What You Should Do Before Washing Laundry

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Michael Foster
June 17, 2024
Home appliances
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We all do laundry daily. Laundry can still feel like a daunting task no matter how many loads you do each week. After all, properly laundering your clothes requires much more than a single push button. Even if you've been doing laundry for years, you'll sometimes get less-than-ideal results. Where did everything go wrong? These tips will help you in achieving the best possible results every time you do laundry.

Read care labels

Clothing labels not only indicate whether the item can be machine washed or not, but they also provide special instructions on how to handle buttons, cuffs, linings, trim, etc. If you need to dry-clean or hand-wash any items before doing laundry, set them aside so you won't accidentally wash them. Then find items that aren't colorfast and group them according to color. (These items need to be washed separately, otherwise, they'll stain your other clothing.)

Choose the right detergent

While powdered detergents are cheaper and are effective in general loads, they sometimes do not dissolve completely in cold water, leaving white residue on fabrics.
Using liquid detergents containing enzymes, which are usually available in the grocery store, is a great idea for treating stains. It is important to read all of the ingredients in a liquid detergent before purchasing. More enzymes mean better cleaning power.
If your detergent says "high efficiency," it means it's made for front-loading machines, which use less water overall.

Pretreat the stains

Clothing stains should be treated as quickly as possible since this will prevent stains from setting deeply into the fabric. If you miss a stain, though, pretreating it before laundering the item is your best bet. Cool water can lessen most stains and eliminate others if dabbed gently, rather than rubbing or pressing with force.

Prep your clothes

Make sure your pockets are empty and inside-out, and that your socks are unrolled and hanging freely. Keeping pockets inside your trousers or pants might cause unintentional tears and hinder you from adequately cleaning that area, much like fastening buttons causes stress on an item. To avoid tangling, tie sashes and strings together. A loose string (think coats, hoodies, necklines, and waistlines) can become caught in the agitator of most washers, causing your clothing to be ruined.