Whether it’s your first time living by yourself, in need of some washing guidance or maybe you have just realised you’ve shrunk your favourite top? Read our buyers guide on how to preserve your clothes in your washing machine and tumble dryer.
Wash in Cold Water
Natural fabrics such as cotton, wool and linen tend to shrink if washed on a hot wash. Washing in hot water wears out your clothes more quickly, save really hot washes for dirtier clothes and bedding. Although some labels will clarify that they are ok for hot washes, cold washes won’t hurt and will help to preserve your clothes. Washing cold water labelled items in hot water will also damage the clothes, so ALWAYS read the label. Washing in cold water is also better for the environment and your wallet as it costs more and uses more energy to heat up the water needed for your wash.
Wash Clothes Inside-Out
This is really important for garments which have screen printing, embellishments, embroidery and any loose threads. Turning them inside out will help to prevent them from being worn away, snagged and pulled apart against other clothes.
Follow Washing Care Labels
Although this is an obvious tip, many people often forget and assume the degree their clothes are able to be washed on. Additionally, people also forget to read laundry detergents. Try not to use too much as, depending on the rinse cycle, there may not be enough water to fully rinse all soap residue out of your items. Remember to also use gentle detergents for delicates and regular ones for sturdier garments. Not all detergents are the same. Different detergents have mixed properties such as colour fading prevention, shrink prevention and detergents created for selected fabrics such as delicates.
Add a Splash of Vinegar
This sounds strange, but it’s more popular than you think. Adding a small capful of white vinegar to your wash will help to get rid of any foul, mould related smells. It will also help your colours to come out bolder.
Top Tip - Set a slower spin cycle for your delicate clothes and garments to make them stay in shape for longer.
Separate Colours and Pre-treat selected stains
Separating clothes by colour will help to prevent any colour run disasters so divide your groups of washing into 4 piles: darks, delicates, whites and lights. Once you think you’ve gathered a big enough amount of washing to wash, check each garment for stains and pre-treat if needed. Pre-treating will help the clothes to wash better and remove any stains.
Leave Your Washing Machine Door Open After Use
Doing this will help to air the machine out and will prevent mould and mildew from growing inside.
Ensure Clothes Aren’t Too Wet
If your laundry is soaking when you get it out of the washing machine, it’s worth putting it through another spin to get rid of excess water. If you place very wet clothes in the tumble dryer, the extra weight can damage the dryer drum.
Over time, your tumble dryer picks up fluff from your garments. These are then drawn away from your garments and are caught in the lint filter. Cleaning the lint filter regularly will help to prevent dust overheating. You can do this easily with a vacuum nozzle or cleaning it by running tap water through.
Top Tip- Ensure the dryer has properly cooled down before removing the lint filter to clean.
Don’t Mix Different Size Items
Are you constantly losing socks and pants when drying clothes, then finding them inside your duvet covers? This occurs when you tumble dry large and small items all at once. When your clothes have finished in the washing machine, separate them into piles according to size. This will help save energy as, by drying smaller piles, you will be able to ensure all garments are dried equally and of course, it stops underwear and socks getting caught in bed sheets!
Don’t Overload Your Dryer
Overloading your tumble dryer loads can cause problems as it will use more energy as the loads will need to be on for longer to wash all garments. Additionally, cramping the dryer with wet clothes means there will be no room for hot air to move around the clothes. Keeping the load sizes to small-medium (happy medium) will decrease the damaging impact upon the drum, minimizing the chance of having to pay for repairs or a replacement machine.
Ensuring you have good ventilation in the room where the tumble dryer is will help to reduce the risk of the dryer overheating and damaging the machine, therefore keeping windows open will help massively.
Tumble Dryer Maintenance
This is important to ensure your machine is working properly and safely. Pulling out your dryer and checking for a build-up of dust around sockets is vital to avoid the machine overheating and could create a fire risk. Checking inside the drum regularly to make sure your sensor is clean will also prevent problems.
Top Tip- If your tumble dryer is a condenser, make sure you empty the water container after each cycle.