help ensure they run in top form, while keeping the room tidy will make laundry less of a chore.
•Keep the dust down. Wipe down walls, cabinets and appliance exteriors with a mild dish detergent and warm water. Get hard to reach spots with an extendible duster and use a vacuum to collect dust and larger debris on the floor.
•Clean your washing machine. Residues from laundry soils, detergents and hard-water minerals are left behind in areas you can’t see. To keep odour-causing residues from building up, clean out your machine monthly with a special washing machine cleaner, which lifts residues and deposits away.
•Get rid of lint. Did you know that a dirty lint screen can cause your dryer to suck up 30 percent more energy? Worse, it is fire hazard. Clean the lint screen after each load, and once a month pull out your dryer and unplug it. Unscrew the vent hose from the elbow, and inspect it for lint. Check the vent hole inside the drier to make sure nothing has been lodged inside, either. Vacuum the area and inside the machine and vent hose. Finally, reconnect the hose, plug in the dryer and return it to its place.
•Reread your appliance instructions. Today’s washers and dryers often have many different cycles that optimize the effectiveness of different types of loads, and some that save energy, so read up and make sure you take advantage of them.